Smear Kites

by H Duck

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A collection of songs recorded in bedrooms and basements in Portland and Seattle between 2006 and 2010.

Every song here is a result of a moment of figuring out a new thing to do with the materials at my disposal - often the words are afterthoughts, quick fictions or nonsense, although some I meant very much. When it became harder to come up with new tricks, I stopped recording on my own. This is the sound of me learning. Thanks for listening to it.


released April 22, 2016

All music by H Duck except

Andy Prahl - drums, "Wend You Wend You"
Gabe Edge - drums, "The Hour That Stretches"
Eben Hoffer - guitar and production, "Non-Combatant Funk"

Art by Monica Seldow -



all rights reserved


H Duck Brooklyn, New York

I play in a band called the Copper Look. These are songs I made a long time ago.

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Track Name: When You're Done Waiting
Jonagold says she's had enough of the rain
And she's moving to Boulder at the end of the summer
On her way to Spain

It's a long way to run but I'm doing my best
Saying maybe she'll write me letters
At least she'll know our address

When some women fall you can tell they'll be all right
They're feeling the world but they'll know what to do
And I sit and wait on the edge of disaster
To come back and ask her - will I be like you?

I count all the things that we did and we knew what it meant to do
And whether I'll do them with somebody new

The ways I'll remember at first and then after
when I hear laughter and think of the way that you cursed
Every word

When you're done waiting you'll know that you're free
An honor you're somewhere remembering me
When you're done waiting you'll know that you're free
Don't waste your time on remembering me
Track Name: Discommunication
Waking up naked all tangled in web
I got a pair of geek glasses and a goose on my head
I keep having dreams where I'm swimming in place
Because my lover wears a mask on the back of his face

I've been kissed by a giantess with too many teeth
But my lover knows that she's a little girl underneath
Got a match too early but the flame don't burn
And I'm wondering when it's gonna be my turn

More real a life than this
I want to lose my substance in
Hermaphrodite's kiss

Lost in the books I sip my tea by
The red and green pavilion as my lady walks by
Another ten years of misunderstandings to go
And you know you can't excavate it easily
Writing your name til your thumb starts to blister
The chosen but you still can't talk to your sister
It's written in stone, go off and write a poem
Contemplate the resonance of decades alone

I want it but I don't
I need your hand to wake me
When the dreaming world won't
Track Name: Wend You Wend You
Raven sits inside the bubble
Waiting for the fiend to come
Swimming in the blood of Charles Wallace
Binding oxygen

Raven draws more clearly than I have for years
His eyes are bright
The play that draws the corkscrew snakes together
Kissing in the night

In the column green we'll free the wizard
Tear the edge and run
Bleeding paint through separating sheets
We burn to make him come

There's the dragon ears for wings
Emblazons what we'll never find
The blinding light around the soul
We hunt for it in game design

Who will write your stories stories
Tell me wend you lose the knack

When I reach my darkest hour
I will draw upon the floor
Tear the stuffing out the rabbit
Tape my pictures to the door
Find me singing in the basement
Write so hard I break the lead
When you find me done with making
You will know that I am dead
Track Name: The Hour That Stretches
I'm getting a little bit tired of numbers
Anything I do it don't seem to turn out right
And I'm trying not not not to be so dependent
But at the end of the day all I ever want to do is

If there's a problem I'm up in the dark
I'm alone with the hour that stretches
I can see clearly through all of my life
I will never have any more problems

Sure it's an extra expense
But the whole edifice is gonna fall apart if I don't
And who do they have have have besides me
Without my income the whole thing's in tatters so for now I'm

Everything sharp til the end comes at last
Can't fight the present so dig up the past
We've made mistakes and we can't fix them now
But if I could do it all again you'd be there
Track Name: Sanjay
The girl in the cubicle next to mine
Looks like I imagine my daughter
The girl in the bed and the curve in her spine
As the days get shorter and shorter

I wanted the house mess
Build a fort from the cushions

I read to remove and I read to resist
And I read turned to stone in the kitchen
I used to tell stories right back to the books
But these days they don't seem to listen

Did they go blind or me?

Where is the madness you promised me?
Is this what I asked you to do for me?
I needed a job and a place to be
My parents no longer care for me

I linger too long in the cube next to mine
And you smile like you know what I'm doing
I say not tonight and you say not tonight
And you smile like you know what I'm doing

Did you go blind or me?

