Monday, November 30, 2015

I have talented friends

So, how was your Thanksgiving, man.

It was good, farmboy, thanks for asking. Lots of food, got to see my son and his wife and his kids -- my grandkids. There's three of them, two boys and a girl. 

Sounds great, man. It's good to see family.

Yes, it is. How about you, farmboy? How was your Thanksgiving?

It was very good. It was pretty mellow. I went to a friend's house and everyone brought something.

What did you take?

A pumpkin cheesecake that I got at Trader Joe's. I figured that the kindest thing I could do was not subject my friends to my cooking.

Did you play any music, farmboy?

Yeah, played some guitar, sang some songs. It was really good. I have talented friends.

I'm glad it was a good time.

It was! Now only three weeks until winter break.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

I found these teardrops (cynical heart)

I found these teardrops
they were hiding in a corner
of my cynical heart
I played it cool
the impartial reporter
but they were tearing me apart
did it take me by surprise
this water in my eyes
I guess
the answer is yes
I've been through love before
and found it's something to ignore
and so
the answer is no
the answer is no
the answer is
inside these teardrops
they were hiding in a corner
I just don't understand
I tell myself
there was another life before her
this was just a change of plans
can I turn back in time
pay you no damn mind
I will not lie
I'm going to try
but I know it's all in vain
I don't want to feel the pain
and so
all I can say
is that all I know is
I found these teardrops
they were hiding in a corner
of my cynical heart

Saturday, November 28, 2015


I don't want to move
but I have a body
and I'm still breathing
so I guess I will
I don't need to prove
nothin' to nobody
but someday I'm gonna make it
up this hill

Friday, November 27, 2015

day after thanksgiving

on the day after thanksgiving
may love and peace prevail...
now, out of my way, losers
it's time to hit the sales!

it's black friday
yes, its my day
to open up my wallet
and abuse my credit card
black friday
hit the highway
there's room to be consuming
with total disregard
everything you need 
you'll find on any shelf
and, hey, while you're at it
buy a little something for yourself
ho ho ho and jingle bells
and crack! you take the lead
it's black friday
the day we worship greed


          thanksgiving's nice but I've got to say
          black friday's the better holiday
          you get to hang with all your friends
          at department stores at 3 am
          what better way to express your love
          than buy buy buy and push and shove
          celebrate the birth of Jesus
          with artisan beer and gourmet cheeses
          there's wal-mart and k-mart 
          there's marts of all kinds
          there's shopping malls and and party dolls
          and dining halls and that's not all
          there's every single possible gift 
          an online sale on taylor swift!
          spend some loot and give a cheer
          black friday's finally here!

black friday
it's black friday
you can drive out to the mall
or surf the internet
black friday
yes, it's my day
to empty out my bank account
and get further in debt
everything you want
waits for you, my friend
let's hit a restaurant
where the specials never end
let's watch that old movie
with jimmy stewart and donna reed
it's black friday
yes, it's black friday
the day we worship greed

Thursday, November 26, 2015

thanksgiving 2015

every day I grow more thankful
for the food upon my plate
for the shelter of my apartment
for the longing to create
for the sunrise of each morning
for each chance to stay up late
and finally believing
that love will conquer hate

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Things like hot cocoa

So tomorrow's Thanksgiving. What are you gonna do, man?

I'm going to spend the day with my son and his family. How about you, farmboy?

I'm eating dinner at the house of my friends Richard and Jim. They have a great tradition of having all these musicians come to their place. I went there last year and it was really, really a good time.

It's getting cold tonight, I hear.

Yeah, it's supposed to get into the 20s. It's gonna be fuckin' cold, that's for sure.

But, you know, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow morning when I won't have to get out of bed and I can just lay there and be warm. I went to Trader Joe's yesterday -- which was a fuckin' madhouse, by the way -- and bought things like hot cocoa so I can just stay cozy for the weekend.

That sounds wonderful, farmboy.

I'm sure it will be. I love that kind of suit, you know. Not actually going out in the weather, but being inside where it's warm and there is a guitar. That's all I want.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


you go to work
you work all day
you're working 
your whole life away
you yield
every right-of-way
you're feeling 
sadder and sadder
head in hands
at your desk
the blues have found
you're home address
can you get
any more depressed?
all your thoughts
are useless chatter
time to think about
what really matters

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ho ho fuckin' ho, man

So today is November 23 already.

