Birds in the Night

by Benjamin Cissner (& the Apologies)

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $10 USD  or more


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Black vinyl, full color sleeve and custom lyric sheet/ insert.

    (international post

    Includes unlimited streaming of Birds in the Night via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      $20 USD or more 




released April 22, 2016



all rights reserved


Benjamin Cissner (& the Apologies) Austin, Texas

contact / help

Contact Benjamin Cissner (& the Apologies)

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Division

I don't know what you're doing
But you're doing it all over me
The signals that you're sending
Spare me details of catch and release
Or I'm cutting you off at the knees

With your smart mouth and agenda
We've all figured what you're trying to prove
You should know, patience has limits
But dandy Sherlock, you're without a clue
Man they've already forgotten you

All this fine talk of forgiveness
Well, you know it really ain't my scene
Rather lay back and forget it
It already seems like a dream
How did we ever mean to be so mean?
Track Name: Fifty / One Fifty
Fifty/One Fifty

Unsure of what has passed
An anxious vacancy is set
Word wise enough to know
This errant naïf has rendered mine inept

And I don't know what I've left

Thoughts writhing in the air
The frequencies and rhythms numb
No sober word nor sound
Escape suppressed, this mortal drum

And I don't know if I could
Smiting bone instead of wood

In between
Something's missing
Absence of words deflect mine
Blood is chilled
Drained of expectation
Left in passive desperation
To resign

In your womb
What proteins have conspired
(Woe found release)
Our recklessness reviled
(Gave birth to a beast)
A barren glimpse
Of faltering desire.
(Of fear and unease)

To span resentment's breach
The pained aside, the steely glare
Is this paranoid dream of soft assault
Beyond repair?

And I wonder if you care
I pray that you still care
Track Name: Hybris

Come out, come out
End this senseless plight
Let sorrows fall
And fade with morning's light

Still haunted by the hanged man
Undaunted by the fool
Caught wistfully as torn desire
And ultimatum duel

But which one did you save
And which one did you cast away
(And lay to waste)?

What weary thoughts arouse your tongue
Both graceful and profane
A whispered faith on trembling lips
Lust coursing through your veins

And every time you came
You couldn't bear to speak my name
(But returned the same).
Track Name: Chippy's Lament
Chippy's Lament

Hazardous and dark, this bitter cold
Unshackled to endure this time abroad
Pray your master carpenter bestow
Protection of his quarters down below

Quarreling of the gods compel you
Where the water meets the wind
Where Aeolus slights Poseidon
There your odyssey begins

Reluctant executioner pursues
Captain's orders, marching two by two
Over cries of protest from the crew
Nothing for a castaway to do

Trembling thunderous and mighty
Moans Endurance from within
Splintered over ice and lichen
Burying your last defense

Hazardous and dark, this bitter cold
Unshackled to endure this time abroad
Pray your master carpenter bestow
Protection from the forces down below.
Track Name: Flood

When the river wears the levee down
And we've got to run to higher ground
When fear and flood are all around
And it feels like we won't be for long

When the waters well up and the floodgates give way
And the tears all but drown what you're trying to say
When your quivering voice is submerged in dismay
And it seems you can't suffer the storm

Waters may rise, hard rains may fall
And wash all the blame from your hands
Well after the storm, when fear changes form
You'll find your feet buried in sand

It's the kiss on the lips of infatuous tongues
It's the taste of the mouth stealing breath from your lungs
It's that moment in peril, as time lingers long
It's the sound of naïvete's song

So let tears of the surf salt your eyelids with mist
As the tides take you further into the abyss
For solace and heartache shall soon be dismissed
By an ocean, indifferent and strong.

Waters may rise, hard rains may fall
And wash all the blame from our hands
But after the storm, when fear changes form
We'll find ourselves buried in sand.
Track Name: Nothing To Do But To Wait
Nothing to Do But to Wait

Pin my arms until I break
Pin my innocence away
Take my hand, take my spine
End my body for the time
In your cold, estranged embrace
Obscuring memory and space
Though I don't want you,
I don't want to let you go


While the verses may sway you from focus
As the hours take root in your brain
Done living this paperback novel
Last time was the last time you claim

When you feel like you grow five years older
Every time the telephone rings
The small of your back has grown calloused
And the back of your shirts have grown stained

When you can't catch your breath in the morning
Never losing that smell of decay
And you're hearing the voices speak softly
Though you can't understand what they say

Caught up on this weird roller coaster
And pinned down to a mattress and frame
Surrender yourself to this bad dream
You're already too gone to blame

Now it's fading off in the periphery
Though your eyes are still swimming in haze
And it takes all of your concentration
To pretend you can alter their gaze

