Friday, November 30, 2012

my mind off of you

I drink the Irish whiskey
I swallow the Old Crow
I straighten out a paper clip
and attempt to scrape a bowl
there's beer in the icebox
pour myself a bitter brew
but nothing is getting
my mind off of you

I took a couple pills
to see if I could fall asleep
cloneazepam and antivan
should put me in deep
I called my backstreet buddies
but there's nothing they can do
they're just in the way of getting 
my mind off of you

I am sinking
from too much thinking
I should be drinking
all my tragedies away

maybe tomorrow
all my blues will disappear
that ol' sun will be shining
and my head will be clear
but right now sleep is just a dream
that refuses to come true
there ain't no way of getting
my mind off of you
there ain't no way of getting 
my mind off of you

today my life is fucked

today my life is fucked
but that don't mean
it'll be fucked tomorrow
today my life 
is a cesspool 
with misery and sorrow
I try to have a good attitude
but today it just ain't working, dude 
today my life is fucked
and there's nothing I can do

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Well, today's fantasy

So, like, not to dwell on it, but today was not so great.

You sound so hopeful, farmboy.

You're kidding, right? No, I mean, it was a frustrating day at work and all, but I also know that it's not important enough to analyze too much. It's one of those fuckin' shitholes of a day that just don't add up to nothin', man. 

All I need to need is forget about it. Which won't be hard.

Think I'll just mosey over to my fantasy life.

What does that look like? Give me some details.

Well, today's fantasy is that I live on a farm and I have a dog and I can get up early and watch the sun rise up over the fields. I can drink a cup of coffee and write. I'd really like some space. This living in the city is okay but I just feel so fuckin' cramped in, you know?

So, anyway, that's it. My fantasy place where I can go and breathe.

Your name is very appropriate, farmboy.

That's me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

too many memories

I am the owner
of too many memories
they come to visit
like deadbeat relatives
who bring their sleeping bags
and stay for a while
a loooong while
I need a restraining order
I need to keep them
as far away as possible

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hopeful, you know?

Hey, want to hear some lines I wrote last night, man?

Sure. Shoot 'em at me, farmboy.

Okay, let me get these out.

(farmboy looks them over)

Man, I don't fuckin' know. This is so fuckin'...hopeful, you know?

Now I really want to hear what you've written, farmboy.

Here goes nothing, I guess.

          ain't no time to run and hide
          gonna make it to the other side
          got a dream that can't be denied
          I guess I'm on my way

That is hopeful, farmboy.

Now I just don't know if it's any good. Maybe I'll use it, maybe I won't. We'll see.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

when love returns

she's bought all the books
she's tried all the new diets
if there's any way to change her looks
you can be damned sure she'll try it
she's counting every calorie
especially the ones she burns
she intends to be ready
when love returns

she's looking 
into new religions
to find one that applies
she's like a lost homing pigeon
stranded in unfriendly skies
she's thinking 
there's some lesson
that life wants her to learn
she's making no mistakes
when love returns

     everything's going 
     to be perfect this time
     she's going to be his
     funny valentine

all the brand-new fashions
she hopes someday to afford
to accelerate the passions
stubbornly unexplored
she looks in the bathroom mirror
thinking she has style to burn
she's going to look her finest
when love returns

     everything's going 
     to be perfect this time
     all the love songs will be sung
     all the poetry will rhyme

wait by the telephone
search the internet
looking for some answers
she hasn't found just yet
lighting every candle
praying someday love will burn
she's going to keep on hoping
when love returns
she'll keep her heart wide open
when love returns

Saturday, November 24, 2012

fools like me

I got a wallet in the pocket of my britches
and inside is twenty dollars, cash
I got another twenty underneath my mattress
in the shoebox where I also hide my stash
and mom and pa don't know a thing about it
and that's the way I want it to be
I'm saving up for my very own tomorrow
where the future waits for fools like me

Friday, November 23, 2012

before my very eyes

I was waiting in the drive-thru 
at my local Mickey D's
trying not to honk 
at the cars in front of me
I need a mocha shake
I need a quarter pounder, boss
I needs double cheese 
and a quart of secret sauce
as I pulled to the street, man,
much to my surprise
stood a homeless man
right before my very eyes

     he said
     mister can you help me?
     my family needs some food
     I've been holding this cardboard sign
     up and down the avenue
     from the ass-crack of dawn
     to the setting of the sun
     and nobody's cared to help me
     mister, will you be the one?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thanksgiving haiku

food in my belly
a warm place where I can live
life is very good

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Because I'm free!

