they taught me to say thank you

by Alma's engine

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released February 27, 2014



Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.


Alma's engine Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Alma's Engine is creative work by Eppchez. Ey has been know to make music in pursuit of honest reflection and deep connection to others. Eppchez had a period of compulsive song writing from 2011-13. Ey hopes to be back at it when eir wrists heal/ ey gets a band together. These songs, in their open sorrow and musing joy are for you. ... more

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Track Name: Lonely
I’ve been lonely for so long it’s hard to let it go
And I don’t know, if I still know how to fall in love
I play tricks in my own mind like saying two plus two is five
By saying just cause I’m lonely I’m not alone

And I’m breaking like waves do over the rocky shore
And no matter how much trust I give it hasn’t brought me more.

At bus stops, in bookstores, or walking in the woods
it just feels good to live inside my mind.
Surrounded by strangers where no one my name
I am unashamed of the solitude I find.

And when I go dancing, I move like no one can see.
The wall paper is made of eyes, but probably no one’s watching me

oh pull me away; raise up the shades on a rainy day
I made light bulbs from my heartache with an obsolescent glow

And sometimes I will run out in my sundress though the rain
And I’ll smile for my audience of one.

I lift my face up slow to look at the stars tell me I’m small.
They shimmer like sweat does, like dew as they clearly call
Alone is the meaning they say, the meaning of it all
And in the briefest of moments before my ego recalls
I understand how lonely is not a fatal fall
Track Name: Emily
She said: there’s no repeating
All the words she rolled to you with her own tongue
Death set like pennies on the railroad track
In a nightmare mingled with the truth
She said: “what if now I can’t get back to you?” X2

Postmarks that read like disappointment
whispers that you meant send a long time ago
Collect like leaves inside the gutter
your flooded heart it sputters now for June
and the undertaker took the sun down at high (C)noon
Seeing signs like fleeting you’re turning down your chin
At the bottom of the Battle there’s a ship to sail away in
When immortality seems like it’s given or for free
You want to break it down like she brought you to your knees

She said, or would’ve if she’d been there
“Picture me in sun bit trees and let me go”
You heard the glass break on your forehead
The phone call that you let fall of the hook
to cry into a photograph you took.

Forget is not a word you know
There is no after glow just love
For the girl whose happiness will always have been rushed
For the girl whose happiness will always be
Track Name: Pictures of Naked Women
Pictures of naked women line the stores along the street.
They don’t make me feel inadequate, they make me feel more complete.
Sometimes I want to talk to them so they could prove me wrong.
Other times I pretty sure that we just wouldn’t get along.

They're working on cars. They’re hanging out at beaches and bars.
This one’s named Diana. She’s got a hammer and some plush toy handcuffs.
And maybe something’s wrong with me but she doesn’t make me want to buy hardware.
She makes me want to sigh. She makes me want to roll my tired eyes
and blame someone for something bigger than putting up this stupid picture
cause it’s exhausting to insist on her underlying humanity.

Pictures of naked women in every trashy magazine.
When I was young they made me ugly. Now they just make it hard to read.
And looking in her coked out eyes I wonder what she sees.
Perhaps she’s proud of her portfolio, accomplished, and at ease.

I bet she never farts. There’s a bottle of booze over her private parts.
And I don’t drink what she’s selling, but I know the brand now so I guess it’s working.
And If I saw it at a party I would think of her and laugh.
It’s hard not to feel superior and then I feel like a fool in the reflecting pool;
so shallow and so heavy handed-- a puritanical fun bandit.
How did I become so damned and hopelessly self-aware?

I am a naked woman about a quarter of the time.
When I’m sleeping. When I’m loving. When the opportunity arises.
To say I never use the way I look would be a lie,
but I’m uncomfortable with sex appeal; it makes me feel frivolous and expendable.

I kind of don’t believe it, that a straight man would fall for a dumb trick like that.
And I’m not convinced of my body’s power, but I feel his eyes on me and it makes me sour.
I never wanted this I never asked I never asked for any of this

Pictures of naked women line the stores along the street.
They don’t make me feel inadequate the make me feel more complete.
And I’m sorry but I wrote you off as shallow, I concede
It’s a sticky kind of vanity you make me feel more complete.
Track Name: Monster
Leave the lights on in the houses where the monsters all come in.
They’re afraid of the dark too you know, They’re afraid of all their fickle sins
Don’t shoot the messenger, I sent him for my love
Underneath the floor boards where you hid my heart like a hit and run.
Cause in the morning nothing’s simple like it was
Back while the alcohol was thinning out our raging blood
you kissed me like a palindrome of sandpaper and mud.

I heard you bought a submarine to put your ego in
So that it wouldn’t feel the pressure as you drowned yourself in beer and gin.
Don’t ask me for a favor; I’ve been cutting you out from under my skin
Since I heard you hurt someone else like you swore you’d never do again.
I’m tired of trying so damn hard to stay a monster’s friend.

Maybe we are each other's victims. Maybe we wear each other’s chains
I know I’ll hold this heartbreak to the shores of other lover’s names.
I can’t describe it. I’m terrified by it just the same.

I always spot you across a crowded room you watched me freeze you were frozen too.
I had just been thinking of you and how much I hate to think of you.
Deer in the headlights someone grabbed my panicked arm.
Dragged me to some god sent place where my trembling branches rode the storm.
You haunt me even when I leave the lights on

In the houses. Am I no better, or do I know better than you do?
Someone told me that you’ve been a mess that you call me monster too,
But there’s a wall between my malice and my bliss.
If I could I ‘d hate you if I could I’d take back every kiss.
But instead I leave the lights on to pretend you don’t exist.
Track Name: Holyoke
Driving north form anywhere to home
She is the city we avoided
Hungry in a nation that feeds itself on pride
There are no return receipts for all the dreams that only pained her

Oh Holyoke tired and broke
Don’t let the river drown you dry

1849 with Irish hands and time
She made an engine from the river
Immigrants unlocked the door from Warsaw and Quebec they poured
And some got rich but she stayed poor
Factories that mortal used to breath
The billows black, the rags and fleas.
Paper is the prophit’s tool no poems writ on tradesman’s gruel
Empty buildings, empty hearts, for Montreal she’s pining

Oh Holyoke the fire won’t stoke
Don’t let the river drown you dry

Houses got cheap and empty on Bridge St.
A Puertorican lullaby
Come to cut tobacco leaf and hope to fall asleep in peace;
Threatened makes a circle when the rumors and the stakes are high
Church bells ring out on every catholic sin
we heard them calling from the highway
Lucid is her sacrifice she prays she won’t be lost in vice
She only came here to be made

Oh Holyoke fire makes smoke
Don’t let the river drown you dry

Winter is the Difference between High St. and San Juan
All the red haired children lock their doors when the sun is gone.
Is it fear in the river or on convenience store shelves?
Americana don’t you want an overpass over yourself

Buildings brick, and signs that didn’t mix
The 1920’s with the future
Like a silent picture show that never learned to talk
And walks all day in sepia past Puertorican shops
There’s no excuse for it hasn’t happened yet
That’ll help her children understand
Why the language that rushes past their mother’s tongue at night
Is never written in her hand

Holyoke thick enough to choke
Don’t let the river drown you dry