Time to roll off of your sorer shoulder
Let the other one carry the weight
Just let yourself study the woodgrain
For there's nothing to do but to wait.
Track Name: Follow You Down
Follow You Down

Chase your wet dream across town
It's a sick race you run
Singing follow me down
But she's already won

When your feet hit the ground
Can you tell what's been done
Just one shot in the dark
And you fumbled it, son

And that cupid shot back
To the heart, worthless arrow
In a silent attack
Caught off the straight and narrow
Yeah, you wanted her back
And it rings through the air
But there's nobody there
There's nobody there

On your back
On the floorboards you lie
Saint Sebastian's arm strains
To cover your eyes

Black stains on a desktop
In answer to why
But responsible minds have stopped asking

Why that cupid shot back
To the heart, worthless arrow
And that panic attack
Cuts deep into the marrow
And why you needed her back
Her perfume still in the air
But there's nobody there
There's nobody there

To follow you down
To follow you down
To follow you down
Track Name: Bad Mark
Bad Mark

Circadian rhythms
And the unbridled id
Invite crippling visions
Best keep your bad mark hid

To resuscitate nothings
In a heart drained and bled
Screaming blackest at nighttime
Your bad mark's made its bed

Choked whispers acquiesce
To love's joyous refrain
But those whispers find a voice
Catch the wind and abstain

Now unfettered panic
Both stammered and sped
Shatters hope like fine crystal
Your bad mark struck it dead.

Choked whispers acquiesce
to lust's joyous deceit
But those whispers find their voice
Catch the wind and retreat

Your whispers, they give way
To love's tender refrain
But when whispers turn to tears
Find the earth and abstain.
Track Name: Alms

Now I know what you mean to conceal
Ousting every fate that you'd feel
Gather alms in the dark before your curtain call
Turn your eyes, turn your back, turn away from them all
In a passive and meaningless ruse
Until they stop bothering you.

It's pointless to invest much at all
In a hopeless diversion determined to fall
For to suffer this sorrow again like before
Takes your name, takes your form, takes your song from my door
This grift leaves a spiritual bruise
A fading impression of you

So let the demons well up in a storm
A prophetic burden
Painstakingly formed

In your eyes, hollow set
In a cavernous chest
Lies a broken reminder of what you do best
In a skin thin from scorn and abuse
It's heartbreaking thinking of you.
Track Name: Ghost / Miami

Waiting for the wound to heal
For flesh to scab, humours congeal
For scars to seal and then conform
And damaged nerve to burn, reborn

I swore the gash was half its size
And didn't dream to cauterize
For once occurred but to regress
And fall in step with idleness
And longing for a gentle touch
I've wanted it so much.
Wanted you so much.

These lustful whims call out a dare
A cry for chest and lungs to tear
And stricken, quickly rise for air
But will not find it anywhere.
Will not find you anywhere.

For blood and brain but host
This parasitic ghost.



These words alone hold no significance
Empty echoes of impermanence
A fading vessel's transient tone

But now:

So crisp, so clear, so do not hesitate
To grasp this cold lucidity
To savor hunger pangs anew

From what is shown, one can not speculate
If it arrives to simply devastate
To smother embers trying to light aflame

These fragments hint at being infinite
But without a stream, a compromise:
They die, withered upon the vine.

This devil's ruse, this sheer absurdity
To glimpse the all, in its futility
A trick of love, of loss, of future days unknown

A restless mind finds sport in fantasy
There it whispers boredom's lies to me
Another signifier heeds sensation's call

A face, a gaze, a form, an awkward gait
Too stark, too unaware to hesitate
Enthusiastically you beam to some new sound.
Track Name: Ballad of a Prawn
Ballad of a Prawn

I've got blood stains on my shoulder
From a quick, hard blow to the ear
A firmly clasped shard of glass
Has found a new home in there
And I think it should be quite clear
There are things I was not meant to hear.

I've got scars up and down my forearm
Beneath them lie long shafts of steel
For I ventured too close as they pointed the hose
Doc said it's the worst break in years
Though the water's the worst of my fears
'Twas the gravity brought me to tears

Now my sockets are sore, relieved of their orbs
I've been blessed by not seeing their fate
Though I cannot recall what's become of them all
For I opened the lids up too late
I just figured some shut-eye'd be great
Who'd foresee this unfortunate state

So tonight I will rest in my hospital dorm
Dreaming someday I'll take my revenge
On these colorful ghosts clad in corsets and hose
Painted faces and dangly fringe
I'll just lay here and plot my defense
If my fortune and flesh ever mend
If they don't, then I guess I'll pretend
I'm not certain if phantoms have friends.