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released July 12, 2011



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Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) Fenton, Michigan

Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) is a band from the tiny town of Fenton, Michigan that started in 2006. Keith plays guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, cello, etc and sings. Cathy plays guitar.

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Track Name: Our Love Has Made Us Pariahs
oh, the city burns!
nero would be proud

my mouth fills up
a eulogy comes out

what a waste of breath!
spoke, but nothing else

my heart pours out

slow down
put your head in clouds

oh no! (i am alone)
Track Name: You Have To Believe That Life Is More Than The Sum Of It's Parts, Kiddo
oh sure, you can look for reasons
and try to be them, for a while

but you know you can't be her answer
she was never after truth

will your mother still blame youif she knew all the words that she said
drove you here?

a half a world away
destroying your body

to get back for every word she said

but it won't change the way she is
and it won't change a thing she did

so calm down
sleep now

forget all the things that she said
Track Name: Lilly, I Have Something Important To Tell You
found out how scared you were
to ask how I knew everything

but not how I ever blamed you.
I know you were never aware,

So how could you say

"Sorry, how could I take and take
and never think of you?

I'm not sorry I don't care about you."

Found out how little I felt

When I stepped back and heard you say,"It's not my fault- I was raised this way."

And I'll be damned if I pity you
Like I used to do

When I still loved you.
Track Name: They Will Throw Us To The Wolves
your hands were broken
but you wouldn't cry out
as we tore your heart apart

should i thought of you with sadness?
(such small, small, price to pay)

but you should have known better
oh, i admit to no wrong!

you should have understood
i had no choice, no choice

all winter
you told me, "it's never enough to stay still"

i thought you'd be proud of me
should i spell it out, spell it out now?

you'll never be good enough
so i'm getting out, getting out
Track Name: K.O. K.O. (The Most Of My Worries Are The Least Of Your Concerns)
you were a secret kept
far from my heart

i know i should have wept
but no tears found their way out

you were an avalanche
a sharp decent with fast words, deliverance

(i will not be ashamed, i will move perfectly now)

and i, the minuet
kept time by sorrow spent

spoke soft, stood down

(step away, step away, i will hold in my place)

and i have been losing sleep
so i can't be trusted to know

every time you cry out
you say, "not enough, dear"

would i change pace-
move air through empty lungs?

oh, compose yourself
and know that all you'll be
is a secret left upon my lips for now
Track Name: Year of the Rabbit
Don’t say goodnight. Is this your life, or are you holding on?
Dear it’s alright to say enough! To let your body break down.

And they will never know what broke your heart.
If only I could say how sorry I felt.

Don’t turn your head- it’s hard enough to know it’s all my fault.
Yes, I regret I laid myself out when your eyes cried, "please help me darling’.

Don’t say goodnight! It’s not enough to get me through this night.
Don’t say goodbye, it’s not alright to know you’re hurting and I cannot help you.

And they will never know what broke your heart. And all the words escape from out of my mouth.
Track Name: Idk, My Bff Jill
Will I ever understand how anything gets done?
I tied a knot in my heart for you, thinking that’s what you wanted.

I tried to make my voice sincere
(tell everyone how hard it was!)

And anyway, I could never reach your ears,
like the weight of its wings were clipped when they hovered near you.

Should I tie your arms afloat to its melody,
and anchor my heart to you in hopes I’ll climb out your mouth?

I was so sure you wanted love, how could anyone find doubt?
I tied a knot in my heart for you, though it’s not what you wanted.

(Wear your heart out for me)
Track Name: How To Stay Afloat In A Sea Of Change
you had made plans for the colder months ahead
and braced yourself for disappointment

michigan winters have such a way of isolating breath from your body
but they were such strong traits that your father passed down to you

and when they wore you out, they won out

so how could i look at you?
you are what you feared you'd turn in to

but if you change your mind, i will forgive you
(and all will be undone)
Track Name: I knew this because as I drove, the hole that was me and my life was getting smaller and smaller and was being filled with New Hampshire, or maybe it was the idea of New Hampshire, but who cares, as long as it was filling up the hole.
fold your arms like an aeroplane
cast over seas you could not navigate
for fear of an entry point

dear, do not go quietly!
do not go, do not go at all!
(you are needed here)

you were strong
but your body wasn't

and even if i know
it'll still hurt to hear it from you

so when you go
your arms will not part the sea
or even support their own weight

but it is time
(and even i know!)

but it will still hurt like hell when you go
Track Name: Jacob's Song
They were constants, at best
that kept you with him

The air returns to my chest,
fighting for breath

(like the love you let go,
and did not come back)

If it still remains,
You must force this line out,

"Be still my heart!"

And though it may never heal
It will hurt less in time
Track Name: So How Many Points Do You Have ‘Till You Gain, You Know, the Ultimate Power?
oh, you had littered your clothes across the floor where we last met.
like a trail of things we never said- but what have we ever said?

still, it was 1998, and we had plenty of time to reconcile.
but i was more concerned with what came next then i was of forgiving you.

but you had not forgiven me, and you would not allow your teenage heart time to mend or time away.

oh, what an ugly sight it was to see!

so you told them all about me-
and all the things i hadn’t done.

and the little white lies that birthed from your mouth turned into such an avalanche.

then, your voice became so small,
or everyone else’s grew large.

but it was far too late to pull the words back.

they were gone.

so no one will hear you scream,
“no one will love you like i do…”
Track Name: It Was Your Heart That Saved You
nurse your wounds, you are no soldier
we are not men of faith.
so that, when we die, the only thing that touches you
will be the worms of earth, turning earth over earth.

i have not forgiven you
i don't think that i will.

will you ever know how hard it was to say,
"you are a lost cause, and i can't save you now."

i have not come to set things right.
i have come to say goodbye.
Track Name: Archival Footage
we have been watching you for weeks, getting weaker
this time next month you'll be gone

how do you say goodbye?
how do you spend time waiting for...
i should be home with you
Track Name: If We Had Found You Any Later, You Would Have Drowned
all the streets had emptied, spilling forth like a parade,
and you were eighteen and i was eighteen.

then, all of east lansing was littered with collegiate speak and irony
that slurred new beginnings with tired speech.

now, it serves as a constant reminder of how youth is wasted on youth.
Track Name: What Had Taken Years to Put Together Was Destroyed in One Moment
a borrowed prayer died
before it hit your lips

your grandfather was the one who taught you it

(to speak in troubled times, to carry you to port)

now mechanical, it seems so meaningless

and what do i think?
death is death is death.
and no amount of prayer will change that

and anyway,
time is better spent on things you can change
Track Name: Actually, I'm Just Wearing Your Glasses
i watched your cheeks flush, colored by an air from a calgary cold front
your breath made ghosts spill into the night, and gather as if they might not disappear.

i had heard a rumor you were moving back home!

but even if it was true, i did not expect to hear it from you so bluntly.

so it hung in the air like a fever, or a slow moving front
and i would not find shelter here, so i braced myself

"out!" i cried, "out!
are you running to or are you running from?
or does it even matter if it won't change your mind?"

when you put you hand on mine,
i knew.
Track Name: Girls Will Not Frighten the Frost from the Grave
At twenty years old,
A renaissance birthed by poetry and colligate confessions
Your baritone droned in 4/4 time
Painting verse after verse
Like a landscape or a wake

Remember when I recited Lowell from memory?
Our professor’s eyes temporarily swallowed by faulty cataracts
As I almost blatantly read “Water”
Word by word from the book

And although every last person in class knew,
Not a soul breathed a word to her

I think it was almost too absurd to mention out loud