Saturday, February 28, 2015

little white lies


I tell those little white lies
I tell them every day
I open up my mouth
and lies are all I have to say
I'm lying when I tell you "good morning"
I'm lying when I tell you "I'm fine"
I'm lying when I look like
I'm in control of this life of mine

I tell those little white lies
I tell them to your face
I look into your eyes
and tell you facts that I've replaced
replaced them with jam-packed jargon
replaced them with action verbs
replaced them with more insight
that I borrow from 
other people's words

please don't be disturbed
by my sentences 
all warped and dusty
it's just what I prefer
really, baby, 
you can trust me


Friday, February 27, 2015

origami


I will let you fold me
whichever way you want
I will not protest
when you discard me;
in fact, I expect it
if  you want someone to obey
then I'm the man you're looking for

so go ahead
fold me
twist me and turn me
bend me, shape me
any way you want me*
just leave me in one piece
for I am human
I am not made of paper
I breathe and bleed
I dream and cry

but if you can forget all that
and forgive my animal ways
maybe I can learn
to forget myself


*American Breed, 1967


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Payday


Man, I tell you, I can't fuckin' wait for tomorrow.

Why is that, farmboy? As if I didn't already know…

Yeah, it's easy to figure tout because it's Friday. But it's also payday!

Payday is always good.

You know, payday for me is really just about the illusion that I have money. 'Cause I really don't, you know. I got all these fuckin' bills to pay, I got rent, I got groceries. 

I'm glad that you pay those things, farmboy. A lot of people don't. Really, if you look at everything, you're really very responsible.

Well, it's a lot of work, I tell you what. It's fear that drives me in that way. I'm afraid of the consequences.

Which is fine as long as you're not overly afraid.

So fuckin' true, man, I tell you. I hate it when fear rules over my life. That's the way it's always been. I hope that ends someday. I've been working on that forever.

But, back to payday, I always feel a sense of accomplishment after I pay bills and rent and shit. I feel like, well, at least I'm taking care of myself.  

And then you go and do something musical.

Well, really, that's what all of this is for. And it's worth it as long as I can make noises and write stories that I like. 

Songwriting.

That's it, man. That's my reason for being in this world.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

breathe


breathe in
breathe out
keep calm
don't talk
get out
while you can
catch a bus
run or walk


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

shake the etch-o-sketch


you gotta change your attitude, darlin'
you gotta learn to smile
you gotta walk that walk and talk that talk
and you gotta do it in style
you might have to burn some bridges
when you walk that extra mile
but it's good to shake the etch-o-sketch
every once in a while


Monday, February 23, 2015

company town


the longer I stay
in this company town
city of the angels
los √°ngeles


It's, as they say, fuckin' good for me


So I was making this curry-coconut milk thing with toasted garbanzo beans, and I needed to get it in the tupperware 'cause I was going out to see my songwriter pals…

Wait! Sorry to interrupt you, farmboy, but did I just hear you say that you went out?

Yeah.

To see friends?

Uh, yeah.

Well, aren't you Mr. Social.

Fuck off, asshole.

Ooooh, testy…

What the fuck's up, man? 

This is not a criticism, this is just an observation.

Which means it's criticism.

No, this is positive. What I've seen is that you've been going out lately. I can think of three instances where you went out for music.

Yeah, well, that's all on purpose, man. I think I'm happier if I have some contact with the outside world. Anyway, it's pretty cool so far. It's, as they say, fuckin' good for me.

I'm glad to see it, farmboy. You need to have friends.

I have friends.

You might want to try contacting them more often...

Yeah, and fuck off, needle nose.

I'm sorry, farmboy. I didn't mean for it to come out that way. I just think that it's good that you're getting out. 

Yeah, me too.  It feels like a good decision, this going out more. So far I'm comfortable doing it. I'm hoping I'll do more. Maybe I'll even start performing more.

Recording would be good, too.

I would love to, but first I need to write songs.

Which is what you do.

I try, man.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

my problem, according to you


my problem, according to you
is so fuckin' easy to see
it's right on my face
I'm too much like me
please tell me who I am
please tell what I do
I'm so fuckin' glad
that I found you


Saturday, February 21, 2015

flea


everything happened
so long ago
how I ended up here
I will never know
I am living in the state of confusion
in a country that 'tis of thee
I am but a flea 
on a tick 
on a dog
in a world
of half-assed history
          oh my God
          what have I done?
          my life's almost over
          and I've only just begun


Friday, February 20, 2015

all those rumors, they're not true


time's running out
I'm falling behind
in a world out to
rob me blind
so what do I do
to catch up to you
all those rumors, 
they're not true
it's self-defense
it's number one
it's the milky way
and a hot dog bun
saints, preserve us
I live in service
to the nervous 
and all those
wearing rags instead of clothes
you are not among them,
I suppose


Thursday, February 19, 2015

I got mine


the truck broke down
and we missed the bus
lord knows what will
become of us
me and the wife
couple of kids
we're in hard times
we've hit the skids
but no one cares 
everybody's feeling fine
saying
I got mine
I got mine


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

just a child


don't mind me
I know I'm just a child
and I don't have any right
to an opinion at all


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

let me go


the world is spinning
around and around
and time is standing still
I can see the next horizon
from here, over the hill
I've done my share of living
I believe I've had my fill
I am an old man
let me go


Monday, February 16, 2015

I know and I have and I still do


How did it go last night, farmboy?

