Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One fuckin' frustration after another


What a fuckin' day, man. Everything today had been fucked. It's just one fuckin' frustration after another, you know? Every fuckin' day is challenging. A good day? I don't know when I've had one. It was before the fuckin' accident, that's for sure. I'm so angry. I'm always so fuckin' angry. There's no relief. What the fuck am I supposed to do? When do I see any reward for the effort and work I put in? I fuckin' hate my life, I really do.


Monday, January 30, 2017

I'm going to stop


I'm going to stop
smiling in photos
using exclamation points
making jokes
laughing because it's expected
limiting sugar and carbohydrates
returning phone calls
avoiding facebook
until you notice
how lonely and sad
I am


Sunday, January 29, 2017

fool for trying


you're a fool for trying
ain't nothing ever gonna change
oh, the facts will be pushed around
ambushed around
and somehow rearranged
someday you're gonna look in the mirror
and say "man, my whole life is strange"
there ain't no denying
you're a fool for trying

you're a fool for hoping
everything's gonna stay the same
oh you can tell your lies
compromise 
swear by your daddy's family name
but someday you'll look in the mirror
and say "you're the one to blame"
keep your eyes and ears open
you're a fool for hoping

          I hate to remind you
          of mistakes that you've conceived
          I know where I can find you
          in your land of make-believe

you're a fool for dreaming
dreams that won't come true
they may divert your mind
from time to time
but that's the very best that they will do
someday you're gonna look in the mirror
and say these fantasies are through
there'll be no more scheming
you're a fool for dreaming

you're a fool for trying
ain't nothing ever gonna change
oh, the facts will be rewritten
and rewritten
and forbidden
till nothing but lies remain
someday you're gonna look in the mirror
and say "man, the whole world is strange"
there ain't no denying
you're a fool for trying
you're a fool for trying


Saturday, January 28, 2017

in times like these


in times like these
a man needs an addiction
this ain't no fiction
it's a way to survive
holistic's optimistic
but it ain't worth a lick, son
you need an addiction
in your life


Friday, January 27, 2017

without the headlines


nothing's ever gonna 
make you happy
that's a chapter in 
another person's book
nothing's ever gonna 
make you happy
bad luck follows you 
no matter where you look
naive, broke and talented 
ain't much fun
so you turn to the habits 
trouble gives to the young
like those heroes you've enshrined
without the headlines

all your short life 
you've been working 
towards fortune and 
its old friend fame
all your short life 
you've been working
now, ain't it
a God-awful shame
nothing ever works out
you could've gone far
now it's open mic
thursday night at the bar
you're a legend in your own mind
without the headlines

push the magic
in the bloodstream
don't it make you
feel so damn good
push the magic
in the bloodstream
living like 
a rock star should
for once it's not
failure you're feeling
life is sometimes best
staring at the ceiling
if you wake up this time
don't be disappointed to find
your stars did not align
you're just another loser
without the headlines
without the headlines


Thursday, January 26, 2017

but I will 2


I've been walking backwards
retracing my steps
trying to find the way
back to myself
I've been lost so long
I wouldn't place no bets
I ain't no poster child
for mental health

          oh, give me faith
          give me hope
          I'm sliding down
          some slippery slope
          I keep saying yes
          while my heart cries nope
          not now
          hold on still
          I don't know how
          but I will

I've been crying buckets and
barrels of tears
I'm as dehydrated 
as can be
I've been crossing my fingers
and facing my fears
taking the long way around
to destiny

          oh, give me hope
          give me dreams
          tell me the future
          ain't as bleak
          as it seems
          maybe I don't have 
          the means right now
          for climbing up this hill
          I don't know how
          but I will
          I don't know how
          but I will


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

ancient song


inspired by a facebook post by Marsha Webb

I was awakened this morning
by the sound of coyotes
singing their ancient song
I needed to be
a little less lonely
so I nervously howled along
soon my voice was swallowed
by the big canine choir
as I tentatively made my way in
and as our voices climbed
higher and higher
I found I was one of them


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

communicate


I don't want to 
communicate anymore
I'm thinking its not that great, 
that's for sure
I want to hear the silence
if words unsaid
I don't want any secrets
outside my head
there's too many words
and too many feelings
and too many problems
that I find too revealing
too many confessions 
and not enough lessons
I'm afraid it's just too late
I don't want to
I don't want to
communicate


Monday, January 23, 2017

so I say to the cop


so I say to the cop
"hey cop, how's it going
good thing it's not snowing"
he said "you're under arrest"
so I say to the cop
"hey, cop, where's your mercy?
I'm just a guy from New Jersey
I got one final request"


Sunday, January 22, 2017

such good people


going to facebook
I see photos of lots of people
marching for justice
I know some of these people
some are friends
some are family
some are people I've worked with
and I think:
such good people
there are many of them
and the best thing is
I belong
I belong


