Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Following through on that promise for Earth Day...

You decide the title, it will be better that way.

Birds of Paradise
have flown away
or rotting and falling
to the ground.
I'll leave them
for the gardeners
or the neighbors
or anyone who cares.
See, I am a lumberjack
a calloused soul
with downed trees lining
the map of my past.
Small, tall, dead
they all fall at my will.
I wish them death:
it is so.
I wish them defeat:
easy said and done.
I wish them love
and gnash my my teeth.
Not today, not ever
always the last standing.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The phantom message

I have been finding paint everywhere. On my chair, on my mouse and on my thumb. It is all different shades of blue. What this has to do with that, I am not sure. But this rogue paint keeps distracting me from the thoughts I want to put down.

Put down like a sick dog?

Yes. Definitely.

I am a fan of baptisms. These include the ones on little babies, who have no say, but usually cry. I enjoy the irony. This also includes my own baptism on Palm Sunday some fifteen years ago (at least). And it includes the multiple baptisms I have performed on myself, none of the religious or the sexual (zing!) nature.

See, I am a fan of rebirth. I am always looking out for some conversation, road sign or person that will disrupt my life so much that my only natural response is to baptize myself, hoping to come out better on the other side.

It has happened in an ocean.
It has happened in a tub.
It has happened in a shower.
It has happened with scissors and barber clippers.

I get too entirely wrapped up in shit that sometimes I need to shed whatever person/place/thing that is binding me to that moment.

Why all this? Why tonight? I thought everything is going great?

It is. But there are patterns of thinking, and they do not do me any good.

So I am giving them to you, internets, that you may do with them what you will. (That shall be the whole of the law)

As for me, I am taking a shower and leaving the thoughts and behaviors that I don't need anymore to circle the drain.

No more finger crossing.

about the thing I do when I'm...

I've been leaning back in my chair. hand on my head, scratching at my scalp.

It is a nervous tick.

I'm fucking nervous. Insane. Too much. I totally fucked up. Everything I said I wouldn't do, well, I did.

But it is sooooo good.

Those fleeting moments you seem to see in movies, or read about in magazines, or hear people talk about on trains.

I have that now. All to myself.

And I'm the only one who knows.

I've lately felt like I've been screaming into a cave, yelling at the top of my lungs in the deepest ocean.

It is totally ok.

At least I have a voice.

Monday, April 26, 2010


It was 11:35 one night, and I was standing in the middle of some street. It was a slow residential type of road. The moon was out, I could see whatever part of it it felt like showing me between a street light and the branches of a tree. I was smoking a cigarette. I'm pretty sure I was falling in love.

It is always one or the other: fall in love or fall out. I keep it going, the cycle, to be consistent, to keep someone happy, to make sure the bets keep paying out.

I talk all of the time. When I'm not talking I am thinking. When it isn't that it is this, or some song, or some poem or story. I always have something to say. Always.

At 11:35 that night I had nothing.

(I am exhausted right now. I'm taking 36 second cat naps. My eyes are burning from the combination of old cigarette smoke, no sleep and thinking about this. It must come out)

I was destroyed at that moment. There were valleys of thought, mountains of feelings, rivers of, well, rivers of everything. It was a strange feeling.

Because I couldn't tell anyone about it. I didn't know how. Fuck. I don't know how to tell anyone about it now.

I know this:

Worse case scenario: this is the last time I ever feel like this again.

Best case scenario: it isn't.

I miss my inside joke about sandwiches that only I got. I miss the routines of car trips and parking permits. I miss my secret life and my not so secret life.

And I miss that night on the street. At least the way the air felt on my skin. And you being so close and so far away.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Putting a face to a thought

I wrote some poetry while standing on a subway car yesterday. I haven't written on public transportation since the great Chicago Winter Extravaganza of 2008. This isn't really about yesterday, or Chicago, but this thing that happens when I write poetry.

I put it up here sometimes, poetry, like every six months or so. It isn't that I don't like it, or I don't know if it is good, I just feel weird about the idea of putting poetry up on a blog when I'm not a poet.

I mean, I guess I am a poet, from writing lyrics for the bands and what not. But it is strange. I think I figured out what it is.

The subject.

I EXCLUSIVELY write poetry about women. Every single one. For probably the last ten years. Women. Loving them, hating them, missing them, wanting them, thinking about them, kissing them and leaving them. And most of the time is about this combination of women I know, like a frankensteinian (made that one up) monster of ideas and loves and perfect character traits.


I guess I'll write another one. I'll put it up tomorrow, for Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The next stop is pacific station

I am on a train. Not a fun hobo cargo train, but a train none the
less. I've spent the day with a friend from twenty years ago and we
caught up like we needed. She knows me better than I know myself.
Here's to you Amanda, you see right through my shit. Damnit. I'll
finish the ride from long beach home in silence.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another Shirtless Entry

Today is the end of an era. This is is for one of my favorite houses ever. And a lot of other things too.

I don't remember exactly when it happened. It could have gradual, like a frog sitting in water getting hotter doesn't notice. Or it could have been instant, like a car crash or falling in love. I'm not really sure, and to be honest, it doesn't really matter. I just know this: one day the radio was fine and then it wasn't. One day it was cd's at the end of the aisle, or the "endcap" for us former retail slave, then it was blind grabs at bands on thank you lists. One day it was Dodger stadium for Genesis with my parents, and then it was driving through a snow storm alone for Against Me! and Alkaline Trio at a club in Reno.

