Tuesday, October 30, 2012

a little thunder (take one)

you don't know my name
you don't know who I am
but somewhere you've seen my face
it was in some magazine
on your computer screen
you forget the time and the place
here, let me remind you
I was a kid lying on the ground
with his life pulled out from under 
ain't it funny how the sound
of a gun sounds like a little thunder

you know the killer
you've seen him on that TV show
the one where the audience votes to condemn
he was played by some actor punk
the newest flavor of the month
the current top of this crop's leading men
all the bad girls think he's hot
the prince of romantic wonder
maybe he knows why a shot
from a gun sounds like a little thunder

Monday, October 29, 2012


I need to pretend
that I'm not myself
I need to believe that I'm
somebody else
I don't need a mirror
to know what condition I'm in
I don't need a diary to tell you
the places I've been
I just need a little inspiration
to tap my well-earned imagination
all good things 
must come to an end
except when you pretend

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm Superman

I'm sad, man, I'm so fuckin' sad. Sunday nights, man, they're just so fuckin'...


Yeah, exactly. That's the word for it.

But, anyway, it was a good weekend. My birthday was really nice and I got a three-day weekend out of the deal. 

Did you play any music this weekend, farmboy? 

I did. I mean, it was just at home, but I played and sang. And in my life, that counts for something.

You know, it's funny, but I've been thinking lately about how I can make up rules for my own life. Fuck, man, I've been on this earth for how long? And I'm just figuring this out now?

Just be thankful that you've figured it out, farmboy. Some people never figure anything out, it seems. But you're not one of those.

I try not to be. I try to have some sort of ambition in my life, you know?

I need to think more about all this rule stuff. I need to find a way to make it work out in my favor. (laughs)  I want to use my power for good. I'm Superman. I'm a fuckin' action hero, that's what I am, man.

That's actually a pretty good reference, actually.

All I need is the cape.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


louis on the main stage
cornet in his hands
warm glow of his singing
louis understands

magic in his fingers
joy at his command
wonder of a schoolboy
louis understands

I had beef brisket, man

There he is! Hey, champ, happy birthday!

"Champ?" What the fuck?

All right then. Happy birthday, slugger! Ii hope it was fun, sport! So, big guy...

Okay, I fuckin' get it. Just stop. Please.

Has it been a good birthday, farmboy? What did you do? Where did you end up going out to dinner?

I took the day off work and played guitar and read. Then I went to my brother's and did the laundry and read. Then we went out and had barbecue at this joint on MLK Jr. Boulevard. It was great. I had beef brisket, man. I haven't been able to afford much meat lately, so this was a real treat. Plus I was given the Neil Young memoir, which I can't wait to read.

So now I'm smoking weed and drinking beer and talking to you.

So what's your review, farmboy?

A good birthday, a solid A.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm taking tomorrow off

Hey! I get a three-day weekend!

Really? Good. Why?

'Cause my birthday's happening in, like, half an hour or so.

Well, happy birthday, farmboy!  How are you going to celebrate?

Well, I'm taking tomorrow off. I'm going out for dinner with my brother and his family. Basically, I want it to be a day where I'm good to myself, where I give myself a fuckin' break.

I hope that birthday wish comes true, farmboy.

Me too, man.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

radio static

radio static
I don't listen anymore
I have other things

iPods, CDs and
old, crackling vinyl records
I choose what I want

nothing new finds me
no element of surprise
reaches my hungry ears

no FM DJs
no crazy right-wing preachers
no NPR

but sometimes I miss
human contact for my ears
can anyone hear me?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

grocery store

when I win the lottery
when my ship comes in
I will not buy a fancy car
or mansion to live in
by bus
by car 
by foot
I will proudly go
to the one place on earth
I truly want to know
to the grocery store

and when I go inside
and I've got my grocery cart
I will be a fool
and my money soon will part
my wallet
my hand
my backpack
the pockets of my jeans
I will excess thirteen items
and I will not wait in line
and I'll purchase every item
that I could never afford to buy
at the grocery store

Monday, October 22, 2012

So today, hmmm...

Man, let me tell you, I'm so nervous about the presidential debate that's going on right now. I can't watch it. I can't even listen to it on the radio. I gotta change the subject, man. I don't know what I could change it to, though.

What did you do today, farmboy? I mean musically.

Thank God. I really didn't want to talk about work.

So today, hmmm...I played and sang after I got home from the fuckin' job. I think I played all other people's stuff, all cover tunes. I know I played a Jimmie Rodgers tune, "Any Old Time," and I remember playing "Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson.

Good choices. 

It's mainly practicing, it's the daily ritual. As long as I play, The more I play, the more comfortable I am with the guitar, with the fretboard. And I love how it feels to play when  you've been playing a lot. So that's what I do.

