Tag Archives: the maiden name

Colder Than Mars

My husband wrote this song last winter (which was a hard and good one for us). I love how he weaves in so much (references to The Abyss, an obscure McSweeney’s book called Giraffes? Giraffes! and all of our favorite snacks). I also love how it showcases his deeply earnest yet totally goofy personality. As my friend Nate Allen describes it: this is the kind of music a therapist records in his basement. Because it totally is.

Anyways, it seems like creativity has been a key component of mental health for us, balancing the weight of the world we find ourselves in and getting lost in words and beats. To all of you who, like myself, the winters can be hard on, this song is for you.







Colder Than Mars

by The Maiden Name


we go to malls when it snows and we don’t buy a thing
and hold keys to cars we don’t own on our rings
and when we lie down, I can feel the oxytocin flow
like the Mississippi runs in the spring
if we’d stuck to applied sciences,
we might have ended up with better appliances
but anthills pop up through the carpet, yeah
our apartment’s kind of an armpit, yeah
no pork at our parties, chicken is safest,
and in minneapolis sambusas are the greatest
orange fanta, sans-ice
goat, basta, injeera, ricemy wife swears the vikings are a hockey team
because of the ice
I correct her, “that’s a basketball team, you know”
but I try to say it nice

we shop at the co-op, pick up some supplements at the food-shelf
we buy what we can from the farmers,
and then get what we can where we can wherever else.
pita or pancake? why is everyone snacking on my sidewalk?
spiced with ginger and mandrake!
I’m not gonna pick it up and put in my pocket
we drink what it see, drain it down, even up to the dregs
let it sit deep within us, like fruit juices in giraffe’s legs

what if to submerge is like the Abyss?
I mean the film from 1989
that I watched in 7th grade, with horror,
as that rat’s eyes met mine
he shrieked and tried not to drown,
but he couldn’t resist,
such a struggle in the brine
his lungs filled with water and he survived with clenched fists
[I mean paws, clenched paws]

its colder than mars here, and we import snow by the pounds
and doors are locked and closed,
from the first snow til the thaw of the ground
we’re all gonna die of loneliness, cozy with just ourselves,
only ourselves and a bottle of vodka taken down off the shelf
across the hall, paper thin walls, our salvation is bound up together
it’s not what we saw, but we heard the falls,
as we waited day and night through the weather
and if the sun ever comes out to greet us, we’ll beat it with a brick
and threaten, “if you ever try to defect again,
it’s over, we’ll finish the job, and this time we mean it.”


from Colder Than Mars Demos, released 15 March 2015
Be sure to go check out his bandcamp page. He is the best boy.



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poetry and prophecy

It’s two days before Christmas, and this will probably be my last post on the subject. So it’s fitting to end with a poem that my husband wrote, his reflection on the world we live in, our new neighborhood, and Advent in general. He makes me coffee every morning, gets up with the toddler in the middle of the night, listens to my every wandering thought, and writes killer poetry. I know. 




by the Maiden Name

Shootings, and sweatshops, rising regimes
sometimes it feels like your ever expanding
rule is nowhere to be seen,
like a seed in the ground that’s yet to start a sprout
you tend to sometimes circumvent instead of intervene
looking around as the almond branch turned the boiling pot north
and drained out the drowning lifeblood of the guiltless poor

it’s beginning to feel like the harvest is passed,
summer has ended and we are not saved
someone’s crying in the closet
for all our ill-mannered misbehaved
We’ve sown wheat, and we’ve reaped thorns
For the mountains and the wilderness I’ll mourn
So do not listen to your prophets, your dreamers
Until we break the yoke of the shorn

Our exile has been long enough to grow a bounty
that has been taken away, time and again, by country and by county
Are you coming quickly?
Please, tell me you’re coming with haste
Some say they’re patient, some say they can wait
But I’ve seen abusers go their own way, unchained
and I’ve seen oppression walk the streets midday
and the wolves live among the sheep without dismay
while we pine away

Flannel pajamas, soot-stained script
Candles in the kitchen,
I remember always watching that wax drip
As we sing songs of the one coming, and to the one who came
And it’s all sorts of awkward, the highs and lows that we sang

and I still practice advent, even in my own home
my daughter calls it a birthday cake, we say it’ a private protest against Rome
but we still fail and find ourselves at the mall and department stores
and a few other of places I’d tell you about, but I find it too embarrassin’
of all those who might have trouble falling asleep on Christmas eve
amongst all the children, it seems the empire should be most at unease

I tried my hand at Advent Conspiracy and at Buy Nothing Christmas,
But justice and peace seem to just be
unpurchased items on my wish list
Oh well, that’s how it goes, maybe I’ll get it next year
And I sing hallelujah as I
chug chug chug down the cheer
in the most jolly of fashions
but this can’t last, it won’t last forever
so our eyes are on you, King of the broken, ruling from a manger



Nothing like reading the prophets while we think about the babe in the manger.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. 

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