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Trains and Window Collection

from VideoSongs Volume 2 by Jack Conte

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This is Marvin reciting a poem that I wrote called Trains and Window Collection.

Free sheet music for the piano part:


It was a tired morning, and the sky yawned as I bought a one-way ticket to Salt Lake City and boarded the 8:05 Amtrak headed Northeast. The train dipped in and out of the empty gorges whose walls were still black from the dynamite blasts that once dug them out of the ground, and the window collected the broken images outside (whose only purpose left in the physical world was to entertain the endless parade of Amtrak voyeurs passing hour after hour through the valley): a dead sofa, a gasping tire, and a hoodless Dodge with no wheels that sat sunken in the red California clay. Unimpressed, the train marched forward with a pointed tenacity, matched only on occasion by a sad artist or an unemployed father of three who planted themselves firmly on the tracks and surrendered quietly as the train delivered them back to the City of Ashes, where we're all from, and where we're all eventually going. Then in an instant the sun set, and the yellow dusted shadows froze grey, and dusk swallowed the whole valley without remorse, because of course there's nothing really to swallow. It's just motion: the motion of a steel train and its wide-eyed passengers who watch the moments collect one by one on their windows, blending seamlessly into an animation, fleeting and fictional.


from VideoSongs Volume 2, released August 15, 2008


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Jack Conte Sonoma, California

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