Do Not Forsake Me: Selections From 2008​-​2013

by Anthony Jay Sanders

  • Streaming + Download

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

    If you pay for a download of this album, your download will automatically come with a 27-page digital set of liner notes, handwritten/digital lyrics, and drawings made during the period these songs were written in. They were compiled by me, and graciously formatted by James Cassar of Near Mint Records.

      $1 USD  or more




15 songs over 5 years. Many more exist, but I handpicked these to provide some context for my upcoming record.

If you pay for the album in any capacity, you'll receive SEVERAL pages of downloadable liner notes, pictures, and lyrics. Would love it if you did that.


released April 27, 2016

Tracks 1-2
Recorded, mixed, mastered by Kurt Roy
Guest vocals by Chris Dertz, Julia Bard, Jack Greenleaf

Tracks 3-4
Recorded, mixed, mastered by Mike Crotty
Guest vocals by Kate Grube, Erik Czaja

Tracks 5-11
Recorded, mixed, mastered by Anthony Sanders
Guest vocals on track 10 by Clare Teelinng

Track 12
Recorded, mixed by Spiros Loukopoulos

Tracks 13-15
Recorded, mixed by Anthony Sanders
Mastered by Kurt Roy

Photograph by Ali Spray, Design by Corey Purvis
Near Mint 14



all rights reserved


Anthony Jay Sanders Chicago, Illinois

I sing for The Island of Misfit Toys, I sing for myself, and I definitely sing for you. This is a place to gradually release everything that isn't TIOMT.
For TIOMT music:

contact / help

Contact Anthony Jay Sanders

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Leagues
I've tried my best to explain you to the present cast of characters that jumped into your clothes. I drag the past into the present, fossilized relevant sentiment all sewn into your robes. You're in my closet, in my drawers and in my pockets. You're written in my records and my books. You were my conscience, wade the waters of my Loch Ness. You stay under with the baby that you shook.

I'm not the bestest with attendance; I get nested and I stay home. I write myself out of your history; I wonder if you ever miss me. I won't know. But where can you be? I get antsy waiting.

Don't go, no matter how hard your heart or depleted your soul. Because I'm not worth half of what I sing if you're not beside me and inside me, inspiring everything.

I was Peter, he was Paul. You're at the center of it all. You wore all black and your dad's hat instead of rags. We chatted up with the homeless while our parents never noticed that we traded every hour that we had. I told my dad through choking screaming tearing breaths that I loved you more than I loved anything. I see the hole inside my church, I see the whole of what you're worth, and you had filled that opening.

You stabbed the blow-up Christmas snow globe, and you cried because you had to. I brought a shoulder and a friendship that grew older because it had to. But where can you be? I get antsy waiting.

Don't go, no matter how hard your heart or depleted your soul. Because I'm not worth half of what I sing if you're not beside me and inside me, inspiring everything.

Arlene! Alicia! Is this what you promised? Is this what you salvaged? Leagues and leagues beneath me now?
Track Name: Crown
We haven't talked in months; it's time I speak
I've led a little lifetime in 20 weeks
It had a very small midlife crisis too,
and on that dark dark day, I thought of you
I'm stable now, from bike to trike
and I date a short girl that I really like
She's olive-skinned and smiles so much
and buckles under thumb like living plush

And I cry in the bathroom a lot
and this is barely even a song;
it's just some silence that I break

I wanna hold your crown
so heavy in the sky
and sing, "You're my favorite guy tonight"
I'll hit you with my endless supply of sighs
But I hold her to my breast,
say "You're the girl that I love best”
It's true; she may be my girl, but she's not you

It's not sexual, it's something else
It's a willingness to turn into my lapdog self
and a willingness to cancel plans
and pledge to you on two right hands
It's my dirty feet, so brash and bare
when I walk your block, and you don't know I'm there
and the trees bow down to every house
so thick with futures unannounced

It's a rendezvous between divorcees
so sick of every three word phrase
They sit and stare over empty plates
then one of them swallows and says, "You look great"
Then smiles crack open, and knowing looks
unravel like in romance books
and I just can't keep my stupid face
from cracking open like your mom's vase

