Thursday, June 30, 2011

never go back

I come from the country
where my father was a farmer
and I assumed I'd be a farmer too
for the rest of my days
now I don't mean to panic
like some old false alarmer
but I'm afraid I'm losing
my old country ways

and I can never go back
never go back
never go back

my daddy took sick
in my ninth grade year of schoolin'
I thought I'd stay home
to attend to his needs
but the money ran out
and set the farm to ruin
so I moved to the city
home to a rougher breed

and I can never go back
never go back
never go back
and I can never go back
never go back
never go back
to who I was before

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When I talk to you

So today, man, today...

I finally found a little bit of...well, not closure, but...something. Which means I did stuff about the job situation. Whether it's good stuff, well...there's somewhat of a chance and I can't really say what kind of chance it is.

But you know what?

What, farmboy?

I'm sick of the whole fuckin' thing and I don't really want to talk about it any more, especially here. Because when I talk to you I want to talk about music and songs and my future, man. I want to tell you about when life is good and bounce things off you. I don't want to talk about the fuckin' day job. I want to talk about my real life.

You can talk to me about anything you want to, farmboy. I'm here to listen.

Thanks. But let me tell you, I just don't have many people who I'm comfortable talking to. I mean, I have friends, but I don't want to burden them. (laughs) So I'm burdening you.

Okay by me.

Well,I'm very thankful to have you.

So what I'm doing right now, now that that fuckin' job thing is done for today, is cooking this chili that I make with lots of vegetables and turkey and spices. You know, cumin and curry and sea salt and freshly ground pepper and lots of chili powder.

Sounds good. Sounds potent.

It's not, really. I didn't put any, like, cayenne pepper in it. Chili powder's pretty mild.

I've never heard of cumin in chili.

My mother's father was from northern India, and my mom would put curry in, like, chili and refried beans. I like a little bit in Mexican stuff.

Anyway, it felt like it was about time I made something halfway nutritious, you know.

I gotta go tend to this stuff. Hey, would you like some?


C'mon, c'mon.

Okay, then. You talked me into it. Plus, it smells pretty wonderful.

Good, good. Let me get you a container so you can take some home. I should have made some cornbread.

This will be fine the way it is. Thanks, farmboy.

Man, it's the least I can do. Now, if you don't like it...just lie to me and tell me you do.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fuckin' paralyzed, man

There he is! How's everything going, farmboy?

Damn. Fuck. Hard. Everyday is a new learning experience. What I learned yesterday was to not demand perfection of yourself.

Finally. I think about that with you. You have a tendency, I've noticed, to demand perfection and then you beat yourself up when you can't achieve it.

Yeah. It's fucked. I ended up getting totally fuckin' depressed. I mean, like fuckin' paralyzed, man. Like, I couldn't hardly move, physically. (laughs) I just stayed at the computer and...well, I even fuckin' worked from there. I made the promo packets, I did lots of music stuff. If I weren't so tired I would tell you all the work I did, but I'm beat, man.

You know how I just said "If I weren't so tired?" Should that be wasn't? These things bother me.

I'm glad you did things, farmboy. I'm glad you kept busy.

Yeah, it weren't so bad. I was on good terms with myself when I went to bed.

Now that's what's important, farmboy.

Sometimes I feel that's all I have.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Try to enjoy the process

'Morning, man.

Good morning. This is unusual, farmboy. I don't know if I've ever talked to you in the morning.

Sure you have. Two in the morning, three in the morning...

You know what I mean. What's up?

So it's Monday morning, and I'm not sure what to do.

I can help you, farmboy. Let's take this -- for right now, at least -- on a weekly basis. What do you need to get accomplished this week?

I have stuff in three categories: gig stuff, creative stuff, and that Kickstarter stuff so I can make a CD. This is all pretty overwhelming, I gotta say, especially with all the work shit going on. Which is not part of this, by the way. This is all about music and economics. Not the fuckin' day job. That's an entirely different thing.

