Joel Kraft

Notes and Lyrics for Computer Geniuses

Computer Geniuses, an album by Joel Kraft

All songs by Joel Kraft (BMI) except for Heart and Soul, by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser (Famous Music LLC, ASCAP), and If It Be Your Will, by Leonard Cohen (Sony/ATV Songs LLC, BMI).

(c) (P) 2007 Joel Kraft. All rights reserved.

Recorded and mixed by Mike West at the Ninth Ward Pickin' Parlor in Lawrence, KS.

Arranged and produced by Mike West and Joel Kraft.

Thank you to all the musicians who took part in this album: Nick Baker, Joe Gameson, Dustin Kinsey, Mark Lowrey, Barclay Martin, Eric McCann, Allaudin Ottinger, Jake Wagner, and Mike West.

Thank you Katie Euliss for tea, dinners, and general hospitality while we made the record upstairs.

Thank you Madeline Gengelbach for loaning me the guitar with which to record this.

Thank you Angelica Skaldeman, Joshua Hoffine, David Rinck, Michelle Doering, Marie Gardeski, Bill Belzer, Jim Krieger, John Schmor, Mikal Shapiro, Stephen Wayne Flinn, the Popsicles, Annie MacGill, Kasey Rausch, Desmond Poirier, and everyone else who gave me inspiration and support with this project.

The Ballad of the Pea and the Dragon

The Pea went to fight the Dragon
With a fuzzy hat on,
Rolling on its belly,
Brandishing a celery.
The dragon said, "What have we here, now?"
Fiery laughter scorched the ground;
The Pea didn't speak...
But it neither did retreat.

The Dragon had scales like iron plates
Charmed with forces I cannot relate
Of a supernature.
It was an ancient creature.
The Pea had a clear-silver cuticle
It planned to devour sometime in the future,
Cotyledon skin: so delicate and thin.

The Dragon had talons sharp as fear;
The Pea had only that it was the hero.
How can it end?
Do you think we might be friends?

Nick Baker - drumset
Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar, shaker
Mark Lowrey - piano, organ
Eric McCann - bass
Mike West - tamborine, electric guitar


Hollerman come on in and holler us a tale
Holler us your sweet love and how it's gone so pale
Carve it in our ears and leave it burning in our minds
Like a brand, Hollerman

Were you left out in the darkness, in the cold and icy storm
Did the pain burn in your body quick like white magnesium?
While all the time you knew the stories curling through the palm
Of your hand? Hollerman

Hollerman, Hollerman

Well I went up to that dark house and I hollered on the porch
I hollered like a baby screaming for a mother's touch
I looked up to see your face from where I struggled like a roach
In a can: Hollerman

Hollerman, Hollerman
Hollerman, Hollerman

Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar
Eric McCann - bass
Mike West - banjo, mandolin, tamborine

Insect Trapeze

a flute calls to you through a space in the trees
magnets revolving in old flannel sleeves
you are wandering over the jade of the leaves
and darkness inhabits the insect trapeze

a whisper of arrows from the gold harp of truth
rips open your heart where you bleed your sweet youth
smooth smooth it sister the dress on your thighs
your stomach is turning the sun in the sky

sit under me now and i'll give you my shade
i'll sing to you with this banjo i made
you can climb me and mend all the pearls in your wings
and fly far away when the telephone rings

Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar, tamborine
Eric McCann - bass
Jake Wagner - mandolin
Mike West - banjo

Computer Geniuses

sparkle bright
computer geniuses
are out in the moon tonight
their restless eyes flicker
through artificial lights

they twiddled sparks
to show you they were smart
they carved a microchip
out of your willing heart
and wrote you a program to sing
sing like a lark

now a clock somewhere down
in old houston town
unplugs you in your lovemaking
and god only knows
where you'll find your clothes
whenever it's time to awaken

oh oh oh
oh oh one
one oh one
one uh oh
and sometimes computer geniuses
can be wrong

sometimes computer geniuses can be
sometimes computer geniuses can be
sometimes computer geniuses
can be dead wrong

Nick Baker - drumset
Dustin Kinsey - glockenspiel, synthesizer
Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar
Eric McCann - bass

