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Count Your Lucky Stars

The Cardboard Swords

by The Cardboard Swords

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    Second pressing. Insert and jacket by Maxwell Vanderforest.

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released November 6, 2015



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The Cardboard Swords Grand Rapids, Michigan


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Track Name: (S)He Said
She said,”It’s kind of crazy that I like you, because I don’t usually like dudes. I think that I might try to spend the rest of tonight beside you.” I said,”you were cuter before I saw you there, with your drunken lean, you showing me your underwear.” You were making a scene, hoping I would care, but I didn’t care. I heard you singing behind my bathroom door, it was an old song so you didn’t remember the words anymore. It was humorous, kind of funny to me, because you always thought that you knew everything. You asked why they never hold you til morning, while managing to ignore the parts of their bodies that make them horny. It’s a long walk from the east hills to the airport, you had to work at 8, came to at 6 wondering what the hell you were there for. It’s a shorter walk from our house to the amtrak station. The next one won’t leave til 8 kid, so just wait and be patient.
Track Name: Brian’s Song
You were plastered before you came here
smoking those camel Turkish royals, sipping on the same cheap beer we always did. You just stood there, you were quiet. Since when is saying nothing at all better than lying? I am thinking that I may finally have this right. Moses made the drive, I was very glad we could share these nights
Track Name: Flannel
You said that I should get a clue. I did, and it was to rid my heart of you. I did exactly what you said I should do, I played the sleuth, and I found a clue. I still can’t stop thinking about you. That’s standard procedure, you know me. Fuck with my heart at your leisure, that’s how it goes, or it’s been going lately. You said I was the best, simultaneously the worst, and best case scenario I should be cursed for the rest of my life. I feel like I am because I won’t ever have you by my side. Stay warm in that flannel that I left on your bed, there was no way in hell I could put it on after that, we were both soaking wet. I apologize if from time to time, it makes you think of me, but just imagine seeing that stupid shirt, every time you breathe. That’s how it feels to be me. Your heart has proven to be more of a maze than construction season in the heritage hill one ways from someone who is not from Grand Rapids on their very first days. But me, I paid attention on my late night skates and when I was driving around in my van, and now my best friend who has lived here his whole life said I know the city better than him. He said, Ty, its like the back of your hand, I said Alek I’d trade it in a heartbeat for the backbone of a man. I had to change my way home from work because I couldn’t even stand to drive by her and see her on her front lawn, bikini on, getting a tan. Here’s the thing, I don’t need Fountain or Union street for anything except martha’s vineyard or the bakery. I’ll take the back of the Michigan hill down, Eastern around, and follow Lyon all the way there because this is what I have found: Life may or may not be about finding true love, but it is certainly not about begging for it for someone. I’ll keep doing the things that I do, late nights, fat blunts, pizza pies with my crew, driving home from whatever bar is half-off after two while blasting my favorite tunes, and seeing my favorite local bands at whatever venue. While you keep doing the things that you do, like shifting blame, twisting truth, and making absolutely positively certain that everyone in the room knows the victim just had to be you. I’ll keep doing the things that I do, and I’ll find someone who wants me like I wanted you.
Track Name: Exit 47A
Straight and sad and slowly, you walked into the house. You saw my face, you turned around before I could even open my mouth, twenty-one is the new sixteen, is the new eighteen, is the new twenty-three. Run from your problems, it’s the easy way to solve them. Just sit there with your arms crossed, and you pray for me to get lost. Well, we are lost.
Track Name: Cardigan
Pretty-haired girl in the cardigan, I hope you don’t mind if I try hard again, to get you back to where we’ve been. Ever since in the car I’ve been cursing every street sign for Hollister avenue, closing my eyes for yellow bugs and every Chevy Malibu. I am sick of driving by 810 fulton every night, just another stupid place that puts you right back in my mind. That’s alright, even if this city taunts me all my life, at least I know that I still tried, just keep telling myself this was not quite right. I beg to differ. Every single time I’m with her, I swear that I could perfectly fit her, I swear there is something in her that ties us and connects us through all the backyards and their fences, I just hope it didn’t snap underneath me and all my tension. I’m done eating sriracha and ordering Chinese food, those are just two more stupid things that remind me how much I need you. I’m done at the meanwhile and I am done at the thrift store, 2 more stupid things that remind me what I miss more than anything. You know me girl and you know I’ve lost many things, but none of them thus far has ever felt so close to losing everything.
Track Name: A Year From Now
Maybe like a year from now, it won’t be so hard
once this wound has scabbed over, and this scab turns to a scar. The scar tissue will take its turn, and harden around your heart, and after all this I’ll still hold you in the highest of regard, and if you’re at the bar. I’ll try to buy you a drink, and ask hey girl what do you think about getting out of here and going somewhere where it is warm the entire year? where you can show off that skin, that you’re so good at fitting in. I could tell you that you’re the prettiest, but I’m pretty sure you won’t be interested. But there is not a place I’d rather be. Maybe like 5 days from now, we could have the best time we’ve ever had, if it weren’t for my advanced abilities, to fuck shit up so bad. I am still less of a man than times this week I’ve held your hand
I’d ask you again to forgive me but I already know you can’t I just wish I could show you all the lessons I have learned with no you I have half the mind to blow through your front door to tell you no two people should be together quite like this and it would be unfortunate
if I saw you in public, because I made myself a stupid promise that I wouldn’t try to buy you a drink, and ask hey girl what do you think about getting out of here and going somewhere where it is warm the entire year? where you can show off that skin, that you’re so good at fitting in. I could tell you that you’re the prettiest, but I’m pretty sure you won’t be interested.
now there’s still not a place I’d rather be.
Track Name: Nickels
We’ll stand tall beneath those city lights, we’ll sing loud beneath those city lights. We’ll touch mouths beneath those city lights, and keep on filling up our cups every single city night. If I had a nickel for every single girl I’ve met that is just like you then I would only have five cents and be just as poor as I’ve ever been, but I am fine with you. I’ll keep lighting up your cigarettes and supporting all our bad habits. If you and I have paths to walk I don’t see why we couldn’t walk them together, and keep on camping on summer night when there’s good weather. Tonight will go perfect and that dress fits you perfectly. And that smoke on your breath matches me.
Track Name: I Swear I’m Usually Pretty Good at This
Here I am, trying to fight this urge again. I find I’m growing distant from my friends. You think twice, realize you only ever needed to think once, because it was 8 or 9 long, hard, stupid months. Full of grinding your teeth, and trying to be somebody you were not underneath. Now I’m far too concerned with who you are underneath, it’s hard to keep myself from wondering. If you’re not the same boy and it is so obvious, then why did you have to write it all down? If you’re not the same boy and it is so obvious, then humor me with who you think you are now. Do you think that he would be surprised to find her across from me, of all people me at this all night diner? What would it be? How would it go? Was it a lie or a stupid reminder of a guy who was leaps and bounds behind her? Some time wasted and spent? a connection that came and went? You are being dumb right now girl just ask your boy friend. I am being dumb right now girl, but what has changed since back then? I swear to god I don’t believe in this is stupider than we have ever been. Now I’m singing the same song all day long, because it is the only one I remember.
Track Name: Remnants
These thoughts will become more cohesive. I’ll gather my demons so I can release them in the backyard next to the remnants of my garden that you never wanted a part in. So I will take these thoughts of you and store them in the highest most unreachable cupboard in my kitchen. And I will keep them there, in some Tupperware, just in case you ever find they mean a little bit more to you.