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We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.


by Smokey

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In a field somewhere, there stands a beast A magnificent steed With a member so rare I pause to see it And I wish I could be it Proud it raises its head and drops in the dirt Unfurled a prize of unspeakable worth Though I thrill to see it I imagine it hurts A god among mounts, lord of the herd He stands alone Flexing his withers and tossing his mane He beats his breastbone What a wondrous limb swingin’ in the air O sing us a hymn of what you got there Is it a challenge or is it a dare? Impervious you seem not to care Is it so commonplace that you scoff? I can’t imagine what gets you off Am I an imbecile for you to mock? Have you a tool to rival this cock?


The song came to me fully formed, pressed into my hands through the misty membrane that veils the unknown. It came suddenly, like birthing a sentient adult in one wet push who then, standing, dictates its mysteries. I sat alone on a stage I built for ritual recitation. I gazed into the shifting wall of trees across from me, a murmuration of limbs summoning a trance with their pagan movements. The trees whispered, but trees don’t whisper in prose. They whisper in the same language that rivers and CRT televisions do, they create the static that hushes your ego, the noise that is silence’s doppelganger. My hands matched their swaying, creating a thrum on my guitar strings. The words began as babble, then formed in my mouth.

The song is simple, if truth is simple. It is a treatise on one thing, absent of metaphoric contrivance or innuendo. It isn’t a parable encoded with hidden morality. It is my Ode To A Grecian Urn, and my urn is as old as time: scrawled on the walls of caves by mesmerized apes; carved into temple facades by sacred sculptors; fractally reflected by each stamen and fungal fruiting body in the forest. It is exactly what it is, and it is also a composite memory of growing up with rural men whose fears forbid them from experiencing awe.
It is beautiful and it is stupid. It is exactly what it is, and now I present it to you:


released January 17, 2023

Written by Nickelas Johnson

Drums performed and recorded by Aaron Parker, All other instruments performed and recorded by Nickelas Johnson

Mixed by Gavin Dunn

Mastered by Nik Kozub


all rights reserved



Smokey Edmonton, Alberta

Nickelas Smokey Johnson is a musician and multidisciplinary artist from Alberta, Canada. Drawing from western folk traditions and the avant garde, he creates a kind of gothic country.

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