Through Closed Eyes

by Secret Secretaries

supported by
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

      name your price




released November 11, 2011

Nic Burrose: vocals/bass/guitar/drums/samples on all tracks except:
Stellar Cassidy: percussion on tracks 4, 8, 9
Travis Castner & Eleanor Judis: back-up vocals on track 6

All songs written by Nic Burrose
except track 6 (Burrose/Powers)
track 8 (Burrose/Cassidy)
track 9 (music by Burrose, see track credits for complete list of poets)
©2011 Heavenly Wretched Music

All songs recorded by Nic Burrose
@Lennon Studios SF, CA Fall 2011
except tracks 4 & 9 recorded by Alexi Alexiaeff
track 8 recorded by Martin Huerta
@Absolutly Music, South San Francisco, CA



all rights reserved


Secret Secretaries San Francisco, California

contact / help

Contact Secret Secretaries

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Track Name: Burn Out
some days, it's like we're crashing in down in jet planes
looking out our windows as the engines smoke and flame
when they sift through the wreckage smelling metal, hair, and meat
will you remind me how to get clean
and wear a heart on my sleeve?

we can live together or you can die alone
yeah, where we go tomorrow gaia only knows
all i know for sure, i'm going down with you
will you burn out with me?

remember when you were just a kid you held balloons on a string
and your little voice would sing sweet songs in the spring?
but the world became a fucked up place when you turned 17
the shepherds fell asleep as the wolves licked their teeth...

funny thing about in-jokes is they ain't funny when you ain't in on them
but he was a captive audience, she was starving for attention
if it was all just a joke, then i was the last one to know
in a punch clock line with bald white knuckles
Track Name: Dust To Dust
i'm getting cynical, ugly and old
so tell me something i don't know
now you can bleed or give up control
or you can follow all your heroes who sold their soul for dope
we're brought into this world before we learn to speak
taken just as quick before we can even blink

in the end there's no time to pretend
in the end all you need is one real friend
so you better learn to get over yourself quick
and you better quit being so selfish
because in the end, we all sleep with the fish

you can lie and steal and cheat
as long as the sheep keep counting sheep
you may be the queen of the stage or the king of the street
but tonight when you sleep, you're a no one just like me

because less than dust is what we are
dust to dust is just what we are
Track Name: Stuck Up
we're gonna stay up
until we wake up
til we bleed dreams from our eyes
this ship is going down
so turn the music up fucking loud
cus changing chairs now won't turn water into wine

this is a stick up
so put your hands up
this is a stick up
so raise your fucking hands up in the air

if our time has run out
then shake your bones out
until we bleed brains from our eyes

cus it's our party and we'll cry if we want to die if want to die if we want to
you would cry too if it happened to you
Track Name: Painting By Numbers (Through Closed Eyes)
last night i had a wallet full of dollar bills
but i burnt em all on pills n thrills n chills until i
saw you shine right through closed eyes

cut you up and kept the pieces in my pocket
you caught me in your locket and locked it and i
saw you shine right through closed eyes

i lost my shit, lost my shirt
in the dirt somewhere along the way
now i'm sitting on the street, trying not to think
trying to drink your face away

don't ask don't tell and know your place or so some say
but i'd rather be gay than let them set me straight
when i see you shine right through closed eyes
Track Name: XOXO
slam a shot
doll us up
go for broke til we're smoked alright
hope you don't mind but i could really use a ride
got something stuck down in my throat
so cut the rope before i choke
there's no reason to be sad honey
we don't need money to be stupid and horny
you don't need to apologize
don't wanna pick a fight cus choosing side's a waste of time
you don't care that i smoke
you don't care that i'm always broke
now i know i'm not the only one who thinks it's all a joke
she who laughs last lights the match
so stand back and watch it go
Track Name: One Eye Open
saw your face burning like a flame painted across a dashboard mountain range
and winged effigies of ruin and decay
now it's our time in the sun so put the guns away
the hounds and hordes of hell were trailing right behind
as a silver moon rose high above the pines
through dead cities full of dying neon signs
you can run but you can't hide from the monsters inside your own mind

cities will rust and forests turn to dust
one hand on the wheel and a bottle full of stuff
got one eye open, one eye open
to the end of the road or bust

white line fever keeping me awake
uncoiling interstates like rattlesnakes
feeling so tired now, i can't see straight
i think my brain's about to break
Track Name: Pegasus
feathered fingers grow beneath pillows
respond to me in esp, i'm sorry i'm so cold
doesn't matter where you are
i'll get to you a million miles away
spraypaint your name across space til i see your face again

dry your pretty eyes dear, don't you know we're sticking to the plan
no one said this would be easy but i'm trying in all the ways i can
Track Name: Poetry Is Dead
When you question the basics
There's only one conclusion
That we're all separate parts
Of the exact same illusion
(Jerad Hannum)

Sometimes when she sleeps
I trace an outline of an angel wing
Onto her back so when she forgets
What she means, we can sew
On feathers from this city's streets
(Nic Alea)

How many lifeless bodies will we cradle?
How many tears choke back?
Before we are women?
(Dusty Rose)

desire is a silent twist
you're in joplin missouri
the structure unfurls like a broken newspaper stand
the man who once held it
lost everything
(Sam Sax)

I was seduced
I was seduced
Handed what I knew
They said, "thank you for your silence, but now it's time to go."
I was saved
i was saved
By my own memory
I'm anti-sentimental, accidental, it's simple
I forgot what's most essential
(Marika Maypop)

Alone on this lake
We drink the spirit of time
Becoming complete
(Jason Whitacre)

