Between The Hangman And The Halo

by Anthony Ruptak

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released January 31, 2015



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Anthony Ruptak Commerce City, Colorado

"Ruptak performs with raw, wild soul. His raspy voice channels a sound beyond his years, like a railroad bluesman trapped in a mountaineer's heart." ~Luke Redfield

"Leaving the earth bare and naked and ashamed, but somehow grateful...Anthony sings backwards into the afternoon, over the land." ~ The Denver Syntax
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Track Name: Rock Paper Scissors
I've been trying to keep awake

I think I need a little darkness

Cussing out the strangers in my bed

Shaking the blood back to my dead wrists

Swear I've been living up to standards

Caught up in the devious scandal of common logic

Unlike all them glorious ghosts

who sleep so soundly in red letter pages

So come on, come on, get back to awareness

Beating the sides of my head with my fists

Reading, reading the lines in the traffic

While the flat stink of dog food is making, is making me sick

Filled up my brain with cyclical shames

and quiet them down on a river of velvet

I've gotten good at just speaking to names

and forgetting the love

That I used to put into it

Serving my sentences up on a platter

Clinging to stimulants hidden in the leaves

Singing a lot of dumb songs for deaf zephyrs

Rock paper scissors with an amputee

Come on, come on get back to the coppice

Everything I said I hate, I now miss

Stuck in the flow, you never wanted this

Well I'll be the rose that grows in the horse shit
Track Name: Hooks & Rope
There is no substance to control

But yet I'm scared of getting older

The days are strange and short and warm

The evenings clinch is weak and splintered

Now we're back to looking for a home

Just like our lovely distant mother

Cause she fell in and out of love

We sat with strangers as we lost her

God grant me

The serenity

To accept the things

I can not change

Little sister your heart is gold

And your thirsty little roots are exposed

Be good, be brave, be bold

I hope you're nothing at all like I was

Now my dreams they come and go

Think I've figured how to gauge them

I swallow whiskey until I get slow

And wake to hear the neighbors screaming

As the blue jays greet the dawn with fearful praise

The bitter calm of coma peels away

Gog grant me the serenity

To accept the things I can not change

And the courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference

Little brother hold the torch

Your mind's much bigger then you are

And in your blackness find repose

It aint the devil licking at your toes

There is the past with its white bones

I keep forgetting to remember

That it's retained with hooks and rope

That it is the frail framework of forever
Track Name: Homes
Maybe someday I could've been

A doctor or a scientist

And make a lot of money for my children and my family

For to spend on getting lonely as I age

But I abide by biding time

And letting all my apprehension slowly rot

make up eulogies for everything we want

So I will look down at my hands

Upon the wheel every now and then

Illuminated by repeating highway lights

And I'll remember who I am

And see in shining contrast where I stand

Between the hangman and the halo

for a while

So I sat alone beside my love

and waited for the ball to drop

As seven strangers called upon the ghosts of their regrets

And in a huff they tossed them up

and fire bit the frostbit fog

but yours, you dropped

you swore it was an omen

We'd forget, we'll forgive

So maybe someday I'll settle down

Give up pacing in the dark and locking doors

Say farewell, I aint a child anymore

And we could build a little place

upon a plot in Eden

and even if we never make it to the end of the parade

I'm sure we'll still be happy that we came
Track Name: Blue Collar
I plan to break my back until however long I can

Until my body and my bones begin to fail

And I will go along inhaling moth wing dust and dirt

Until my lungs refuse to shrink and to expand

I'm not sure how I'd take it

if the warehouse walls just faded

And they told me to go out and sing my songs

And I had time for dreaming, and for catching up on sleeping

and for being who I'd meant to all along

It is a lopsided balance

It is disease that's entrenched the better parts of me

It is a fragile allowance

That pays out to keep me relatively clean

The fit of this blue collar is like a noose made up of dollars

And I dangle like a scarecrow in the wind

But like my father's father

I was made to work and tolerate the choking

And the outcome of my sins

So if you're asking the questions

You'd better speak up cause no one's listening

And if you're selling an image

You'd better get used to never being seen
Track Name: The Bus Song
Jackrabbit running at the midnight moon

Bullfrog screaming from the cattail dew

Nothing in the world I would rather do

More than skipping flat rocks in this silver pool

I'm so happy when I'm with you

I think you're the gal that I always knew

Would come around and reel me up from the deep dark blue

Showed me love, showed me truth, showed me kindness, too

Glassy-eyed looking out a window pane

With a spider web fracture in the pouring rain

Inside a school bus with a chimney and a green tin frame

I think we moved into a painting with a cheesy name

And I've gotten lucky with some things before

Like the mouse who finds a bed beneath our canvas floor

Like the boy growing up who never sees the war

I am lucky as a devil, I don't know what for

There's a compass on the skin

On the top of your right foot

You get your equilibrium

From the song that your dad sung

I think the optimist within

Is alive and he's faithful

That when the thunderclouds roll in

There's a golden sun just waiting

To chime in
Track Name: This Is A Community
In the evenings I get home and pour out the vodka

Pour out the sheep's blood

Go out to the front porch and sit on a chair

That grows from the ground

Bark back at the white dog chained

up to the mailbox, up to the mailbox

My strings stay silent but my thought dreams are loud

The strength isn't in me, my boots are still on

Loose at the laces

I never get tired at all cause I never rest

I never rest

I've lost all my old friends to blue bottle flies

and blue summer months

Eating holes in my head, holes in my head

And the chemical raindrops all sneak by the aeroplanes

Born in the jet waves

And fall to the dirt to feed all of the weeds

All of the weeds

And if we get lucky the wind never blows

From the west where the oil glows

Lit by little gold bulbs, the refinery knows its place

Inside our community

I didn't know that the airplanes had headlights

Till I moved here

To lose control is just like

Trading up your roots for a stupid mistake

And once they're unearthed and you see them

Bleeding tiny droplets of the goodness you earned

Everything stops and the clock's hands hold still

To wait for the seeds that you dropped before you gave up

Oh won't you come visit us in the glorious land of the eighteen-wheeler

I've got a lot of love to give but it hides

Underneath my patience

We can walk to the liquor store where the customers

all use shopping carts

Stay us till cicadas drone and the sun yells "I'm home"

That fucker hates us