Monday, January 31, 2011

all the mistakes I have made

I must think about
all the mistakes I have made
in my life
I must lie awake at night
and think about
what I could have been
done right
all the sins of my childhood
come back calling to me
like they think
they are something
I need to see
Lord up above
have mercy on me
I know the errors of my way
guide me towards tomorrow

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The "H" word

Hey, farmboy, how was the busy weekend?

Good, but busy. The comedy show Friday was really good. It had been years since I had been to a comedy club. I'm kinda amazed by stand-up, because they don't have a guitar to hide behind like singer/songwriter sorts do. Looks pretty terrifying to me. Stand up comedy, that is.

And you played last night...

Yeah, a benefit show for the coffeehouse. A night of sing-alongs...

A hootenanny!

Yeah, I guess. (laughs) You know, I got to be friends with these two folk music radio folks when I was a teenager and they hated hootenannies and that image and that word. It was the "H" word, you know.

But it was good. I led the audience in singing songs by the Band and the Carter Family, among others.

Hey, I'm at my brother's house and it's time for supper. Talk to you in the next couple days?

You got it, farmboy.

Cool, man.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

stolen chevrolet (version one)

I broke my silence
when I got my first guitar
held closely to me
while everyone else was so far
riding in a stolen chevrolet
I stayed at home
where people like me belonged

I grew up in fantasies
from drug store comic books
staring out the window
to see how real children looked
I could not run
I could not sing
I could not ride a bike
I could not do a single thing
that other people liked

Friday, January 28, 2011

Comedy Tonight

It's Friday, which is fuckin' great. I'm freezing, which just fuckin' sucks. I'm going out tonight when I'd rather be staying in, but what the hell.

Where are you going, farmboy?

To a comedy club with my brother. We're gonna see this comedian named Marc Maron, who has this podcast where he interviews other comedians and does his own comedy, too. I enjoy the show. My brother called me up yesterday to see if I wanted to go. He's gotta be out of his house or something so he called.

I think it'll be good for you to go out.

I guess, but that's the way I am. I like to just hang out at home and smoke weed but I kinda feel I should experience real life sometimes, you know. I'm such a pothead, I'm such a fuckin' addict. But I do realize there's a whole lot more to life out there. I also realize that I looove marijuana. Maybe it's not an either/or thing.

What if it is an either/or thing?

I'm not looking at it right now. Plus I am going out into the world tonight.

Well, I'm glad you made that choice, farmboy.

Why? Are you one of those anti-marijuana people?

No, I'm not. But I am a pro-moderation person.

And you're right, of course. Excess in anything is not good. But, fuck, I love marijuana.

It may be a good thing to try a little moderation with it, farmboy.

And hopefully I will try a little moderation. But tonight I'm just going to see some comedy tonight. That's the name of a Stephen Sondheim song, I think.

It always comes back to songs...

I am not going to do music in moderation, I can tell you that.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

in my cigarette days (part one)

you should have known me
in my cigarette days
you should have seen me
through the smoke and the haze
I was so brave then
I took my chances
taking advantage
of all the circumstances
you should have known me
you would have been amazed
if you had seen me
in my cigarette days

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wishing it would snow

I never said I was anything much
and I always tell the truth

See, look, I'm trying to write, but nothing feels natural at all. I mean, the melody and rhythm in my head feels natural, but, man the lyrics are just so fuckin' hard. And, you know, I don't really even believe the words I'm writing...I mean I do, but...maybe, as Paul Simon once wrote, I think too much.

Maybe so, farmboy. Quick, give me a line or two! Don't think...

I am a lineman for the coun-teeee...

Very funny.

I am looking out the window
at the kids across the street
who are staring at the sky
and wishing it would snow

See? Was that so hard?

Yeah, but we'll see if it actually goes somewhere.

Just writing is good. You know that, farmboy.

I suppose I do, yeah.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mr. Humility

I got to apologize, man, 'cause I've been nothing but tired lately.

Well, you know, farmboy, you do work full-time at a demanding job for which you don't get paid enough. And you just got finished playing a two-set headlining benefit show. You do a lot, farmboy, and you expect a lot out of yourself.

No wonder I like you so fuckin' much. You should bottle the way you talk and sell it.

It's all true, farmboy.

Oh, I never said it wasn't. (laughs)

You're so, what's the word? Oh, I know. Humble.

Oh, that's me, all right. Mr. Humility, at your service.

So, farmboy, I'm glad to see you're doing okay and in a good mood despite your exhaustion. Go get some rest and maybe I'll get to talk with you tomorrow.

Hopefully, yeah. You have a good night, man.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Working and learning and playing

So, before coming over I thought: Gotta check in with the man. How does it feel to know that of all the people in this world, you da man. Pretty important, eh?