Music has ALWAYS been a huge part of my life. One of my first memories was being at the first place I lived, 85 or 86, and dancing around to what was probably Bon Jovi. Thank god I grew out of that. But now it is no longer a spectator sport. I participate and it is wonderful. Its been a good thirteen or fourteen years of this, maybe more. I could only be happier if I had a mimosa dispenser next to my bed.

So it is with this, and a heavy heart, that I bid farewell to one of my favorite punk houses: shitHOUSEdrunk. I saw some of my favorite bands play there, in a living room. A fucking living room with this wall installation that made me feel like I was in a library or the set of a Sherlock Holmes play. I've played some of my favorite shows there, sometimes with Bobb balls naked. (there's pictures to prove it) There will be more houses, and more bands, and more drunken porches, but you, shitHOUSEdrunk will always have a special spot in my heart.

I'm going to scream out my sins in you later today. I'm gonna spill beer on my shirt and your floor. I might kiss a beautiful girl on your porch. And then I'll walk away and never see you again. A fitting end to our relationship.

I'll miss you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

in which the two cities are actually people

I am sitting at my desk in the early evening. It's MY early evening; it is one in the morning. The champagne bottle that was started yesterday is almost finished. I just put on XO by Elliot Smith. It has been a while, a long while, since the last time I listened to this record. But I am trying to figure something out about it, him and some people I know.

Now let's begin.

And don't forget: it is WAY more fun when you are vague.

I know a woman with soft features and a young face. I also know a man with hardened edges and years carved onto his skin. I have just recently found out that she loves Elliot Smith as much as he does.

Now Mr. Smith is not central to this thought I'm tumbling towards the ground with.

No. But I am VERY interested in how one person could attract two different people.

Funny thing, I just got it.

There are things I know about this woman and this man that don't surprise me. And there are things I keep learning that astonish me. And that is what this is all about. We decide what shoes everyone will fit into, and what we know about them. We are wrong all the time.

Funny. I didn't see this here.

I'm trying to think of the next line, the next thought, and I am suddenly walking into a bathroom at a McDonalds in Oakland.

I can't put names to all of the faces in the restaurant with me, or faces to the names I hear. But I know its me. And an ex. And a step dad. And maybe a cop. But he might not be there. But I'm pretty sure he is. We're going to a hospital to pick up my mom. But first I/someone else had to piss. This bathroom keeps jumping to the front of my mind.

I don't care about why the man and women I know both love Elliot Smith. And I'm not worried why the Oakland bathroom keeps coming up.

I just know that in a few swigs, when all the champagne is gone, I will get out of this chair and slide into my bed all alone.

And I am OK with it.

Tonight I have Mr. Smith to keep me company. Maybe I'll figure this out yet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Street corners and the steps between

There is still a burning in my calves. Its not from dehydration, which it is sometimes, but from the series of steps I have been cramming into the previous 10 days. I've been in four different airports. I missed one flight and had another make an emergency landing. I walked all over Chicago, LAX, and parts of Santa Barbara. I had my heart trampled on somewhere along the 14 and restored in a good friends kitchen. He used booze and kind words to patch it back together. I made late night phone calls to answering machines that got intercepted. I smoked what seems like a hundred cigarettes. I shared meals and toasts with friends old and new. I danced with a woman older than my mother and girl who drank like she used to. I made plans and promises and broke both I am sure. It was exhausting.

And I am not tired one bit.

More life, I think that is what I need. So I'm going to do it.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

On passing you on the highway exactly an hour ago

To Whom It May Concern,

There's space between the really important things in our lives. Between the seconds, the breaths, and the tears. We don't notice it, we don't think of it, at least I didn't use to. Now it is all I think about. Every left turn shows a right. Every laugh holds a tear. And every heart-beat is separated by a non-beat. These gaps that we don't think about sometimes hold hands and turn themselves into days weeks and months of space. Focusing on these little things will drive me crazy, errr, crazier. And I think you might think this is a little abstract, but this is just a foundation.

I've been out of town for the last few days. You knew about that. I'll be around for a few more hours then its back out into oblivion. I hear you've been asking about that. I've been stumbling through airports and social situations that we used to plan together. Your name comes up in casual conversations in beds, bars and brothels. People ask how you are, or how you've been, or where you are, or where you are going; but I've seen these eyes and looks before. They are asking about me. I'm not a narcissist. But they want to know the edge is further from me then it seems. Don't pat yourself on the back though. They've asked these questions before and if I was a betting man I'd say they'll ask again. And I am. And they will.

I sleep on less couches lately. But I can still find one when I need to, and they still feel like home.

I digress.

I saw you today, we passed each other on the road. I was headed North, yourself South. It reminded me of the spaces. For three short seconds I watched you living, 40 miles an hour in the opposite direction. My car smelled like cigarettes as the wind pushed the last remaining thoughts of shitty slave wage labor out of the window. I couldn't tell what was on your mind. But I know it wasn't me. And that's good.

I keep seeing people get married. I watched a couple get married on the beach yesterday from behind some glass. Then they came upstairs and I served them and their guests drinks. A lot. Everyone was happy. There were people from all over the world. It was raining cats and fucking dogs outside. There was a moment, just a second, where I was pouring shots for the family, and the music was real loud, and most people were dancing and I realized that I was in one of the spaces.

Clarity sometimes comes at the expense of others.