I have five -- count 'em, five -- days off. Thanksgiving and all that. I'm so thankful for these days off. This working at a public school gig is just too fuckin' much sometimes. Pisses me off.

But let's not talk about that now, man. Because I'm free!

That's pretty wonderful, farmboy. What are you going to do?

I'm gonna stay at my brother's for a couple days and babysit my niece so my brother and his wife can go out and celebrate her birthday (which is today).

Other than that I don't know. I'll probably keep reading the Neil Young memoir. Maybe I'll write a song. That's what I really want to do.

Maybe you will. I hope I can hear it.

You'll be the first, man.

Monday, November 19, 2012

big used book sale

big used book sale
proceeds to the library 
three books, three dollars

I can't afford this
I am ashamed of myself
for lack of control

but knowing inside
that it's really no big deal

but also knowing
three dollars add up

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bone and blood and language

How are you doing, farmboy, with what we talked about yesterday?

Okay. It's hard. I feel like I'm betraying what I believe in by not bowing down to my OCD-ness, or whatever you want to call it. And that's fuckin' bullshit, man. This is my life, my beliefs. It's like I want to say to this fuckin' condition this does not belong to you.

You know, man, not that it matters...

Which of course means that it does matter...

I just wanted to clarify that I don't look down on atheism. It's not for me, but it's also not my place to judge anyone on their beliefs. It's none of my business.

I don't know, man. I think about this stuff all the fuckin' time.

I know, farmboy.

And, let me explain...fuck, man, I always wind up feeling weired if I discuss my beliefs with people. I end up feeling guilty, but, fuck, I'm just this human guy trying to make the most out of my feeble efforts at understanding. I'm just a man, you know? Bone and blood and language. You know? So , listen, what I'm thinking...

Listen, farmboy. You don't have to justify your spiritual life to me or anybody else.

It's just between me and God?

It's what you want. You make the rules.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sign of the cross

This is hard, man. I need to explain to you what this feels like, the withdrawals I'm going through.

What happened, farmboy? Did you decide to quit smoking marijuana?

No. Something else. And right now I'm in the fuckin' midst of it.


I have this problem, man, that I think I've probably mentioned. So to put labels on parts of my life, I'm, like, a major in obsessive/compulsive disorder with an emphasis in religion. It's called scrupulosity. And it's a motherfucker, I'll tell you what.

So there's this thing, this obsession with the sign of the cross. It's fuckin' multifaceted, man. Anyway...this is really weird man, I don't talk about praying. 'Cause it's a private thing and it's nobody's business. It's just me and God. And that's all the detail I'll go into on that. 

So this one, well, I end my prayers with the sign of the cross every night. And that's when the "inappropriate thoughts" come. But I can't stop, you know. It can get real bad. I can't believe I'm telling you this stuff.

So...I just said my prayers and I decided to not perform the sign of the cross. And it's fuckin' driving me crazy, man, it's like the world's worst itch and I'm not allowing myself to scratch it. 

I feel like "Oh my God! I've become an atheist!" And I'm not! I'm...I'm just not a Catholic anymore.

Man, I feel like I'm fuckin' evil right now.

But you're not, farmboy. You know that, don't you?

I don't know, man.

Don't feed into this, farmboy. You have your spirituality, you have your beliefs, you have your...



I'm not any different than I was before?

You're still the same farmboy. You're just finally standing up to a church that doesn't fit you and a disorder that forces you to distrust yourself all the time.

You're a brave guy, farmboy.

I hope so. That's the way God made me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


So there's all this fuckin' drama going on at work and I'm just trying to stay out of it all. Let me do my work -- and I do a good job -- and let everything stay at work. When I get home, I want to come home to Musicland, you know? Like it's its own little country, with melodies and words and harmonies and stuff.