Good choice. Let's start with what you need to do gig-wise.

I want to apply at some churches. I need some money gigs and I'm good at that stuff.

What do you need?

I need to give out some promo materials to them. So this week I need to make those up.

Which consists of...

CDs, which I have already burned. I need to buy a sharpie and find CD envelopes to put the discs in. Then I put a CD and my one-sheet bio in a Manila envelope with a short cover letter. The bio is done and copied...

So you need to buy a sharpie...

So I can put my information on the CD.

Okay. Here we go. (The interviewer takes out a sheet of paper and starts writing.)

1. Buy sharpie

2. Label CDs and put them in sleeves

3. Write cover letter

4. Place cover letter, CD, and bio in an envelope

5. Take or send to places

6. Repeat as necessary.

(hands paper to farmboy)

See? That was relatively painless.

Wow! Thanks!

Now Kickstarter...

I have to do some research. I need to look at some videos. I need a timeline on what I'm doing with it. I need to find out levels of premiums, and set up a meeting with a friend who just went through the process. I also need to talk to another friend who's going to assist me with doing a video that I can put online. I also need to ask myself: What makes my project stand apart from all the others?

Okay, farmboy. This week: make the appointments with your friends. Watch, say, at least two videos on the Kickstarter website. Do brainstorming, and maybe do this on paper or on the computer, on premiums and on what makes your project special. Also brainstorm on ideas for the video. So here we go, farmboy.

1. Watch and analyze videos from Kickstarter

2. Call your friends and set up appointments

3. Brainstorm
a) premiums
b) video
c) make your project unique

4. Research how others have done it. Google, look at Kickstarter website

All right. that should be good for this week. Let's move on to the creative part.

The fun part.

The most important part. Never, never lose sight of that. Without the creative part all the rest is meaningless.

That's what I like to hear. I like the way you think, man.

So what do you have for the creative side of music?

Let me look at my notes...


When I went to that training last week, I did some preliminary work. That's why I haven't had to think too much this morning. It's your tax dollars at work.

So this is what I have. Let me try your organizing stuff.

Go for it.

1) Keep playing and practicing, especially the material for the CD

2) Make lyric pages on computer so they'll be ready for rewriting. Put them in a folder and keep it on the desktop.

3) Using Garage Band, record every day. I need to lose my fear of technology and recording -- that's why I need to do it every day or as often as possible.

4) Check out Garage Band book from library or buy one. Do research on internet on using Garage Band.

5) Play with album sequencing

6) Look at the financial reality (which is not as intimidating as it sounds) -- make estimates of costs, for musicians, recording, manufacturing.

7) For the future: timelines for recording, check out recording studios online. Other things will occur to me as I go on in the process.

Which reminds me. I need to at least try to enjoy the process.

Very good, farmboy. I would like to talk with you about the progress you're making at various times during the week.

I'd like to talk to you, too. 'Cause I'm sure things will change, and I can have a problem with being too rigid sometimes, you know? That and self-pity.

I think fear and discouragement are factors you have to look at. And bitterness and negativity. Explore what's behind the so-called "self-pity."

Talk with you tomorrow?

Yeah, that'll be great, man.

You're doing good, farmboy. Don't get discouraged. Don't let yourself feel guilty. Don'tlet yourself get into what you call self-pity or depression. And notice the difference between the two. Everything is a learning experience, a teachable moment.

Believe in yourself. Believe in what you're doing. And remember a couple of things...

What's that?

You are smart and talented and gifted.

Thanks, man. Thanks for everything.

Talk with you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Welcome to summer, farmboy

11:20 p.m. on a Sunday night. Welcome to summer, farmboy. Where've you been?

I went to my monthly songwriting group. It was good, man. I've been pretty depressed about the work situation and I've generally been really sad. It's so fuckin' easy for me to give in to the sadness, you know. I haven't talked about the mental illness stuff for a while, but that don't mean it don't exist. So it was good to get out to see music folks, you know, my friends.