It sounds like I'm your parole officer.

Well, you are, in a way. Right?

No. You're your own man, You don't have to answer to me. But I do have a question: How was the gig this afternoon?

That's what I wanted to tell you. It was good. People liked me, I generally played and sang well, and money was made for the non-profit. I gotta change my strings the day before the gig, though. I changed them just a couple hours before and it was, like, whoa dude! I was fiddlin' with the tuning the whole fuckin' show.

But all in all, you know, it was good, a good audience and I think they really enjoyed it.

And you were there! So I've been in suspense...

farmboy, you know what I think. You're my favorite songwriter. I love seeing you perform, I truly thought you were great.

Wow! Really, man?

Yes, really. But I think the main question is: What do you think?

It was good. I was good. But I see so many places where I could be better. So I'm just gonna keep working and learning and playing and thinking and experiencing life. And the songs will reflect that.

They already do. Congratulations, farmboy.

Ah shucks, It was fuckin' nothin'.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tomorrow's gig

Haven't seen you around the last couple of days, farmboy. What's up?

I've been so fuckin' busy, man, with tomorrow's gig.

Are you nervous?

Not really. Had some good practice sessions, had a great rehearsal with the folks that are playing with me on a couple songs, I've had the set lists done since Wednesday morning. I've got new strings to put on the guitar, and...well, I'm hoping for a good show. I mean, I'm thinking it's gonna be a good show. I like the set lists, it's going to be pretty intimate since it's a house show.

Are you doing all your own songs?

All but one. I'm doing a song by a friend of my mine who passed away in, like, 2002, name Dave Carter. He was a brilliant songwriter. We shared the songwriters' stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado. We were both competing in the Telluride Troubadour contest is 1996. Neither one of us won. The next year, however, he and his partner Tracy Grammer became real popular in the folk music world, and for good reason. They really were spectacular. Dave's songs will always be spectacular and Tracy is still spectacular. She's an amazing singer.

The song I'm doing of Dave's is "Cowboy Singer." Great tune.

So I'll come see you after the concert tomorrow, okay?

Hey, break a leg farmboy.

Well, maybe I won't go that far. But I am planning to have fun.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Writing as an obsession does pay off!

So I'm playing Sunday at a benefit house concert. (sheepishly) I'm the headliner.

Good for you, farmboy! Congratulations!

I'm just hoping there are people there. I made out the set lists today during a teacher training we were having at my job. Your tax dollars at work, man.

That's a lot of work.

You ain't fuckin' kidding, man. So I'm going over stuff, playing, drilling. It's good for me, I guess. I mean, it is a privilege to perform for people who are listening to you for an hour and a half.

An hour and a half?

Two 45-minute sets.

You'll have no problem filling that, farmboy.

Yeah. I'm actually aware of that. So writing as an obsession does pay off! Who woulda thunk it?

I'm going to a rehearsal tomorrow night and I'm taking Monday off work. This is important to me, but not in any kind of "nervous" way. It's just gonna be a relaxed, fun time. I don't want it to feel like I'm going in unprepared to a final exam. I hate that feeling. Like you're being sent to the guillotine or something. That just sucks, you know?

I'm looking forward to seeing you perform Sunday, farmboy.

You're gonna come? Hey, let me put you on the guest list, man.

It's a benefit. I want to pay.

Well...thanks, man. I hope you enjoy it. And if you don't...


...just fuckin' lie to me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm fuckin' tired

Man, I am so tired. I wanted to say hi, you know.

Hi, farmboy.

Hey. How you doin', man?

I'm fine. You?

I'm fuckin' tired.

Oh yeah. You told me.

Hey farmboy?


Eat something and go to bed. Good night.

Thanks, man. Good night.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Surprise. Serendipity.

Listen to this song. (turns up the radio) I like this: jangly guitar, scruffy kind of voice, harmonies.

Who is it?

I have no idea. We're gonna have to wait until the DJ comes on and hope he back-announces.

It's nice to hear something that you instantly like that's a surprise, eh, farmboy?

Oh, yeah, man, fuckin' A. I love that. Surprise. Serendipity. Something unexpected/ Yeah, yeah, I love that. I live for things like that.

Hey, I have a new addition to my little family.

Yeah? What's that, farmboy?

I'm buying a tenor ukulele for $60. $10 a month. Cool, huh?

Very cool. Are you enjoying it?

It's fun. I feel like such a cliche, playing the uke, because so many of the hipsters here in town play it. It's kinda become this hip thing, but that doesn't mean that it's not fun.

Hey, I think the radio announcer's about to talk.

(they listen)

The Parson Red Heads. Have you ever hear them before?

Not to my knowledge. Have you?