Saturday, January 21, 2017

this crooked path


how many stories 
can I make up
how many ways 
can I imagine your thinking
how many times
have I had enough
and tried to solve my problems
with nonstop drinking
I've got so many theories
and they're spinning so fast
I wouldn't know the truth
if it bit me on the ass

          give me the truth
          show me the proof
          don't be aloof
          tell me what's really going on
          I feel
          I ought to know what's real
          so show me the big deal
          before I stumble further on
          this crooked path I'm walking down


Friday, January 20, 2017

Enough fuckin' solitary confinement


Tonight I'm going to go see Louis C.K. I'm going with my brother and his wife and a former co-worker. This was my Christmas gift to by brother and his wife.

That should be great, farmboy. Especially since it's inauguration day.

That's something I am trying not to think about. I'm so disgusted with everything, but I can be strangely removed at times. I think I've given up in a way. 

Or maybe you're in some kind of survival mode. What does your therapist say?

Nothing. I haven't seen my therapist in a couple of weeks, because of the fuckin' snow.

Are you doing okay, farmboy?

I tried to remain calm the whole time and I was mostly successful at it. But I've had enough fuckin' solitary confinement, man.

I bet.

You know who I blame? The rehab places. I was just fine being antisocial and alone all the time. Then rehab introduced me to bring around people. Then I started getting lonely after I got out. I was having this weird feeling and I realized it was loneliness.

Which sounds like it was necessary. You need people, farmboy. We've had this conversation before.

I know. I'm just not used to needing people. I'm getting better at it, at least. I feel like I moved back a couple of steps because of all the isolation from the snow.

But, well, some days I feel like I'm just doing everything by the seat of my pants. I'm trying to think as well as I can. But the universe or God is pushing me into life and it's all I can do to keep up.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

our secret


I will be quiet
I won't make a sound
you won't even notice
I'm around
silent as a church mouse
that's what I'll be
it'll be our secret
just you and me


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

keep the pain meds coming 2


I am floating
I am moving forward
like a ferris wheel
I know I should hate this
but I like the way it feels
if I have to be
in a backless gown
with machines a-humming
doctor, please
give your permission
keep the pain meds coming

          keep the pain meds coming, doc
          keep the pain meds coming
          fill my brain
          with high octane 
          keep the pain meds coming

being in the hospital
can be lots of fun
especially with
a codeine drip
and my old friend valium
don't forget the ambien
and oxycodone's numbing
I guess all this will have to do
just keep the pain meds coming

          keep the pain meds coming, doc
          keep the pain meds coming
          fill my skull
          till it's feeling dull
          keep the pain meds coming


some folks might hear this
and they might go ballistic
they'd say "boy, how about spiritual,
organic and holistic?"
well, I guess that that's okay
maybe they'll do something
but if it's all the same to you, doc
keep the pain meds coming

          keep the pain meds coming, doc
          keep the pain meds coming
          give me endorphines  
          with some morphine
           keep the pain meds coming

          keep the pain meds coming, doc
          keep the pain meds coming
          it'd be real good
          if I could feel good
          keep the pain meds coming


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

mister suspenders


I know the day will come
when I'll be living easy
high on the hog
off the fat of the land
a winner at poker,
high stakes and parcheezee
you may think I'm sleazy
but you don't understand

the cops like to call me
mister suspenders
the gals like to call me
the pick of the bunch
my ex-wife used to call me
"hey, big spender"
just remember
don't call me late for lunch

           don't pin it on me
           I never knew the dame
           never tasted her sweet nectar
           never knew her Christian name
           you're only looking for
           someone to take the blame
           and you're thinking that someone
           should be me
           well, I disrespectfully disagree

you look like you could be
running for congress
you look like the lead actress
on that TV show
you look like there may be
a traitor among us
beneath all the fungus
only lies melted snow


Monday, January 16, 2017

Change in a heartbeat


So it's been the coldest fuckin' winter that I've ever been through, man. Good thing I didn't move to Vermont, huh?

Too cold for me, farmboy. I was raised in the Midwest and it was nothing but snow every winter. 

I don't actually remember being in snow until I was, like, eighteen. I remember being surprised that it was cold and wet. I guess I expected it to be fluffy.

So the bad part about this snow is that I haven't been out of the fuckin' apartment in over a week. I can't leave -- not with ice out there. If I reinjure myself I'm done for, man.

No, you don't want to do that, farmboy. You've got to be cautious.

Yeah, but it's the fuckin' isolation that's the killer. So I'm trying to keep everything calm and I've been pretty successful. I know that can change in a heartbeat, but I'm thankful that my mind's not being as emotional as it can be.

Smart idea. Just lay low, emotionally speaking.

