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Lit From Within

from Lit From Within by The Paperbacks

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In the single-digit streets of Portland's Southeast, you emerge from your temporary job. And in the cover of a storm, you change from your uniform and you walk…to the Basement Pub, where the people that you loved rarely gather now, since Gail passed away. You buy scraps of food and dollar-fifty Laurelwoods. You're lost in thought…as the night captures you, and will always refuse to let you wander from its borders for too long. And though it's never quite your home, it's the sole passport that you hold: to the darkness, where all your precious stars once shone. And the rain does not abate for nearly 15 days. You watch the drops make patterns on your screen; it makes portraits of the dead, with their secret messages. Past them, you see your unregistered car that litters your backyard. It gives shelter to a pair of scruffy birds…until the sunlight spills, as it sometimes will, through the trees. Oh, but the light could last for you just as long as you would choose to embrace with greater depth the opinions of the people who have tried to let you know that you provide them with such comfort whenever your clouds lift. They want you to know you are lit from within.


from Lit From Within, released January 12, 2010


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The Paperbacks Winnipeg, Manitoba

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