Tomorrow...boy, man, let me tell you, I don't want to be filling myself up with shame and guilt and worry and all the stuff I'm so fuckin' good at. Tomorrow I make plans for the week and figure out what I'm gonna do.

You know, you can run all that stuff by me if you think it would help.

Thanks. I probably will, if you don't mind.

I don't mind at all, farmboy. In fact, I'd like to be involved in all your summer plans, your music career plans. I want to see you succeed.

I'm glad. Maybe I'll meet up with you tomorrow about this stuff. You up to it, man?

I would like nothing better, farmboy.

You're such a cool guy, man. See you then.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Great musicians from Mali

Man, I just don't know. I ain't been doing nothing today...well, that's not true. I've done some cleaning, some exercising, some cleaning. I did my weekly Saturday morning wake-and-bake and internet porn jack-off session.

That may be TMI. Sorry. Let's move on.

I've been working on that song I showed you "The Oldest Man on Earth."

(farmboy becomes silent and listens to the radio that's playing in the background.)

What is that?

I don't know. The station is NPR.

Let me look it up.

(farmboy goes to the NPR website.)

Who is it?

(farmboy struggles to pronounce the name.)

Tinariwen. Says here that they are blues masters from Mali. This is pretty wonderful stuff. I'm gonna have to check this out further.

No kidding. Tiniriwen?


From Mali?

From Mali. There are so many great musicians from Mali, man. Seems like I'm always hearing about musicians from Mali.

So I was gonna tell you...shit, I fuckin' forgot. I'm sure it had to do with work and all that shit. I got distracted...

By Tiniriwen.

From Mali.

Where great musicians come from. Great distraction.

Fuckin' A, man.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I collect people

I have some need for money
I like a roof above my head
groceries in the cupboard
and a mattress on my bed
had my share of misfortune
and I owe to the company store
but I don't need as much stuff as before
yeah, I just don't want it any more

because now I collect people
I take their photo with my memory
I take them to a safe place
in a corner of my heart
and there they'll always remain with me
and that's the way I want it to be

I have a bus driver who was kind to me
when I was a child
aunts and uncles
and cousins
we ran like we were wild

more to come...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Exhaustion on my side

Hey farmboy! How's it going?

(farmboy starts to cry)

farmboy, what's wrong? Are you all right?


I got my assignment from work for the following school year. It is the worst thing imaginable. I'm going to...let me change that. They want me to work in a capacity that I'm not qualified for and would essentially mean my life would be fuckin' miserable from now on. And I'm not exaggerating.

I don't really want to go into more detail right now. Maybe later. I've taken one of my anti-anxiety pills. I've smoked weed. I'm going to eat something and play on the internet and at some point I'll go to bed where I'll just fuckin' pass out.

And that's all okay, by the way. Panicking about it is not gonna do any good. I know that, man.

I think you're right.

So I'm just gonna lay low. It's been a busy day, so at least I'll have that exhaustion on my side when I go to sleep.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you and I needed to tell somebody.

I'm glad you chose me, farmboy. I'm sorry this had to happen to you. Any ideas?

I'm going to call the principal of my old school for advice, and I'll probably call the union. I'll do this before I call Human Resources, who I may not call until next week. So I'm not doing anything until I talk to the principal and my union.

I'm only a phone call away if you need too talk, farmboy.

Thanks, man. I may take you up on that.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm feeling okay

Just saying howdy, man. It's been a busy day and I'm gonna go to bed soon. I just mainly wanted to say hi and see how you're doing, man.

I'm just fine, thank you for asking. How about you, farmboy?

It's been a good day. I'm feeling okay. It's kinda cool when you like the things that are keeping you busy, you know? Even the training...well, I think about race all the fuckin' time, you know what I'm saying, man? So I find this stuff really interesting.