And it hurts, and it's hard to explain
and I'm sorry that I brought it up
it's just hard not to sing
Track Name: Stillborn in Love
Don’t fall far, deep, hard
Don’t fall far, deep, hard
Don’t fall far (I love you), deep, hard
Don’t fall far (I love you), deep, hard
Won’t all scars seep dark from the far, black stars that I chart, those sleek shards that you sparked into are? I am tar, car parts that won’t start, farce art. There are still from all the videos of everything you’ve uglied up for both of us; the ghost of us is thickening the walls around my heart. Circle into smaller holes.
I keep imagining an epitaph, in a timeline undefined:
"Beloved Father, Purified Water"
Watch me walk on my left hand.
I want to tell you I'm feeling better, and I will, and I'll tell you I do.
But I'm sick.
I've been feeling sick, and little things I own start crying because they're mine.
Track Name: The Palm of a Fault
We roll out of the fire
We roll into the grass, in what looks like the 50s
Your stare is alive
and it's living in mine, now you're crying with me
I'm spilling it all
I know that you know, you've stared off my veiling
I'm visible now
You're weeping in crowds, and we're thinking the same thing

We were wrong, in the palm of a fault
I love you, and I'm sorry is all
and I can't tell a story without making mistakes
and leaving out the good days

I pull you on foot
We both look around, and the scenery switches
Surprise is a friend
There's black and there's white, a preacher betwixt this
A wedding as waves
We're swept up and dazed, but as we get calmer,
it eases the tide
The people subside, and we lay on the altar

You fold in my chest
My errors are a red fern grown
I don't want the future;
I just want you, and you alone

Don't fall
Track Name: Buried
Fond but not in love, like wet to waterbug
Love but not ensconced, I'm fond of confidante
I'm sitting in a fire in the center of a 7-10 split
I am hit
but it is nothing
this is nothing
I am fine
leave me alone

Killed while sitting still, I have abandoned me
Still love being killed, I think of her fondly
Room looks like my colon and my eyes, red and puffy, roll around
They catch nothing
this is nothing
this is dead
dead, suppressed
I have killed it

I thought I buried you
But here you come, gallivanting from the grave
You smell like formaldehyde
You kiss me
as if I wasn't shivering
You kick your dirt around
You hold your stomach, luminescent bloody discharge
Pouring like a baking soda story
and I wake up thinking you missed me

Fond but not in love, I know I buried you
Fond but not in love, your ribs are showing now
Fond but not in love
I can't tell anyone
Track Name: Prodded to Breath
I'm a set of stripped screws
torn from a stage-play set.
And though admitting it's a noose,
I do not fully get it yet.
Bed's breathing like a sponge,
squeezing water from its chest.
And though I have a hunch,
I do not fully get it yet.
I'm a lifestyle choice...
...not quite the schwa de vivre.
Is that the secret source of noise,
like a mouse i thought I saw?
Play "Find the Disembodied Voice."
I used to always play to win.
If it's not in my crate of toys,
then I don't know where to begin.

I grab the edges of the jagged cliffs of friendship. I dream in vivid tension, and I always fail to mention in the morning when scratch and yawn, repeat, almost deliberately, to distract me.

I'm seated at the demand of Our Father at the right hand of a toddler; he's a never-ending sobber, and I hate seeing my face and seeing his, and that's the way this evening is. How can I help it?

And you talk it to death.
I'm naked like an emperor,
and I'm prodded to breath.

What to utter's my concern.
The circles start to settle in;
they've come to make my butter churn.
I've got options, I suppose.
I could make a clean escape.
I can walk longer than most,
maybe return to ticker tape.
I'm an asshole and I gape.

It's easy to lead little boys to prison, lock 'em in and never miss 'em. If you wanna make a mockery of heart, then that's a proper way to start. But if I manage to do just as much damage just by being me,

who would ever wanna stick their head out mama's sauna to emerge into a world of tangled cables and small towns that aren't stable? I'd love to say I know myself, but I keep trying to hide my purse from me!

And you talk it to death.
I'm naked like an emperor,
and I'm prodded to breath.
Track Name: Show of Hands
Show of hands:
Would anybody here like to watch movies and eat delivered food? Wear comfy clothes and tell personal truths?

Show of hands to an empty room.
I suck my thumb and sing: "What did I do?"

Show of hands:
Would anybody here like me as something more than merely friendly if you'd just met me these past 4 weeks?

You don't have to sugar coat it nicely,
because that's a form of lying to me.

A thousand miles of thought just for her.
I'm crying in a cup about why I left home.
A thousand miles a minute just for her.
She's crying in a plate about her ex-brother.
A thousand miles in a circling car.
This conversation's looped 4 bars.
A thousand miles of speech;
he listened selflessly to me, his enemy.

