(​(​If I See At All​.​.​.​)​)

by The Shortest Distance

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    For now I'm only making this album available through the Internet so as not to increase my climate change footprint. Until I can find a distribution method which accounts for pollution offsetting, I don't feel comfortable contributing to the climate change train wreck through physical copies right now. Confused? Read this:

    The album was made in a wind-powered home recording studio.


    Gracias por tu interés! Te permito a fijar tu propio precio a ((If I See At All...). Si no sos de 'el primer mundo', por favor ¡descargálo gratis!

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    Por ahora, ofrezco este álbum por el Internet solamente, para no aumentar mi huella del cambio climático. Hasta que yo pueda encontrar un método de distribución que dar razón a los offsets de contaminación, no estoy cómodo contribuyendo a la ruina del tren del cambio climático por copias físicas ahorita. Confundido? Leá a este (en inglés):

    El álbum fue hecho en un estudio de grabación casero eólico.
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((If I See At All...)) is a vivid series of creative imagery roughly articulating how it is to think about sexuality, desire, pornography, identity, double standards, fickleness, expression, masturbation, and mediums of communication as informed by experiences as a student of social justice and a solo musician and performer.


released December 23, 2009

All songs written, performed, recorded, and mixed by Ramsey Sprague.

All graphic design and photography by him, too.




The Shortest Distance Mobile, Alabama

Straight-lines and perfect circles exist here.

The Shortest Distance captures some of the artistic expressions of Ramsey Billiot Sprague, a Chitimacha artist born in Dulac, Louisiana and raised in suburban Arlington, Texas. ... more

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Track Name: Better Ways
Better Ways?

Harvesting what is it worth
Nourishment assumed of course is not of dirt
Or is it and it's just cause we cannot see it
That flesh on waves seem so abstract
Our presence just cannot bring itself to be it

But beats and language and such things don't do any more
Than make new spaces for the rubrics of our open sores
So we should not ignore them

They likely started when you were a child
Just like us all
Hey, isn't that wild?

If no one nurtured in us
The best ways to grow our minds
Than liberation from ourselves
Is often what we must find
Like heyaw! She-clack-clack!
Heyaw! She-clack-clack!

And it wasn't easy for me and I have yet to peak
But I knew the least resistant path was not the one to seek
And now I may be stronger but I still tend to side with the politically weak
Those for whom it is still hard to have their voices heard clear when they speak
Cause I know there are so many fears 'hind which one can stay
Only so many sane paths and only so much day
But that’s why we burn and share and attempt to maintain sway
With each other and ourselves to light the better ways
At least that's what they say
I'm gonna question it like I question everything
Track Name: Actors

Realizing the life I create
Is what has me resigned to this fate
Reality is no more a spiral pancake
As it is a cranky housemate
Or another restless night without r.e.m.
Or a disempowering system
As I strike my fist down
I'm keeping these ideas around
Cause even they turned their frowns into a lake a love

And we're happy making trouble
Cause we’re naturally a double
Just actors being humble
Knowing real life’s a mumble
In a state of perceiving the subtle
Innuendos outliving their fumbles into limbo
To step away from their huddle
Out from the muddle
To live both for the friction
And the cuddle
Track Name: Poetry

It surely can’t all be about me
I repeat as I mark this territory
Ya know it surely can’t all be about me
I live a life to be free of ego's fees
And its compulsions and disease
And its repulsions of what could please
When they're based on ignorant ironies
But it surely can’t all be about me

And gray areas come and go as they always have
Leaving familiar colors which offer a bath
Absorption of them recalls a time when
Time meant nothing to me: living infinite zen
No symbols could comprise
My attempts to contrive
A notion of wholesome nudity
To travel at once in flesh and memory
To carve with each beat a space in which to be free

Equating exaltation to manifestation
Our story bears out the price of that crime
Against ourselves, our potential to heal
And out ability to judge what is real
Through accountability
Like how I know at death your eyes will see
Through me and through my hands
And how it surely can't all be about me

It starts again - this is where the last beginning ends
I’m in for the change so I will keep my range
Cause I’m already strange and there exists a danger
That I’ll ignore my part - forget to live my art
Or I'll choke at every start or applaud my every fart
Or I’ll vomit on my friends
These kinds of thoughts they never end
But they’re the only excuse I see
For writing poetry
Track Name: Circumstantial Certainty
Circumstantial Certainty