Oh, man, it was so fuckin' great. I played the song and it went over well and I hung out with friends and got hugged a lot. Still…

Did something happen?

No, not really. I think it hit me that Richard's not going to be at at the coffeehouse except to give lessons. But as much as that saddens me, if he thinks it's time for him to move on I have to support him, you know?

But there's this other thing, it's…you know, it seems like there's just this sadness now in everything I do. It's just lurking in the shadows, you know what I mean? And I think that's part of what they call clinical depression.

Which you can get help for…

I know and I have and I still do, in the form of medication. And I am very thankful for that, believe me. 

So I don't know just how much of a concern this is. It's just there and it separates me from what is really going on.

Well, farmboy, I do think it's a concern. It obviously bothers you.

Yeah, it does. I don't know, man, I always think I'm standing still when the truth is that I'm always in transition. You think I'd know everything by now.

But, yeah, it was a good night. There was a real community and I was part of it, no matter how hard I try to deny it.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Paper on a music stand


So I'm playing a show tonight. It's an appreciation concert for my friend Richard from the coffeehouse, and I was asked to play.

Is that what your new song's for, farmboy?

Yeah. Ain't nothing like writing with a deadline, man. Actually, strike that. Ain't nothing like memorizing a new song. It's so fuckin' hard for me. It causes me so much stress. I mean, I can barely remember the words to my old songs, you know?

I've got some advice for you, farmboy.

Yeah? Good. What is it.

Just relax when you're up there on stage, Will you have the words with you?

I will, yeah. I hate doing that but it's better than just blanking out.


You've practiced the song quite a bit, farmboy. You'll be fine. I bet you'll just be using it as a reference.

That's what I'm hoping. I really don't want to go up there and stare at pieces of paper on a music stand.

I don't think that you have anything to worry about, farmboy. It's a good song and it's going to mean a lot to your friend.

That's what I'm hoping. I'm proud of the song and I just want it to go well so Richard can hopefully enjoy it.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

never as alone


I was never as alone
as I was when I was 
sleeping with you
in our ill-gotten bed of despair
you were my bonnie
I was your clyde
as we waltzed through life
like rogers and astaire


Friday, February 13, 2015

richard (rewrite three)


richard greets me at the door
with a song and a smile
and says "good to see you
haven't seen you for a while"
I don't tell him I'm in trouble
and I've been depressed
stuck in my apartment
like I'm under house arrest
but richard knows that
I don't know how
but that's not what we're talking about now
we're talking music
we're talking songs
and richard brings me back into
a world where I belong

richard hands me a guitar
and gets himself a uke
my voice is rough and hollow
and it makes me want to puke
but richard says it's fine
and encourages me
and I feel just like I might be part
of some community
and richard knows that
it's natural as the wind
he opens up his heart
and invites everybody in
with songs of real life
itchin' to get played
richard brings me back into
a world where I'm okay

richard takes the chorus
and he solos on the strings
and the melody's ascending
from its bruised and broken wings
and it rises like the phoenix
from the ashes of despair
when you need the music most
it's always in the air
and richard knows that
it's everything he hears
sounds of love and laughter
ringing in the atmosphere
like a guardian angel
or a long-lost friend
richard brings me back
into a world worth living in


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Occasion


I was standing outside the church,leaning on a lamp pole, when I saw her. She was dressed like nobody's business and we don't get many good-looking' women 'round here so she was, um, an occasion.

And what was I doing at the church? I was there to get married.Yeah,that really happened. It's not just gossip, it's the real fuckin' thing. Yeah, the bitch never showed up. I was, as they say, stood up at the alter. Humiliated in front of family and friends. Fuck.

So anyway I was at the church.I was just about to light a cigarette when I saw her. I'm glad I didn't. Most women these days don't like smoking. She was wearing this sheer light blue dress that showed off her legs. She had a cute figure and an incredible face. So fuckin' good looking. I couldn't wait till she turned around so I could check out her ass.

