Friday, October 31, 2014

into the dawn

I will face you with courage
I will confront you with faith
I believe I am heading
to a home that is safe
I will not be discouraged
I am not running in place
I am going where I've always gone
out of the darkness
and into the dawn

Thursday, October 30, 2014

downtown skies

I was running through the silver rain
to my deadbeat job on the eastbound train
in this race I must remain
till I finally get my turn
till then I dream of downtown skies
skyscrapers -- how high they rise!
I shout in joy
I slap high-fives
as I watch the city burn

I was running fourteen city blocks
past victims' outlines traced in chalk
on my way to punch the clock
until I can retire
till then I dream of downtown skies
silent screams  
stockholders cry
you'll see no sorrow in my eyes
when main street is on fire

          I have lived too long on the edge
          from now on I will plan my revenge

I was running
on the move
I was someone with something to prove
god only knows I've paid my dues
someday payday will arrive
till then I dream of downtown skies
bad excuses
I will live to see you die
if anything survives

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My fuckin' mantra

Man, I am so fuckin' worried.

About your truck?

Yeah. It looks like it might cost a shitload of money that I don't have. I may just have to give up driving, which…well, I don't want to think about it. But if I have to, I guess I will. I don't know if I have any choice about it. 

This just fuckin' sucks. I'm trying to not get too freaked out about it -- I mean, it's not like I went to the doctor and he said I have cancer or something.

Well, farmboy, I guess that's one way of looking at it. But it would be a shame if you had to give up your truck.

Oh, man, yeah, it would be awful. At least I live in a city with a good mass transit system, and I've ridden the buses and trains when I worked at that school in the southeast. I used to have to go all over the place.

I'll just have to see what happens and try not to worry or get all freaked out or emotional. I need to be calm -- that's like my fuckin' mantra these days, with work and money problems and everything else. 

Being calm -- that's important. Being frantic and living in panic doesn't help anything, farmboy.

I know. Unfortunately, those are the two things I'm good at.

You need to be nice to yourself, farmboy. Don't put yourself down.

But it's the truth!

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. It doesn't matter. You're smart and resourceful. Remember that.

I will. But it may not be easy.

I know, farmboy. But try.

I will, man. I really will.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

broken side of life

I'm on the broken side of life
staring into poverty
fighting to exist
howling like a lone wolf
in a foreign wilderness
struggling in the moonlight
to survive
I'm on the broken side of life

nothing is ever easy now
everything's a challenge
I expect the worst
praise is an illusion
my only truth is cursed
to be yesterday 
in the here and now
nothing is all I can allow

          have mercy on me Jesus
          I'm still here
          with trouble on my shoulder
          whispering in my ear:
          "I am the only voice
          you'll ever need to hear"
          and I am struck silent

I'm on the broken side of life
clinging to the hope
that lives inside my soul
trying hard to keep myself  
somewhat under control
I need to be someone
I recognize
I'm on the broken side of life
I'm on the broken side of life

Monday, October 27, 2014

I don't have time to be emotional

So here's how my birthday weekend went: Fine, until my truck broke down and I had to leave it by the side of the road overnight. I called a friend and he picked me up and drove me home, so I could figure out what to do, since it's the fuckin' end of the month and I have no fuckin' money and I have a job to go to and, fuck, it's okay because I have friends who will help me out and a brain to help me come up with some answers.

I love run-on sentences.

No you don't, farmboy. You like writing that's clear and concise. I know that much about your taste in writing.


So what are you going to do?

I'm borrowing some money until Friday, when I get paid. A friend of mine is picking me up in a little while and I'm going to call AAA and get the truck towed to a local reliable place.

I hate to ask you this…


Why didn't you call AAA yesterday.

Because I just rejoined. Today. Like, an hour and a half ago.

Oh. I see.

I'm trying to look at the bright side, you know. When something small and irritating happens, I get all stressed out and angry and shit, you know? When something like this happens, I don't have time to be emotional, at least not for a while. I have to get thinking and do something. It's time for action, you know?

