Monday, March 31, 2014

the observer, possible bridge

as a child,
I'd lift my head
out of my book
and stare out the window
to see 
how real children looked

Sunday, March 30, 2014

anxiety song

I remember every single mistake
I've ever made in my life
and I wake up thinking of them 
in the middle of the night

Saturday, March 29, 2014

words together

you put the words together
one by one
they feel so fine
when they're rolling off your tongue 
but tomorrow you'll know
the damage that they've done
and you won't forget them
you know life is so damn sloppy
it's neither white or black
it's somewhere in the middle
and you're about to jump the track
you put the words together
and now you can't take them back
now you just regret them

Friday, March 28, 2014

prove myself to you

I was a natural-born fool
the exception that proves the rule
a liar and a cheat
lost on easy street
without a clue
until you walked my way
and changed my lonely night to day
this time it's true
what can I do?
make me prove myself to you

I was a winner
in a loser's game
I was a beginner
half a heart
and no sign of a brain
a man of no means
holes in my jeans
where the money goes through
until I saw your face
now I'm no longer running in place
this time it's true
I'm starting anew
make me prove myself to you

          I'll never leave you
          I'll never deceive you
          you've got my life in your hands
          I'm through with pretending
          that there's a no happy ending
          I'll do all I can
          to be your man

I kept myself down  
in so many ways
one look at you
and I'm alive and amazed
this time it's true
it's been long overdue
make me prove myself to you
make me prove myself to you

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This is my vacation

Well, you know, I only have a few days left of Spring Break. But it's still, like, a long weekend. So I'm trying to relax and enjoy it.

What have you been doing, farmboy?

A whole lot of fuckin' nothing, man. I did prepare all the stuff for my tax guy. I've worked on music. I know I should have done more, but, fuck, man, this is my vacation and I really need to remember that. I give myself too hard of a time every time I have more than three days off.

From where I stand, farmboy, you're always giving yourself a hard time.

I know. I don't know exactly what to do about it, but I'm thinking about it, you know? It's hard. But hopefully someday I'll get there. I better.

What if you don't?

Oh, I will. Trust me.

I can't afford to have any doubt, man. I can't even go there. All this stuff that I've been trying to  accomplish all my life -- you know, confidence, health, music -- there's no finish line other than death, I suppose. And I have to keep going for it in whatever way I can.

And what, exactly, is "it," farmboy?

I'm not sure I know, man. But it's there. And, fuck, man, so am I.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

false alarm

sitting on a public toilet
with a needle in my arm
no need to call the doctor, mama
I'm just a false alarm
ain't it a goddamn shame
ain't it a fuckin' drag
when the best that you can hope for
is a clean warm body bag 

I never thought I come to 
an ending such as this
my sneakers wet and smelling hard
of other people's piss
ain't nothing I can do, mama
ain't nothing I can say
it all stinks of this rotting life
that I have pissed away

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

the observer 2

I was trying hard to be
someone other than me
and somehow I became
the observer
if you're looking for a liar
I'm in the main line of fire
you don't have to search
any further
I want to be like you
I want to be like you

Monday, March 24, 2014

the observer

so I separated myself
apart from everybody else
and I learned to be
the observer
standing behind
the shelter of my mind
your talking barely
more than a murmur
I want to be like you
I want to be like you

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I get to drink coffee

Hey, I'm going out tonight to meet with my songwriter group. And what's so cool about that? you may ask.

Hey, farmboy?

Hey, man?

What's so cool about going out tonight to meet with your songwriting group?

It's Spring Break and I don't have top worry about getting home at a certain time or going to bed or getting up to go to the fuckin' job. I mean, it's not as if we're going to be rowdy and partying will the dawn or anything. It does mean, however, that I get to drink coffee.

What more could you ask for?

Not much, man. It's freedom and that's what makes me such a fine American, you know?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

first day of spring break

I don't want to do nothing
that has to do with anything
that should be done

I want to be sloth-like
laying around with no purpose
but to do nothing

I know I'll feel guilty
I know it will seem impossible
but I have groceries
and there is no reason 
to leave this apartment

this is just for today
I promise
tomorrow I will remember
that there is work
that must be done
but right now
it's the first day of spring break
and I am finally

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fuckin' bunch of prick-eating assholes

It's Spring Break! I don't have to return to my stupid fuckin' soul-sucking job for nine days! Man, I fuckin' hate that place. It keeps getting worse and worse and there's nothing that can be done about it that I know of. These people -- the head assholes of Portland Public Schools -- they're the biggest fuckin' bunch of self-congratulating prick-eating assholes that you could ever imagine. And, for nine glorious days, I'm free, I tell ya! Free!

