The Wilds of Your Heart

by Nick Stiner

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    *****There is a hidden track if you buy/download the album!! It's called Diamonds. Thanks to everyone for listening.

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Recorded in a crowded apartment over the long Vermont winter, Nick's third album is finally complete! You may hear room mates, the jangle of Magellan's collar, water pipes, trains, and F-16's, but for the most part it's music. Thanks to all for listening.


released May 15, 2013



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Nick Stiner Burlington, Vermont

For more information on Nick, his shows, and his music, please visit his official website (link below).

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Track Name: I Came Out Screaming
Well I came out screaming
Like everyone the same
I took my mother’s looks
But I got my father’s name

I wasn’t baptized like my brothers
But what can I say
No coat of water will ever
Hide that devil’s face

I shook off some bridle
But still taste that bit
That past that lasts in my teeth
No matter how much I spit

But if I should wander and never plant my feet
Leave me with these strings and another dream

I got this skull so ancient
Still can’t contain the sky
Just some fond old renderings
That deceive the memory of my eyes

So I got hungry for visions
The glitter that calls crows
Cause I wanted to hold this earth
Before I gave it my ghost

But if I should falter, if I should fail
Dig a hole in the garden and place me there.
Track Name: Torch
I divorced the shadow of my shape
From the huddled herd of murmured names
To count my bones in the cover of the brush

In the tangle mass of hair I’d find
Seed of grass and climbing vines
And the scent of smoke, from that fire gleaned

Where we sang our songs on granite beds
And ate our bits of unleavened bread
With the tattoo of the stars across our shoulders

I catalogued the blood that bled
From kin and myth on fields of red
So I could hold that weight of terror in my veins

The dust of days and the names through age
Held down firm from those heavy rains
Pressed like petals beneath my page

I beg for water from bended bough
And those lovely trees would tip their crowns
So I could live my royal life for one more day

‘cause I arose without a noble birth
But I know just what my life is worth
The only thing I truly ever owned

But those trade winds try and keep me tau(gh)t
Between what I need and what I should want
All that fiction feathered from the steel that scrapes the sky

Cause they dreamt gold for me in the gilded age
But I woke to work at a lower wage
When all I wanted was a peace to call my own

There’s forgotten gods in our shattered blood
Held by threads of a single sun
Still poised to burn this stage from out your eyes

The actors will sing of a lion’s mane
And a fractured pearl on the abyssal plains
And a thousand sweeping visions to hard to hold

In these hands I got, that are hardly grown
They clasp and scratch, but cannot hold
A single second swollen in this space

So I’ll chase that color back through the prism
To find the light that bore the beginning
And touch the flame that hunts the vernal bloom

Cause this dust contains every beating heart
Like hooves of horses dancing through the dark,
We’ll carry that torch just to see how far.
Track Name: Fear and Love
You keep on pulling upon your hem
Showing those men just how you’re made
You say, “I don’t wanna hear your blame
You know we all just gotta get paid”

And “their ain’t no messiahs here
But some clowns with a 2 bit act
If you’re really looking to ascend
They’ll sell you something in the back”

Everyone has their reasons
And they’re not hard to find
I know you got yours love,
But that don’t mean that they are mine

I see a heart full of fear and love
Down upon their knees
Supplicating to the shepherd
Because they believe they are just the seed

Their only wish is to kiss the hand
With which that they’ve been sown
But I fear if you don’t stand up
You just might never grow

And bend a little closer
So I could hold you in the light
You say” I have found what is wrong here
But, lord knows if I know what’s right

I can smell the sweat on the restraints
And I can hear that crowd roar
They tasted just a bit of you blood
But they still want more

You say, “if I could only suffer this weight
If I could only suffer their glance
After they asked me to sing
After they forced me to dance

Do you think that would solve this
Do you think then they’d see:
The flesh and blood that made them
Is the same as a man like me.
Track Name: Wine and Wanderlust
Climb in to this crucible of daffodils and rust
Where spring is born from winter’s war
And summer’s fevered blush

We’ll lose our names among the grain
Like gravel in the grass
But this branch of blood and this rutted mud is the mettle of my cast

With barb wire and bailing twine, I’ll tie my voice in to this verse
Like a troubadour with those songs of lore-
Of Love, loss, mirth.

Cause I was filled with wine and wanderlust
As I wandered down this road
Honey on my tongue, this song in my lungs, I let that feeling go;

So it could rise-rise-rise
‘til it filled your eyes, until it filled these skies

but I’m a gear fixed between the engine and the steam
my furnace heart could ignite the spark
in this dynamo of dreams

but I get tangled in the gossamer of my mind and modernity
my graffiti thoughts on these vacant lots
where labor was left to bleed

when the pistons seize I retreat across these suburban plains
where my hand can graft this withered path
in to the ancient orchards veins

trampled grass and apple cores, and days stained by maple pitch
if this fabric of time could be only mine
I’d take it stitch by s t I t c h

So I could lie-lie-lie
Beneath the shawl of night
In this tapestry of light
Track Name: Wild!
We kept our simple faith
But discarded all the names
Sloughed like skins across these western plains

We’ve forgotten all our shame
Standing Naked and unafraid
Sayin’- let the worst be devoured by that flame

Because we were magnified in the motion of the sun
With the moon subdued it showed us where to run

Cause we were wild
Wild like the wind

And I know that it’s seen war
But what else are these bodies for?
As our vagrant eyes fell across the eastern shores

We would gather up debris
That the tides would leave
Some forgotten shipwrecked offering

We receive them like a prayer
That we sift like seed across the open air
Cause we were wild
Wild like the wind
Track Name: The Hunt
I was tall as young timber in the old growth of your eyes
Compressed and stretched in vectors, and smoothed by steady time
But my heart would mimic phrases; old rhythms born upon the tides
It was a stampede of autumn leaves, gunshots, and swinging scythes

But like a tear inside the tide pool or a seed swallowed by the sand
My voice grew weary in the caverns of a man
So hide me in the hoof prints, in the hollows of this path
Because I am the story, not the page in which it’s passed

I run with the foxes on the hillside, with the horse and hounds!
I’m that shadow moving like a worship across the grounds
You can cast your curses, you can forge your prayers
But I’m that spirit moving without the fear of all those snares.

