Ian Limbo: The Rough Drafts

by Luke Gyure

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Luke Gyure is an American singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. Gyure’s debut EP, Ian Limbo: The Rough Drafts, features 5 acoustic arrangements from an in-progress collection that Gyure calls a “novel-in-stories-in-song". Set in Ann Arbor, MI, at a cafe called The Grind, this loosely linear, meta-fictional song cycle follows a barista and struggling writer named Ian Limbo. Over the course of the song cycle, Ian introduces us to his customers, their dilemmas, and his own, wandering between the reality of The Grind and his imagination.


released November 15, 2011

Luke Gyure: guitars, vocals, music, lyrics, arrangements, production
Ryan Vaughn: percussion
Tomek Miernowski: guitar solo on "Kristen Warren"
Steve Wall: Recording, mixing, mastering, production
Stephanie Layton: graphic design

All songs by Luke Gyure.
All rights reserved.



all rights reserved


Luke Gyure New York

Luke Gyure is an American singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY.

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Track Name: David Bell
"David Bell"

David’s always on the phone when he comes in. Every single goddamn time. He looks at me like I’m inconveniencing him; I look at him like I don’t mind. Of course, by now, I know his drink. And yes, he’s always got exact change. I guess I just wouldn’t mind a couple of words. But then again, that might just be...strange. David’s always on the phone when he comes in, but should he ever have the time, the one little thing I’d love to ask him is who’s on the other side of that line…

He’s talking to his girlfriend in Japan, who’s ordering a Big Mac from a man, who’s sending a text to his brother to get the score of the baseball game, which his brother is watching as he’s sending an email to his boss, who is sitting at a pub in Berlin, flirting with a girl who’s leaving a message for her mother to remind her to take her medication, but the mother’s on the other line with the other daughter to the other father, who they both think should lose some weight, and the daughter is distracted 'cause she’s chatting online with her husband, who’s presenting at a conference in South Africa, where currently he’s talking to his partner on the phone about the project of the survey that they’re doing in Antarctica and televising live as they speak, via satellite, for a company in Sydney, who is showing the footage on their website, which my sister, who is on semester abroad at a college in Brazil, is watching - nerd that she is - and I know this from a text that she sends me, which I’m reading as I’m making David’s double, dry, skinny cappuccino.

It goes around and around and around. It goes around and around and around. It goes around and around and around. It goes around.

David’s always on the phone when he comes in. Every, single, goddamn time.
Track Name: Ron Freer
"Ron Freer"

Everything is normal – the grey suit, the blue eyes, the red eye with room for cream. But the usual sadness is mixed with madness, like he’s looking for the exit in a bad dream.

“Ron, you alright? You seem kinda frazzled. You sure you want this shot?”

He says, “Ian, my friend, lately I’m afraid frazzled is all I’ve got.”

(Run, Ron. Run, Ron.)

As he starts to drive to God knows where, he thinks about her father…that night at the lake when they stood there alone, staring out at that shiny black water.

He said, “Listen, Ron, you’re a real good kid, but you better be a damn good man. Your wife will always be my little girl. Understand?”

“You see that house, up there, on the hill? You hear that laughter inside? I worked for that. And you will too. Make no mistake – you will too.”

As he makes the turn onto Liberty Road, he remembers the first day at the firm, the way her father paraded him all around the office and said, “Son, there’s so much for you to learn.”

“This is Joy. She’s might right-hand woman. She can get you whatever you need.” In her eyes Ron saw that shiny, black water, washing him out to the sea.

(Run, Ron. Run, Ron. Run, Ron. Run, Ron.)

. . . . .

Joy broke the news on his one-year anniversary, the sunlight fading from the room. She put his right hand in the middle of her belly and said, “I’m keeping it. Even if I can’t keep you.”

. . . . .

He pulls over to the side of the road as it is starting to snow, shuts the engine off, and he steps out into the Michigan cold, it’s mission bitter and bold: to cut right to your teeth. He puts his jacket on the passenger seat. People passing, there is nothing to see here. Just a man in the prime of his life, doing what he does best.

Feet patter on the frozen ground, the glorious sound of an animal in flight. Same rhythm, predator or prey, but he could not say which one he is tonight. Legs whipping in the naked trees, tie flying in the naked breeze. He falls down onto his knees, just to feel the earth.

