Dear Reader,

I've been mulling over what it means to speak or not speak. This is a well-worn obsession of mine. A few years back I concluded that surrendering words for presence was much preferred. 

I neatly sorted it out in a song called Quiver and recorded a few live-to-vinyl versions at a little studio in Brooklyn called Leesta Vall. As our current cultural trend continues to adore the weaponization of words, I have found Quiver with its manifesto of rejecting the hunt remains one of my favorite songs. I hope some version of it makes it to an albums someday.

As a lyric-writer, however, this preference for surrender over words puts me in a bit of a bind. How does one write in this state? This preference, combined with my past few years of brain issues from a biotoxin illness, has meant I haven't written much recently or known what to say.

Then, along comes the past 3.5 years where forces have sought to silence expressions of all kinds. As a shy person, I know all the tricks of repression and I can tell you that suppression feels awfully familiar, and not in a good way. It's a heavy thumb and it makes you crazy inside. I started feeling all those familiar crazy agitations. 

Thinking surely we wouldn't tolerate this, I looked around for a swell of concern and it was eerily silent…which made me even crazier. Was I trapped in a bell jar? Words too easily turned into blades, into dry data with spikes on its edges, with people parroting and borrowing and speaking from anywhere except the heart. I saw words lose their juiciness, their poetry, their truth, metaphor and mystery. We've gotten blood thirsty for a hunt, and probably a bit reckless.

So, I've changed my mind about surrendering words for presence. At the moment I'm in favor of being more bold with language, rejecting the chase entirely by allowing words to flow, blooming as some strange, alien flower which fills the planet into a giant conservatory of exotic, fragile, sensual, personal, brilliant, and alive sound and meaning. Let's allow words to be more than a scarlet letter.

I have more to say on this – and maybe some new songs are in order – but for now I just wanted to start writing about it because it matters. It seems like it should be obvious, but if you weaponize your words, expect shields. 

Here you can listen to a bootleg of Quiver from a live-to-vinyl recording, unapologetically lo-fi to preserve the value of the original recording for the person who owns this copy. Playing with me is Chris Parker on guitar. 

Quiver | words & music by Heather Kropf | © 2017

Over my shoulder / this quiver of arrows / for the hunters bow / one for truth / one for killing / one for love for the unwilling / I keep them to myself / lay them at your feet / I would not draw my hand / Diana at the crossroads / walks the high mountain path / so I follow / with this quiver of eros / and we saw you standing there / she took aim / I keep them to myself / you would not be helped / I lay them at your feet / would not draw my hand / to change the life blood of a man / or make the canyon echo / the canyon echo / I know you have a quiver too / maybe it's me who keeps hanging around wondering what you might do / would you do what I do /  I know that you have a quiver too / maybe it's me that's the one who keeps hanging around wondering what you might do / would you do what I do / would you? / keep them to yourself / I would not be helped / would you lay them at my feet / would you draw your hand / we neither the hunter nor the hunted / you would not draw your hand / to change the life blood of all I am / or make the canyon echo / the canyon echo

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