To Yellowknife ~ Chapter 01: New Green Bay to Bismarck

by Mending

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1.
If [inaudible] says she can't keep her, Prem and I will take her in.
2.
We pack what we can carry, the rest we leave behind. Andy said she’ll tend the garden and keep what she can alive. I’m packing up the pantry, we’ll take Dad’s herbs along, M’s room’s almost empty, we’ll give the house to Andy when we’re gone. I found a lùyīn packed in with Papa’s wartime things, When New Green Bay is but a speck, I’ll have his voice with me. We’ll take the train to Fargo and go on foot from there, Pick up Robin after Bismarck, they’ve got contacts at the border, Onward north to Sweetgrass, the Jiāo láng will be waiting. Robin’s made arrangements for us three.
3.
[mechanical sounds]
4.
Here two days from the front line, All we get are landmine kids, missing one limb or the other. I thought by now the elephants, Rations dwindled down to bits, Would sure have given up. But power, guns, & cruelty Still sway sensibilities, Even when it’s sister fighting brother. Just now two one-armed kids were Singing the Ballad of Wakerobin. I’ve mopped too much blood to bother. I signed-on to be a medic, But most days I’ve been grave-digging, Playing catch with Yorick’s skull. But power, guns, & cruelty Still sway sensibilities, Even when it’s father fighting son. But power, guns, & cruelty Still sway sensibilities, Even when it’s dust we’re fighting over. When I’m through recording this I’ll meet Andy in the mess, Seems I could use some cheering up.
5.
Name, Surname Unit, Rank ID number, Age D.O.B. T.O.D. Cause, Next of Kin
6.
There’s something broken here, from the early days, Way back before things fell apart all the way. I passed through the engine room, and heard a worker say The hydro power used to light the whole town, and I thought We come from brave stock and once had the audacity to try To bend the water to our will, before it tore through every dam we ever built. The train stayed with the river, for the last few days. We watched the sunrise through the haze. I could hear the falls before the western route And watched morning stars blink out. We come from brave stock and once had the audacity to try To bend the water to our will, before it tore through every dam we ever built. Concrete and metal ruins, worn soft by riversong, Nature always finds its way. I know our journey’s long, we’ll have to go on foot When we reach Fargo at midday. We come from brave stock and still have the audacity to try To bend the road ahead to our will and leave behind bits of lives we’ve built.
7.
Check, check. Come in, come in. Are you receiving? This is GLA 810 Are you receiving? It’s 0300 hours, There are gunshots to the west.
8.
His hair is midnight, a cup of blackberry wine. His skin's like coffee from before with real beans. I’ve seen him gleaning near the ruins at Simcoe Creek. I miss a breath imagining the meter of his heartbeat. I hadn’t given thought to family, lust, or love. I thought those wings were lost the last year of the war. But I’m dreaming sonnets now, like a poet bittersweet. I lose my breath imagining the timbre of his heartbeat. He met me by the river bend. He said I’ve seen you seeing me. I met him where the scrub grass ends. I said I’ve seen you seeing me. I lose my breath imagining the rhythm of his heartbeat.
9.
10.
M is still sleeping so I take my Pa’s lùyīn, To an overgrown fell by the roadside. We’ve 18k today to make the Bismarck camps But M could use the rest and I like to take these moments when I can. I think he came this way when it was still farmland, Back in the first years of the war. I miss his real laugh, like clean easy water, Not sure I remember his smile anymore. Four days of clouds, the lùyīn's at three percent, Just enough for one message. M would be upset to know I’m spilling juice for this, But it’s nice to hear his voice again, it’s nice to hear his voice again. And there upon the crest, my daughter and my man Come home from mushroom picking. I’m not sure I’d say “blessed” But today I’m feeling lucky. I miss his real laugh like clean easy water.

about

To Yellowknife ~ Chapter 01: New Green Bay to Bismarck
{44X-88 to 47X-100} {March, Year 120} {1100km}
The Wakerobin Archive Book 02

To Yellowknife is set 80 years after the Incident at Wakerobin Hollow, and follows The Kid’s journey from New Green Bay to Yellowknife. She risks a challenging traverse across a desertified landscape and a covert crossing at the militarized northern border in hope that a better life awaits in post-glacial Yukon Inc. She carries a battered lùyīn, an audio diary, from her adoptive father’s time as a field medic in the Second American Civil War.

IN THIS CHAPTER:
The Kid and M leave their home in Andy’s care and cover the first 800km of their journey on a rickety train. En route, The Kid explores the lùyīn, learning more about the hardship and danger of her father’s time in the war. Though they creak through a landscape blighted by climate change and past the detritus of a crumbling civilization, The Kid remains hopeful. At Fargo, she and M embark on a 300km walk across N. Dakota, taking solace in her father’s voice, his early romance with Prem, and discovering that the lùyīn’s filestructure seems to be chronological.

credits

released March 19, 2020

Words and Music by Kate Adams and Joshua Dumas

Recorded and Mixed by Joshua Dumas at Pieholden Suite Sound, Chicago IL

Additional Recording at Shape Shoppe, Chicago IL, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn NY and Strange Magic, Chicago IL.

Mastered by Shelly Steffens at Chicago Mastering Service, Chicago IL


©2020 Drift Club Records

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Mending Chicago, Illinois

The Wakerobin Archive is an ongoing experiment in speculative storytelling in song.
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Book 01, "We Gathered at Wakerobin Hollow" is a four hour, nine album drone folk exploration of sisterhood and climate change.

Book 02 commences in March 2020.

Mending is Kate Adams and Joshua Dumas
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