by Elliot Knapp

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"Paraprosdokian!": 11 original songs that focus the wild creativity and avant-garde leanings found on "Cheap Seats at the Cartesian Theater" and "Anadromous" into tightly-composed pop songs that are no less surprising, intricate, or unusual than Knapp’s previous outings. Knapp’s trademark eclecticism shines across this music’s ethereal vocal melodies, otherworldly guitar hooks, rhythmic counterpoint, and polished poetry, all anchored to 11 songs of joyful struggle, yearning and passion, wherein the limit of cynicism and the potential of dreams are blurred past the point of recognizability.


released December 17, 2013

Russ Kleiner - Drums and percussion.
Elliot Knapp - all other instruments (see track credits)


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Elliot Knapp Seattle, Washington

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Track Name: Make Waves
He sends them in, pounding
Each one bends a whim, sounding
the clear tones of his purpose

A crash and the next one follows,
all but swallowed
by the rare success of an overreach;
each successive try shy

Though not to flout his energy spent,
she’ll not relent

You must make waves, make waves!
Yes, yes, of course, you must make waves!
Or maybe you should just sit down!

She piles the grains, building
Her erstwhile remains filling
the hole space of her progress

Upheave and the work completed:
a home replete with functional ease—practicality!
These practically hide—deride—
each crystal’s irreplicable rage

It crumbles, she defies—unique—
his blunt critique

You must make waves, make waves!
And after that you must make waves!
Or maybe you should just sit down!
You must make waves, make waves!
Above all else you must make waves!
Or maybe you should just give up!
Track Name: Streets of Portland
In my dreams the streets of Portland are significantly higher
Swooping over forest bluffs to freeway fly suspended
Ten lanes or more hang down by grace of invisible wires
We see below the island towers where all the routes have ended

I’ve been here before
I’m afraid of the steeply dropping slope
I’ve seen this before
But this is not the Portland that I know

In my dreams the streets of Portland crisscross—overlap the blue
We only have to jump to float down to the boats below
Clasping hands, I’ll leave the leaping moment up to you
Now on the deck, far from the shore, we’ve got no place to go!


In my dreams the streets of Portland are a plastic ribbon bow
Sweeping down to loop-de-loop the bright electric night
I’ll take the exit to the bridge, my signal blinking slow
I missed the sign—the clover leaves us spiraled out of sight!

Track Name: I Live in Ballard
I’ve got a coffee, I’m walking my dog
I’ve got my tattoos and I’ve got a beard

Let’s wave to the people we see every day
They’re doing the same things the very same way

I live in Ballard in one of the condo buildings
I’m not from Ballard, but I’m unlikely to leave

I’ve got a stroller, I’ve got a nose ring
I’ve just finished yoga—I’m gluten-free
Don’t wave to the people you see every day
Just pull out your phone and look the other way!

You’ve heard of the universe, well I’m at the center
I’m so successful and interesting, won’t guess I’m a renter!
Let’s go to the market and show of our scarves
If there’s nobody from Belltown, let’s go to the bars!

I live in Ballard, in one of the condo buildings
I’m not from Ballard, but just try and make me leave!

I’ve got another coffee, and I’ve got two dogs
I’ve got a mustache, now isn’t that weird?
We’re sick of the people we see every day
Capitol Hill’s not bad but it’s so far away!

Who knew the universe had so many centers?
A leased-out utopia where everyone’s renters!

A hipster struggling to look old, his timey’s timed to compensate
Some trendy young Christians all smoke cigarettes
A gravel lot remains unsold, its value rapidly inflates
The locks tourists who’ve never seen a boat before
Norwegians who fittingly live to the North
The people of color who mostly live somewhere else
The blue collar workers who soon won’t belong

If we get rid of the industry but keep the appearance of being industrial
there’s money to be made!
We’re developing a perfect place
there’s just nowhere to park the cars
If we all pitch in, we’ll fill the space
with just a few more restaurants and bars!

I live in Ballard, in one of the condo buildings
I’m not from Ballard, but just try and make me leave!
I’m not from Ballard, but I’ll be damned if you can make me leave!
Track Name: Bunchgrass
Sun moving lets me see time going
Lights my days shows me my hands moving
There is such work to be done!

My time—ha, ha, ha, ha!
Such work—ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Straighten up—leave a mark
Save and save before the dark
Use your gifts—make them pay
You need these things for the next day

Choose a path and mark the boxes
On the way to happiness delayed

Light moving lets me feel air spilling
Shadows stretch and show me the other parts
There is no work that’s not done!

Air spilling—ha, ha, ha, ha!
No work—ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Golden air, dusty wings
Hunger headlong, growing things
Sneaking out, waiting long
Changing places, lazy strong

Does the tree remember when it made the choice
to move ahead and grow?
Track Name: Hungry
I was born in the middle—you were stuffing your mouth
with marshmallow candies (you weren’t even hungry!)

Now you’re running again, but you only get fatter
and you want me to cheer on the sidelines with water
and then nod, sympathetic when you whine that you’re hotter

I’m hungry
I’m so hungry I might disappear!

I was raised in the middle—you were filling your pockets
With marshmallow candies
Your mouth was still full of the other ones!

Now you tell me I need you
while you’re sucking the blood from my stone
and you’re biting my fingers
while I’m feeding you breakfast
Your food’s in my hands but it goes to your mouth

I’m hungry
I’m so hungry I might disappear!

The more you eat the more I disappear
I’m disappearing into your mouth!