But our memories are soaked in kisses and kerosene
Light the match and this all is but a dream
But craft for me this covenant from all the burdens we have shared
To lift the beast above the whips that fills the air

But you can dress yourself in fine furs If you think that would save you now
Remember my darling there’s no safety in that crown
You’ll feel the slack grow so loose against your rei(g)ns
You’ll hear the concert in the shaking of those chains

Cause I run with the foxes on the hillside, with the horse and hounds
With that mighty huntress, who casts aside her shroud
With the band of brothers who toil hard in the noonday sun
With truth outspoken in the barrel of your guns.
Track Name: Feral Scream
You fostered a feral scream in the bones that framed your breast
And your heart resounded like a drum that pounded
The skin stretched across your chest

Your blood would wind in cursive lines
Until it spelled the flesh of your motion
Like the wind on waves should spread the rays of warmth across the ocean

Til it settles on your foreign land, til it gives the strength to your hands
You say I’ll burn this bridge and sleep in the ditch
But I won’t construct that dam or I’d be dammed

So the river ran like a hundred hand trying to feel the face of that floor
But you know that face would be erased
And one day be restored

Because those sediments lay like tenements all sprawled across the ground
They all dissolve and re evolve
In this timeless passing sound

Oh my bride of May!
Your vows like outstretched snakes
So sovereign and solemn
Like ivy up the column, begging for the fall

Because all those moving lips
Seemed to form some judas kiss
And Samson’s final act
Was your only growing wish

In the din of days and the nights that ached, you tried to preserve your shape
Like a reed in water or the blade of slaughter-
Without fear and without faith

Then in the failing light you gave a savage cry among the multitudes of mouth
It sung like a thunder cloud so low and loud
While the birds all headed south
For fear of rain.
Track Name: Kiss Flame
Kiss me like a flame
Keep me like a name
Caught inside your throat
Waiting to be spoke

Then lose me like a dream
One that troubles you in sleep
Those wolves with hungry mouths
That feed upon your doubts

I’ll fashion us a blade
One that cuts away all faith
Leaves you naked in the flesh
The way I love you best

Then we’ll both go up in smoke
Giving up our ghosts
The jewel inside this absence
Is the ember in the ashes
Track Name: Splintered Light
You say you’ve seen the light
But you know your jesus was not white
He was darker than the sands that cover these lands
As I cry out in the wind

If we pulled the rafters from our eyes
We could see this soft and splintered light
I could hold your sight to the sky as the chemical trails pass by

But you say “oh Jim Crows died”,
But he wears a suit and now he dons a tie
And I ain’t saying your to blame for this shame, but be aware of how you’re made

Because you know these stripes and stars
Can come to look like prison bars
When your down below in that hole where the stars can hardly glow

How quickly we forget the past
And how swiftly it will come back
And I aint no prophet, nor priest just a man who’s seen defeat

At the hand of those who draw the line
Those that write the crimes
And all those eyes cast down while this war is all around

I ain’t got no redeemer
So I lay beneath these cedars
Where the theater dies down and my mouth can make an honest note come out

A thin voice in the choir
A spark inside the fire
That could range so wide and swallow this night, then the dawn would burn so bright
Track Name: Spring Breeze
There was pollution in my veins
So I cast off from these shores
Left those chimes beneath your window
So you could remember me in storms
And the cold wind would blow, shaking them like so many bones

And while that breeze would conjure waltzes
Singing dance macabre dance
I’d two step by the devil with
That fiddle in his hands

I would fall across the fault lines
I felt that fire breath my name
It said, “son you can run, but one
Day you’ll come to sleep within these veins.”

So I felt the brand of vices
And the virtue of the scars
My life was speckled moments
Like the night littered with stars

I would chase the moon in circles
To hold its fullness in my view
But it undressed inside the darkness
And that is when I knew;

That the resurrection of my love
Would come barren and unbound
That I would have to lose myself
If I was ever to be found
And the shadow of my desire
I should keep within my hands
Til it can shine like diamonds across this land

So I held these arms abandoned
Like the winter’s naked branches
Waiting on the skyline
For the blossom and the balance

And when that spring sun shown
And laid a fever through these trees
I released a handful of violets
My faith just blowing on this breeze

I said so summon up those storms,
Those spring symphonies
Put that thunder in mind
And lay that lighting at my feet

We’ll promenade through prairie fires
As the rain would crash like castanets
And from the quiet hiss of cinder
Our tender secrets grow again

If you can’t reconcile the tame and wild
Lose the lever on this cage
With tethers untied our fledgling flight
Would be weak for all its age
But with these open doors
You could explore the wilds of your heart
And there my lover, we shall start.
Track Name: Tall Grasses Low
If you domesticate these wild eyes
And lay all the tall grasses low
And hide all that’s shown well oh my my

And lionize these warrior cries
And put a heat inside this blood
As if there wasn’t enough all my life

Then you’d make this war

Between these glacial tides and these traffic lights
My motion finally comes to rest
Wire-drawn by footsteps to spell my time

If I save some seeds and a few good teeth
And put some kind words on my tongue
I hope that’d be enough to get me by

So I could lie, so I could just abide
In the last of this fading light