No, I haven't. I've heard that name, though. I think they might be local. I hope so, 'cause then that means I can maybe go see them.

You'll have to look them up on the internet.

That's exactly what I'm gonna do.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Actually, artistically speaking

Hey farmboy, just thought I'd drop by. Are you doing anything?

You know, man, I'm actually working on a song. If you wait around...

I'll drop by later.

Aw, man, I'm sorry.

Why are you apologizing, farmboy?

Because I asked you to wait...

farmboy, it's no problem.

It's a fuckin' problem to me, man.

Well, don't let it be. You've got work to do. That song's not gonna write itself.

Actually, artistically speaking, the kind of do write themselves sometimes.

You're still needed for it. I'll call later.

Thanks, man.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One of the regular folks

Man, I am so tired. I want it to be Friday bad.

Too bad it's only Wednesday.

You're telling me. Maybe it's because I was busy all last weekend. I am so fuckin' tired.

So what are you going to do about it?

I'm thinking I'm gonna eat some healthy soup, surf the internet, and then go to be. Then wake up, go to work, come home, play guitar, get stoned, play guitar, surf internet. It's what I do during the work week. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. What do most people do.

Watch TV?

Yeah, that's seems about right. I hope to afford to buy a TV one day. I want to be one of the regular folks.

Seriously, farmboy?

I would like a TV. It's just not high on my list of priorities, you know.

What would be on your list?

Number one? A car stereo. I miss driving to music like you would not believe. I'd like to get one with a way to listen to my iPod too.

Anyway, pal, I'm gonna go eat soup and fall asleep.

Hopefully not both at the same time.

Har, har. Funny guy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Work mornings

What's going on, farmboy?

Ain't nothin' much. man. Work mornings, you know, they're all the same. You wake up, brush teeth, shave, shower, dress, make coffee, take meds, out the door and into the truck. That's what every morning is made of. Which is good, because I don't have the energy to reinvent the wheel every fuckin' morning, you know?

True enough.

Any more questions, oh-great-interviewer-sir?

What good things are going on?

I've been writing. You've been seeing evidence of that.

That's a good thing.

That's the only thing. But you know that.

What are you listening to these days?

Aeriel Pink.

Who's that?

Some guy, I think, I don't know much about him. I'm not sure yet what I think of his album, but I love the hit song "Round and Round."

So, what are you listening to?

I'm going through a Billie Holiday period.

Oh man, she's the best. I fuckin' love her.

So, man, thanks for the conversationing. that a word?

I don't think so. But you're welcome.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oxygen and water

you were eight years old
you were playing in the woods
by crawdad creek
when he saw you
and he grabbed you
and he ordered you
to neither move or speak
and he did things to you
that a small boy
can't begin to understand
and you're still keeping your secret
a child in the body of a man

skinned knees
torn jeans
blood on your sneakers
and your shirt
you looked just like a kid
who didn't know what he did
but got more than just his feelings hurt
he held you down on the ground
and he turned around
and keep the upper hand
and you're still keeping your secret
a child in the body of a man

now you are a grown-up
you're around the same age
that man was
way back then
but every night you have no choice
you feel his touch
and hear his voice
over and over
again and again
bedsheets soaked with sweat
but you never can forget
how he shook you
and he took you
under his command
and you're still keeping your secret
a child in the body of a man

Now, it's going to sound like I'm making excuses, but you've got to understand that this is a possible first draft. I mean, it's not really even a first draft yet. What I do many times is this kind of writing where I just get everything out and then I edit it later and put it to a melody if I don't already have one in my head. And I write a lot of free writing/first draft stuff that never gets past that first stage.

And this one, farmboy? I think it shows potential.

Thanks. But I don't know yet. I have to look at it and see if it still interests me, you know? I can see one possible issue: I offer no solution whatsoever and all I'm doing is reporting what happened. But that might really be all I can do. I'm not a therapist, I ain't no fuckin' social worker here.

But, basically, I don't want to analyze too much when I'm writing the first draft. I want to get all I can out there until I reach the point where I'm just forcing it. Forcing it -- the writing -- almost never works. It seems that it has to be as natural as it can.

So you have some thinking to do, then?

It's more than this weird subconscious thing where it kind of...marinades, for the lack of a better word. It percolates for a while. I have to see if I'm interested in it, and there's all these kind of bookmarks, you know...Do I like the words? Is it preachy?

You really don't like preachy, do you?

I hate preachy with a red hot passion.

I do too. I feel insulted when a song is preachy.

Yeah, it's so condescending.

So we'll see. If it keeps my interest, I'll keep you posted on how this song is going.

That would be great, farmboy.

I really want to write great songs, man. You have no idea how important it is to me. It's like oxygen and water.

