An Obscure Presence




Silver Bell (3:38) ∞

Sistine (3:46)

Waves (3:02) £

Anarchy (4:34) £

Rain (3:45)

Working the Stone (2:30)

An Indigo Suffused (0:24)

Frugal (1:49) £

Toledo (3:59) £

Unrequited (3:18) £

Midtown Gothic (3:35) £

Entangled (3:41) £

A Binary Stone (0:24)

Ajab (1:12)

Junta Keystone (2:45)

Cold Wind Blow (3:01)

Nightlight Mary (4:55)

Happy Millennium (3:30)

The Observer and the Observed (16:39)

Produced by Frederick Moore

& Phil Calvert

∞ Composed by Frederick Moore,

Phil Calvert, & Mark Griskey

£ Composed by Frederick Moore & Phil Calvert

All other selections written by FM

Painting by Mark Christopher

Photography: Phil Calvert & Alex Graham

Additional Musicians:

Prepared Guitar: Phil Calvert & Mark

Griskey (Silver Bell)

Electric Guitar: Phil Calvert (Unrequited)

Voice: Cinthea Stahl

Saxophones: Timothy K. Taylor

Released in 1999

                     SILVER BELL

Veterans Day, Fifty-Two, South Bay, CA.

It’s a day off at the plant,

So Dinah and the girls bus out for the beach parade,

But by early evening the crowds are dispersing.

They’ve got some time to kill,

So they find three stools at the bar

    of the Rendevous Room.

As Dinah pensively stirs her drink,

She can feel the eyes

    from the dark corners of the room.

When Lester sees a girl who lights a match

    that shows her soft white face

He makes a beeline for her,

    and he lays some money on the bar.

She smiles wry, exhaling smoke, supressing myrth,

She gestures to the stool beside her

    and he takes his place.

Lester plays the silent one

    who likes to smoke and listen.

He buys another round

    and slowly starts to speak to her in earnest.

Dead trucks in front yards, dim cells and red scars.

He seems familiar.

Cheap flats and shared rooms,

Covered up in old perfume.

He wants to save her

Time passes and the Rendevous is

    transposed to rocks and waves down by the docks.

It’s hot and it’s sticky.  Reckless now, she wades

    into the cool, dark surf.

Lester makes her laugh and laughter makes her daring

     so she dives into the water and he swims after her. 

Walking out in her warm, wet dress,

Lester’s arm supports her and it feels right. 

Lester takes her sorrow, compresses it to diamonds,

And hangs them from her earlobes,

It’s just the way he sees her.

Surrounded by the midnight sand,

    he feeds her fruit by hand,

And he fills her cup.  She drinks it all.

She feels a cool, dark, silver bell

    dissolve inside her warm and swelled.

And she thanks him as she sinks into the wet sand.

Awakened by defocused sun

She can feel the tide moving beneath her.

A dozen other women watch receding shoreline                                    

Become more and more distant.

They slowly turn away,

Their eyes  fixed on their hands folded before them.

For a moment she imagines

    swimming home to hot sand,

But her arms feel heavy

and she too is moving slowly.

And the world quietly moves away.

A cool, dark, silver bell.


There is a city, it’s formed of straight lines,

The streets they all go north, south, east and west.

The people drive their cars, they come to traffic lights,

They take their turn then they wait for the other guy.

Out on the sidewalk, they walk far to the right,

They get to where they’re going then they take their place in line.

But in my neighborhood, it’s really not like this.

We know a shortcut so we cut through the neighbor’s yard.

But they don’t really mind, cus they don’t really care.

We feel at home in a place less orderly.

It’s just a neighborhood, where I can be myself.

I go to pray in the church of anarchy.

There is a garden, it’s always pretty warm.

The days are sunny and a soft rain falls at night.

The flowers all grow tall. They stand in straight rows.

They are divided by the path where the gardener walks.

His flowers are all clean. He sprays them every day.

It’s done as soon as the landscaper rakes the ground.

But in the topsoil, if you look very close

You sense the presence of the

wormholes and weeds that climb.

But I don’t really mind, cus I don’t really care

For colored roses that look so sanitary.

I really can’t abide, a world of straight lines.

I’m quite at home in this garden of anarchy.

We wake at six o’clock.  We leave the house by eight.

We drive the same route so we know that we won’t be late.

We hit the same lights.  We see the same things.

We make good time cus we know where the arrows are.

We do the good thing.  We fight the good fight.

We do our time then we head for the exit door.

Out on the sidewalk, the air is soft and warm.

I feel a chill as I head down the sidestreets.

I don’t really mind, these dirty neighborhoods.

They give to me what the whole world dissipates.

I hope that you don’t mind, that when you live with me

In my life I need a large dose of anarchy.

Still I don’t really mind, if you need holding up.

When you’re bruised and thirsting I’ll be your water cup.

I’ll light some candles, I’ll burn some incense,

But in the end I’ll need your warm kiss of anarchy.

I’ve come to pray in the church of anarchy.

I wanna live in a good state of anarchy.

I’ve come to pray in the church of anarchy.

I come to you with a warm kiss of anarchy.


Sometimes I think I’d like to run away

And start a life from nothing

With no conception of what I’ve been.

But now I’ve said some things I can’t take back.

My words are pressed in memories,

But they’re words I can’t remember.

Let the cold wind blow.

Take me to some other place

Where I can sleep and I can dream

And start my life anew.

Let the cold wind blow.

Take my tired things away.

Let time and loss of memory

Bring strength to start again.

Sometime I know I’ll have to start again,

Find warmth where there in nothing

From one who isn’t here.

But now I only know I can’t look back.

Her memory chills my mornings,

Bare flesh against the wind.

Let the cold wind blow.

Take me to some other place

Where I can sleep and I can dream

And start my life anew.

Let the cold wind blow.

Take my tired things away.

Let time and loss of memory

Bring strength to start again.

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