Are you finished, farmboy?

Yeah, I'm through. I'm on Spring Break! Let's more on to better, brighter stuff, shall we?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

free advice (everything you do is wrong)

let me give you 
some free advice
that you should have known all along
in this world 
of greed and evil
everything you do is wrong
if you're looking to do what's right
here's the only way
open your ears and shut your mouth
and do just what I say:

follow me
I can lead you 
where you need to go
I can tell you
everything you need to know
follow me

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Break from the fuckin' job

Man, only two more fuckin' work days till Spring Break, during which I will work on a CD and clean my apartment. And sleep late and stay up late and smoke weed. Maybe I'll drink some beer. I don't know.

There's always heroin, farmboy.

And meth! I don't know jack shit about heroin but meth…I mean, I've never taken it, but I've seen all five seasons of Breaking Bad.

I'm looking real forward to Spring Break, though. Just that break from the fuckin' job. I'm starting Spring Break on Friday night with a performance at the coffeehouse. 

You've been performing a little bit more lately, I've noticed.

A little more, yeah. But still not enough. But any performance experience is good. I just wish I had the opportunity to do more performing.

But anyway, I think that's a good way to start Spring Break. Plus getting a little bit of money won't be bad either, you know?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

more money

every day I wake up
to a day 
like the day before
it's the same damn thing
over and over again
get out of bed and 
go to work and
pay the company store
and live this way
till life comes to an end
because the rich man needs more money
the rich man needs more money
the rich man needs more money
so you got to do your work

Monday, March 17, 2014

Not one of those real holidays

Hey, man, how you be? World treating you okay?

The world is treating me just fine today, farmboy. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you.

Yeah, you too. I like St. Patrick's Day okay, you know, but it's not one of those real holidays. It's not a holiday where you get a day off. That's what makes a holiday to me. It's not really an actual holiday unless I can sleep late and not have to go to the fuckin' job, you know what I mean?

I think I do.

I mean, there's a bunch of these days: Valentine's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Halloween, Groundhog Day, Mother's and Father's Day. Gimme a fuckin' day off and we'll talk. 

What about food? Music? Culture?

Well, yeah, I like Irish music. I like Mexican food. There are many great bluegrass songs about Mother and Father. Just listen to the Stanley Brothers.

But mostly for me, it's the day off. Sorry.

Fair enough.

I do like corned beef and cabbage, though…

Sunday, March 16, 2014

hands (from Hands: the Musical)

take a fast sec to think 
'bout what your hands are doin'
without your hands, your life might be 
on the fast track to ruin
hands can pick things up
and then drop them just as low
hands can point you at which way
that you think you should go
there's so much we need to understand

hands can grab a hanky and then
use it as a tissue
if you somehow forgot your hands
I'm sure that they would miss you
some folks have no hands and 
they adapt their way around that  
sometimes your hands see coffee beans
and think "I'd like to ground that"
I will sound that
alarm at the best of my command
for hands

          if you and your hands
          are at the san andreas fault
          you could use your hands
          and do an awesome somersault 

hands can make you happy, son,
and hands can make you sad
you've got to be careful 
with your hands when you are mad
hands have their own language, yes,
and hands can do the hula
some hands can be sexy
and make you a lotta moola
you can trust me all the way
you know I'd never fool ya
as you'll recall that "downtown" song
was once sung by petula
hands can warm you up sometimes 
and hands can make you cooler
if my pal leonard cohen was here
he'd tell you hallelujah
boo yah
man man man 
ain't they oh so grand
so how 'bout a hand
to hands!!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

here and now

there is no future
there is no past
there's only now
and it's running way too fast
one day you're here
one day you're gone
and in between 
you're only moving on

          slow down
          let me off
          I do believe
          I've had enough
          let me live
          teach me how
          to be okay
          in the here and now

Friday, March 14, 2014

the inconvenience store

today I went to the inconvenience store
where nothing was what it was before
the sales clerk told me to help myself
but everything was on the top shelf
the milk was sold in ten-gallon jugs
and the manager was high on designer drugs
the whole wheat bread was two weeks old
and the hired help was bought and sold
the entry door was locked and gated
all the coffee was decaffeinated
to see it, you would have to laugh
(you'd need a little half & half)
the wild rice looked like sad confetti
and the meatballs ate all the spaghetti
oh no! come quick! one customer cried
and it took all his courage to come inside
where apples argued with potted plants
about the toast imported from France
the artichokes sang an old folk song
(the only thing that didn't go wrong!)
the twinkies and ding-dongs never grew old
with as many preservatives that you could behold
and just when you thought it was all finished
the orange juice insulted the spinach
and I yelled "I can't take it no more!"
and walked out of the inconvenience store

