Hold it in

 

Peace, for me, is this fleeting thing. Most of the time, it seems just out of my grasp, like a favorite something dangling right above where I can reach. There are times when I even hate the thought of it because it seems to mock me. I can see it on passerbys’ faces when they hold their significant others close and laugh about these universe secrets that I’ll never know about. ‘Why not me?’ I ask God or whoever is holding down the fort. He is usually pretty quiet and unassuming.

It’s funny though, because I seem to have caught a bit of it right now; peace that is. It feels so nice to wear peace like a christmas sweater – with all the dangling fuzzies rubbing up against my neck. It kind of tickles even. My whole body is missing this swirling, frantic feeling that I have normally – like I’m late to a very important appointment that will determine next year’s salary or something.

I don’t know how peace strikes you. My guess is that it is quite different for everybody. The way I experience it happens first in my chest. Normally, there is this big pretzel knot that squeezes and constricts my heart and other surrounding organs, but then peace comes like this massive set of hands and kneads the dough back to its original state – into a fine pasty, putty that could be molded into whatever I suppose.

That’s always the first step and right after, I can breathe better and more fully. Then peace does something to my eyes. There’s a cloudiness that covers my sight most of the time and after a while it grows thick and hazy – until I can hardly see anything at all. But peace comes and spritzes something like windex into them – only its organic, I think, because it only stings a little – and I can see farther and clearer. I can almost see the future and when you can see that far, you start to realize that, mostly, everything will be alright, and if it’s not going to be alright, then there’s something else in control that’s pulling the strings. Maybe that’s when I realize, whoever this stringpuller is, He or She or both, is more subtle than I thought and I kind of like the delicate nature of it all.

Lastly, Peace grabs a hold of my mind and massages it like when Bugs Bunny opened up Elmer Fudd’s head and played with his brain. Peace kind of rubs the creases and all this tension gets released.

Basically, once Peace has done what it wants, I realize the “big” worries in my life aren’t so big and there are only a few things that are important and I know their first names and get dinner with them a bunch. Oh, and my shoulders relax too, which is nice.

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The lustful man’s lament

Do you reserve your love for me?
Yes, my dear, I do reserve my
love for you, but not you alone
I’m afraid.

I gave little pieces away
to some beautiful flowers whose
petals I collect in a jar by my bed.

I also – ashamedly – give my love
away to this dark abyss. I sit on
the edge and I throw little pennies
down to the bottom.

A penny might not seem like much,
but when you throw one or two
everyday of your life, it starts to
add up.

When I throw a copper piece now,
I can hear it hit all its brothers and
sisters with a metallic clank.

It reminds me of something, the noise.
It reminds me that while I want to give
you all of my everything, there’s a
small fortune sitting at the bottom of a
dark pit, that says otherwise.

Crushed a 1960s Gibson

I have been doing nothing over the past few days other than filling my head with information about guitars. I’ve been researching what guitar is the best band for your buck. I have looked high and low. Virtually and in the store for my perfect guitar…my baby.

I’ve played $5,000 Gibson Hummingbirds. I’ve played $3,000 Martin D-28s with Indian Rosewood back and sides, sitka spruce tops, and mahogany necks. I’ve played 50 year old instruments with more character than an old, smokey-lady’s face.

I’ve talked to salesman from big chain stores, I’ve talked to techs from small mom and pop shops at great length and learned everything I could from their expertise. I really want to find a guitar that speaks to me and I’m doing my due diligence.

You might look at the guitar pictured above and think that I’ve found the one. But I haven’t. The Martin Streetmaster above is an all-mahogany guitar with a “distressed” finish, which makes it look bad ass in my opinion. I might still pick it up one day, but I haven’t yet and this is why.

I got the idea, as I headed to my 4th guitar shop during my quest, to bring my Yamaha FG-203 along with me to compare its sound with the other guitars in the store. To give you an idea, my Yamaha acoustic is currently selling different places online for about $150. Thats $150 for a basically brand new acoustic.

