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Birdshit Buddhas was a session I convened at hovering horse studio. Originally intended as a rehearsal for a Van Meyers gig, it soon took on a life of its own. All music spontaneously composed; poems by John R. Campbell. Recorded live with no overdubs, Corvallis, Oregon, 2014. Edited, sequenced, and released by Campbell.

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Check out Chris Rorrer at


released October 12, 2015

Rob Birdwell, trumpet
Chris Rorrer, cello
John R. Campbell, guitar synth, words
Doug Meyers, guitar
Kevin Van Walk, percussion



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John R. Campbell Corvallis, Oregon

John R. Campbell is an experimental musician with roots in the blues. He's also a widely published poet and essayist on landscape aesthetics. These concerns converge in music that combines guitar layers, spoken word, ambient textures, and eclectic improvisation. Campbell was also a member of avant garage, the once-upon-a-time post-jazz spontaneous composition quintet: avantgarage.bandcamp.com ... more

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Track Name: and then he dived in
And Then He Dived In

And then he dived in, naked out of necessity.
Spirals hovered in his wake, and anthems
were sung spontaneously. We sang until
our pores were open by the same chill pond
that enveloped him. He knew and we knew
the water was song. The songs were the water
and the path to the water. Proximity is everything.

Suddenly another among us arose, walked
straight to the water, and dived. We never
saw him again/alive. Now a new mimicry
skirts our lives, and trims our ancient need.
Now we study in the field, incessantly.
We disperse in patterns themselves quite beautiful,
striations on the body of time.
Track Name: i did it for you
I Did It For You

I did it for you, and committed myself
to the institution, a dove who coos in his ample pen,
eyeing the cocks and the hens.

I did it for you. What unintended insults you flung,
what scents and innuendoes. Scoops of silt
by the cavernous river, clover stamped in the mud.

Until then a whole system of time went unnoticed,
but in those moments together, we knew. Among
little unravellings, poor reproductions, or signs stenciled
on theater exits, we're aligned on an axis of traces,
left gaping along the spoors.
Track Name: damascus

Under these exact circumstances—mist,
and light penetrating lowering clouds—
the wet asphalt of a battered highway
turns to silver before me. And then white,
as if opposites were only degrees of light,
atmospheric merely. At any moment,
the world I've constructed might vanish,
and a blinding road, to Damascus, or
to precisely nowhere, might suggest
my journey. I proceed thus blindly. I go
with no expectation. The slow, groping,
empty-eyed pilgrim grasps nothing
but the moment at hand.
Track Name: night listening
Night Listening

All through the course of a summer night,
from my house on a slope in a western city,
I listen. Trains couple in the fright yards,
airplanes drone above. Traffic never ceases.
Sprinklers hiss, greening minuscule lawns.
And there's a certain undercurrent, a mix
of crickets, air conditioning, breezes,
night shifts at factories, commercial bakers
mixing their ingredients, lovers exhaling,
birds rustling slightly on their perches,
a page or two turned in midnight books,
sheets falling to the floor, and the blood
near my own ear canals
circulating home.
Track Name: birdshit buddhas
Birdshit Buddhas

No exotic buddhas,
plundered or purchased from Asia.
No historic buddhas, slick
from nudging the ages.
Only cheap souvenir buddhas
peeking out from cluttered shelves.
Only concrete garden buddhas--
dusty buddhas, mossy buddhas,
birdshit buddhas, gaudy buddhas.
O glorious plastic buddhas,
o glorious plastic buddhas,
oozed from petroleum swamps.
Track Name: rudely/the night he defies/still
The Night He Defies

Night occurs without fanfare,
just drapes itself on the horizon,
swiftly, evenly. Any sparks,
from kindling fires, or
from humans scraping together,
are instantly dampened.
The moon inquires only haltingly.
The stars are weak and sporadic.
Buildings and hillsides
become the night, entering its density.
Still, a single window is lit,
there in an alcove amidst branches
and wires. Someone in his cell
is toiling, bowing
to the night he defies.