Show of hands:
Would anybody respect me if they only knew how I abandoned Audrey? If they only knew how I hurt...her.

I was going to rhyme, but I cannot sing her name.
Our past is the problem, and I'm the one to blame.
Or maybe she's over it, and I'm a loser.

I could learn to socialize without having to draw anonymous eyes, thinking I am funny all the time.

Maybe dilated eyes can finally help me
be the boy I was born to be
plunged into a world of maturity,
where I've grown, and these clothes no longer fit me.
With memories as mammaries poking...
you thought that I was joking!
The content never shimmered right.
I could write and record, but I'd be up all night.
Track Name: Brains
He who thinks one can lie with words
might think that it was happening here

Touch my brain
Trace its rivets and ridges
Find where you are

Pry inside
Find where she hides
The girl on a jutting piece of land, arching over the cliff
Like a diving board

She’s swallowing lightning
My point-of-view’s spinning

I’m knelt on the grass
Sun stays overcast
She pulls me with little-to-no effort like a feather on a Pegasus’s wing
And flies me off

I’m gripping on something
The wind is all whipping
Details are impossible
Land with no understanding

I keep having the same strange dream where the presence that drives me to write flies with me. I want you to touch my brain and finally see what I mean, so I feel sane. But instead, you just ask “What’s up?”,
and I say nothing. I don't say nothing.
Track Name: Three Dreams
I had to leave
because everyone looked like you
Should that not affect me?
I just had to go
when they all started quoting you
Should that not upset me?
In the door you stood, wrapped in your favorite dress
You love your own slinky frame, and the halo above your head
Am I to blame for this funeral setting?
Only in dreams do I have trouble forgetting

On a white bed
with lily white sheets
we reintroduced ourselves
You seemed fine
and didn't seem to mind
my fountains for eyes
When I woke up, I called you crying
You're one of my closest friends, I've accepted that with time
I hope you're not stained by the results of this bloodletting
Only in dreams to I have trouble forgetting

I pinned you down
seedy and unromantic
in my filthy bedroom
Little did I know
there were 3rd person photographs
an invisible camera man
The pictures lined the walls of the apartment that I live in
They decorate the halls, making me livid
I said, “I hate your finishing face, I told you I didn't like it”
Only in dreams, I somehow always manage to find it

Are my thoughts in the wrong place?
You can be honest
You don't ever have to lie to make me happy
No, you don't
I'll sulk anyway
and let these dreams seep into my days
I'll sulk anyway
and let these bad dreams seep into my days
I'll sulk anyway
Track Name: Sunflower's Center/Wet Boar
Zero to sixty, you lift me up so high
Make me feel like I have been in love a couple hundred times
Buoyant and inspired
I yell and scream for higher

A sea of incredible hands under my back
Tossed into the awesome of the options within black
A sunflower so giant
that gods as ants can't climb it

I'm made pain-filled
anxious, canker-ridden
split-open cysts
like white-yellow war wounds
I'm spit from the brown
inside to this pool of arsenic
and then I wake up

Why does each one of my dreams end in water?
I don't want to think I'm cutting my own Island
The boar is laughing in a smoke-filled clearing
I run to make a cave where he once stood

I keep pushing back the thick breeze
Find me looking like I'm underwater
Track Name: Man in My House (Alternate Version)
I used to move with courage
Now I break by dawn
I had a migratory purpose
Now I move like one impossible swan

A bed like the back of a hearse is
You wouldn't recognize the person
I'm different all day
I live inside of a terseness
My heart just looks like pursed lips
all heard opinions verdicts
The ones I love know no one

There's a man in my house
He will stand in my doorway
He's grinding his teeth
He's breathing through me
There's a man in my house
He will say what he wants to say
He lives on his knees
Living means I live with me

I used to know a tall tree
By the top I'd lay
A part of me left long ago, fell long ago
and a little shred of me has always stayed

There's a man in my house
He will stand in my doorway
He's grinding his teeth
He's breathing through me
There's a man in my house
He will say what he wants to say
He lives on his knees
Living means I live with me
Track Name: Guest Room
I'm in the guest room
I'm in her shirt
that's 10 sizes too big for her
I'm humming nocturnes
Babble on about a heart
that's 10 sizes too big for me
too sound asleep
While my head is a harbor for imagined endeavors
too big for me
too sound asleep

“Good luck, tiger muffin”
“Good night, kitten fingers”
If I lose breath while duetting,
sing on, my opera singer
And if you really want me,
I am 10 feet away this time