So I'm gonna grab a bite and calm down for a little while before I hit the bed...

farmboy, good night.

G'night, man.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So I've been rewriting and working on these two new songs. This afternoon I start babysitting my niece, which I'll be doing two days a week. And then, my friend, I go through this race relations training for work tomorrow and the day after. And then I play a private party gig tomorrow night and babysit the day after that.

You have a training that day?


Sounds like you're busy, farmboy.

Yikes! (laughs) Oh, but it's okay. I've been through this training before and it's actually pretty fuckin' fascinating. Babysitting should be fairly painless, and the hardest part about the gig is that it's a 45-minute drive away.

So it's all good, you know. And you know why?

I'll bite. Why, farmboy?

Because for the past three days I've done nothing. All I've done is rest, really: gotten high, slept, played guitar, exercised, eaten fuckin' fruits and vegetables. So I'm ready for getting out there a little bit.

And today is the first day of summer!

In more ways than one, man.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 summer career plan

So here's something I did today.

What's that, farmboy?

It's, like, a plan for music stuff for this summer. Man, I can never get off my fuckin' ass and get organized, do stuff like...

Like what you did today?

They're just plans.

It's writing them down. It's showing them to someone. Here, let me read it. (The interviewer snatches the paper away from farmboy and starts reading.)

2011 summer career plan

four levels:

1. Kickstarter -- plan, figure out timeline; work out levels; talk to Scott about videos; write copy for emails, facebook, my space, reverb nation

2. CD creative and business -- writing, playing, creating

3. recording using garage band -- songs to be on CD; test CDs for sequencing and whatever; family CD; other songs, any other.

4. getting booked -- and the processes leading up to that.

Hey, farmboy. Good work!

Thanks, man. Now if I can only...


Yeah, man?

Just say "thank you."

Thank you.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

learning to drink again

I used to be a drunkard
way back when I was young
I knew the taste of alcohol
dancing on my tongue
I was the life of your party
if your party was a rowdy mess
I was the host
with the most
on land, sky, and coast
here's a toast to sweet happiness

I'm learning to drink again
it's sad but it's a fact
You know when you just can't win
and there ain't no turning back

dogs and children

I am generally liked
by dogs and children
I have no money
in the bank
I get tongue licks on my nose
and spit-up on my clothes
but I've got no coins
to clickety-clank
when the tough times are showing
that's when the going gets rough
but I'm liked by dogs and children
and some say that should be enough

Friday, June 17, 2011

Best time of year

Hey, farmboy. What are you up to? I'm glad you called. Are you at home?

No, man. I'm babysitting my niece at my brother's place. She just went to sleep. We read a couple of books and then I played guitar until she fell asleep.

How's your first day of summer break?

I was generally okay until I left the house and then I became fuckin' toxic.


I just get all bitter over the job shit, you know. It's all kind of weird, you know. This should be, like, the best time of year. But it's not, for reasons I've talked about until I'm blue in the fuckin' face.

But, you know, well...I don't really know what to think, really.

Hey, my brother and his wife are home. Sorry to cut this short, man.

It's okay, farmboy. Talk to you soon?

Oh, yeah, man. This weekend, for sure.

You hang in there, my friend.

I'll do my best.

You always do.

Well, not always. But I sure try a lot.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

An F# minor 7th.

So today was the last day of work. It went better than I expected, thanks to my wonderful co-workers.

Are you being serious or are you just joking, farmboy?

Oh, I'm completely serious. I work with a great group of people. We are, I say modestly, a great team. They are just fuckin' great people with good hearts and amazing sense of humor. Good singers, too.

You're going to miss them, farmboy.

Yeah, I am. A lot.

So I'm thankful that I got to leave these people on a good, if sad, note. If it were a note, it would be blue, you know. An F# minor 7th.

How are you doing on making plans for the summer?

I want to talk to you about them. I need to talk to you about them. But I don't really feel up to it tonight.

I bet. You've had an emotional day.

