Orphic Revival

by Jay Karl Stevens// the Raven

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Language moving with velocity.

Jay Stevens mixes lyrical politics and cosmic erotics in a drum-driven, guitar fueled groove that pushes the edge of both spoken word and the rock/rap regimes.

Along with Eddie Bogosian and Derek Young, co-creators and ingenious sonifiers, he is the Raven.

Jay at jaykarlstevens.com
Derek at derek.young.vt@gmail.com
Ed at eddiebogosian@gmail.com


released November 11, 2013

Jay Stevens: Lyrics and spoken vocals
Ed Bogosian: Keyboards, percussion/programming, engineering
Derek Young: Guitars and singing

Co-created/produced by Stevens, Bogosian, Young
Ryan Hebert: production, mixing and mastering (noencores@hotmail.com)

Camille Parker sings on Dance House, Gotta Have It
Wade plays rhythm guitar on Decision Matrix
Maki Schmertz plays electric sax-synth on Gotta Have It



all rights reserved


Jay Karl Stevens Vermont

Writer and poet Jay Stevens is also the author of STORMING HEAVEN: LSD and the American Dream. He was writing partner with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead on DRUMMING AT THE EDGE OF MAGIC and PLANET DRUM. Eddie Bogosian and Derek Young, are the principal sonffiers on this first expedition into orphic revivaland. ... more

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Track Name: Eros is a Black Limousine

by J. Stevens

In America
Eros is a black limousine
Traveling toward an international airport
Driven by a Negro chauffeur packing
A ham sandwich & a gun
& before this poem zips itself up
That ham sandwich will go off & almost
Kill Janis Joplin while the gun stays warm
In the warm shoulder holster of History's driver
Who can usually be found, this time of day
Idling outside the Shoreham, in Washington
Earbuds in, reading Chekhov -- an actor studying ?
Or waiting for the lone gunman
The gloved assassin
There's always one around somewhere
Sidney Reilly. Mark David Chapman
Everything is timing

In America
Eros is the poster of a shark
Watching a girl swim naked in the dark
Dark shape hanging low
Under the billows
Watusiing in the slow slow chop.
It's not just a shark it's not just a poster
Old fish knows only one thing
But it's a big Thing

In America
Eros is a room full of neoprene pelts
Identical models hanging in the vault
of a futuristic furrier
A whole wardrobe of new selves
Every thirty years you turn seventeen
Get brand new download of love
Grown in petri dish
or infernal machine

In America
Eros is lights in the high desert night
Outside Palm Springs --too dark
To see the limo but this is big
A whole convoy rising up from a nowhere
You might call the middle of nowhere
Ground zero zero hour swift silent men
Easing out earbuds in sober alert
Apprehensive grim, are we ready
For what this is the return
Of the alien or only the un
Loved assassin

In America
Eros is a shark
Cruising into a pickup spot
It could be McGregor Park or Dayton's
Old arcade that corner up in Bellingham
Any lonely place where out of the dark
A cute ham sandwich fresh buns lotsa mayo
& meat a yum yum twink earbuds in
Comes watusiing over to our cold
Clear mirror hanging there in time's
Slow dark chop about to learn
One big thing. Maybe two

I'm 55 this is America
What do I know about Eros
You're out in the billows every day
The shark rising & falling
Waiting for the black limousine
That's waiting for Janis Joplin
Who's giving head on a bed
In the Chelsea Hotel to Leonard Cohen
While outside in the street the nothingness
Takes care of business with its usual
Quiet intensity

Hey maybe those French existentialists
Were onto something
Maybe life really does have meaning
Only when you carpe diem & catch
The black limousine carrying Sartre
and De Beauvoir to Orly to Lisbon
To Havana to dinner with Fidel
Stories of Che fat montecristos
On the Revolution’s tropical verandah
But what kind of meaning is that