Well, I got to the shop and set up all these beautiful (and expensive) guitars all around me. I played my Yamaha first and played a simple chord progression rather loud. Then I tuned one of the instruments next to me and played the exact same chord progression and compared. I repeated this process with all the acoustics in the room and it was quite a big room.

You know what I found out? I liked my $150 Yamaha’s sound as much, or in some cases, more than I liked the supposed grander and definitely more expensive guitars. I had a thick wad of cash in my pocket when I entered the store – burning a hole like you might expect. I wanted so badly to throw my money on the table and buy a superior instrument.

But that didn’t happen.

I came downstairs at the shop feeling a little dejected. The guy at the front desk looked at me and said, “Your guitar won didn’t it?” He was right, my little Japanese acoustic beat all those flashy name brands.

I might still get a new guitar, but not right now it seems.

I have so much knowledge in my head about body sizes and wood tones it’s coming out my ears. But it doesn’t matter what experts tell you. It doesn’t matter how much better a guitar is supposed to sound. All that matters is what YOU like. What YOU think sounds the best and fits what you’re trying to play. Don’t let anyone bully you into thinking because its got a name brand and flashy inlays that it’s a better sounding instrument.

I got so caught up in having the Martin name across the headstock of my guitar that I almost made a rash decision.

I’m a person who has never been up on the latest trends, but I remember in school wanting the new black Nikes or a Easton baseball bat with the big barrel or getting older and envying the kid down the street’s BMW M3. I want to pay attention to the bullshit of brand names and remember when my $150 Yamaha crushed a 60s Gibson.

Funk face

The funk is turned all the way up
The blues are turned all the way down
The colors of all this sound
Are dripping down the walls
And out onto the street
Ain’t that just sweet?
That place where you and I
Meet
In the park, so complete
I could sing!
In fact I will, but just a couple bars
Maybe a couple more
Maybe a couple of more bars
For this lady I have just met
And I’ll bet we’ll have the date set
Before we leave,
PLEASE
Say ya will, baby
Do ya need me, baby?
The way I need you?
Forgot all my blue
But I ain’t never gon’ forget you!
That’s what is true
I don’t mind thinkin’ bout you
Long as you’re thinking bout me!
OOOHHHWEEEEE!
What’s that smell?
Somethin’ sweet as hell!
Oh, damn!
I’m sorry y’all that’s just my baby!
Just my sweet as hell baby!
It’s ok to be jealous
I was
But I ain’t no more!
Cause she’s mine
She’s all mine
I ain’t gon’ leave ya none
Not a drop
Not a drip
Sorry
I never learned to share
Any bits of my baby
Swept up all the crumbs
Ain’t givin you shit!
Quit!

If I set myself on fire

If I set myself on fire, would you see me then?
If you could see the flames from far away, would you come close?
Why do I have to be so dramatic and drastic to get your attention?
Why can’t you see all the clues?
Do I have to spell it out for you?
I’m dying every day and you could help so easily,
With a simple, subtle gesture, but you don’t.
There I said something, you can go back to pretending I’m not on fire.

3 years ago

My writing is not as good as it was three years ago. Maybe I was happier then. Maybe I was closer to God then. Maybe my mom didn’t have cancer then. Maybe I wasn’t all crazy and mental hospital-y then.

My writing is not as graceful as it was three years ago. It’s ugly. And fragmented. It stops and starts and ideas never really resolve.

My writing is not as moving as it was three years ago. I think I’m regressing or something. Plateauing sounds kinda nice compared to what I’m doing – slowly dying.

My writing is not nearly as good as it was three years ago. But I keep writing anyway.

There’s Never Complete Darkness in a City

I found a dark and quiet place in the middle of the city –
quite a feat, it being so loud and light most of the time.
The night is blackest there. The sound is stifled there.

I suppose it would be like finding the loudest, brightest
place in a winter’s forest – a place that feels out of place, but
exciting in its oddness.