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Trial & Error

by Seth Benjamin

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Nurse 01:59
another spotted gown undoes my self-medicating she comes in with a smile but i can tell that she's faking i know you don't believe i've got it in me but if i hold my head, will you stay the night i'd lose my legs for a chance to fly well now i'm heaving dry as if my stomach could atone but i'm not fooling her, we both know it's only for show and i've already blown it so you're free to go but if i keep it down, would you stay instead i'd clip my wings just to walk again and we'll make time for love in between our fights i'd sell my soul if it dried your eyes
his voice rings out he's glad to meet me i lose my words and glance down at my feet his lips curve up as he takes my hand something behind his eyes says he's not all he seems but i'll smile back like i can't see it goes down easy for a few weeks but he gets up some nights when he thinks i'm asleep covers his tracks as the sun rises but he can't mask his breath quite as well as he thinks well i'll tell myself this doesn't change a thing one year spent under his rain cloud and i'm left treading water til the sun comes out and now he's down on one knee waiting my gut screams out "no" but my throat keeps it down well i'll nod my head and pray i don't drown broken glass and tear-soaked sheets the neighbors don't wave back no more i've packed my bags and changed my name i'll smash down a wall but can't walk out the door cause i dissolve from the shoulders down every time you're near the queen yells "march!" but the knights turn to stone and i don't know what it is cause all signs scream "keep out" and i still dive in i don't know how long i'll stay afloat
Crying Wolf 04:22
wake up on the inside of my stomach, sent back up to keep the bugs out hadn't slept a wink since i first felt their bite a couple miles up, the last wheel falls off of our train god knows how close to hell i'd have let us ride and to be honest, we were well on our way but it's not always easy to see straight and for a while every shipwreck on the screen seemed to be captained by you and me well i'm still seasick and if i tell you i don't mind, please don't believe it i'd sober up if my senses would do as i said but i'm just passed out on the floor instead please be kind, rewind, and so i watch the tape ten thousand times trying to catch some smoking gun that's always out of frame well i can spend my days pretending i can't read the headlines but i know i'm just afraid of what they'll say i know i said i'd fill the glass up past halfway but it's not right to cherry-pick my days when every shot i swear was aimed square at myself was just as painful for you as well well now i just miss so if it seems like i'm dead on, please don't believe it and it's a lie to say i'm trying if i won't admit that it hasn't done me much good so far far away voices try to keep the peace but my head's in the sand and they just can't compete i sharpen each word til they slice us in two and simmer a while in my own self defeat it's too easy to say i'd do it all different when any chance i've had i've still never listened hindsight sees clear but no one steers from behind god knows next time i'll still be flying blind so let's not pretend that's all right because my hands haven't been clean for quite some time and i can scream it to the heavens that i'll make amends but i'm afraid i'm crying wolf again
Daisy 02:36
daisy comes home to her empty flat sets down her things, locks the door daisy takes a drag from her cigarette, and leans back in the corner they said it wouldn't stay like this for long said you'd be back on your feet well, it's not the first time they turned out wrong asleep on the floor, still there past dawn daisy jerks awake twelve hours later, not quite sure when she lost her balance tightens her grip on the rope she holds, but it keeps slipping through her hands their eyes grew wide when you said that word, said daisy, promise you're not well, it's not the first time your word's in two do you hear me, dad? i'll see you soon used to play in the garden, in the daisies he had planted there saw the light in his warm eyes, before he blew it out beyond repair like birds of a feather, so they say daisy flies away
One Minute 03:12
it all starts tinted rose, not a wrong move in sight i could be picasso if you turned out the light we were married by fall, honeymooned from our rooms put the mailman through school just to say "write back soon" and we cried out as we cut ourselves down to words but what else were we to do when i would have written the rest of my life just to have it read by you well i'll spare you the rest, we both know how it ends haven't seen the mailman since i don't know when one less ticket this time as i board the greyhound watch the fireworks that night with the sound turned down and i won't act like none of this weighs in my chest as i'm struck by deja vu but these days i find it's less bitter than sweet to recall my days with you and i relived every fight but i'm still not sure what for i'm not proud of every word but what's the use in keeping score so i'm done laying blame, it's unfair to old selves to read the autopsy but never bid farewell i'll admit it wasn't according to plan or the way we hoped it'd be but we were gods for one minute before we came down and that's more than long enough for me
last call and i'm still upright it's just my luck i didn't manage but i tried is that enough i know they said sometimes there's no stopping these things but i think they're just giving up so won't you come and set me free i spent all night awake in bed replaying the same scene i wasn't all i swore i'd be i know i turned my back on you, i just couldn't bear to see and i can write off each recurring dream as just another fluke and smother every unsure thought like i know what to do if i labored for the next ten years would that clear up my name or is just one night to myself too much to ask of fate maybe i can bring you back to life if i just say it's true and maybe if i say it twice then i'll believe it too and maybe if i say it twice then i'll believe it too so won't you come and bury me i spent the year chasing your ghost and now it's all i see and if i'm not all i swore i'd be then i can't keep on playing dumb, i know my hands aren't clean
Dust Bunnies 04:21
wasted two months scratching noise on a page telling yourself you had things left to say promised to no one the time'd be well spent six tiny words spoken in vain and no one knows missed plans pass you by in each calendar slot your epitaph spelled as each x marks the spot last cries of things left alive only in name that part of you forever lost but no one knows so rest your head, and sleep when morning comes, you'll start again rest your head, and sleep well now the morning's here burned every bridge i built scratched out every mark they ever said was mine i've long since forgot what page they wrote us on the words are fading fast, so let's burn it all down i know i should write home but i can't seem to find myself inside a pen the way i used to on the damp ground i knelt and dug myself a shallow grave to stay searching through trash to retrace your own steps just ashes of old selves discarded too fast no money left for the return trip back home so find a new place where you'll last where no one knows so rest your head, and sleep when morning comes, you'll start again
Snafu 03:11
i've made enough lousy shots in my time to know what i'm aiming for but just because my eye is on the target don't mean this time i'll score i might start seeing spots and now suddenly i'm not as sharp a marksman as i thought the doctor says enough is enough modern medicine won't make me grow up and she don't mean to be too unkind but she'd be wasting her time if she even tried i tried my best to fall on my sword and keep you safe from harm but i was so focused on sticking my landing i didn't notice you'd lost an arm and i'll swear that i meant well but what difference do intentions make if i still put you through hell the doctor says that she'll do her best but modern medicine won't clean up my mess and all the king's horses and all the king's troops won't make my fucking dreams come true


released November 13, 2016

Seth Benjamin: vocals, guitars, bass, organ
Mert Ussakli: drums
Jenna Li: xylophone on track 5

All songs written by Seth Benjamin.
Tracks 1, 3, 5 and 8 engineered by Julian Vanasse and Seth Benjamin.

thanks to: mert, julian, jenna, brad, aleksi, venya, nathan, ethan, ty, & ben for helping me make this.




Seth Benjamin & the Philistines Brooklyn, New York

Seth Benjamin & the Philistines are an alt-rock band from Brooklyn. Their songs have been called "catchy and sad."

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