Empires crumble
Like the crumbs from the Cookie Monster's mouth
Poor little puppy
Didn't know how sick he was
Chasing his own tail
Til he found found the scent
Of his doghouse again
(Charlie Getter)

I bounce back
High into the air
As if I'm soaring
But not without
Pushing off the particles
That dare to stand
In my way
(Lindsay Bernard)

From this point forward
My heart is not yours
My organs deserve better
Than to be your awards
(Alex Black)

Sweet sounds of industrial
Waste echo off my pink laced
Satin door opened and closed
By those who scream
(Toph Baby)

Roll away the stone of your security
And resurrect the poetry
It's coming at you every minute
Death is dumb, there's nothing in it
Lots of books are dead on arrival
We depend for our survival
On the spoken word
You vocalize
It turns into a bird
(Steven Gray)

Poetry is dead: 
consume its corpse.
Rhythm and beats
a dead horse.
Concrete, pissed in
16th Mission
take back the streets
take back the streets
by force!
Don't postpone it
own it this moment
decode it like morse.
Accessible, resurrectable,
scream 'til the throat's hoarse and coarse
of course the inevitable emerges
those urges
to squish spiders,
to pull gum from beneath the seat in front of you and chew it,
to punch somebody in the face because they smell like bleach and burnt rubber,
to shriek at passing cars and at doppler-effecting echos,
to spit,
to laugh,
to cum,
to cry,
to burp,
to flinch,
to sneeze,
to shit,
to eject everything at the same time,
to claw your own eyes out from the inside with little fingers -  scratch - dangle from their sockets and bob up and down, then collapse, mouth open, in the gutter let them kick you, let them kick you, in a puddle of rain and drool and puke growing mold from stagnancy and moisture and buzzing fly's wings and honking horns and pecking pigeons and clicking coffee-and-cellphone-and-cigarette-on-the-way-to-work heels and snapping muni bus lines electric already roots rise from street cracks around the parisitic shadows spread you are spilling pedals wilting and unable to pick them up again and bring the vermin in with you even the fog is angry and so good mourning
let them kick you
let them kick you
you are flowers
left as symbols
of memories
on poetry's grave. 
(Guenivere Q.)

I always buy too many eggs at the super market. Aiming at an unnecessary target, I dream of cotton candy filled fish bowls. 
Perplexing, perpetrating perversions. I seek diversions in compacted cars. Traveling from near and far, how can something so big become a tin can? 
Runaway shoes force a delinquent chase. Aspiring to catch soles, perspiration on my face. Hoping they won't stop running to an unimagined place. I pick up the pace. 
Studying the groovish labyrinths on your fingertips, I swallow your future with a dry throat. Adventures advancing, yet you never forget the footsteps of your ancestors. I end on the bitter sweet note.  
(Sash Tivetsky)

Sip rum with the devil
on the back patio of my mother's porch
it's the only way to understand the boundaries
of good and evil
test the limits of reality while kissing his hand
through plea bargaining
sell my soul for a rewind button
with no return policy
hear the sizzle of humanity sync
to the creaking
of rocking chairs
on wooden planks.
(Estella Barboza)

You say poetry isn't a confessional yet
Why does it feel so good
To drip black drops of sin
Upon repentant pages?
(Maureen Blennerhassett)

How long has it been?
Seems like years...
Since you lay in my arms
in tears...
You're so sorry you said
in my bed
You never thought you'd go back,
but you did.
You did...
Now I walk in my pain
feeling disdained
Sometimes sleep
in the park, hugging
the dark-
There is no one to
talk to
No one who loved me
more then you did
No one who understood
quite like you
No one I trusted
more than you
How long has it been
since you went back to him?
Often I wonder how
we might have been.
And crawl to my bed
feeling insane
and wake in the morning
so ashamed
and stand at the window
watching the rainfall
and asking:
How long has it been
since you lay in my arms?
How long has it been
since you lay in my arms?
(Alan Kaufman)

We have reached the atomic state of being
And there we go to smash
These illusions and delusions
Fine, spidery cracking
Into little shards
They will make you bleed
But I know how to sop it up
Mend it with toilet paper and tape
Give me your hand now
(Ginger Murray)

All poetry is discord with the world
The only beautiful thing anymore
(Evan Karp)

Forget yourself for a while and focus
on the symphony
of minds shining with the light of
flimsy fantasies
set on fire
(Nicole McFeely)

Slit a few throats to keep your hands in
Do what you feel
Do what you must
1,000 coats are still too few if you are still too cold
We are still here.
Hands over ears, Hands over eyes
and say that again
1,000 mouths won't be enough
if they are still not hearing
poetry is dead
(Chris Peck)

Secret Silliness (silence) Enhanced for Secretarial Porpoises Per San Francisco Bay

Don't give up, we tell ourselves

We tell ourselves lots of things

Sitting in these North Beach dungeons
Tongue tied to the roots of our teeth
Fascinated by fractured fingers
Flinging our impoverished selves
These telling technologies digging ditches
In the midst of apocalypse
(Charles Kruger)

We've dug deep our heels
in the last unsilenced basement,
Turned it up louder
when implored to speak easy
Sat huddled 'round
the smoldering last broken pieces
and dared dream this spark
might set the city on fire

Here at the confluence
of threadbare ambition
Between cheap intoxicants
and dispassionate professions
There's real work to do.
And it'll take a lot more
than our ordinary deficit attention
To cut through the white noise
of competing intentions,
A chord to ring out
Shattering sleep from dead eyelids,
And a word printed bolder
than the blackletter headlines
this morning
that claim poetry is dead.
(J. Brandon Loberg)

This is an unsung song
Sung from the severed tongues
Of the children born on the Eve of Adam's bomb
Who say that poetry is dead
Poetry is dead and gone