Untoward 11.13.19

unfurled

dare i say

uncoupled

this westward expansion

paired

with a north star, unseen

until the weight of wrists wrought of inconsequential repetition

prevents the furled

from pointing upward

j

Spark Followed, New Lyrics Maybe?

I’m affected by the grief of others. Although I’m told this is not so common, I don’t want to believe that. I’m of the opinion we have what it takes to be empathetic and kind to one another, even if we forget sometimes. Hopefully we can move toward a more empathetic world by learning to listen again. How do we do that, I wonder? Listening and patience and ultimately understanding, comes from practice. That initial concern for others? We all have that! Over time, it fades into the background, but it can be more accessible if we reacquaint ourselves with caring. Care for yourself, yes, it is essential you treat yourself well, emotionally. But care for each other as well. Caring for each other scales beautifully. So let’s get started.

Yesterday, I needed to get this off my chest and so I typed away, and the mechanical clucking of the keys tapped a beat enticing enough for me to keep going until a conclusion came. This one worked the moment I started writing. Felt right. Didn’t struggle. It just came together (a rare thing). Hopefully I can make good use of this one and turn it into some lyrics. Be well and happy Thursday.

Humble Thomas (Showboat Waters)

Humble Thomas, sunken back, you march
and all these bruises in your heart
These dialogues, in tongues you can’t interpret
Did you think you would remain so parched?

Humble Thomas, you’re forgiven
Say no more, for we prefer it
Tight lipped, statue draped in valor
You ameliorate the land as droplets
bleed onto the sand

So Humble Thomas, indirectly:
Would you ever go to bat for me?
There’s a line of fire, always burning
And your fans they chose to come so early
Thomas Thomas! Up your smiling!
And I bet your stomach’s surely turning
We can float you down the river
Come one and all, come all the same
Civilians long to end your thirst in full display

Humble Thomas, drink the water
The communion of the martyr
Have your fill inside the theater
We bring deaf applause and bring back carnage

Humble Thomas, give me desert
Let me gobble up your liver
As the leaves, they turn and look away
In the shame of how we choose to play

j

Ruminations of Autumn and Cyan

I wanted to share this on Throwback Thursday but work took me out of town. So here you have a weird #flashbackfriday moment, some words and music made by my friend Ahren and I long ago: When we were in a synth pop long-distance band called For The Benefit. Much love to you all and happy Friday!

j


Sick to my stomach
Sick to mySELF
Sick to my surrounding
Sick to lesser grace

Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall
So watchful, pondering the fall—

Sick to my stomach
As the autumn leaves
Descend in rows
Descend finality

Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall
Flies out the window with the baggage
Into the fall

Out the window, treading by
A suited man
Resembles many things—
Among them, walrus head
A bushy paintbrush under nose
And shaven head
Who knows? Who knows?
Perhaps he’s all alone;
Searches for the proper
Walrus-lady mate.

Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall
Comes close, unlatching ruminating hearts
Into the fall

Out the window, treading by
A redhead woman
Gliding paths surveyed by animals
Cyan still hides in her soul
I heard she was the dog
Who knows? Who knows?
Perhaps she’s all alone;
Searches for the proper
Collar-wielding mate

Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall
Comes close, unlatching ruminating hearts
Into the fall

Sick to my stomach
Sick, the hopeless life-wheel
Sick, the window frost: indecency
Sick, the lifeless Autumn renovator

Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall
Comes close, unlatching condescending farce
Into the fall

Who knows? Who knows?
This may be all the bliss received
Before the fall

Stone Hearted (from Prompt 19)

The feeling was scratched

on our weakened bark

Drip drop of a hell I never wanted to be a part of.

Yes, it came back to us this night. Of all nights.

The night of fog and clearing roads

Losing my favorite pebble

thrown around when it felt at times

jagged, sometimes,

or when it stole the warmth from my hands

and now the wet leaves

blue on my shoulders

ecstatic at my refusal to stay

constant as I challenge my direction

and the timpani between my eyes

and the heartbeat of the sluggish

curled up in your heart

where they have festered

all this time in your stead.

My skin imitates the moss in your head

where they last saw you

calm, still, in the forest

I almost relived your path

The crunching leaves

The limbs hopped

The hope limber still

Until the path spit us out

into thicket

Hard brush and rain ever constant

But I ran into the dark

heavied by the water

guessing for lights unseen

looking for paths unmarked

but in your stead

I found the precipice

j

Also us.

In the aquarium

blue glass

indirect views

in direct sunlight

I sat

with beasts much smaller

than I.

Mote and Light (from Prompt 16)

A void of sun, floating in this shineless cavern

holding on to the grip as I held to the notion you would return

to find me

to relieve and relive

the cool spring of our friendship

upon which we lifted

and hovered weightless

at one point in time, ascending

upward and nearing an illumination

that felt like you

and I cherished that hope as a yard void of insects

A continued affliction

that makes your smaller

to mean less

and meaningless

until the limbs

over-extended and distant

from the teasing invitation

so close to memory and artery

now fancies itself artillery

threatening the mote

thinning

weightless

suspended


Poetry and whatever else comes to mind based on my #icprompts on Instagram!

j

Noteworthy 8.2.19

Hi there! Here’s a few awesome links to wind down this hectic week:

  1. I caught this one long ago when I was in one of my editing late nights, so I thought I would share this now. This is a lovely conversation between George Saunders and Jeff Tweedy that inspires like no other. It made me want to pick up a pen and start unraveling story. Great wisdom from two masters.
  2. The Working Songwriter is a podcast from musician Joe Pug. I had the great pleasure of seeing him live at the Oyster Ridge Music Festival and he just blew me away. His craft and presence as he delivered such beautiful songs left a good dent in my heart. A truly memorable time was had! I’ll be checking the backlog of his podcast episodes, in which he interviews fellow songwriters and discuss the craft of songwriting.
  3. Regarding the Steppenwolf revival of True West, the most influential play of my playwriting life. I would have killed to see this play in the flesh on that Chicago stage in 1982.
  4. This year, working on getting my poetry back on track has been a priority. Starting with the basics as I get to know how I can work in the medium and what I can do to get better, and more resilient. Here’s a little recap I found of Pablo Neruda I liked.

And I leave you with a great tune that hit VH1 when I was growing up, obsessed with music videos. Also, a 90s RDJ starring in a peculiar, one shot video. Have a great weekend, friends.

j