(Run, Ron. Run, Ron. Run, Ron. Run, Ron.)
Track Name: Kristen Warren
"Kristen Warren"

Kristen wears a summer dress and a terrifying smile. She gets a small coffee to go, but let’s me know she’ll stay awhile. I say okay and smile back as fierce as I can muster, but I cannot match her wild eyes, and all their righteous luster.

Jesus taught me not to judge, but sometimes you can just tell. The way their eyes get wide when they’ve got something to sell. Some people prove you right when you wish they’d prove you wrong; you just hold your breath, nod your head, and try to play along.

She takes my hand, and asks me if I’m ready. I say, “For what?” but my voice is unsteady. She says, “For the return of our Lord and Savior.” She hands me a pamphlet and a dollar fifty-eight. I twist my face into some strange, ungodly shape.

Her three little girls are dressed just like her, prancing around the café in their little yellow flowers. Their little yellow voices leap into the air. Two peer into the candy jar; the other one brushes her hair. And meanwhile, their mother, is wielding a handful of pamphlets, and making her way to a table where two Muslim girls are waiting for a sandwich.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but you cannot do that here.”
She says, “Don’t worry, honey. You got nothing to fear. I know your boss says I shouldn’t do this, but we all got the Big Boss to obey.”
“Ma’am, I’m pretty sure those girls don’t give a damn what you or your Boss have to say.”

I ask her to leave, feeling terrible and proud. She says she’ll get her coffee where freedom of speech is allowed. I try to fire back, but it comes out as “Okay.” Four yellow flower patches march out into a summer day.
Track Name: The Battaglias
"The Battaglias"

She always does the ordering. He does the sitting down. She says, “He’s hard of hearing.” He says, “Etta – quiet down.” They come here after dinner, 5:30 on the dot. She gets hers with vanilla; he gets his extra hot.

She asks me where I went to school. I tell her “U of M.” She says, “Oh, that’s wonderful. That’s where both our kids went. We just love Ann Arbor, Albert and I. When we moved here back in ’54, we knew we’d be here our whole lives.”

. . . . .

She met him at his father’s shop, where he stocked the shelves. With metal hinges, wooden screws, nuts and blots and nails - all the things somebody needs to keep a home intact. And for awhile there, they almost believed it was as simple as that.

February 5th, 1951: Albert lands in Korea.
June 21st, 1954: Her water breaks in the night.
April 13th, 1969: They ask him to clean out his desk.
December 25th, 1976: They fold their hands in prayer.
May 17th, 1983: Thomas comes out to his father.
July 28th, 1988: Rosa comes home to sober up.
October 11th, 1997: At a café called The Grind, into his good ear, she says, “Albert, dear, do you want that for here, or to go?”

. . . . .

They slowly rise from their table, the way old people do: bones all stuck together with all that human glue. They make their way towards the door, with effort but with grace. They struggle for a straight line, tracing slow and shaky shapes through space.

She says, “I hope the rest of the week isn’t quite so hot.”
I say, “I’ll see you two tomorrow – 5:30, on the dot.”
Track Name: Camilla Bjorn
"Camilla Bjorn"

Her accent is somewhere between London and Louisiana. Her perfume smells like cigarettes. She has a briefcase, a suitcase, and a purse that could fit a turkey. She dumps it out on the counter and starts to count out change.

She says, “I’m on my way home. But I can’t go home just yet.”

She sits down in the corner and opens up her computer. There is an email waiting there for her. From a fat man with a grey beard, who owns a bakery in South Dakota. It says:


When you gonna try my bread?

She is on her way home, but she can’t go home just yet.

. . . . .

Aberdeen, South Dakota, 1975. A 15-year-old girl gets on a train. Her mother is a memory. Her uncle is a drunk. Her father was gone before she came. Somewhere in Alabama, she inhales a cigarette, and tells someone her name is Josephine. She gets a job at a local library, putting books back on the shelves, where nothing’s what it is but what it means.

. . . . .

She types one word, then deletes it, over and over and over. Dreaming of a man she’s never met. She types:


She takes a deep breath, and finally clicks Send.

. . . . .

The sun is setting now, leaving a cotton candy sky. Camilla smokes and waits for a taxi. The cabbie says, “Well, Josephine, where you goin’ today?” She says, “Dave, you know, it’s funny you ask me.”

“I’m on my way home. I’m on my way.”