And you've been doing that. It sounds like you're on your way to having this be just a tiny thing that you won't give much of a thought to in a couple of weeks, farmboy.

That's what I'm trying to do, man. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

stranger to me now

I don't want to wrestle
with the past anymore
I'm leaving at dawn
I have to move on
I don't believe
I can last anymore
you're a stranger to me now

all the mistakes
I've had reason to make
I've made them just fine
in record time
I once dreamed of you
but now I'm awake
you're a stranger to me now

          falls to decay
          fades away
          gold turns to silver
          turning into gray
          you are slowly

I don't want to wrestle
with a dead memory
I can tell you goodbye
with completely dry eyes
I don't even care
if you remember me
you're a stranger to me now
you're a stranger to me now

Saturday, October 25, 2014


this apartment I'm in
it ain't nothing to look at
but that's mainly because 
I'm a slob
between mopping the floor
and washing the dishes
I do an extremely bad job
but sometimes at night
when everything's peaceful
I look around 
and see my worldly worth
and remember that I
live a whole lot better
than most of the people 
on this earth

this apartment has cobwebs
but I can't be bothered
to sweep them away
from those ceilings overhead
I have some upstairs neighbors
they're a real nice couple
but why do they have to tango
when I'm resting in bed
but sometimes at night
when insomnia is talking
and I'm up until the new day
has its birth
I remember that I 
live a whole lot better
than most of the people
on this earth

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's kinda like knitting

It's finally the weekend, man.

That's right -- your birthday weekend.  How is it so far, farmboy?

It's cool, it's cool. Just hangin' out, smokin' some weed. Life is good.

Doesn't sound too exciting to me. Not that that's a bad thing.

No, it isn't. It's something I think about sometimes -- are you really doing nothing if you're doing what you want? I mean, you can't always be working, you know? Sometimes you gotta just live life as life. I always feel like I have to justify not being busy, which is fuckin' bullshit.

Like I like to play this computer game called Popword. It's super-easy. I use it to do something while I'm listening to podcasts. It's kinda like knitting, except you have an end-product when you're finished. Which is pretty practical. I guess. I mean, I've never knitted.

I understand what you mean, farmboy. It's something to keep your hands occupied whine you're doing something else. In your case, it's listening to podcasts.

Yeah. Or listening to music. Or the radio. Or the rain.

I do a lot of listening, man.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

damage I can do, verse two

I've got too many memories
clouding up my mind
an endless trail of troubles
I'd like to leave behind
this medicine I'm taking
it's become my daily bread
to keep me from doing
what I'd like to do instead

you don't know the damage I can do
you don't know the damage I can do

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

damage I can do

you think you know me
but you don't really know me
I've got this history
that follows me around
like a hollywood stalker
it's a real smooth talker
it ain't scared of you
it'll bury you
six feet underground

'cause you don't know 
the damage I can do
no, you don't know
the damage I can do

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yes, indeed

I'm just biding my time till the weekend, man. I can't fuckin' wait.

Why is that, farmboy? Do you have a busy weekend planned?

No, not really. But it's a three-day weekend. I'm taking a personal day so I can celebrate my birthday. To be honest, my birthday's not a big deal to me. But a three-day weekend where I give myself a break and cut myself some slack. I do these little things that I could do all the time but I don't.

Such as?

I'll probably buy Thai food or something. Maybe fish and chips. Maybe a really good hamburger -- a real one, not a fuckin' fast food hamburger. Maybe I'll go to the movies. 

My birthday is like my little secret. Most of my friends don't know it's my birthday, which is fine with me. I don't really get any presents, but I don't need any presents. Just give me my guitar and some weed and I'm a happy guy.

The simple life.

Yes, indeed. Can't wait.

