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Salted​-​over Stardust

by Antagonista

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Intro 01:04
Chattanooga 04:34
Pyramids 03:13
Interlude 1 01:08
Chanhassen 05:18
On the Way 02:48
Interlude 2 01:36
Chautauqua 03:24
Outro 01:06



“Cha Cha Cha”

* * *

un libretto (di sorta)


Michael Alan Hams



Late takes a raincheck, but the Moon hasn’t noticed;
her indifference lying oh-so casually in the falling snow

I step in shadow as I step in light,
& somehow a beat between

Through frost it crunches

In a curl by the front door sits Old Dog
On a shelf in the fridge sits a beer

Both wait for me,
but at his age…Old Dog bounds for snow alone


Act One:
“Chattanooga, TN”

As soon as I fall in, I fall under

It’s a quick slip into a question mark,
& of the mangled slabs that stretch beneath me…
it’s the jagged that catch

Something like a thousand stumbles

I’m mid-block when the clouded sun peeks,
it rips through this zephyr like it rips through this smile

& I stand reeling

Loose hands eventually spill me into the sky,
& like the parasol before me…
I twirl, and twirl, and twirl

* * *

She dances, and with the slight curl of her finger she calls
It’s dizzy taken lightly

Her breath on my shoulder like a slow waltz
Her tongue on my cheek like a cure

She laughs, and with the slight rise of her bosom I quiver
It’s an opportunity for desolation that I shouldn’t miss

* * *

There he is—cool & kicking dust—exactly like the first time
A thousand brushstrokes on first position alone
The eyes that follow match hue and shade
But they focus on the kiss
They can’t shake it
They twitch

* * *

Dawn finds me on the stoop
I’m smoking Japanese Winstons
It’s a pack I thought I had lost

Some cosmic bodega, that,
for whatever reason,
refuses to leave the peripheral

The knot in my stomach keeps up the questions
I try to answer, but…
there’s always another Japanese Winston at my lip

(Interlude I)

There’s a whistle & a whimper wound together
With only one that’s really screaming for The Sky

In curls at my feet sleeps Old Dog

He shakes off the snow before his last dash
& The Wind takes my whistle through the trees

I shake my own snow & stand tall at once
I wobble, & reach for the rail
I see The Stars

There’s a stamp, & a cough, & a curse of sorts
There’s the can, the couch, & the tube


Act Two:
Chanhassen, MN

It falls in lazy clumps of exactness
It’s bright, and beautiful
…and, one way or another, it will destroy me
It catches the moon’s eye
It’s the crunch of footsteps through a first snow
It calls, and it cries
It’s the soft boom of a city under siege
…and there’s something to be said about that

It falls in rhythm, and I should be thankful
It’s strange, and disturbing
…and, minute by minute, it is destroying me
(It steals the stars’ breath)
It’s the cut of frozen prints through moonlight
It tries, and it falls
It’s the soft gloom of a vision over ice
…and there’s something to be said about that

* * *

Glass set deep in flesh, blood like liquor

There’s a line in my hand,
light pouring once mine
& my palm out

There’s a toothache,
my shivering future once mine
& it’s pulp to pulse

There’s a beast at my door,
thought shaking once mine
& a powder keg

It follows in circles, and knows my scent

* * *

It’s the Grain & the Grit that hit hardest
I’d hit back with a swing or a swig
If I could only find a fist
—that nose needs a knock
—that cheek could use a bruise
—that eye deserves the purple rose of my focus

* * *

She lifts smoke from a snifter
Her hips put rhythm in a bind

All the corners have their trappings
All the floorboards have their pain

She sends kisses through the mirror
Her hand extended to the heat

For once I am relieved of my reaction
For once I am feted by the fire

(Interlude II)

The hiss from late night static hits us both,
with Old Dog just a hint ahead
I see the swirls of my poor decisions on the floor,
gathering dust and knotted hair before seeping into me

Through the window I see the still falling snow
Old Dog wags his tail at the thought of it

Shaking dreams loose like we shook the snow
The couch collects them all
Springs, foam, & sweat


Act Three:
Chautauqua, NY

A thousand stumbles? Have I gone that far?
It so easily turned into a sprint,
that the pavement was all but smoking
Yes, it was stumbles into a sprint,
then there was a jump—a leap, one could say—into flight
All stomach rushes & nose bleeds…flutters & tingles
The winds cut and howl, but quiets after the river
The knot in my stomach tunes the blue Atlantic black
Only then does the molasses find my motion

* * *

So here we are,
with the dark sea foaming & wet socks roaming
If it were yesterday, I’d believe it

Yet here we are,
clothes clinging, voices singing,
bringing about our slow demise
If it were today, I’d believe it

But here we are,
ripped & ruined, roused & raging,
ravaged by the thought of tomorrow

* * *

There is a moan in her throat that she’s not letting go of
There’s a sign on the door to my heart
There is nothing worth saying after all of the shudders
There are exits, & a time to depart

There are scars, & screams, & scraps from the barrel
There is scope from an object afar
There is nothing worth saving once we rip out the innards
There are tips we collect in a jar

There is a loan in my shirt pocket wrapped up in silver
There’s a line for the head at the bar
There is nothing worth shaving this late in the evening
There are stoplights mistaken for stars

* * *

The tide calls
It lures me with the soft touch of finality
It reaches in and pulls my heart with icy Atlantic fingers
It shadows me
A swallowing, yawning god of destruction and despair
It takes all I have
There’s one more cigarette that dangles loosely from my lip,
and on my cheek is the salted-over stardust


It’s old, hot coffee
It’s cold memories of a night spent in havoc
It’s love lost in a thimble,
& threads lost in time
Old Dog sits, and waits for the hand
The hand sits and trembles at the thought
It’s morning all over again
(Cha Cha Cha)



released March 24, 2020

Antagonista is:
Sean Davenport
Michael Alan Hams
Andrea Monorchio

Martin Seiler (tenor sax, flute, ewi)
Chris Lucca (trumpet)
Dillon Garrett (trombone)
Kiho Yutaka (violin)
Adam von Houson (violin)
Gabe Valle (viola)
Susan Mandel (cello)

All songs written by Antagonista
Recorded by Andrea Monorchio (Calopinace Studios, Brooklyn, NY)
Additional engineering by PJ Norman,
Sean Walsh & Dan Fischer (GB’s Juke Joint Studios, LIC, NY)
Horns & String arrangements by Martin Seiler
Field recordings by Ash Brown, and Michael Alan Hams
Design & Layout by Rayna Yazzie

Mixed by Chris Hoffee (CHAOS Recorders, San Diego, CA)
Mastered by Alex DeTurk (The Bunker, Brooklyn, NY)

Produced by Andrea Monorchio & Antagonista

All Rights Reserved
Roaches on the Wall
Telegram and Balloon


all rights reserved



Antagonista New York

Antagonista is: Sean Davenport/ Michael Alan Hams/ Andrea Monorchio

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