And nobody has to be involved with this. That's one of the things I like about songwriting. No one can stop you from it. It's yours. It's a personal thing. No one can take it away from you.

It belongs to you.

And I belong to it, I guess. (laughs) It's a win-win situation!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Putting in my time

even if you can't speak
you can sing
even if you can't walk
you can dance
you'll never find what you can do
until you take a chance
even if you can't walk
you can dance
even if you can't speak
you can sing

That's all I got, man. It was a good try and it's not over, you know? I like the first four lines...

So do I.

I'm not sure about addressing it to "you," you know? It's kinda like unasked-for advice. And preachy. And I really don't have a fuckin' clue what I want to say.

But, hey, it 's writing. And I encourage any writing.

Good, farmboy. I'm glad to hear it. It sounds to me like you know what you don't want. And that can be pretty important.

Oh, definitely, man. It's super important.

I'm glad you're writing, farmboy.

Fuck, man, me too. Gotta continue putting in my time.

You've already put in a lot of time, farmboy.

Yeah? Well, that's something that'll never end until I die.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Never good enough

Hey, man, I'm so sorry I haven't been around as much. I'm back to work and so I've been tired and my sister from California's in town and I had to meet today with a friend about an upcoming show and...let me see...Fuck, man, I guess I ain't got no excuses. I'm sorry.

Why are you apologizing, farmboy? People get busy. This week you're one of those people. Give yourself a break.

I give myself a break too often. I need to fuckin' get my shit together, man. Nothing I do is ever good enough...

farmboy! Stop that!

I try. Really. But I can't. It seems like all day long everything is a reminder of my failings, you know, and I never get done all the stuff I want to get done and it's never good enough...

Try this. Breathe...

That's what you always say.

So try it. Breathe deeply, from your stomach.

Like, from my diaphragm like I'm gonna sing?

Exactly like you're going to sing. Do that a few times.

(farmboy breathes deeply, holds it, and exhales a few times)

That's a little better. I don't feel as tense as before.

Good. Now finish up and then go to bed so you can sleep and recharge yourself for the weekend.


Really. You don't need stress, you need rest. You've worked all week and you deserve to rest and do things you enjoy.

Yeah? Can I smoke weed and play guitar?

It's your Friday night.

Yeah, it is. So that's what I'm gonna do. Hey, thanks, man.

No problem, farmboy.

Hey, see you tomorrow, man,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

big-ass dreams

i got some big-ass dreams
i'm gonna walk the world
i'm gonna settle down
with my hometown girl
drink corn liquor
till the winter snows
come knocking on your
home's front door

i don't pay nothin' no mind
'cause my friend
in the end
everything's gonna work out fine

i got some big-ass dreams
i'm gonna go far
playing piano
on a martin guitar
some dogs start howling
when the sun comes up
hell, i been howlin'
since i was just a pup

i don't pay nothin' no mind
'cause my friend
in the end
everything's gonna work out fine

give me some lovin'
some pork and beans
a dollar in the pocket
of my workin' jeans
give me some whiskey
let me drink what i can
and i will die
a happy man

i don't pay nothin' no mind
'cause my friend
in the end
everything's gonna work out fine

i got some big-ass dreams...

So, what do you think? This is what I do. I make up stuff. I just wrote this, right fuckin' now. I'm hoping to maybe find something in here that i can use, whatever it is. Right now it's just writing down things. I encourage all writing down things in my life. Whatever. I'm sorry. I should have brought something more polished

There's nothing to apologize for, farmboy.

I guess I'm just saying that this could all change.

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's all good

Hey, man.

What's going on, farmboy?

First day back at the fuckin' job. I say that with all affection.

So it was good and I'm tired and so I'm gonna eat this soup I made and then go to bed. But I wanted to, you know, check in and stuff. Let you know I'm still here.

I'm glad you did. Everything going okay, farmboy?

Oh, yeah. It's all good. I'm just tired, you know.

Get some rest, farmboy.

I will. Thanks.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

How I lucked out

Hey, farmboy. Happy new year!

Hey yourself, man, And, like, happy new year to you.

Cold enough for you?

It's so fuckin' cold...

In the 20s right now.

And fuckin' clear skies, man. I want snow, I want snow days. Snow, to me, looks completely magical to me, probably because I'm so not used to it.

It is beautiful.

Yeah. I feel a little cheated when it's cold like this and there's no snow. But what can you do?

Not a damn thing, farmboy.

I'm just thankful that I'm indoors with heat and food and a guitar, you know?

That's so true.

I think about all those who don't even have these things and I'm grateful, man. I don't know how I lucked out.


Anyway, man, happy 2011 to you, (lifts glass of diet Pepsi) Cheers!