Monday, October 20, 2014

sandpaper skin

I wake each morning
with sandpaper skin
I bring my razor out
and let the day begin
make a cup of coffee
thimbleful of cream
in the car and off to work
life is but a dream

Sunday, October 19, 2014

sunday afternoon

I'm finally home
relaxing alone
I'm happily stoned
and eating 
sunflower seeds
weekend is through
nothing to do
sunday afternoon
once again repeating
like all of the sundays before
there's no family barbecues
in my life anymore
just sitting alone
watching tv
while the weekend
quickly disappears

Saturday, October 18, 2014

manhattan (bridge)

the other half of the people
have problems 
I won't have to face
like trying and training 
to run
in the human race
all those maniacal messy emotions
taking up space
I believe in manhattan 
I've finally found my place
I gotta get me a taste!

Friday, October 17, 2014

I gotta find my own way

Hey, man, you know what I did today?

What's that, farmboy?

I listened to my CD. The new CD, the one I made, the one I released in July.

Is that unusual?

Well, I never listen to it. I'm not much into listening to myself for pleasure.

And what do you think?

Not bad! (laughs)  Good songs. I'm proud of it. I was so afraid that it was terrible, you know. But it's not. It's good. The performances aren't bad. It sounds honest. Which is exactly what I fuckin' wanted.

I could have told you all that, farmboy.

I wouldn't have listened.

I know.

I gotta find my own way with everything. It took me a long, long time to learn that, man. But I did and I'm glad. It saves a lot of time.

I'm glad that you like your album, farmboy.

Me, too. It's a fuckin' relief. But it's good. I don't suck. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

company you keep

take me
and shake me
and make me your own
I'll be like a puppy 
and follow you home
and I can be
the company you keep
now I'm not angry
now I can sleep

treat me
with kindness
and I'll howl at the moon
to shine down
its silver
till the late afternoon
when I can be
the company you keep
now I am peaceful
now I can sleep

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It'll all work itself out

Hey, man. 

Hey yourself, farmboy. Haven't heard much from you lately. Writing?

Yeah. a lot. I'll have a lot of material to work with.

Listen, I just wanted to connect, to touch base, as they say. Whoever "they" are. 

How've you been doing?

Well, right now I'm depressed and I'm angry but I'm trying not too think about it too much. I'm just gonna try to get my mind on other stuff. Don't worry -- it's nothing serious, it's just work and lack of weed and lots of frustration. It'll all work itself out. But for now I'm so fuckin' depressed that I'm exhausted.

Get some rest, farmboy. You know I'm here if you need a sounding board.

Thanks, man. Will do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

almost half the people in manhattan

almost half the people
in manhattan
live alone
that means no one's there
to greet them
when they come home
which means that manhattan's 
the place for me
'cause alone is all I want to be
all the statistics 
and college degrees
have shown
almost half the people 
in manhattan 
live alone

oh, just imagine
the life in manhattan
I'd lead
I hear in manhattan
bike messengers
deliver weed
(yes indeed)
there's lots of great plays
on off-broadway to see
and I'll just buy one ticket
'cause it's only me
no one will care
if I wear
inexpensive cologne
'cause half the people
in manhattan live alone

          the other half has problems
          I'll never have to face
to be continued…

Monday, October 13, 2014

a kind man

the workday was over
there was nothing to do
I put my feet on the table
and opened the news
when I saw your photo
it leaped out at me
amid all the other

(another verse goes here, but I don't know what it is yet)

and it read:
he was a kind man
he did the best he could
he raised two sons and a daughter
and he raised them good
he was honest, ain't no lie
he always looked you in the eye
and always tried 
to understand
he was a kind man