Thursday, March 13, 2014

looking for inspiration

when you're looking
for inspiration
inspiration hides away
'cause that's part of the game
inspiration has to play
no matter who you are
what you do
or what you say
inspiration always has its way

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

people tell me

people tell me
all kinds of stuff
like how I am not
good enough
like how I should
my low place in
the chain of command
you should obey
you must not speak
here, let me give you
my critique
you want your say?
well, that's absurd!
the whole world says
do not disturb
stay in one place
mind your p's and q's
whatever you're offered
you must politely refuse
don't do as I do
do as you're told

it's hard being
seven years old

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I'll show you!

Hey, man, I need your help. I'm teaching a class in the uses of fiction in songwriting and I have to write some kind of little blurb for the class.

So what's stopping you, farmboy? You're a writer. Just write it now. I dare you.

You fuckin' son-of-a-bitch, I'll show you!

(farmboy storms off and sits at the computer. He begins typing.)

The uses of fiction in songwriting

Combining imagination and intuition with the tools of writing narrative fiction is the focus of this class, taught by local songwriter farmboy. The class will explore writing in the voices of others, character techniques, dialogue, and plot development as well as melody, rhythm, and chord progressions. farmboy will also discuss the uses of fictional songwriting and how to trust the voices inside yourself.

(farmboy comes back in and hands what he has written to the interviewer.)

Whaddya think?

This looks good, farmboy. I think you're off to a good start and you don't need my help after all.

Well, not now. You already helped me by being an asshole. (laughs)

I know.

(farmboy speaks under his breath.)

Motherfuckin' son-of-a-Republican-bitch…

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's just that it's Monday

Damn, man, it's Monday and I'm fried. It's fuckin' daylight savings time so I'm waking up to go to work when it's still dark. But, shit, I'm doing okay. It's just that it's Monday and I hate Mondays. Usually I get through it by denial.

Denial? I'm not sure I get what you mean, farmboy.

That's probably not the right word for it. What I'm talking about is just not admitting that Monday is terrible or that it's even here, you know. Move straight on to Tuesday, even though the only good thing about Tuesday is that it's not Monday.

Anyway, I'm not at work, as you can tell. I'm at home and I've got some weed and some leftover pizza. I've got a guitar and a computer and the radio and podcasts and…well, I've got the whole fuckin' world at my fuckin' fingertips. I ain't really hurting for nothing tonight.

Maybe you should be grateful?

Oh, I am, I am. I'm saying I hate Mondays but, you know, Monday at home really isn't Monday. It's not really Monday unless you go to that soul-sucking job that you have to go to so you can keep the rest of your life from going under.

Well, I guess that's one way of looking at it…

I'm serious. Let's say I win the lottery -- sorry, but quitting my job is on the shortlist of what I'll be doing.

I'm hesitant to say anything anymore about stuff like this, because people are so "You don't hate your job" and "What about the children?" and "You should be thankful for your job"…which I am, by the way. It's just that I don't need any fuckin' condescending Pollyanna asshole telling me about how I'm supposed to feel. I fuckin' hate those people, man, they think they're better than everybody else when they're really just fuckin' assholes.

You sound angry, farmboy.

Well, I don't want to be. Because I'm at home and it ain't Monday no more as far as I'm concerned. Now where's my lighter? I'm ready for marijuana, man. Right now.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I ain't weak no more, bridges

bridge one:

all that time I wasted
thinking that I wasn't strong
I've never been so happy
to find out I was wrong

bridge two:

all that time believing
I could not be strong
maybe I've been deceiving
myself all along

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I ain't weak no more, verse three

I'm as strong
as I can be
trouble stay
away from me
I'm more than you bargained for
trouble keep
your mouth shut
the truth is gonna
kick your butt
I tell you what
I ain't weak no more

Friday, March 7, 2014

Remember to have a good time

I gotta perform tonight at the coffeehouse. They had a cancellation and I was asked to fill in.

Great, farmboy, I'm glad to hear that you're playing out.

Yeah, but I ain't got no idea of what I'm gonna play. I'm so fuckin' tired of many of my songs and I'm afraid people have heard them too many times. But, hey, tonight's really only about a half an hour…

Which is what -- nine or ten songs?