I am. It ain't bad. I just gotta be calm, that's all.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

put me to sleep 2


put me to sleep
sing me a lullaby
of vials of codeine
entering my veins
put me to sleep
I'm not yet a butterfly
I'm an ugly old caterpillar
yearning to change

I need to rest
pass me some medicine
I need that bottle
to calm down my nerves
watch some TV
man, I miss Dave Letterman
giving those rich assholes
what they deserve

put me to sleep
pass me the pipe, my friend
and the wine
and the cheetos
and this week's TV guide
put me to sleep
I'm saying goodnight, and then
I'm off to slumberland
hey, turn out the light


too late for that now


all my life
I dreamed of being young
it's too late for that now
I once thought wisdom
was my native tongue
anymore I don't see how
I lost all my confidence
and I can't find it
anywhere I search
maybe it's with my morals
back when I was 
a teenager in church
Father forgive me
I have no idea who I am


Saturday, January 14, 2017

secret handshake


I wish I had a best friend
we would have a secret handshake
we would synchronize our watches
in the treehouse in your yard
seems like everything I touch
turns into a mistake
but when you share a secret handshake
living ain't so hard


Friday, January 13, 2017

you are loved 3


I am an old, old man
yes I am
a long time on this planet
I need to talk to you
yes I do
so shut those phones off
damnit
I'm getting up in years
but still have my eyes and ears 
about me
here's what I want you to hear
before I disappear
before it's time to live without me

you are smart
you are strong
you're my child
you belong
you make it through
when times get tough
you are loved

I may not be here to see
what you're going to be
but that don't mean I'm gone
I'll speak to you in memory
I'll never leave
this love goes on and on

you are strong
you are smart
there's always room
inside your heart
you know exactly
what you're made of
you are loved

          I never learned to say I love you
          well, I'm saying it to you now

you make me laugh
you are wise
I see kindness
shining in your eyes
like the brightest
stars above
you are loved

you are smart
you are strong
you're my child
you belong
you make it through
when times get tough
you are loved
you are loved


Thursday, January 12, 2017

always starting over


you can't get where you're going
if you're always starting over
you're gonna stay in one place
no matter how fast you run
you don't see the finish line
till the race is almost over
you're always starting over
and you've only begun

there was this childhood friend of mine
we called him crazy Jack
he'd say "I'm running away from home
and I'm never coming back
he'd fill up the ol' backpack
and swear that he was gone
then I'd see him the next morning
doing chores and mowing lawns

you can't get where you're going...

I had this credit card
maybe you can relate
I'd see all kinds of crap
and say "isn't this great?"
each month I'd pay the minimum
and think I was ahead
so I'd wake up the next morning, man,
and spend, spend, spend

you can't get where you're going...


you are loved 2


I am an old, old man
yes I am
a long time on this planet
let me say some words to you
before I'm through
so shut those phones off
damnit
I'm getting up in years
but still have my eyes and ears 
about me
here's what I want you to hear
when I disappear
when it's time to live without me

you are smart
you are strong
you're my friend
you belong
you make it through
when times get tough
you are loved

I may not be here to see
what you're going to be
but that don't mean I'm gone
I'll speak to you in memory
I'll never leave
this love goes on and on

you are strong
you are smart
there's always room
inside your heart
you know exactly
what you're made of
you are loved

          I never learned to say I love you
          well, I'm saying it to you now

you're sounding good
you're looking great
I like your hair
have you lost weight
I bet you're the best
at lots of stuff
you are loved

you make me laugh
you are wise
I see kindness
shining in your eyes
like the brightest
stars above
you are loved

you are smart
you are strong
you're my friend
you belong
you make it through
when times get tough
you are loved


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

when this plane lands


the lights of this city
shine like a Christmas tree
from this airplane
from this window seat 
I see the town
out there before me
I imagine my shoes
on cobblestone streets
what if they don't speak English here
what if my courage disappears
what if they're using local customs
I don't understand
all these places I don't know
all these people I don't know
where am I supposed to go
when this plane lands


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

when you're poor 2


when you're poor
you wait in line
you wait in line
all the time
and the line grows longer
every day
when you're poor
you do your time
you do your time
waiting in line
and when it comes your time
no one can say

when you're poor
it's so frustrating
you're always waiting
anticipating
the very worst to come true
when you're poor
you're always hating
time becomes grating
because waiting
is all you ever do

          nobody cares
          unless you have money 
          everyone's responsible
          for themselves
          nobody cares
          unless you have money
          and can help make more money
          for somebody else

when you're poor
you're always afraid
you're always afraid
rent can't be paid
and those hungry children won't be fed
when you're poor
they lay it on thick
you can't even afford to be sick
it's one of life's dirty tricks
and then you're dead

          nobody cares
          your time is worthless
          there's no reason 
          to help out
          nobody cares
          your time is worthless
          that's what business
          is about

when you're poor
you're always hoping
you don't start doping
to keep you coping
'cause better days are coming soon
when you're poor
you're always praying
that your paycheck ain't decaying
but that's okay
when you owe the company store
you grab any hope you can
when you're poor
and what's more
life ain't no Disneyland
when you're poor


