Tuesday, September 30, 2014

for the rest of my life

I knew by my first real job
that I would be smoking weed
for the rest of my life
as long as I kept on working

Monday, September 29, 2014

You recognize the story when you see it

So here's a song idea, and it's from true life, too. I have noticed that when I get up in the morning, I think about how I can't wait to get home from work so I can go back to bed and fall asleep.

That's…that's actually kind of sad, farmboy.

You don't think it's funny?

I guess it is. It's just that I would hope you have a better life than that.

Oh, I do. But I can see why you would think that it's sad. But, you know, there's a lot in this world that's sad, you know? And I think that this would also qualify as a source of conflict, which any good story needs.

I hope you explore it, then. Especially since it's been going on now. 

And why is that?

Oh, I just mean that you can look at those feelings with a sense of direction and you're a witness to them currently. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say, farmboy, but I hope you get the gist.

I think I do. I should pay attention when I start thinking like that, and then use it for writing.


Sheesh! I could have told you that, man. I do that with fuckin' everything, man. That's part of writing songs. You're like a newspaper reporter in that way. You recognize the story when you see it.

I'm looking forward to hearing this song.

Me too, man. Maybe I'll learn something about myself, you know?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

never coming home

I got gas in the pick-up
whiskey in a flask
money in my pocket
and questions I don't need to ask
you may treat me like a schoolboy
but darlin', I'm full grown
I got the open road before me
and I'm never coming home

I need a change of direction
I need a new point of view
this may be natural selection
but I don't need you
I'm deleting your name
and number from my telephone
I got a life to keep on living
and I'm never coming home

Saturday, September 27, 2014

don't make me think about you

don't make me think about you
there's a million other things I can do 
I can drink a little whiskey
I can tell myself lies
instead of cutting you down to size
don't make me think about you

Friday, September 26, 2014

and that's okay

I want meaning in my life
is that too much to ask?
if that's the case
I better hurry up
and so begins the task
I got on my walking shoes
I ain't got no more time for blues
but the answers never come my way
what can I say
I'm just a human being still searching
and that's okay

Thursday, September 25, 2014

on their own behalf

I can't believe how powerless I've become
I used to be so strong
the sky was as blue as the ocean
now color just doesn't belong
all the rejection and all the unfairness
I used to fight on the righteous path
are all but accepted by those who can't fight
on their own behalf

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

bonnie's song

rooster crows
off to work
starbucks, please,
to stay alert
greet the students
at 8:05
it's another day for bonnie
at grant high

ten great kids

ten wheelchairs
bonnie gives
the best of care
with a heart as big
as the open sky
it's another day for bonnie
at grant high

she makes sure that they're clean

she makes sure that they're fed
she makes sure that they're safe
and she counts on david's head

with paints and paper

and elmer's glue
and colors yellow
red and blue
the kids make art
under her watchful eye
it's another day for bonnie 
at grant high

with words and a gentle touch

(sometimes with latex gloves)
with bonnie by their side
the kids know that they're loved


end of day
some rough parts
but it's okay
students on the bus
she waves goodbye
it's another day for bonnie
at grant high
it's another day for bonnie
at grant high

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Can I bounce this off of you, man?

I'm writing a song as a birthday present for a coworker. Can I bounce this off of you, man? 

Sure, farmboy. I'd love to hear it.

This is brand new so it's really fuckin' rough. 

That's fine.

Plus I'm stoned…

Just play the song, farmboy.

          alarm goes off
          off to work
          starbucks, please,
          to stay alert
          greet the students
          at 8:05
          it's another day for Bonnie
          at Grant High

So there's a little part of it. Just the beginning. Just go through her whole day with the students.

I like it and I think you should explore it, farmboy.

Thanks, man. Maybe I will.

stay up all night

stay up all night 
too much whiskey
helps you sleep tight
so damned hard
to stand upright
ain't no time for snoring
stay up all night
all God's children
got an appetite
you got some riots
to incite
call in sick in the morning

Monday, September 22, 2014

fear of sunshine

I live in fear of sunshine
it's so fucking bright
that it hurts my head
it puts everything out there
in the big wide open
when it should be 
with the windows boarded up
like no one's home
but it would be my home
in the dark
where nobody can see me

Sunday, September 21, 2014

continue dreaming

the sun is rising
up over the horizon
and here you are, despising
the coming of the day
another fuckin' monday
dreaming about some postal gun play
planning 'bout the one day
you finally escape

your cellphone's ringing
auto tuned voices are singing
without any words of meaning
on clear channel radio
you work hard and dutiful
in this cell they call a cubical
you need something pharmaceutical
when you're putting on this show

this is not you
you don't even know who that is
there's nothing true
in any answers on the quiz
but what can you do?
I mean, it is what it is
but somehow you still
continue dreaming

Saturday, September 20, 2014


I took the 101
to the 405
till I went east on I-40
I found her house
on a rural route
on the open road before me

Friday, September 19, 2014


So today I ate my first fig.

What?  You've never had a fig? farmboy, where've you been?

I've had a fig newton. Does that count?

How did you like it?

The fig newton? A little dry, I suppose…

No, I mean the fig.