No, more like five or six. I guess the main thing is that I'm entertaining and people have a good time, despite the seriousness of so much of my material. I mean, you know, I balance it out with happy songs and some up-tempo stuff and I can even tell a few jokes if I have to. 

So you sound like it's all going to go well, farmboy.

Man, I'm hoping so. I love having good performances. I just gotta remember to have a good time and I just gotta try to not be nervous. 

You can do that, easy.

Yeah, I can do that. My mind seems to be in a okay place today and that'll help me. Plus it's the weekend and I can come home and drink coffee and smoke weed. All is good.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I ain't weak no more, verse 2

I can do it
I know I can
I ain't been lazy
I been making plans
I can do 
what I couldn't do before
nothing to it
say amen
I got a helping hand to lend
I tell you, friend, 
I ain't weak no more

is dead and gone
today's the day
for moving on
is knocking at my door
first one step
and then the other
I got one thing 
to tell you, brother
I've discovered
I ain't weak no more

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I ain't weak no more

I can do it
I know I can
I ain't been lazy
I been making plans
I can do 
what I couldn't do before
nothing to it
say amen
I got a helping hand to lend
I tell you, friend, 
I ain't weak no more

Another song or two

So I'm working on this CD, finally. I booked a CD release concert for June 14 so I gotta do it. Wish me luck, man. Remember me in your prayers. 

Man, I would love to write another song or two for this CD. You know, I write all the fuckin' time, but I need something to stick. I gotta go through all that stuff I've written; maybe there's something I can use.

I'll bet there is, farmboy. You've got a lot of writing to look at and I'm sure there's a good deal of lyrics that have potential.

Potential. That's what I want, man. I mean, I like to work on songs. I find it really rewarding. Yeah, I just gotta look at a lot of words. And some of that will be fun. And some of that will be very humbling, I'm sure.

I'll be interested to hear what you get, farmboy.

You and me both, man.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I am listening to the traffic
pretending it's the ocean's roar
from a half-remembered childhood
back before the war

straight at you

I set out looking for fortune
I set out looking for fame
instead all I got was trouble 
calling my Christian name
I should have never raised my hand
I should have never said "That's me!"
I should have locked my big mouth 
and thrown away the key 
instead I did what I always do
looking straight at you

Monday, March 3, 2014

what I won't miss when I'm gone 2

insurance premiums
car problems
drinking bad coffee
filling out forms
reality TV shows
vacuum cleaners
trans fats in microwave popcorn
having to get up on cold mornings
waiting in long lines
the "sour cream" at Taco Bell
bad pop music
bureaucracy in anything
alarm clocks
loud people on the radio
the religious right
premature baldness
pop-ups on computer screens
bright, bright sunlight
high humidity
whole wheat tortillas
the harpsichord
moving to a new place
money troubles
bad remakes of good songs
Harry Potter
chapped lips
golf on TV
high school
Thomas Kinkade paintings
daylight savings time
lawn mowers
icy roads
plastic flowers
fat-free salad dressing
phone books
unwashed glass containers
canned spaghetti
people who are fuckin' assholes
talking on the phone
dreams that won't come true
phony wood panelling
and more to come...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscar party!

Hey man! I'm going to an Oscar party! I'm gonna drink diet Pepsi and eat dim sum! I'm gonna be a normal person with a social life!

Good going, farmboy. A little fun before you have to go back to work tomorrow, eh?

Jeez, man. Now I'm fuckin' depressed.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Carlos went downtown

Carlos went downtown
to buy a quarter-ounce of Portland's best
(no, it's not legalized here yet)
Carlos went downtown
he bought a foot-long sub and beer
and went home to his TV set
to watch his favorite program
the one about the teacher and the kid
he'll tell you "oh, man,
I can't spoil it by saying what they did
you'll have to watch it
from the beginning"

Carlos has some friends
maybe not a whole lot
but the friends that he has,
they are good
Carlos has a job
heaven knows he hates it
but he's right on time
the way he should
but sometimes it's good to just stay home
and get high and drink a lot of beer
sometimes it's good to let
the whole wide world to disappear
get it far away from here

                     *                    *                   *

New song, farmboy?

Yeah, man, but I don't know where the fuck to go with this and I don't want to fuckin' force an ending that's not emotionally true just to have an ending. You know?

Maybe I'll give it a little time to breathe in my unconscious. How's that for pretentious sounding?

I think it's a good idea to give it time, farmboy. Come back later and see if you're still interested.

Sounds good. See you later, Carlos.