The eyes tug on my heart, on my center of being
For this moment they connect me with the fleeting
Directionless except to them
Motionless except for similar whims
There’s no denying mmm what I’m seeing

Reels, tapes, and digital code a la mode
If this bubble were to burst by intrusion, I’d almost certainly implode
Probably wipe my face clean off
Ashamed that I'd wallow in this trough
But, hey, what's a bored boy supposed to do with his load

Don't laugh, it's not like I have a spine
That's not supported by this easy pleasure's design
Giving me unreal say-so through a boob tube
This cross is nothing more than an emotional cube

Stretched over this frame, my canvas is impaired
In this desire a Trojan breast is bared
Reinforcing a select few scenes
Of possibilities which don't reflect the truest me
Or the economics of how I think they could have been dared

But don't judge me harsh, it's not like I have a spine
That's not supported by this easy pleasure's design
Giving me unreal say-so through a boob tube
This cross is nothing more than an emotional cube

These illusions train us to feed on
Pretty faces and their simple songs
Good thing there're no big deals
Cause it'd be hard to conceal
Us tracking our baggage into that golden dawn

But it's not like we actually have our own spines
Unsupported by that easy pleasure's design
Giving us unreal say-so through a boob tube
Though lacking that cross could free us from our emotional cubes
Track Name: Intention

I’m too in control
To believe those myths told
Everyone feels like me
According to all the pelvises I’ve seen
My life is unique
And it may be extraordinary
Hey, honest talk’s not cheap
But it can make you boredom wary
And I have denied that and I have known that epitaph
And I still remember walking down that path
With you back then
To our spot where only we really went
Where all want to go
To heal their perception of the truly prone – the alone, the alone
Where the sun drew light from you
And illuminated memory’s darkness true
And you were able to do what I do
Remember me fondly
As I remember you
Track Name: Beautiful Things
Beautiful Things

This song might masturbate me
And it may just arouse your sympathy
But, tell me, what do we stand for

As some might say
We’re lost in our theoretical cage
Full of ideas for our friends
But making no means to those ends

And we despise beautiful things
When at each rise we complain
About being alone in space
But our memory’s proven it’s no disgrace
Anyway, friends are easy
And the best partners are always free
Even should you have none, one, or three
Our will is only strengthened through remembering these things

So let’s plan today
Without the numb passive-aggression
The future's definitely on the line
But you'll find there’s no time to think about time

When you despise beautiful things
When at each rise you complain
About being alone in space
When your memory’s proven that it’s no disgrace
Anyway, you still have me
Whether or not you think I’m crazy
Cause I still say we’re not yet free
Because everything’s worth remembering to me
Track Name: Ooo Brrrn
Ooo Brrrn

I peer through your eyes
I look right to your soul
For clues to tell me
Why it is that you act in control
When you are so un-whole
So lost and un-consoled
I find more vacancy
The signs were clearly foretold

So I will forget no more
Gotta move on to where my love’s adored
My transcendence is near the signs are very clear
I will develop me a will without fear

I see you may be sad
I see you may well mourn
But hey remember both of our hearts have been torn
I’ll remember you
At all your weakest times
And will help me to
Get you off my mind

And into my heart – I’m talking to you
About what you’ll inevitably do
You’ll go on with your game when I just want you to cry
Uncontrollably and ask yourself why
Are we not worthwhile to you anymore
We used to go back so far before
And beyond all this it’s all a circle right?
It's like you never understood why we're alive
When you stand on the edge of everything
You ought to just let wisdom sing
But no worries, you don't have to look back again
I trust that we've addressed all that we could've meant
To have said or been
In every last sense
Track Name: Space Left Blank
Space Left Blank

I cry for the ego undefined
And the final moments of an innocence declined
The blood is on all our hands
Insane parents and self absorb-ed friends
My grief doesn’t know where to take this defeat
Why can’t I know you again – like you lived across the street
I saw your folks and I knew your pain
I saw your sex and I knew your shame
I saw so much of you when you were so sure no one was looking around for a cure
I know you’re not dead, but is this an end?
If I saw you again, I could not even begin to defend
I needed you, but now I've got nothing to show
For my lack of expression, for my lack of needing to know

I'm praying for a noise that can drown the strife
From a silence that can shape a life
Through an empty intention that will paralyze
Like a knife in the spine
Or an ear for the whine
Of the rich killing time
I cry
Track Name: The Nerve
The Nerve

I condone
Your being alone
Using this time to hone
Your notion of the stone
That concrete sense of you
That drags you toward the view
As gravity gives you clues
About where you are headed to

Bodies give us problems
But they can be loved
Endless frustrating arousal
But they can be loved
Offering memory when respected
They can be loved
Our bodies can be loved

And does it ruin the day
If hands tempt to satiate
Is it innocent play
Or a trap which hurls closer to gay
And when the hands don’t intervene
Are you proud of your restraining?
Should you be rest assured through that brand of conceit?
How high should one feel if self-love means defeat?