It was good. I don't know if I'd eat them very much, really, but figs are okay. They look kinda strange. I wish I was more adventurous in what I eat. I mistrust things sometimes, you know, like feta cheese.

I love feta cheese!

Most people do. Me, I don't trust feta cheese because it's made with goat's milk. And that's totally fuckin' ridiculous! I don't know a single thing about goats. It's just a different animal than the cow.

So, farmboy, would you try a fig again. 

Yeah, I probably would. As long as I don't have to look at it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

trouble waits

trouble waits
in the light of day
in the darkest depths
of the blackest night
trouble waits
around the corner
from the deepest lows
to the highest heights
trouble follows me around
picks up my scent
like the neighborhood hound

trouble waits
it don't say nothing
while it puts its hands
around your neck
trouble waits
like a bad movie
with a barroom crowd
at the megaplex
trouble thinks it's got it made
marching around
like a new year's day parade
trouble waits

trouble waits
like a worrying mother
in the living room 
at 2 a.m.
trouble waits
like it's nobody's business
and, with God as my witness,
knows how to pretend
trouble won't leave you alone
nipping at your heels
as he follows you home
trouble waits

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Once in a while, I actually enjoy it

How's the writing going, farmboy?

It's been going really well lately, thanks for asking. It's been going well for a long time, actually. This writing every day stuff that I've been doing for a while now has really helped. I mean, sometimes it's really fuckin' hard, you know? But what's cool is that something eventually comes. And a lot of times the writing feels like it's coming out naturally; it doesn't seem forced. And, every once in a while, I actually enjoy it.

I knew that this writing discipline would help.

Yeah, it's fuckin' amazing. I like a lot of the stuff that I've written lately. I don't know exactly where most of it is going, but that's okay. I have stuff I can work with and that's a good start.

I really, really want to be a good writer, more than just about anything. And, of course, by "good writer," I mean good songwriter. That's where I want to do my work. Maybe an occasional piece of fiction, maybe some journalism, but my first love is and always will be writing songs.

I think you're safely on your way, farmboy.

I think so too. At last that's what it feels like.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

eyes of the world

in the eyes of the world
all I am worth
is the size of my wallet 
and bank account
in the eyes of the world
all that I am
is something that I'm
really not about

Monday, September 15, 2014

I am not going to think about

I am not going to think about
how blood-red the sun was
as it sank into the sea
I am not going to think about
all the times you sacrificed 
for a loser like me
I am going to think 
in terms of facts and figures
I have a loaded gun
and I can pull the trigger
but I am not going to think about
all the things 
I would or would not do
I am not going to think about 
what I'm thinking of you

Sunday, September 14, 2014

my world, too (andy warhol's fifteen minutes)

I can't believe what people say
when they tell me everything's gonna be okay
I say "Hey!
ain't you heard the big news lately?
everybody's against
everybody else
everybody wants big money
for themselves
look around, son
ain't nobody saintly
all I know is what I see
and here I wait
for my chance
at Andy Warhol's fifteen minutes
I been waiting all my days
to stand right up and walk away
there's a life out there
and it's time to begin it
it's my world, too
and I got my place in it

Saturday, September 13, 2014

budget laundromat

ladies on the internet
mom and dad on the telephone
ramen in the microwave
you are away from home
you are a freshman now
nothing is what it seems 
your thoughts keep jangling like
quarters in faded jeans

          you are a grown-up now
          hot damn!
          imagine that!
          and you are living life
          in the budget laundromat

one roommate's got some weed
he sells it in the dorms
better than student loans
don't have to fill out forms
one gets a monthly check
his family's got the means
neither one has a clue
of how to cook or clean

          you, on the other hand,
          work a fast food joint that
          barely pays enough
          for the budget laundromat  

          you and your buddies
          have no time to study
          sometimes classes must be forsaken
          there's music in lincoln hall
          your first sip of alcohol
          girls and drugs to be taken

somehow you make it through
sometimes it's so damn hard
when the world is so much more
than your own back yard
hope you get what you want
please don't become a snob
hope you get all you need
hope you can find a job

          you are a grown-up now
          soon it'll be old hat
          today you can catch your breath
          at the budget laundromat

Friday, September 12, 2014

An avocado

Tired, man. Third week of fuckin' work and I'm exhausted. I have no energy. I'd go to bed, but then I have to leave this chair. 

Have you drank coffee, farmboy?

I just finished a cup. Hasn't helped much. Maybe I'll drink another one.

You'd have to leave your chair for that as well.

Yeah, I know. I'd also like to go to the store to buy something fun to eat, but that means I'd really have to get energized.

What would you buy, farmboy?

An avocado.

That's it?

Maybe something sweet as well. But I'd be really surprised if I went. I'm not sure I want anything that much.