Ready for the holidays to begin, farmboy?

Yeah, right. Ho ho fuckin' ho, man.

I thought you liked Thanksgiving. I didn't realize you were so cynical.

Actually, I do like Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, in fact. It's, like, the perfect holiday. No presents, no cards, no debt to get into. Just good food and family and friendship.

The three Fs.

I know, right? I'm so used to using other f words, you know?

I've noticed.

You're such a fuckin' comedian, man. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

blank page 2

here is a blank page
there is nothing on it
no doodles
no scribbles
no lyrics
no list of chores

just an endless prairie of emptiness

waiting patiently
to be filled 
by you

Saturday, November 21, 2015

turpentine and thinner

turpentine and thinner
invisible to the eye
but you can't do the work
without them
all those reasons why
like stars in the sky
so many 
you can't count them

Friday, November 20, 2015


I was supposed to be legendary
I was born to a dangerous life
but I was raised in the cradle of comfort
now I have barely a name

nothing feels better

nothing feels better
than feeding an addiction
especially when the addiction
is you

friday haiku

thank you, dear friday
for finally showing up
right when you're needed

Thursday, November 19, 2015

in begrudging gratitude

in begrudging gratitude
I come to you
pleading for mercy
longitude and latitude
texas roots
and western new jersey

stupid things

I try not to say 
stupid things
but stupid things
just come out of my mouth

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's amazing that it runs at all

Man, I gotta tell you, every fuckin' day at this fuckin' job is worse than the day before. Right now I'm trying to have lunch but it's impossible. It's like they're trying to take away all our lunches and breaks. Every fuckin' day, man, it's something else.

Is there anybody you can talk to, farmboy?

I'm trying not to call the union again. But, man, it's coming down to it. I can't believe how fuckin' out of control Portland Public Schools is. It's amazing that it runs at all. Man, I...

I'm so sorry, farmboy. Is there anything I can do?

You're listening, man, and I appreciate it. I just need to find a decent job for someplace where the people in charge know what they're doing and care enough to do it.

As if I'll ever find a place like that in public education. But miracles happen, right?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It always feels like the bad guys are winning

Hey, I gotta tell you, man, this fuckin' job is gonna be the death of me sooner than later.

What's up with your job, farmboy?

More and more bullshit, man. It never fuckin' ends, you know?

Also, the news about the terrorism in France is so fuckin' awful. Man, sometimes I hate this world...

But it's not the world's fault, farmboy. The vast, vast majority of the people in this world are just people who want peace and justice and the best for their families.

I know. It always feels like the bad guys are winning, though.

They're not. The human race wouldn't be around if they were.

Man, I hope you're right. I don't want to disappear from this planet. I mean, I complain a lot, but I really do love this ol' world, you know?

Monday, November 16, 2015

all that trouble in your life

you must remember 
all that trouble in your life 
it's temporary

Sunday, November 15, 2015

song intro from a fictional musical

got money in my pocket
in the wallet in my jeans
step aside, you peasants
I'm a fuckin' man of means
I can mesmerize the ladies
I can make the fellas jealous
what is that you're saying?
"You're so brilliant, farmboy, tell us how
we need your wisdom now"

Saturday, November 14, 2015

too many memories

I forgot what I was gonna tell you
too many memories in my mind
they're clouding up my thinking
with their trivial designs
someday I'm going to pack up
and leave it all behind
and I can make an appointment for you

if my brain is a computer
I'm gonna have to press reset
'cause right now my feeble thinking's
about all you're going to get
there's too many memories
and now the fuckin' internet
is demanding all my attention

did I forget to mention

I forgot what I was going to tell you
too many memories in my mind
dated statistics from high school
lyrics to "my darling clementine"
you cannot trust my words
but if you've got the time
I can make an appointment for you...

Friday, November 13, 2015


the word of the day is "happiness"
that's what it says 
on the chalkboard in our class
but I don't see any happiness here
all I see in this school
is a pain in the ass
a pain in the ass
and a whole lot of rules
is this what they mean
by "happiness" in this school?