And should vision blur
Just take some time to nurture
We can all intuit our own cure
And it doesn't have to feel like something we both must endure
Through our love we know the timeless themes are pure
Track Name: Honestly?!

I don’t know why
I even try
To get up off my ass to look around
And see what I find

When you deny
That I apply
To your search for a satiating love

Why not me?
I'm here unseen
It hurts to be
As overlooked as a tree

And it’s so sly
How it gets by
All my radar’s best intentions
To slide through and divide

Even when shy
It will find my
Cerebral pride hiding in the open

It's no lie
It's my pride

And we can both lie
Yeah, we can compartmentalize
All sweet hope into bitter cages
With our misplaced prides

And love only denies
Those who won’t cry
Those who will not feel for the truth

Silly me

And what happens to me in your story
Where do I fit in to your glory
As I fade well into your memory
And am no longer your dear quarry
Good luck!
Track Name: The Simple Life
The Simple Life

So you’ve tried to keep your life normal
Out of fear of being left out of something
Despite the overall suffering
And self-hatred you know it brings
But it’s just that you’ve been jaded
By the looks you that get from beyond there
As you walk around buck-naked
Sniffing out your big brother’s underwear

Admiring all their stains and complaints
And the brashness of their sword
And just how un-P.C. they can be
When they don't want to be ignored

So you’ve tried to keep your life normal
Fetishizing traditional roles
You only question what you perceive as odd
From the perspective of your ritual hole
But it’s not like this was just made today
Trends and histories always pervade us all
And then they're reinforced by law
In order to keep your love afraid

But given sunshine
Your kind will unwind
Just like any other crime
Against our loving and creative minds

And how we are intertwined
As I fight being blind
To the soul of humankind
Perhaps you have Socratic irony well defined
And I was wrong to have maligned you as you're teaching me to refine
And answer my own inquiries of the lines
That seem to divide the ties which should bind

I once had a troubled mind
Fixated only on the wrong it could find
But have since learned to recognize
That as sure as the sunrise
When in such a simple life
Where one only sees what's in front of one's eyes
Profound answers are so easy to find
Track Name: Finally (A Clean Palette)
Finally (A Clean Palette)

I can finally hear dogs barking again
Hear autos moving, trains howling in the wind
Life sprouts within my sensory perception
As responsibility droopy-eyes and pouty-lipses
Its war on this, my privileged meditations

Silent, my location speaks volumes
Cool, curious air beckons me both
To climb mountains
and curl into caves of cloth
with tender longings

Choice is a tireless master

And I'm occasionally brought to a rapid boil by its heat
My foamy former contents are gravity liberated
Now carbonized they easily flake off the emotional range on which I simmer

I checked – I'm ready to be devoured

In moments like this as I close my eyes
And let my dreams begin to surmi......
Track Name: The Great
The Great

What a peaceful yawn you just released
Your tired eyes looking quite replete
Following this day of salubrious conflict
We all take pride in how you graciously afflict
In your way as you maintain
Your rays bright as day
I may want you to say
“Let’s allay and play today”
But, hey, I'll support the great
It’s late and we both know our fate
Let’s lay with angst at bay
Rest safe, your traits deserve no wait

Would you like me to
Go to bed with you?
I would like to, too
If it’s what you’d have me do

But I don’t need to recognize
Exactly what’s between your thighs
I’m just glad you answered my cries
A human being being tired of lies
Oh what a joyous disguise
These puppet vessels they shed before our eyes
To reveal what is forever implied
Amongst the suffering, let us release a sigh
Track Name: A Digital Redeemer
A Digital Redeemer

And now I have this gift
So I better not stray away
It provides something for me
And though it may be scandalous to say
I have this gift
Now I have something to live for
Trying not to let it drag behind me
Or be doomed to another’s implore