Heart and Soul

Nick Baker - drumset
Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar
Mark Lowrey - piano
Eric McCann - bass

If It Be Your Will

Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar

Husserl and the Amazing

flying so fast you start to purr
window glass ends the arc of birds
no time for desperation
only this one sensation
your wedding day praise the lord

find a little bit of everlasting
try to share it with the people passing by
but we always get distracted by the names
is there a pedestal that you can climb to
to make it easier for god to find you
some mechanical substitute for wings

my wings are golden cried the king
look at them smolder in the sun's warm sting
i'll lead you out of darkness
and make your fears seem harmless
if you grant me access to your dreams

the arms of gravity are long and slender
reaching outward from a starfish center
to make the universe collapse into a grain
was there a signal or a lost equation
soldiers knitting in forgotten stations
the ark is sinking on a silent sea of rain

the ark is sinking on a silent sea of rain

Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar
Eric McCann - bass
Mike West - mandolin

Mathematical Description of Vapor

Ana warbles through the door ajar,
"You coming too? It isn't far,
And you know i'd like the company."
So you put your shoes and socks back on;
You make a joke and, with a yawn,
You throw the bolt with your copper key.

She said, "What did you leave for me to savor
But a mathematical description of vapor?"

Table, paper, pen and light
Hold you awake inside the night
To write a letter from your soul.
Dear Ana, give me your release
For i'm a pilgrim of caprice.
My path is out of my control.

Cold, spent, it looks so different on paper,
Like a mathematical description of vapor.

So you choose and then de-emphasize.
You hold your mind counterclockwise
To apprehend what you perceive.
You hold away the pain you find
With jokes or gulps of ruby wine--
Or an intellect of perfect weave.

You have your laugh, then some epitaph to punctuate your caper...
Like a mathematical description of vapor.

Ana warbles through the open door,
"Are you coming too?" You answer, "Sure."
You throw the bolt and you're on your way.
A harvest moon lies deep and low,
Like some sweet tune you used to know.
But you somehow let it slip away.

She said, "What did you leave for me to savor
But a mathematical description of vapor?
A mathematical description of vapor!"

A mathematical description of vapor.

Nick Baker - marimba
Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar, glockenspiel
Eric McCann - bass
Mike West - guitar

White Running Shoes

she wears white running shoes
she said you can escape your self
if you're steady on your feet
i've seen her run
i've seen the colors run around her edges
when she's picking up her speed

and we are toads in lightning
and we have no way of comprehending
all of our senses heightening
all of our thoughts abruptly ending

she wears white running shoes
she said you can escape your past
if you're fast on your feet
can it be true
well i don't know about you
but i think that i'm beginning to believe
she has a gift
you feel your spirits lift
and you look down upon your body
through the trees

they say that outerspace is lonely
no snacks or board games
and the wind is stony
think about the king of macaroni
who in a frightened voice said
i'm a golden phony


except in running shoes
exspecially of brilliant white
with blue and purple stitching
at the seams
and now that you're stunning
you can really take the trash out
to the cheering in your superhero dreams
she wears white running shoes
and solves the total problem
using pure and unadulterated speed

Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar, shaker
Eric McCann - bass
Mark Lowrey - piano
Allaudin Ottinger - percussion
Mike West - guitar


The waternymph became a grocery store clerk
but she still dances like the rain
she fills your grocery bag with jeweled fruits
you hand her your artifacts of pain
then she hands you back the change

and you can buy the rights to disbelieve a myth
as labor decimates your life
the maze of rivers where the waternymph
unbinds your worries with her knife
and lets them spill into the night

the checkout line becomes overcast
a cold wind blows across your face
you say a prayer before all hell breaks loose
fluorescent lights exploding into space

the waternymph will return all your phone calls
and use the same stale tone of voice
but when you meet her underneath the falls
the roar will overcome your poise
her eyes cut gaps between the noise

Joe Gameson - flamenco guitar
Joel Kraft - vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion
Barclay Martin - vocals
Eric McCann - bass
Allaudin Ottinger - percussion
Mike West - mandolin, banjo