I have. I think, on some level, I'm, like, totally wiped out, man. I'm gonna eat some Chinese food from Safeway and surf the internet and try to decompress. Listen to Fleet Foxes or something.

See you this weekend, farmboy?

You got it, man.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Waste of human potential

I'm fuckin' depressed, man.

Why, farmboy?

My job...well, I don't like to talk about it too much. Basically, I'm being laid off. And apparently the school district is doing this so they can hire us later at a lower salary. If we're lucky, that is.

That's horrible. That's unethical.

Yeah, well, I guess it's legal and that's all that matters in this case.

Everything, everything comes down to money. What a waste of human potential, man. My species is so fuckin' pathetic.

Yeah, so the school district is just fucking us all up the ass and we're just squealing like we're fuckin' pigs they think we are.

I'm sorry you're going through this, farmboy.


Now let's change the fuckin' subject...

Monday, June 13, 2011

in your summer dream

you are fast asleep
and you begin to dream
about that summer
when you were just fourteen
and you remember the sun shone
like the day knew no end
and time was still
a good fair-weather friend
well, tonight
you are back there again
in your summer dream

you are walking on the streets
of your hometown
looking for some buddies
you can hang around
you remember the songs
on a transistor radio
and they re playing new right now
just like long ago
better than any music
anyone now could ever know
and it's playing
in your summer dream

and they're singing
sha na na sha na na na
sha sha na sha na

sometimes you feel sad
when you think of way back when
and it hurts so bad
to think you can't go back again
hey, tonight the past will ask you
where the hell you been
in your summer dream
in your summer dream
in your summer dream

and they're singing
sha na na sha na na na
sha sha na sha na

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My fuckin' addictions

Here it is, Sunday night. Tomorrow's the beginning of the final week of school -- of work -- and it's going to be a challenging week. I gotta not think about it. I gotta get my mind on music. Plus, you know, I'm so fuckin' nervous. I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

I know that. Don't tell me. It's...

Snoop Dogg, but I know it from the Gourds, a great band from the Austin area.

So I gotta think about the summer and what habits I want to get into and the habits I need to lessen or get away from. My fuckin' addictions.

Like what?

Well, really, like the habits I want to have all year 'round. I'm thinking dietary, exercise...I need to further those things. I can't isolate myself as much any more. I need to stay right here, in the present tense, you know.

And I really gotta cut down on the weed, man. I fuckin' love it but there's no way I can afford, in any way, to be waking up every morning and smoking. Plus, really, it can be a substitute for real life, and that's certainly fucked up.

Sounds like it's time to make some changes, farmboy.

Yeah, but, fuck, I gotta do more than just cut out things. I gotta have some stuff to replace the stuff that I won't be doing. Does that even make sense, man?

It does. It looks like you might have some thinking to do, thinking that could be fun and have possibilities.

I love possibilities.

I know you do. You're excellent at them when you let yourself be, farmboy.

I can be, yeah.

Fuck, man, I want possibilities. Bring 'em fuckin' on.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

live like this

“let me observe you,” he said
“teach me to be a human being
I need to watch you from a distance
where there's safety in my solitary seeing
I am not a human being
Let me pretend
I am capable of living
family and friends
I want my chance at
love and happiness
I can no longer
live like this"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Scattered writings from the coffeehouse

I can't stand the taste of alcohol
but I want to learn to drink
so I can see what life is like
when you don't have to think
'cause thinking always gets me into trouble
thinking's never been a friend to me

* * *

I was the child that no one loved
you won't remember me

* * *
instinct is my companion
thinking always leaves me abandoned

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shackled by my fear

I'm tired, man. Everybody is know is tired. Are you tired, man?

I'm sort of evened-out anymore, farmboy. I don't go for extremes, myself. I'm actually content the way I am.

Really? I can't fuckin' imagine it. What's it feel like?

Calm, mostly.

It's got to be more than that. C'mon.