I'm in the guest room
It's storming outside
Flood up her house and float her bed near mine
And we'll look at each other
and we'll laugh, she'll be pretty
And we'll laugh while it's easy
while no one's looking
I'll dream it to life, if I sleep well tonight
too big for me
too sound asleep

“Good luck, tiger muffin”
“Good night, kitten fingers”
If I lose breath while duetting,
sing on, my opera singer
And if you really want me,
I am 10 feet away this time
Track Name: Restraint in Fire
I had a tense phone call
It was cold out, and I ran inside
the phone was thawing from the sweat beading on my palms
In the foyer, jostling knobs and pulling
In the staircase, lying down
I took off my coat, draped it on the rail
There was a pool my tongue was lapping
in the bottom of my mouth
during a tense phone call
I continued the call lying down on my staircase
red carpet with dirt independently crawling
the snow in my shoes was melting to accidentally clean
My socks were blue and black with dress shoe residue
Four small cylinders inside me were suddenly beside me
I looked down at my still-beating heart in my lap
and tried not to laugh into the receiver
Sometimes the walls are white,
sometimes they’re streaked black from rubs
but right then, the walls were all a tense phone call
I was restless from wrestling with space
into a comfortable position on my staircase
I couldn’t go inside for confidentiality
My coat begrudged, my snow shoes trudged
The wind was terse under and over my shoulders
and between my legs in assonant pace
Every “O” and “A” in the wind pounding out sound
interrupting the streamlined swell of it all
in the private Hell of my tense phone call
I felt one pedal digit fidget from under me
Left foot index toe twitching through a hole
I felt it actively in a calloused walk
From the 8th crack to the 2nd crack and back again
from the heels that I can’t feel to blackened ends
My socks depend on lighter steps
and I can’t manage to smile
in heavy stalks of ice that stayed and stalled
on the hair on my face in this tense phone call
I once cried in your lap
I was telling secrets to it and produced my own embalming fluid
Cropped past grimace in the stiff starch of his supposed ownership
projected onto your white pelvic wall
You brushed my hair with your hands
and separated dreaming tracks in its sand
I wouldn’t dream of ruining you
because you were all I knew
But you became tense lines later
on that day in the year of our cordial departure
the staircase are the bones in your ear
the wind wraps around a misunderstanding
I am an ape exercising restraint in fire
half-hearted in menopausal theater
There’s an attitude that’s being pressed into my socks
from my shoes bruised in blue-black permanence
There are faults of mine like cars stalled
and the movement shows no improvement in this tense phone call
There are poems I launch away
there are songs that lay naked in my arms
and there are people that learn to fly all by themselves
and then there’s you
and I don’t think I could ever feel comfortable with you again
Track Name: Hurts
They think I'm fast asleep
I'm in my room and 10 feet deep
I'm not okay and haven't been
I'll just pace 'round the room again

Sometimes my world hurts
Track Name: Don't Cry (This is Natural)
Don't cry, this is natural
These are living rooms, these are your friends
Don't cry, this is natural
We may never know when this phase will end

I just received an offer with a stipend and stress
and I'm scared to death that I'll tell them “yes”
I know that I'll complain of being held under duress
but my draft is open, I'm typing “yes”
I don't know why I always wink at harm
I hold trouble in my big strange arms
and tell it, “You'll be mine forever”

I opted out of busing where I needed to go
and I walked two hours in the polar cold
I was offered to be driven, but I wasn't sold
and I froze and froze in frigid folds
I don't know why I let myself get hurt
I hold a spoon up to my just desserts
and tell them, “You'll be mine forever”

Don't cry, this is natural
These are living rooms, these are your friends
Don't cry, this is natural
We may never know when this phase will end

I think I'll eat a messy mountain, and decide I will
and I walk 2 miles, I go to Jeri's Grill
I know I'll never be a dainty daffodil
so I widen field-size at Jeri's Grill
It feels ridiculous to know my faults
and take them dancing in a doe-eyed waltz
and whisper, “You'll be mine forever”

I think about the girl that gives me prickled hairs
I look across the booth, and she's very there
I know she's not an angel and I barely care
I will her where I will, and she's very there
I think I'm terrified of knowing joy
It's all disintegrants that I employ
and tell them, “You'll work here forever”

Don't cry, this natural
These are living rooms, these are your friends
Don't cry, this is natural
We may never know when this phase will end
We've just got to know that today will end