Hey, not to change the subject or anything, but I'm taking Friday off work. I'm taking a personal day.

Why? Is everything all right, farmboy?

Everything's fine. It's just that Friday's my birthday. Which is not a big deal, but having a three-day weekend is. A big deal, I mean.

Something to look forward to.

Yep. And on a Monday, I need it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The bad guys are fuckin' winning, man

So today there was a break in the rain and I put a Barack Obama bumper sticker on my car. I just got my ballot. I can't watch or listen to the debates; they make me too fuckin' nervous, man. 

I mean, the bad guys are fuckin' winning, man, as far as I can see. They're fuckin' running Congress and they block all this stuff that would be good for our country.

Stop me, man, I'm on a fuckin' rant.

I sense a lot of anger in you about this election, farmboy.

About politics in general, man. 'Cept I believe in Barack Obama. I really believe he is a decent man and I think he could be one of the great presidents if he's given the chance. I know I'm probably naive, but...it's good to have hope once in a while, you know?

I don't know, man, I just don't know. I feel so fuckin' powerless all the time.

But you're not, farmboy. It's very, very important that you remember that. 

I know. But I just feel that way sometimes.

But it goes away, right?

So far. 

That's pretty cynical.

No, really. I'm always waiting for the other show to fall. Or something. One of those cliches. The last straw, you know?

The other side of that,of course, is hope, which stubbornly refuses to leave. Even though sometimes I think it would be preferable and easier for my life if it did leave.

I'm glad for you that it doesn't, farmboy.

I'm glad for me too.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Complaining that I do

I don't want to complain...


No but. I'm just stating something that I'm thinking. I don't want to complain. That's all.

I mean, I'm just fuckin' tired of all the complaining that I do. And not just in the outside world. It's in my fuckin' brain all the time. I mean, c'mon.

Hey, farmboy?

Yeah, man?

You're complaining. About complaining.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm in the mines

Any luck with the writing, farmboy?

Not much. I have been writing, though. I just haven't written anything that I want to use, as far as I can tell. I could always change my mind, use a phrase, you know. It always just feels like...I don't know. It's like you can't even fuckin' imagine writing a song. But it always feels like that sometimes and it always works itself out.

So, basically, I'm at work, I'm in the mines, I'm looking for nuggets of something. I'll know it when I see it.

It's good that you're writing. I know it's frustrating but it's good that you have some self-discipline to rely on.

Yeah, well, I'm showing up and suiting up. That's what a counselor once told me.

Smart words.

They are, aren't they? The tough part is actually doing it. Of course.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

tomorrow's breakfast

tomorrow's breakfast:
burritos of beans and cheese
in a parking lot

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I am not
what you think
I am
I weave in 
and out
causing traffic jams
I am trouble
and I'm living next door
I am all you love 
and hope
and fear
and more
I am your shelter
I am your comfort zone
I am bad news from home
I am 

Monday, October 15, 2012

That's the way I feel

I'm sorta depressed, man. I've got a cold and it's Monday and I'm worried about money and it's so fuckin'  hard to write a song that I like. And then I feel like I can't do it anymore, which I know is fuckin' bullshit and useless self-pity, but still...That's the way I feel.

So it's Monday night, time to relax. Can you just relax, farmboy? Maybe you can take on all the problems of yourself and the world tomorrow.

What are you saying, man? You making fun of me?

I'm sorry if it came off that way, farmboy. All I'm saying is that you need to wind down and whatever problems you have could be faced tomorrow, with a clear mind. If you've got a cold, you need rest and you need to quit stressing yourself out.

Forgive yourself for whatever's left undone and move on. Just try it, farmboy. Settle down.

Okay. But if it doesn't work and the world falls apart, it's your fuckin' fault.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I disappear

sorry I haven't been 
where you can find me
this apology is sincere
but when the sun is too bright
and the light starts to blind me
I disappear

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I miss smoking cigarettes

Man, let me tell you, I need to write a song. And not just any song, either. I need a keeper.

So? Write a song, farmboy.

What? Do you know how hard it is?

I don't care.

"I don't care?"  What the fuck? Here I am, baring my innermost feelings to you, being completely fuckin' vulnerable...

Look, farmboy, just write a song. Right now. I dare you.


