ACM Literature
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Excerpt: Local bands bring Austin Bat Cave student writer's words to life with I Don't Have A Mane

Excerpt: Local bands bring Austin Bat Cave student writer's words to life with I Don't Have A Mane

Austin_photo: Literature_Sam_Austin Bat Cave_album cover

The Austin Bat Cave is a nonprofit organization offering writing workshops, in-school programming and volunteer-led tutoring to K-12 students throughout the city. Every year, they lead class projects that culminate in a published anthology; last month, they celebrated the release of Hand & Wing, which features works from several schools.

Students at the Texas Empowerment Academy contributed their own fairy tales, Kealing Middle School's AVID program spent the year working on graphic novels and playwriting, Austin High School came up with creative business proposals (complete with illustrations) and Anderson High School students got to work on an especially exciting project: dreaming up song lyrics, poems and album art to create I Don't Have A Mane, a CD that features local bands (like Ringo Deathstarr, Ghostland Observatory's Aaron Behrens, Western Ghost House and more) putting their words to music. 

CultureMap is excited to present songs from the album alongside the poems that inspired them, with introductions from the student authors themselves. Enjoy!

Eureka: with lyrics by Jenny Leggins, put to music by Leatherbag.

The author says: My name is Jenny Leggins, I'm 14 years old. I'm from Eureka, California. I moved to Austin during the summer. I live with my sister because my parents are still in California. I like it here but miss my friends a lot. Friends and family mean the world to me and I take happiness every chance I can get.


I miss you

Never thought I'd say that

But it's very terribly true

I miss your crisp ocean air,

the faint smell of fish.

How it was a celebration when a day

over 70 degrees came along,

yeah, I miss that.

I love the coziness of you,

how there's always a blanket covering the whole town,

protecting us from harms of the outside world.


When I left you, I was on an adventure

ready to get out of this town.

But I realized

realized that this outside world I'm in

isn't so exciting

I wanna go back to you and climb

under the blanket

That protected me all those years.


I guess,

in a way...

I'm glad I left

but only because I realized

realized how much I miss you.


The Hunt: with lyrics written by Samara Neto, put to music and recorded by Austin’s own CROOKS.

The author says: I'm 17 years old and a musician. Music is my life and my passion. I've played piano since age 6 and started singing at an even younger age.

The Hunt

I open my eyes

Feeling heaven's hellish flames

I look for soothing shade

In this barren grassland

Hunger hovers while sleep fades.


I stretch, I retract

Tasting the glorious perfumes around me

Luring me to my morning's gift.

I am quiet, listening to the stillness

of this purgatory.


The time is coming

My heart is pounding

I inhale all fear and let out my roar.


Morning's gift is far from reach.

The world behind me is gone in a flash

I seek the gift

Now it's time to feast.


Sparkle Sparkle Bling Bling: with lyrics by Chris Truitt, Devonte Dewitty, and Andrea Trevino, put to music by Comanche Club.

The author says: My name is Chris and I like to party. 16 years old rocking in the world at everything, firmly believing in unicorns and trying to find any adventure that comes my way. 

Sparkle Sparkle Bling Bling

Dancing through the candy cane forest

I play and laugh with the gingerbread men

I'm so cute so fierce

But no one understands

My need to be near rainbows all day

To laugh in the sun

But what I have to say

Is don't take me for granted

With my sparkly horn so firmly planted

In the center of my head

But when I'm mad you'll dread

The day you take my for granted

And with that same horn so firmly planted

Will be through your chest without the wink of my eye

It's penetration will cause you to surely die

And I will feel no remorse

Because of course

You would have deserved such a fatal end 

So let's not pretend

Like unicorns are all smiles and fun

'Cause blood drips the slowest in the sun

and unicorns know what that means

So let the carcass dry and drip itself clean.

To learn more about the Austin Bat Cave's programming, events and volunteer opportunities, visit