Sunday, October 12, 2014

right where I am

if there's a mistake to be made
I'll make it
a chance that I could be afraid
I'll take it
I'm closing the windows
locking the doors
I ain't going out
in the world no more
I'm gonna do the best I can
I'm staying right where I am

if there's a way to get out of bed
I don't need it
a book of advice to be read
I won't read it
I'm staying ignorant
I'm staying naive
I'm staying indoors
and I ain't gonna leave
I'm gonna make my stand
staying right where I am

          don't call me on the telephone
          can't you see nobody's home?
          I don't want no social media
          get outta here, I don't need ya

if you're trying hard to help
try harder
I need to be by myself
I'm a martyr
'cause I've been through enough
it's plain to see
you're just another person
who'll give up on me
you just don't understand
I'm staying right where I am
nobody gives a damn
I'm staying right where I am

Saturday, October 11, 2014


emma counts the tablets
one by one
and places them
in a pink plastic pillbox
grandma's arthritis 
in her hands
makes it difficult
for her to do it anymore
so emma comes each wednesday
after school
just a journey
of a few blocks
fingers usually work better
when you're fifteen
compared to eighty-four

Friday, October 10, 2014

in the name of

in the name of the cause
in the name of the people
in the name of god
in the name of the future
in the name of our children
in the name of humanity
in the name of justice
in the name of honor
in the name of belief
in the name of peace
in the name of love
you have spread your disease
I'm looking for answers
enlighten me, please

so how did it feel
when you turned on the camera
to capture the moment
when your prisoner died?
at that very split-second
when the state executioner
performed the beheading
what did it feel like inside?
did you feel like a hero?
did you feel like a man?
did you feel holy?
help me understand
the motives behind
this madness I'm seeing
did you feel, 
for one second,
like a human being?
did you feel, 
for one second,
like a human being?

forget about religion
forget about wealth
forget about borders
tell me about yourself
do you have a home?
kids and a wife?
is your family safe?
tell me about your life
do you ever feel lonely?
are you ever afraid?
c'mon, now, justify
the decisions you've made
do you have a conscience?
is it holy and clean?
do you feel, 
for one second,
like a human being?
do you feel, 
for one second 
like a human being?

in the name of James Foley
in the name of Daniel Pearl
in the names of the innocent
all over the world
in the name of Steven Sotloff
in the name of David Haines
explain exactly
how you got this way?
in the name of the families
that get left behind
explain exactly
what goes on in your mind
as you frame every shot
as you shoot every scene
do you ever ask 
yourself what it means?
when you hear your heart beating
does it sound like a scream?
do you feel, 
for one second,
like a human being?
do you feel, 
for one second,
like a human being

in the name of everything
honest and true
I hope somehow
there's a chance 
that you do

Thursday, October 9, 2014

a sad, sad story

you know sometimes how you can't catch a break
and when it rains it pours
well, that's the way it's been my whole life long
you know how they say you learn by mistakes
and that life should be explored?
I'm here to prove them wrong
my life has been a sad, sad story
I'm someone you should be ignoring
this old joke is getting boring
on this everyone can agree
I'm earning my PhD
in self pity

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

sure I'll find out

he said
I'm not as free as you think I am
I've got worries you wouldn't believe
I swear, everyone I've ever known
thinks that I can pull magic
right out of my sleeve
and magic, to everyone I've ever known,
is spelled M-O-N-E-Y
how can I feel so low
when my stocks and investments
are so sinfully high
I don't know
I'm sure I'll find out though

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I feel so low (I need to get high)

hand me that pipe, mama
fill it all the way up
I know full well 
when I've had enough
pull out the lighter, babe
flick me your bic
I need medicine, darlin',
and I need it quick

          remember me, honey?
          I used to be one happy guy
          well, those days are over
          now I feel so low I need to get high

slide over that bottle, sweetheart,
I'm dying of thirst
I don't know if this living
is a blessing or a curse
I believe I'm allergic
to this life of mine
I'm so glad I'm not allergic 
to cheap-ass wine

          hey hey baby
          anything is my alibi
          I feel a hangover coming
          I feel so low I need to get high

some people call me lazy
some people say I'm a grouch
I don't care what you call me
I ain't getting off this couch
so pass me those doritos
mcdonald's, here we come
I'm like karen carpenter, baby
I've only just begun

          I'm gonna bask in my self-pity
          till the day I die
          hey, where you going?
          I feel so low I need to get high

Monday, October 6, 2014

A couple of fingernails

Another fuckin' Monday, man…

What's going on in your musical life, farmboy?