We're nowhere
No where we know or recognize
Sun in Scorpio Mars in Aries.
In America Eros is always a metaphor for war
and more

These sheets must be storm clouds
Not fine linen
Last night they rained
A beautiful woman

Track Name: Song for Baudelaire

by J. Stevens

Write a book about drugs
People will want to give you drugs
My advice -- take them straight
Try not to get too mixed up
There are no casual trips
But a good buzz will always be
A good buzz & has been
Since we became foodsharing apes
In the Miocene
Full bellies, music, safety, laughter
But also risk, luck, danger
Raise the festal energies where and whenever
But never neglect the particular
Time is more than a million billion rhythms
And almost nothing is random
Except how seldom we notice
Any pattern & when we do
We want to hear it all the time
That line of Bowie’s
Turn and face the strange
Lovely suggestion
Don’t think I’m like this
With every new woman I meet
But eighty percent of you feels unique
And the other twenty percent
If it were a car
It would be a very small car
With lots of room in the back seat
What does it mean
When the first thing you notice
About a perfect stranger
Is their perfection
Track Name: The Madness Song

by J. Stevens

Let us be perfectly clear
When the madness comes
All the edges disappear
You can’t prepare for this feeling of no there there

You’re here
And a lot of what was elsewhere
But how much & for how long
Will depend on your education

That’s here too
And whether you are taking your medication
This is a complex fluid not impossible

You need to wrap your arms around some facts
That have been hiding behind your back
When the madness comes
The word you want is elusive

Those things that elude you and those that grip
When the madness comes try to enjoy
The way you & the bullshit part company
No logic to their slipperiness

Oh my god! The tether’s just been cut
You’are an astronaut
When the madness comes so does the sadness
Of all things that drift apart

The continents drifted apart
Lets pretend we don’t feel
Their sadness every day
Our astronaut falls through time’s tarry mirror

Dressed in a suit or armor that once cost more
Eons ago
than most of history’s smaller wars that we the taxpayer
Also paid for. Talk about the horror

When the madness comes
Power is still only a six gun or for arguments sake
A fountain pen
Same story different versions

When the madness comes hate
Is everything you do not expect which is everything
Which is this thing and this thing
And this thing

The same thing
In all its variations
When the madness comes that’s the zazen
Keep it compartmentalized if you can

When the madness comes love is the same
Always the same green fuse
That drives the rain’s brief
But infinite flowerings

I don’t pretend like everyone else to just follow the news
I’ve got thoughtful views on American idol
& the human genome to pick two at random
From the multitude I could subject you to

I really do
But it is the signals you can not not
Pay attention to but won’t remember
When the excitement begins

That gives moments like this
Their importance
When the madness comes
The eyes put you wise

Or so I’ve heard
You see it you’ll know it
It can’t be disguised
Nature herself is pretty damn loco

Whether we are talking about an instant
A lot of the time
Or an eon or some in between
To understand anything fully is always an act of the imagination

I don’t pretend to know
Whether the door to this metaphor is locked
Or not
But we are trapped inside something burning and hot

The window the others dove through is blocked
Just that terrible noise when things blow up
What’s usually here is more than enough
No knowing by what

When the madness comes
One of the first things lost
Is your sense of loss
When the madness comes

That crack where the light got in
Pompei was buried under a fine hot ash
Wind volume mass
You do the math

Even the most luxurious diet of emptiness
When the madness comes
Love is the same always the same
Green fuse that drives the rain’s

Brief but infinite flowerings
Your weight looks good
Your color’s only adequate
Won’t make all the appetites vanish

To stay on top of this maybe can be managed….just
To prepare for that feeling of no there there
Lets pretend there’s no way
You’re here

And a lot of what was elsewhere
But how much & for how long
Will depend on your education
And whether you are taking

The word you want is elusive
One thing is perfectly clear
That’s here too
Your medication

First the edges
This is a complex

But not impossible situation
That’s the zazen
Keep it compartmentalized
If you can