Sounds nice, farmboy. Sounds like paradise.

It is. You've got that right. 

This creativity thing, I really want to encourage it. 'Cause I still don't feel like I have a right to do this.

"This" being songwriting, I presume.

Yeah. Which is fuckin' ridiculous. It's like I don't get to take myself seriously. It's like, who the hell do I think I am, trying to think that what I say has a right to exist. Even if it's only to myself.

That's incredibly sad, farmboy.

Ain't it? It's really fucked, man. And mostly, it's just plain fuckin' wrong.

So you need to fight it.

And, believe me, I am. That's what my whole life has been about.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

caller ID

all this misplaced anger
now looking for a new home
it cannot stay here anymore
I'm changing the locks
getting a new phone number
with caller ID
I'm getting a divorce
I can't live with you anymore

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

All the fuckin' above, man

Back to fuckin' work, man. It's rough after having four days off. You know what I don't like about my life?

Let me think, farmboy...Maybe work? Lack of money? Songwriting is hard? Loneliness? The political climate? 

All the fuckin' above, man. I wish I wasn't in a fuckin' panic all the damn time. My siblings have the same problem. We all panic and I don't know why. Fuckin' sucks, man.

You know, it's a good thing that we, as moving creatures on this planet, have to sleep. 'Cause it's good to rest and lose consciousness for a while. Makes life a whole lot easier, man.

Because you wake up refreshed?

I don't know so much about that, man. It's just a new start. And I need one of those, every single day.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

what I do

what I do is nobody's business
what I do is who I am
what I do is what I want to
and I do not give a damn
what I do is keep my own counsel
think my thoughts
say my words
what I do is tell myself
that someday I will be heard
above the traffic and the noise
beyond my wallet and the bank
with no thought to my background
my class
my name
my rank
I am not just another worker
I have other things to do
I am hope and faith and courage
and so are you

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Under the gun

I don't want to write at this moment. I want to eat potato chips and surf the internet and listen to the podcasts I can't listen to because my fuckin' clock radio with the iPod dock is broken. Pisses me off.

So don't write. You can write tomorrow, farmboy.

Really? You mean it's okay? 

You're the boss, farmboy. You don't to ask my permission. Or anyone else's permission, for that matter.

That's hard for me to get used to, man. It's like, I've been thinking lately about how...I know the word, don't tell powerless I feel in my life. Which, I hope, is complete bullshit. 

You're correct, farmboy. It is bullshit...

I don't know, man, I just feel so under the gun all the time. I feel like I'm running as fast as I can and I can't keep up. I'm fuckin' tired, man. I don't know what the fuck I'm rambling on about.

So give yourself the night off, farmboy. We can address all this "powerless" issues later.

Okay, it's official: I don't have to write tonight.

Good for you.

Now, how much you wanna bet that I'm gonna write something?

Friday, November 9, 2012

of service

I was so scared
I was no nervous
God bless
and saints preserve us
I just want to be of service
for the rest of my years
if nothing is worth saving
then we won't be misbehaving
with our current constant craving
before we disappear

Thursday, November 8, 2012


all you can do
is pray


But wait! There's more!

Man. Let me tell you, this living thing is pretty fuckin' strange sometimes. I have the next four days off, I just spent the evening at the coffeehouse where I played and listened and saw friends. In spite of all that, I'm sad and downhearted, and I...well, I need not to fuckin' think so fuckin' much.

You know, it's the money thing and I'm gonna have to start selling things if there's not some kind of change soon. And it's me who's gotta make whatever change it is, but, fuck, I'd be grateful if the world would quit wanting more and more from me, financially.

But wait! There's more! So tonight at the coffeehouse is Joni Mitchell tribute night. And, um, I've having problems writing and now I'm comparing myself to Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell is a fuckin' genius, she's a true innovator, you know, man?

I think I know where this is going, farmboy.

Yeah, I know, I'm predictable. And there's one thing I know: You get nowhere comparing yourself with other people. Which, of course, is something I do constantly.

Anyway, really, what I probably need is a good night's sleep and faith that things happen for the better. Like the presidential election.

farmboy, you know everything is going to work out, don't you?