Anyways, it doesn't fuckin' matter. Because sooner or later I'm gonna decide to listen to a podcast or smoke weed or something and then I'll get up. It's inevitable. It's like the fuckin' sun coming up in the morning, you know?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

carnegie hall

I always wanted to play 
carnegie hall
and now I'm getting old
I practiced, practiced, practiced
I did what I was told
I satisfied my teachers
I howled up at the moon
I played at half-past midnight
in a mexican saloon

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

empty page

an empty page
nothing to draw
I've got charcoal and crayons
but my mind is scattered
stiff and raw
and as unforgiving
as only my mind can be
see what this working for a living
has done to me

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I dare you to be happy

she said
I dare you to be happy
I know you got it in you
if you'd only just begin to
would you do that for me please?
I said
I'm trying to be happy
as much as I possibly can
you don't understand 
the depth of my disease

she said
I don't believe that shit
I know you could feel better
if you'd get yourself together 
and get off your lazy ass
I said
I want to be happy
but I'm barely surviving
I feel like I keep driving
and I'm running out of gas

Monday, September 8, 2014

I'd make a lousy celebrity

I'm so fuckin' tired. I'm sorry, I know that's all I talk about these days.

Well, farmboy, school has begun. You got used to having your freedom and living life as a musician…

Which is the way it should be, by the way.

…living life as a musician for two months. And, yes, that's the way you should be living your life.

Yeah. Fuckin' sucks, but I don't know what else to do about it. I wish I knew somebody I could call and say "So, this making-a-living-as-a-musician thing, how the fuck do you do it? I mean, I need specifics here. I know it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. I need to know how you book gigs, how to you get people to listen to your music. And, also, how do you do all this without getting all ego-ed out. I hate the self-centeredness of being in music sometimes. I want to say It's not about me, it's about the songs.

It's like the day after the CD release concert. It was such a fuckin' relief to not have to have the attention on me. I mean, one night of it…

I'd make a lousy celebrity.

I'm not sure we need any more celebrities, farmboy.

That's a good thing, 'cause I sure ain't going after that job, let me tell you. Ain't nobody offering it to me, either.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


I got an itch 
and it feels so good to scratch
I got an itch
and it feels so good to scratch
you think I've given up
but this time you met your match

Saturday, September 6, 2014

give me a sign

give me a sign
tell me you love me
speak to me softly
tell me you're mine
I've been waiting 
for you to think of me
I think it's time, babe
give me a sign

give me a morning
waking up together
I'll make you coffee
if you feel so inclined
I got secrets
I want to tell you
chills down my spine
give me a sign

people tell me
love ain't really real
those people will never know
the way you make me feel

give me your heart
tell me you want me
I got reservations
up on cloud nine
love is an equation
added up together
we should combine
give me a sign

Friday, September 5, 2014

if there's a mistake

if there's a mistake
I'll make it
if there's a chance
I can't take it
if there's a rule
I'm scared to break it
I guess I've learned my lessons well

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I'm so fuckin' tired, man. This going back to work sucks, not because it's work so much as it is the powers that be at Portland Public Schools are so fuckin' inept. But enough about that.

It's been so stressful and it's been a weird couple of months, with my friend dying and the CD and its release concert and my brother's family moving to Yakima and the summer money problems and…shit, I'm just fuckin' tired, man.

So what do you plan to do about it, farmboy?

Basically, smoke weed and lie in bed and listen to podcasts.

Sounds good to me.

Me too. I'll catch you later, man.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

a slave to fear

I won't be a slave to fear no more 
he said
I will not let the illness in my brain
define me
I will take the medications
if they help
I will live healthily
I will walk
I will eat plants
I will work for what I want
as hard as I can
without fear

I wish him more than luck
I wish him hope

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

autumn arrives

autumn arrives
on the wind off the ocean
coming in from your open window
heading straight for your soul
autumn arrives
you feel it in your bloodstream
cold and sad and lonesome
and beyond your control

autumn arrives
from the last breath of summer
what once was new and golden
now begins to fade
autumn arrives
go get out the rain boots
put away those sandals
and any thoughts of lemonade

Monday, September 1, 2014

Saga of the fuckin' macaroni and cheese (fiction)

Chester reached his limit. He blew his top, he climbed the peak, he refused to answer his Pavlovian bell. Chester got pissed and it changed his life. And it all culminated in the saga of the fuckin' macaroni and cheese.

He had prepared the meal as the evening's entertainment, i.e. the internet and marijuana. As Chester chewed his first bite he closed his eyes and spit out the mac 'n cheese in complete disgust.

He stood up and lamented the fact that, at age 23, he was a failure. Sure, he was only 23, but fuck how old was, say, Louis Armstrong when he became successful? Of course, Chester had no idea (he would wonder later why he chose Louis Armstrong, of all people), but he did know that everybody got the breaks in life before he did.

He went into the kitchen, grabbed the pot of mac 'n cheese, and began to cry.

Why can't I have the real stuff? The Kraft stuff in the blue box? No, it's always the fuckin' generic shit. Butter? No, thanks, I want the cheap margarine with the trans fats and god-knows-what-else. Next it'll be powdered milk. It'll be like in was in Yuma. It'll be like my fuckin' childhood, cabrĂ³n.

Chester threw the starchy contents of the warm scratched-up pot into the trash can and banged the empty pot on the stove. 

This has got to fuckin' end, man.

He grabbed his jacket and headed out, slamming the door behind him.