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I have nothing in my head but static
and it's growing louder every single day
I'm finding now that it's automatic
this turning off my mind
and yielding the right-of-way

blank page

I have a blank page
there is nothing on it
no doodles
no scribbles
none of those damn lyrics
that I find everywhere in this apartment

just emptiness

waiting patiently
to be filled
with emotions

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

dear world

dear world
I just want you to know
you've disappointed me again
I've heard it before
it's dog-eat-dog
and you're forced to fit right in
I mean, greed is only human
in this broken brotherhood
dear world
you had so much potential
you could have been so good

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

life is precious

life is precious
and here I am
waiting for the work day to end
waiting over and over
one more time again

Monday, November 9, 2015

But it's temporary

Man, what a day this has been so far. And it's just fuckin' Monday, man. 

What happened, farmboy?

I lost my fuckin' wallet.

Where did you lose it?

If I knew that, I'd go get it, wouldn't I?


I'm sorry, man. I'm just stressed out because of my wallet. I think it fell off in the bus this morning while I was coming to work.

That's too bad, farmboy. Did you have much money in it?

I had about fifty bucks. No credit cards though, thank God.

Well, that's good. That's a relief.

I was gonna go buy groceries, but I can't now. I can get a replacement card but I have to have a picture ID for that. And of course, is in my wallet.

Which you don't have.

There's got to be some way, man. I don't really have any money and my bus pass was in my wallet, too. 


It'll show up, farmboy, hopefully. And if not, you just lost some money and a bus pass. I know it sucks...

But it's temporary. I'll survive. 

But it still sucks, man.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

to the rescue

here I come
to the rescue 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

category 5 hurricane

rain turns streets to silver
wind howls outside the door
but they're no match
for the storm inside your brain
furious and raging
and too fierce to ignore
a category 5 hurricane

watch me run for shelter
watch me fall behind
you can laugh if you want to
but I'll get there in time
it's a rough and rowdy river
it's too hard to explain
a category 5 hurricane

Friday, November 6, 2015

a traveler's heart

I don't know where you're going
but I know where you've been
I know you've heard the calling
of the restless winter winds
there's a longing in your soul
waiting for a brand new start
you were born with a traveler's heart
you were born with a traveler's heart


imagine a world
made up of countries
and each country is a human
woman and man
now, you might be China
or you might be Senegal
or maybe you're Lebanon
but I am Switzerland

Thursday, November 5, 2015

running out

time is running out
and I have grown old 
I learned too late it was not about
doing what you are told

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

one-page story, another verse

my history
is a one-page story
I once memorized the dates
but now they're lost from memory
skies are all gray
and the weather's turning stormy
it's like I'm stuck in traffic
and there is no right-of-way 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

one-page story

my life
is a one-page story
I search my mind
but I can't find any words
my life
is a big blank space before me
I have no sentences
useless nouns and silent verbs

my world
is a one-page story
it turns and spins
while I run in place
everyone I know
is determined to ignore me
as a participant
in the human race

Monday, November 2, 2015

What I think about at 3:30 in the morning

It's November already, man, can you believe it? At this rate, Christmas should be here next week.

It's pretty astounding if you think about it. Time just seems to be moving faster and faster.

I find it scary. I have a problem with thinking about death anyway, and when I notice the speed of time it just gets more severe.

There's nothing you can do about it, farmboy. That's just the way life is.

I know, man, but it's so fuckin' hard. It's what I think about 3:30 in the morning.

Well, that's no good for you, farmboy. You've got enough stress in your life as it is.

I know! It's fuckin' ridiculous. But I can't seem to help it.

We're all like that, farmboy.

You know, I don't think dogs think so much about death.

I'm not sure, but I don't believe they do.

They've got the right idea, man. I've always thought that dogs are generally better and smarter than most humans, and this proves it.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


there's an envelope 
on the chair
by the nightstand
and the twenties are fanned out
like a peacock's proud tail
to you  
I'm probably just
another day at work
to me 
you are the center
of heaven's holy grail
you always take it
where I want it
always willing 
without fail
I am john