(farmboy goes home and pulls out his journal and begins writing)

I miss smoking cigarettes
sorry, but it's true
my life was much more fun
when it was something I would do
I used to reward myself
for my hard-working labor
I used to sit outside
I was friends with every neighbor

I miss smoking cigarettes
I know that it ain't right
the mystery of Marlboros
in the magic of midnight
hanging out in parking lots
with all my goodtime friends
beer and weed and whiskey
too bad it had to end

'cause cigarettes cause cancer
and son, that ain't no joke
better to smoke that ganja, baby
gimme another toke

I miss smoking cigarettes
addiction can be fun
but, oh, my obnoxious friends
now that's all said and done
no more nasty nicotine
none of that ol' shuck and jive
I miss smoking cigarettes
but I like being alive

Thursday, October 11, 2012

good ol' USA

four walls
one window
one door
this is where I live
cheap-ass living
nothing less
nothing more
it takes all I can give
but it's okay
it's all right
I can buy beer on a Saturday night
it's all right
I'm okay
What else can a poor boy say?
I'm living the dream 
in the good ol' USA

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paying gigs

Worried about money. Again. It's just a fuckin' full-time gig, you know, this worrying about money. I need to get music gigs, man. Paying gigs. I know that there are people out there who could make use of my songs.

So, farmboy, how do you get gigs?

Well, I gotta get a "presence" on the internet. I gotta get a website and I gotta get an electronic press kit. In lieu of that, I give out my stuff, which is a one-page bio and a CD. 

The main thing is that I need to make some money. Even, maybe, playing at a coffeehouse for tips. Fuck, it's hard. 

But that's okay...

Yeah, it is, it is okay. What I learned this summer is that I can work on music full-time and I enjoy it. I enjoy being busy if my music's involved. And I'm not even asking for full-time music stuff. I'm asking for, like, an extra two or three hundred bucks a month. That's got to be possible, right.

You'll never know until you try, farmboy.

Well, I'm just gonna have to fuckin' try, aren't I?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

a promise

I am not sure 
what you want from me
a short glimpse of a promise
you thought I might be
have I disappointed you?
I somehow turned into 
someone who
still believes 
there might be a future
where I have learned
from my mistakes

Monday, October 8, 2012

Empty buzzing

Man, I tell you, there's so much I could say. What's strange is that I have nothing that I need to say. So what do I do? Do I add to the noise, to the empty buzzing all around us? Or do I just stay with the minimum -- in other words, just be quiet until I feel the need to say something. Kinda like a Quaker meeting, in a way.

It's your choice, farmboy. I'm here for either one. I'll listen to everything. Or nothing. Whatever you want.

Really? I'd be a fool to pass up a chance to say something, no matter how fuckin' meaningless it is.

Or you could wait until you have something worthwhile to say.

Let me think about this for a while, man.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

bad taste

you've got bad taste, my friend
if you're a friend to me

Friday, October 5, 2012

make an atlas

there's a world
inside your heart
inside your head
that's all yours.
you can have it.
see? you made this
so make an atlas
draw a map
mountains, rivers, deserts, plains
massive oceans
you compartmentalize
in countries you have discovered
you choose capitals
(you think Vancouver BC 
would be a good choice)

no one can see it but you
so treat it gently
with love
like you would a newborn child
on its first day on earth

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It holds me together

I'm just hanging out tonight, man. The middle of the week kinda depresses me. It's strange -- you'd think it would be the start of the week. And it probably would be, if I let it. I don't usually allow myself to think about Monday when Monday is actually happening.

That can be a good strategy, farmboy.

It's just fuckin' survival, man. That's all it is. I'm at my most vulnerable in the morning, so I try not to think about anything. 

I mean, so much of how we live is centered around The Fuckin' Job. It's fuckin' ridiculous, you know? I gotta put my work clothes on, I gotta make a fuckin' lunch, I have to be careful at work to not let my co-workers know too much about me-- just because I feel better that way. I like to separate The Fuckin' Job from my real life.

Which is music. Your real life, that is.

Yeah. That's pretty great. These days I come home from work and play guitar and sing, just because it feels good and I know I get better and feel good about myself.

You need to encourage that playing, farmboy.

Oh, I do. It's a gigantic priority. It's super important. It holds me together. I don't know how people who don't play a music instrument make it through life. I think I'd be afraid that I would just explode.

Maybe you would.



I guess we'll never know, now, will we?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I'm the sum total

I'm the sum total
of many contradictions
it is no surprise

that I'm so fucked up
my mind has no idea
which way I'm going

what path for choosing
the time or date or season
is far beyond me

but still I'm trying
with my imagination
to win this battle

I just can't help it
maybe it's my destiny
I will never know

I'm only instinct
strength and muscle
bone and blood
I do what I can

Monday, October 1, 2012

if I had a child

if I had a child
I'd say
"you can be anybody
you want to be
but whatever you do
wherever you go
don't end up like me"

if I had a child
I'd say
"the whole damn world is yours"
the only world I ever had
was iron clad
behind closed doors

if I had a child
I'd say
"create and discover
your own truth from fiction"
my life as a child
was nothing 
but puzzling contradictions

fantasies and reality
blended in some story book
I gazed out through the window
to see how real children looked

if I had a child
I would not drown it
like some unwanted puppy
I would nurture it
encourage it 
I would give it love
real love
despite or because of
my hatred of