My boundaries stretch
Over this horizon’s stench
As I wander forward
I wander to ward it

And so I have this gift
But I won’t let myself feel ashamed
If I discover that
My analysis is lame
I’ll use my cunning to constrain
That bloated vision’s rotting remains
I never thought the future would be tame
Cause these ain’t no fucking games

Redemption knows my name, too
As I look through your eyes to view
I know that there is much I must improve
My knowledge of soon
Just like you

Beyond that I just gotta learn
What with this I ought to do
Gotta learn what it's good for
And then I gotta show you
That I have a gift cause you must have it too
And we'll help liberate ourselves if we share 'em deep and true
Track Name: Questions, Questions
Questions, Questions

Have you ever been nice
Have you ever been mean
Have you ever been blind
Have you ever been seen

Don’t you think you’re in love
Don’t you think you’re in keen
Don’t you think you’re above
Ignoring what I mean?

Persistence may be taxing
But don’t spend your time waxing
On and on about your failures and shortcomings
Cause some days you come a long way
Some days you come a long way
Some days you come a long way

The dead are already raised
And they're gonna help blaze
A brand new path
On the way to your grave

Don’t you think we're waves
Flying through open space
Don’t you think we’re alive
Under each others’ grace?

Self-discipline may be taxing
But it’s much more worth tackling
Than any form of corporal justice
What will be your goal after you've smashed the state
What will be your goal after you've smashed the state
What will be your goal after you’ve smashed the state of things
And re-actualized in the now?

Will you continue to kowtow
To your Pavlovian notion of how
You only learn if you burn yourself then bow your head
To pray to the pain
It's such a shame in the sense of waste
That you sing your praises like “Ouch”, “Ouch”
When connecting with struggle allows us to disavow
Our indulgences with the ease of having fewer doubts

And that's why I only play with matches
When there is a match of intention
Then I'll dig even deeper
Before I'll play in their pews
In prayer with them in unison
Trusting nihilism's thrust to have gone and come
See it just gets tired and lonely yet stays at step one
But if we hear it's web spun we may remind it how to love someone
Track Name: Exhibitionism

Population explosion
After I have fucked everyone
Scaling skin and mounting rigidity

The power of emotion
A done deal
This is perhaps the breaking of an ancient seal

And I can have no regrets about who heard
I can have no regrets about my my words
I can afford to have none when sentimentality's thinking of time is disturbed

Plurality is consistently
Tied to the pattern
Or lack thereof
To which I bow
When in clamor
To be enamored
With the vanishing point
Of the words
Of the subtly absurd

But I can have no regrets while you are bathed
I can have no regrets bout the lives I've saved

And I can have no regrets toying with repose
I can have no regrets when the very nature of my life, existence, energy, drive and desire's exposed

Audacity's erosion
Imploding the fun
From this space
Oh, what else could have been done

Teaching a lesson
About exhibitionism
Public masturbation
And what is destined to come

Perhaps you can all see why I do what I do
Psychic population explosion of my view
Keep art accessible also questionable
Keep it accountable, open it up to all
Lest we fall
This is no game you may recall
So pardon the pun, but I hope you realize that you have the balls!
Track Name: Titular Arrogance in a Sigh (Pts. 1-3104.625)
Titular Arrogance in a Sigh (Pts. 1-1304.625)

And I sigh for the impossibly wry
The earthdiver as they ask their self why
As my laughter gives pry
In its wake, oh so shy
Wondering will our love die

Cause I can either walk or stay
Let the force fall or sway away
In an endless parade
Of laughter followed by my delay
But what would I say
If you listened in any meaningful way

I'd say that
If I see at all, I see me in you
There can be no lie if there is no truth
If you guard against no failure then they’ll have no proof
Just tell me lovingly what you expect me to do

Cause I can either walk or stay
Let the force fall or sway away
In an endless parade
Of laughter followed by my delay

I can either walk or stay
Let the force fall or sway away
In an endless parade
Of laughter followed by my delay
But today
I choose to say

All I have
Is my life
I said it once
I’ll say it twice
All I have
Is my life
And this is where
It must suffice
Where chaos takes control
And makes me more whole

And I know
This is a show
But it doesn’t mean
Energy slows
Or time will take its tolls
Cause energy is immortal

Go on take more of this
Self evident implore
Walk through this door
Fight your youth no more

I said it twice
I’ll say it thrice
All I have
Is my life