Singular Voice

Poetry stands alone, different from song.
It speaks with a singular voice, not chorus.
It’s often the voice of your grandmother, I’m told.
She is old as old can be, generations flow through her.
In that way, a poem is in chorus, the murmuring of many
But mostly a singular voice, your grandmother’s.
Not aloud, but in your head.

Music is Nice

There have been roughly 20 songs that have deeply impacted my life. The majority of the songs in my library however, are mostly just nice to listen to on a road trip or fun to dance to at a party, but have no significant meaning to me.

In my own music, I want to write meaningful songs, but I might only write one of two in my whole life … at least in my listener’s opinion. Sometimes the sound falls flat. Sometimes the lyrics could be more expressive. Sometimes my voice is not emotional enough for the listener to feel what I am saying.

And that’s ok. For me, it is enough to always be in the process of creating.

Music is so awesome, but it’s not everything, in my opinion. I get so much peace and enjoyment out of creating music, but I know that I cannot look to music for my worth. I imagine that I’ll write songs for a long time and maybe I’ll capture some good ones, but I want to take away pressure that everything has to be so deep … or really, so anything at all.

you said you wanted pop

He’s got his finger on the pulse – heart beating, thumping, pumping blood to his extremities with a resounding thwack. The bass drum pounds, feet down, stomp because he feels something.

We don’t contemplate jazz anymore, Alan. We howl and wail against hermetically sealed
pop music and her perverse soullessness. Perfect and empty. Unblemished and unattainable. Utmost beauty in a vacuum; cartoonish and ballooning, expanding in every direction; gobbling up talent and creativity in a plundering gluttony.

Take every breath out and missed note and brighten the blues to a soft periwinkle. Remove our humanity from the track. Take her voice and record it 500 hundred consecutive times; compressing the sound of her grandmother into a thin, indistinguishable reed.

You said you wanted pop, but instead you got this. 

My creativity is not a commodity

My creativity is not a commodity. My musical mind is not for sale. My worth is tied to something else, I’m afraid, my imprisonment is out on bail. You cannot buy my peace from me and leave ‘worry’ on my stoop. I will not open bills from the likes of those, living in a feedback loop.

My hope is not a bargaining chip, much less my cartwheels in the sun. I have developed calluses from a long race being run. The toughness of my tender heart, an oxymoron in the least – though you must mind my six foot sword, if you call yourself a beast.

Frivolity, like eating cake, is a business of my own. You might call my work a sort of ‘laziness,’ pout and lip at my poems. Meditation is nay a waste – for the productivity you seek. I’m waiting for that fateful day when progress ain’t so chic.

Take my clothes. Take my house. Do with possessions as you please. But carefully watch your materialisms falling to their knees. My creation equals sanity – a bottle rocket headed such. It’s just for me, all my own, if ya like it, thank ya much.

Wanderers often ponder in the redwoods.
Winter chills the rivers in Alaska.
Bravery ended slavery down the railroad.
Poets write their sonnets about the plains.

Deliver me, Ole’ Liberty’s Pennsylvania.
Take me back to Eden once again.
I can see the city’s bright, white glowing.
We seem to be freedom’s only friend.

A song rang through the pines in Carolina.
I can hear it soft when I close my eyes.
They’re singing country music down in Nashville.
The blue and gold sunset paints the sky.

The artist had a dream called independence
We reaped the fruits from our very soil.
There’s apples in our orchards fresh like water
We work as one and never seem to toil.

Where, but here can you see such beauty,
Oceans foaming, washing on the beach.
The tides are turning, sweeping in a windstorm,
A change is gunna come right at our feet.


We look down the barrel at our neighbor,
Because he landed late and traveled far.
I don’t know why I say the things I’m sayin’
But I say them anyway to raise the bar.

I’m thankful for the folks that serve our country,
Though I wish their leather boots could rest at home.
They make their guns for a boy to carry,
His blood as interest on an open loan.

What to do with our piles of money,
That trickles down to everyone but the poor.
Throw them out and leave them on the doorstep.
Maybe we could use them to fight the war.

We traffic our daughters down the highway
We throw them out when we’ve had our fill.
We’re sick and sad and take it out on children
Untimely truth, a jagged little pill.

God fearing, apple-pie-americans
Claim to love the Lord, a hidden face.
I can see a day through all the hatred
When arm and arm we sing Amazing Grace.

The Prince of Nod

I am a young boy, waiting in the reeds. I crouch and make myself as small as possible, trying not to disturb the small creatures. The soft light of my home ripples in the pond as my mother calls me back inside. I’ve been trying to collect bullfrogs in a small inflatable pool; up to my ankles in mud. The green leaves are as fresh as they can be and in the distance, a faint thunderstorm echoes mildly like knocking on a soft, dead tree. The water in the pond has baked in the sun all day and remains warm to the touch while I run my fingers through the tall grass that extends out of the banks.

Up the hill, my family prepares the dinner table out on the porch; a chandelier of candles drips intermittently and the wax solidifies onto the glass table top. I take my time walking up the drive, cool blue and fresh green painting a summer’s night with fireflies sparkling in the valley between our house and the neighbor’s. Nothing could feel more safe.

I have trouble remembering how perfect it was then, my family was whole – no one was sick or separated. This was our castle on the hill and we ate dinner that night in a suspended oasis, covered from the storm by a plexiglass ceiling fixed to the side of the house. I was lucky. I don’t feel that way as much anymore.