So this, my friend, is where I made my stupid mistake. Deciding to follow someone, particularly a beautiful young woman who is,to be kind to myself,at least ten years younger than I am. She is also, of course, a stranger. I didn't know her name or nothing about her. When I look back on it I realize that I was a real fuckin' creep, but I had no idea of it at the time.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

consumer haiku


it's so fuckin' hard
living this consumer life
too many choices


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

richard (rewrite two)


richard greets me at the door
with a song and a smile
and says "good to see you
haven't seen you for a while"
I don't tell him I'm in trouble
and I've been depressed
stuck in my apartment
like some kind of house arrest
and richard knows that
I don't know how
but that's not what we're talking about now
we're talking music
we're talking songs
and richard brings me back into
a world where I belong

richard hands me a guitar
and gets himself a uke
my voice is rough and hollow
and it makes me want to puke
but richard says it's fine
and encourages me
and I feel like I might be part
of a community
and richard knows that
it's natural as the wind
he opens up his heart
and invites everybody in
with songs of faith and courage
that are itchin' to get played
richard brings me back into
a world where I'm okay

richard takes the chorus
and he solos on the strings
and the melody he's playing
launches from its broken wings
and it rises like the phoenix
from the ashes of despair
when you need the music most
it's hanging in the air
and richard knows that
it's what he hears
sounds of joy and sorrow
ringing in the atmosphere
like a guardian angel
or a long-lost friend
richard brings me back
into a world worth living in


Monday, February 9, 2015

so it doesn't matter


I am so fuckin' tired
of thinking about the meaning
of my small, insignificant life

I'm thinking:
I need to buy a TV
and learn to enjoy reality shows

and then I'm thinking:
you elitist bastard
like TV is beneath you
like reality shows are beneath you
nothing is beneath you,
you miserable sack of shit

so it doesn't matter 
no matter what I do
I apply it to my fuckin' life

I am so fuckin' tired


Sunday, February 8, 2015

richard (rewrite one)


richard greets me at the door
with a song and a smile
and says "good to see you
haven't seen you for a while"
I don't tell him I'm in trouble
and I've been depressed
stuck in my apartment
like some kind of house arrest
and richard knows that
I don't know how
but that's not what we're talking about now
we're talking music
we're talking songs
and richard brings me back into
a world where I belong

richard hands me a guitar
and gets himself a uke
my voice is rough and hollow
and it makes me want to puke
but richard says I'm good
and encourages me
and I feel like I might be part
of the community
and richard knows that
it's natural as the wind
he opens up his heart
and invites everybody in
with songs of faith and courage
that are needing to get played
and richard brings me back into
a world where I'm okay

and this old world
goes 'round and 'round and 'round
and this old world
spins around

richard takes the chorus
and he solos on the strings
and the melody he's playing
rises from its broken wings
and it rises like the phoenix
from the ashes of despair
when you need the music most
it's hanging in the air
and richard knows that
it's what he hears
notes of joy and sorrow
singing in the atmosphere
like a guardian angel
or a long-lost friend
richard brings me back
into a world worth living in

and this old world
goes 'round and 'round and 'round
and this old world
spins around


Saturday, February 7, 2015

nothin' 'bout nothin'


you can't tell me nothin' 'bout nothin'
you don't even know my name
there's something funny
in that pipe you're puffing
there's something in your heart
that knows no shame


Friday, February 6, 2015

attempting to fly (rewrite one)


I climb up this building
I stand on the ledge
no open window
I look over the edge
I look at the ground
I look at the sky
I picture myself
attempting to fly

I'm not afraid of whatever
dangers that be
the only fear 
inside of me
is the thought of my life
passing me by
the only solution is
attempting to fly

you say I won't jump
but what if I do
what reaction would come
from inside of you
see you someday
in the sweet bye-and-bye
look out below
I'm attempting to fly


Thursday, February 5, 2015

"You better not be going anywhere."


My stepmother passed away yesterday. I told you about her, remember?

I remember. I'm so sorry for your loss, farmboy. I know it's a clich√©…

Thanks, man. I fucking hate illness and death and all that shit. I loved my stepmother -- I still love my stepmother -- and I don't like that she's not here with us. 

I hate losing people, too, farmboy.

It just fuckin' sucks, man. It's the worst. 

There's this series of Calvin and Hobbes comic strips where Calvin finds a raccoon that's hurt, and his mother tries to save it. Anyway, the raccoon dies. At night, Calvin is talking to Hobbes and at the end of the conversation Calvin says to Hobbes "You better not be going anywhere."

I think I've seen that comic strip.

Yeah? Well, that's the way I feel about you right now.

I'm not going anywhere, farmboy.

Good.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

early early morning


early early morning
telephone rings
and you know the news is not good
no sign of a warning 
everything
is not the way it should 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

somewhere, some way, sometime, somehow


I am tired 
of all this waiting
I want everything 
all the time 
right now
and, mark my ways, 
I'm going to get it
somewhere, 
some way, 
somehow


Monday, February 2, 2015

I can't move


I can't move

my feet are bound and shackled
to fear

and I know how to get out
but I refuse to

saying
"I don't know what's out there"


Sunday, February 1, 2015

A strange weekend


It's been such a…such a strange weekend, man.

I got a call Saturday morning from my brother, the one in Yakima. So he tells me that our stepmother had a heart attack and a stroke and she's in the hospital and it doesn't look good.

Oh my God, farmboy…

Anyway, she's still alive but she will probably pass this week.

I'm so sorry, farmboy.

Thanks, man. I fuckin' hate this kind of stuff, you know?

I know.

I don't feel much like talking, but I might later.

Call me anytime, farmboy.

Thanks, man. I probably will.


living in a sacred land


no matter where I go
no matter where I stand
I'm living in a sacred land