I’m sat in the middle and you’re packing the closet
With marshmallow candies—you’ll never eat them all
Your pockets are sticky and your teeth are all gone
You know you’re not the only selfish one!

I was made to believe I’m in a class all my own
but I’ve come to find out that there’s not even room for me
I was there at the place where you were taught how to kneel
and I learned just enough to know I’ll never be you in that queue
I learned just enough to stay hungry
I’m so hungry I might disappear!

You’ve got me right where you want me
Grab tight—watch me disappear!
Track Name: The Secret Room
There’s nothing my mind can’t grind into dust
No tissue paper moral or ideal I trust
There’s no ember that glows I can’t foresee to its snuffing
No comforting cushion I can’t empty of stuffing

There is a secret room in my house
I’ve never seen before—upstairs, behind the loft
Squeeze through the hidden doorway
It’s well-lit—and empty
I’m going there tonight!

There’s no river that runs that I can’t trace to a cold source
No trail that’s been trod I won’t pin on an old horse
There’s no wise man with the cards who I believe isn’t bluffing
No scaly skin I won’t insist will be sloughing

There is a secret room in my school
I’ve never been in—up above the auditorium
Follow the white corridor no one sees
Navigate the twists
It’s empty!
I’m going there right now
Track Name: Left Wanting
I felt the sun on my skin
I felt the wind in my hair
I felt the moment wrap me up
and all the fingers hold me there
and urge me to see what’s in store
but I wanted more!

I wanted a way to make it last
I wanted a way to retread the past
I wanted a way to know there’ll be something left when it goes
I’m still wanting!

I felt the touch of your skin
I ran my hands through your hair
I felt as close as close can feel
together knit; no space to spare
submerged in what the love is for
but I wanted more!

I wanted a way to make us one
I wanted what no one else has done
I wanted to disobey and just for a moment stay
I’m still wanting!

How can I be satisfied
with second-hand gifts, hand-me-downs?
After starlight teased my eyes
with all those things I’ve never found?

I felt the sting of the cold
I felt the tongues of the dark
10,000 teeth were chewing me
and leaving indelible marks
unsettled every single score
yet, I wanted more!

I wanted a way to have it all
Sink in my skin like sharpened claws
I wanted to feel the pain, then fall to the earth like the rain
I’m left wanting!
Track Name: Skeleton Key
They pulled my hood off
and slapped me with a glove
and blinded my eyes with burning light
They asked me questions—
I was spitting up blood
Then they pushed me off the pier
in the middle of the night

Think I need a skeleton key
‘cause they keep changing the locks on me!

They drew blood from my heart
and then sold it as love
then they built me a house on a slippery slope
They gave me spirits
but stole the senses I was proudest of
then they traded me store credit
for my last few grams of hope

Think I need a skeleton key
‘cause they keep changing the locks on me!

I close my eyes in case it’s really that bad
and sleep off the trip until it seems
I’m reconstituted in a tube in a lab
but I have no way of knowing
I can’t tell if it’s a dream

Wish I had a skeleton key
‘cause they keep changing the locks on me!
Track Name: Memory
A dizzy chain—events connect
The common thread bare—I was there!

A vastening storehouse, encompassing rows of
a shifting perspective on mundane affairs all across time
An expansion of spaces I saw linked together
Attachments collapsing into one another
A spreading compendium

The hills that eroded, the people that went
Electrons corroded, the moments we spent—
I’m keeping it all because:

I folded it up as a quilt that I keep
in a trunk at the foot of my bed
It doesn’t all fit!
I folded it up as a patchwork quilt
of tiles time tested—it keeps me warm
I folded it up in an envelope
that envelops the world of my past—
it’s paper-sheet-thin!
I folded it up as a long love letter
I’d be sending to you but for postage due

There’s still a chance it might turn back!
There’s still a chance I might go back!

A bubble foam alight with vapor
Things that happened—now, again!

A sandwiching storage of pictures and narratives
from my own history frozen in colored glass
in my mind!
The “I”s that I was all at once, if I choose
A diffusing dust cloud that won’t blow away
But if I reach for a particle it slips—
only in my eyes!

A palette of paints I collected one at a time
I could use every color but they’re already dried!
An achingly huge vault of treasures I touched once
protected behind an unbreakable window

My first glimpse of magic, my last gasp of purity
The taste of a new fruit, the hottest wet pleasure I ever felt—
all here, but a whole lot of good it’s doing me right now because:


There’s still a chance it might turn back!
There’s still a chance I might go back!
Track Name: Sleepless With the Fishes
I know that they’ve been seen around
I know that I’m in danger
I know I need a place I can’t be found
but I’m naked here!

I know about the trash that you’ve been spreading
I know you spiked the mix
Oh, I know that I’ve been sweating
but I’m breathing here!

I know about the ruddy cloud
I know about the black
I know I’ve got hooks in my mouth and my back
but I’m starving here!
Track Name: Paraprosdokian
Now, how do I get your attention
when I know you’ve heard it all before?
How to best convey my intentions
and not come off as a bore
and do something like…

Or sacrifice meaning to force a rhyme from dreams and schemes again
You can only be so tough, but you can be so tough to reach!

So I’ll try not to follow when convention leads me
but I’ve already made some grave mistakes
T-i-o-n is a bit too easy
let me try harder to find what it takes
maybe something like…

Or test your patience by squeezing a rhyme out of trouble and bubble again
You can only go so far
But you’ve gone so far without stopping to listen!

Will it work, if I make one more try, will you hear
If I tell you about my fears and my things
that come out of my eyes when I cry?

Silence is golden, and sound is one greedy bastard

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