Monday, January 9, 2017

happy birthday, Martin Luther King

(to the tune of "Yellow Submarine" by Lennon/McCartney)

in the good ol' USA
home of the brave
land of the free
lived a man who
dreamed of a day
when all would have
equality

          happy birthday, Martin Luther King
          Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King   
          happy birthday, Martin Luther King
          Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King

with his words
of equal rights
he inspired us
to shine our light
he held on tight
to his belief
that we could win
with means of peace

          happy birthday, Martin Luther King...

black or white
yellow or brown
ain't nobody
can keep us down
maybe Doctor King is gone
but the dream
always lives on

          happy birthday, Martin Luther King...


she's in the know


she knows everything about hollywood
but she's never been out of Nebraska
she knows the rumors a fangirl should
all you have to do is ask her
ask her whose career is running off course
ask her whose performance is a tour de force
ask her which director caused whose divorce
any movie or show
she's in the know

she knows everything about celebrity
and she's not talking discreetly
she gets the blues if she don't hear the news
before entertainment weekly
ask her which producer's running wild
which actor fathered the mystery child
they're the people on whom nature smiled
their plastic surgeons will tell you so
she's in the know

       and, yeah, she's got her husband
       her children and her home
       and subscriptions to show biz magazines
       the outside world has never known

she knows which performers know the martial arts
kung fu and karate
she knows all the sex lives of everyone
except the one of her own body
ask her what her dreams are
she won't say
she'll turn and look the other way
heading for another day
basking in the afterglow
she's in the know
she's in the know
she's in the know


Sunday, January 8, 2017

I always wanted to be 2


I always wanted to be
whatever I was not
whatever was the new thing
whatever was sold and bought
somebody who faced adventure
without a second thought
well, now I'm old and gray and tired
and I've given all I got
Lord forgive me
for wasting all this precious time

I always wanted to be
that fella over there
a million miles of credit
and a head of handsome hair
charisma like Sinatra
feet like Fred Aistaire
now my time is almost over
here inside this wheelchair
Lord forgive me
for wasting all this precious time

I never wanted to be
the man who had a home
friends and faith and family
no need for the unknown
guess I'll just have to live with
the lack of seeds I've sown
but it's all right
I'll be fine here all alone
Lord forgive me
for wasting all this precious time
forgive me
I wasted all my precious time

I always wanted to be
whatever I was not


Saturday, January 7, 2017

invisible for you


I tried to make myself 
invisible for you
I stood as quiet 
as a baby deer on snow
I tried to do the one thing 
I could not do
I tried to be 
someone I do not know
I had no name
I had no voice
and in the end
I had no choice
I had to keep fighting


Friday, January 6, 2017

unfinished jigsaw puzzle


there are times
when I don't say a word
I just stare at life
as an unfinished jigsaw puzzle
there are times
when I have nothing to say
but I still open my mouth
maybe I should wear a muzzle
I remember every mistake I've ever made
from this morning's cold coffee
to first through twelfth grade
I remember every person
who told me I would fail
I never asked for forgiveness
I just want justice to prevail
I just want justice to prevail


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Little Rock 1953


I was only a boy
not even in school yet
up on my daddy's shoulders to see
those convertible cars
with well-dressed white folks
who would always be
more important than me
and we clapped
and we cheered
as the cars were getting near
though we didn't even know 
who was inside
local yokels on a fourth of July ride
a day to celebrate being free
for everyone a lighter shade of me
in Little Rock 1953


summer camp for sad people 2


you knew what was needed
you had a choice
and you chose to listen
to your own voice
scared but not silent
soft but strong
sounds like you knew it all along

so you walked through
automatic metal doors 
with windows patched with 2x4s
to confront something you couldn't ignore
anymore

and it was like
summer camp for sad people
where you made friends
who were going through
what you were going through
you didn't have to explain much
'cause almost everybody knew
the hand that life has dealt
and you're all needing help
helping each other make it through
it's like summer camp
it's like summer camp
for sad people like you


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

too fuckin' cold


it's too fuckin' cold
I should not be on this bus
I should have worn a warm coat
like they do in new hampshire
I guess I'm spoiled
I should not cause a fuss
but it's just too fuckin' cold
that's for damn sure
there are bicycles with icicles
there are cars spinning around
there are breezes when it freezes
and they shut everything down
and it sure is getting old
it's too fuckin' cold