Yeah. But I don't know how.

That's the exciting part.

That's what I've been placing my bets on, man.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

fainter away

I drew a picture of you
on a napkin at a Denny's
in east Los Angeles once
like I needed it 
to remember you
to comfort me
to pay my last respects
I think of you
and hope
and fear
and pray
that you don't get fainter
and fainter away

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I don't want to hear nothing

I don't want to hear nothing
I'm pretending everything's fine
all the doors and windows are locked
in this life of mine
I don't need your opinion
I don't care what you say
but I know you too well, my friend
you're gonna say it anyway

I'm unplugging the telephone
I'm turning off the radio
I'm staying off the internet
I'm not learning more
than I already know
I no longer see friends
or any kind of family
I'm chained and shackled
to this life of being free

but I don't want to hear nothing
I don't want to see nothing
there must be something
up with me

Monday, November 5, 2012

All I'm looking for is the truth

Been writing. Every fuckin' day. I think -- imagine songwriting as fishing -- I've got a couple nibbles. I kinda feel like the stuff I'm gonna be writing might be a little more complicated than most of my previous stuff.

Which is good, farmboy. Change is good.

Yeah, it is. 

All I can really do is follow where the writing takes me. I know it's a craft and all that, but there's so much subconscious involved.

Maybe using the subconscious is part of the craft, farmboy. Now, I'm no expert at this subject, but I would think that learning how to tap that subconscious is part of the songwriting process, the craft of songwriting.

Oh, it is. There's so much mystery in songwriting -- maybe it's in every art form.

I think it is.

So much I don't know, that maybe I can't know. Maybe that's why there's always so much emphasis on the craft -- you can kinda control the craft. All you gotta do is harness the...I'm not sure, man. Inspiration? I don't know, man. there's such a tendency to romanticize writing.

Which might be why you use the word "mystery" to describe it, farmboy.

Maybe. I mean, all I'm looking for is the truth, you know?

See? That will lead to inspiration, I'm sure.

I hope so, 'cause it's so fuckin' hard, man. It's a lot easier to be sentimental.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

the last hitchhiker

the last hitchhiker I ever picked up
was too many years ago
he was stuck south of Salinas
on a red dirt country road
he said his name was Henry
he had on him nineteen years
and all he wanted to do, he said,
was get the hell out of here

"I want to see the world," said Henry,
"and you're my very first ride
and I believe I'll do okay, man,
if I've got folks like you by my side"
as for me, I did not answer
'cause all I knew to say
was "Henry, be careful,
the world don't move that way"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I am so

I am so tired
I am so worried
I am so anxious
I am so scared
but I still
go on anyway
no matter what I say
I go on anyway
and somehow I make it through

I am so careful
not to offend
I will do anything
to have a friend
I am so cynical
I am so naive
I have a million tricks
up my sleeve
still I believe
and go on anyway
into a sky of gray
I go on anyway
and somehow I make it through

Friday, November 2, 2012

you did not return

refrigerator hums
kitchen clock ticks
there is no one home but me
water drips
dog barks
and you are not here
I wrote letters
made calls
you did not return
I cried
and tried 
to shed my pride
and still
you did not come back
to me

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My new catchphrase

Fuck, man, it's been a bad day. Or at least a shitty afternoon. And I don't want to explain anything.

That's fine, farmboy.

Okay, I'll tell you. I'm fucked financially, so I had to ask my older brother for money, which I really hate doing. I mean, I still owe him money. But. fuck, everybody wants my fuckin' money! And, of course, I work in fuckin' pubic education where my paycheck has literally gone down. What the fuck am I supposed to do?

There's been more, but, man, I'm so fuckin' tired I don't want to get into it. Just a miserable frustrating pigfuck of a day.


That's my new catchphrase, man. You like it?

Yeah, me neither. I want to come up with something witty, but I don't feel witty.

It's hard to force wit.

Yeah. I'm not a real witty guy. Pisses me off.

Got my mind off of my money problems, though. If only for a minute or two.

That's something good, farmboy. 

Hey, I'll fuckin' take anything, man.