This is the best you can do for me
I thought you would make it OK to be
The thing that I never expected to be
The thing that they always expected of me

Would you hurt yourself a little just for old times' sake
Or throw all your clothes on the fire
Track Name: Non-Combatant Funk
I won't stop

Emptiness breeds in the ribs of a horse!
Making its feelings felt staying the course
Placing its bets and extending its feelings
Tickling the places where we'll never fly

After dinner I went down to the water
In the person of a fish I found an adequate lover
In the sad gentle morning I lift my golden awning
Finding gentlemen awaiting I say what's up
They took me out

They took me out in the woods and
showed me what it means to be lonely

I was a bounder throughout
All the girls I admired went pow when I touched 'em
The single most important thing to handle was me
and my sudden emotions
Then one day there came a knock on the door

Emptiness breeds in the ribs of a horse
Making its feelings felt staying the course
Placing its bets and extending its feelings
Tickling the places where we'll never fly
I was the one in the child sized sandals
Sighing in awe at the art of the sigh
I was the one in the child sized sandals
Sighing in awe at my lover's goodbye
Track Name: Pink Umbrella March
Do you remember the dry days of course I remember
It's right before we learned all the shit that we know
We said never again and of course I could never
And I know because I said so

So you say you had family me too so they tell me
I went to the museum saw my name on the wall
So I ran through the hallways to find where they took them
In the days right before the fall

It said they had nametags and bright pink umbrellas
It was the funniest thing when they came down the street
The guards all have pistols but everyone's smiling
And they marched them along to this cute little beat:

One two three four five six seven's gone

I pledge to be a good man and that's a promise general
And New York City is the place that'll fall

we don't know

You can't keep up when the standards keep changing
Might as well come for them all

And they come
And they come
And they come
And they come
And they come
Might as well try to make it interesting
Track Name: Collateral Damage
Here's to another minor setback
Here's to another clutch of casualties
Acceptable and not in vain

Please don't think I take it lightly
Say I'm just too sentimental
I've never been that kind of man

When the chick goes slack
Did you break the baby
I look I look for symmetry
Must have been something I did or will

Keep the pace the sun is blinding
Here where it's always never shining
It's fun to get caught in the rain

Summer comes I know I've seen it
Still sometimes I don't believe it
I'll never pay off all my sin

When the chick goes slack
Did you break the baby
It must be for a reason
Must have been something I did or will

Never say you'll go

I promise not to hurt you on purpose
We must accept the collateral damage
Track Name: The Perspective
In winter snow a maple leaf
Under the rocks slept cold
The wait is not forever
The most attractive ones go
I'll sing of joy in winter
You'll wait for summer's glow
To chase away the darkness
Was importance once I know
Track Name: The Death Wish
The death wish sits upon my chest
It's warm and wet a feathered hell
It keeps me safe from being too alive

Without it I would fall apart
I'd have no skin out in the wind
The scraping nerve the rawness of a heart

My right hand mind's in love with you
My left hand mind's already gone
To see my old Chicago home again

To take that road to nothingness
Two dollars gets me on the train
And I will never be hungry again

Little man will have his way
Couches live his life away
Food and bed are not his own
Happy with his telephone

Things are better half-awake
Still get sunsets at the lake
Still get sex and lovers too
If you get them to love you

Please sir I surrender
Please sir I surrender
Track Name: PDX Genteel
Bravery is looking at the same damn sky every day
How all these steps we take leak into our bones
Bravery is the broken rhythm of a flute yeah we've heard it all before
In my bed it's warm shelter from the storm why don't you stay with me

No longer jealous no longer in need
Stay up all night and you'll see what I see
We could give up in the blink of an eye
I know it's strange but we might as well try

Light walking through the door bicycle wheel old fabric western wind
Accidental clothes how it moves how it moves I'm so in love with this
Press your cheek to mine time to hit the grind down by the riverside
Dangling your fingers in the wind taste them and feel for me

Now I'm not crazy cause you saw it too
I don't know why it's what miracles do
Suddenly somehow I don't need to move
Lift your bright finger and things will improve

And if I miss my old lives brothers I thought were me
That's what makes it so real - quiet calm ecstasy
Longing is life it's the edge on the wind it's the afterglow
Sit down beside me and sample the bliss of the undertow

No longer jealous no longer in need
Stay up all night and you'll see what I see
We could end all of this in the blink of an eye
I know it's strange but we might as well try
I know it's strange but we might as well try