Mainly writing. I've been growing a couple of fingernails so I can play guitar better. Really, to play it louder, and I'm not too crazy about wearing fingerpicks when I play guitar. Bluegrass banjo, which I really haven't played in years -- that's where I like fingerpicks. You just can't any speed unless you're wearing fingerpicks.

I bought the new album by Spoon. I like them a lot. I still haven't listened to the whole thing yet -- hell, I just bought it. I'm looking forward to it.

Hey, how about you, man? What's up? You feeling good?

I am feeling good, farmboy, thanks for asking. I like this Indian Summer weather, where it's still warm but you can tell it's autumn.

Yeah, man, today was beautiful. Clear blue skies. Pretty soon it'll be gray and rainy all the time. Not that I mind it too much. It makes you thankful for days like today.

It's a bummer that summer is over. You know, going back to the fuckin' job and everything. 

Really. You can't ask for anything else about a day like today.

Well, I beg to fuckin' differ, man.

Oh yeah? What would you ask for, farmboy?

That it be Friday. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

everybody wants my money

everybody wants my money
everybody thinks I'm rich
but in this land of milk and honey
I'm in the gutter, face down in a ditch
well, son of a bitch, 
here's another ad
telling me that my life is bad
but satisfaction can be had
at a reasonable rate
ain't it great?

everybody wants my wallet
they all think it's full of cash
but no matter how you call it
I ain't got no secret stash
what a laugh!
here's another bill
do with it whatever you will
I know you want it paid in full
what a load of bull!

          shit, I don't know 
          what I'm gonna do
          the wife's eight months pregnant
          and the kids need new shoes
          but wait!
          there's a rich white guy 
          who's feeling the blues
          I must give him
          all my money

          I ain't trying to be funny but

everybody wants my moola
mi dinero
my paycheck
the big score
I pay everyone
'cept now everybody
wants more
look, I know you're poor!
everybody wants my money
everybody thinks I make big bucks
everybody wants my money
well, I think everybody is f…lat
out of luck

Saturday, October 4, 2014


when I was younger
I used to hang posters
on the wall to remind me
of what I could be
heroes of music
letters and books
they'd always be
where I'd always see
now I don't have the heroes
I used to before
I don't hang up posters
any more

Friday, October 3, 2014

an orphan's lullaby, bridge

oh child of mine
I will not die
without putting up a fight
they say it's a crime
too gruesome to describe
I've lived it all of my life

Thursday, October 2, 2014

an orphan's lullaby

be still, child
the police are outside
and they'll throw your dad 
in jail if you cry
here's an orphan's lullaby
you can sing it
when I'm gone

I have gone 
through quite enough here
life's been talking
way too rough here
but I never meant
for you to suffer
remember that
when I'm gone

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

That's part of the fuckin' deal

Ain't nothing in my mind today, man. Nothing to write a song about. Unless, of course, it was there and I didn't notice it. Which, now that I'm thinking of it, is probably right. I'm sure things have occurred today that deserve a song, but my senses just didn't notice them.

That's okay, farmboy. Are you still going to write?

Oh, yeah. I mean, I have to write. That's what I expect from myself. That's part of the fuckin' deal.

What deal is that?

Hell if I know. 

But I know it's there. I've got it with guitar, too. I have to play guitar every day. It's kinda like: How can I expect to get anything in life if I don't do these things? Working on Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours or whatever the hell that was. 

I hope I'm not sounding like I think this stuff is a burden or something. 'Cause I think it's a real privilege to play music, to create music. And it's a part of life to me. I can't imagine not being a musician.

So you're going to go write, then?

I'm gonna give it my best, man. I always do. Really.