You're right. It's like you're no longer yearning all the time. You spend a lot more time and effort being grateful that everything has turned out the way it has.

Is it peaceful, man?

Yes. I think you could say that.

Wow. I can't fuckin' imagine it. Seriously, man. And then I think: Will I ever get there?

No question about it, farmboy. You're headed for happier times. If you want them, that is.

Oh, I want them. I'm just shackled by my fear of it all. I don't know why.

That's just fear.

I know, but try telling that to...well, I don't know who...

I'm telling this to you. I'm telling this to farmboy.

And I'm glad you are, because I need to hear it. It is just fear. I need to get over it, or work through it, or work in spite of it, you know? I can't let fear rule me.

Good. You're better than that.

Now that's what I'm hoping to start believing. It's a long, hard, unfriendly road, man, I fuckin' tell you what.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The oldest man on earth, take two

there is no one who remembers me
when I was a child
I might as well have
been raised up in the wild
I grew up here
and it's here I will rest
when death comes to grant
my final request
soon is the end
of my circle of birth
I am the oldest man on earth

I have no sister
no brother
no mother or dad
I've lost everyone
that I've ever had
I had my fair share of love
struggle and pain
now fading memories
are all that remain
still I keep breathing
for all that it's worth
I am the oldest man on earth

the man in the moon
ain't got nothing on me
as he shines on the sailors
lost on the sea
well, shiver me timbers
a pirate's life for me
as I sail into the sunset

who'll be my witness
what is my crime
whatever the season
no reason
no rhyme
I dream of the river
that led me to you
the only true lover
that I ever knew
soon is the end
I ask:
blessing or curse?
I am the oldest man on earth
I am the oldest man on earth

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who I really am

So I'm taking tomorrow off to use up my last personal leave day. So I get to stay up late. How ya doin', man?

You're stoned, farmboy.

Fuck. Is it that apparent?

Oh, I'm not saying anything against it. I just thought I'd acknowledge it. How does it feel?

Feels okay, feels good. Makes me wish I had, like, a chocolate donut or something. But I don't. I have diet Pepsi, though. Nothing like chemicals, right?

I'm beginning to fade, which is really frustrating to me because it's only 10 p.m.

Which is about the time that you get ready to go to bed...

Yeah, but I have tomorrow off. It's my time to...I don't know, party or something.

What are you going to do tomorrow, farmboy?

I'm hoping to do something musical, you know? At least do some planning and figuring-out for a performance I'm doing Friday night. I've been way too concerned about my fuckin' job and all the shit that's gone down. I need to get back to who I really am. And that's a musical person. A person who lives his life in music.

I am blessed.

It's good that you know that.

Yeah. I'm glad I do. You can't take nothin' in this God-almighty world for granted, man.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My old life-long friends

I'm depressed, man. Everything seems so fuckin' hopeless.

Are you joking, farmboy? Sometimes I can't tell if you're joking or if you're serious.

A little of both, you know? I mean, I am depressed but I don't want to get dramatic about it. If that's the word for it, I don't know. I think it's more like worry...


Yeah. Panic. Anxiety. My old life-long friends. They've come to talk with me again.

No drama, right?

(laughs) Okay, maybe just a little drama. You know, show business is my life. Like no business I know.

But, you know, anyways, I'm okay. I want you to know that. I'm just depressed right now because the night goes by so fuckin' quickly and then I go to bed and then I wake up and I have to go to my fuckin' job again, where it's like a fuckin' morgue, man. Everybody's miserable but you have to put on this show that all is all right in front of the students. Which, believe me, is a good thing, it's kind of an unspoken thing. Because we know we're all miserable, so let's not make it worse. But it's all taking its toll because we've had to do it for so long.

There. That's basically it.

I'm sorry, farmboy.

Oh, it just all sucks. But it's temporary, and I just gotta hang in there.

You're doing a good job.

Thanks. I am, aren't I?