Friday, March 31, 2017

lab rat

I am a lab rat
here's how I spend my days
running into walls
in this mousetrap of a maze
dreaming of adventure
beyond an open door
I don't think living here
is worth living for

I am a lab rat
every day's the same
I bang my head in anguish
against the rules of this game
there's nothing to hold onto
there's no meaning anymore
I don't think living here
is worth living for

          sat a prayer for me
          maybe God will listen
          it's better to ask forgiveness
          than be begging for permission

I am a lab rat
of that there's no doubt
stuck inside a puzzle
and I can't dig my way out
there's no use in pretending
there's nothing to explore
I don't think living here
is worth living for
I don't think living here
is an option anymore


I would like to be at peace
just to feel what it's like
to not have to do battle
with the voices in my head
all this racket needs to cease
go out and find some open mic
play loud noise that rattles
and let me live in peace instead

what a world this would be
if I only were at peace
I'd take up watercolor painting 
and live out on the coast
I'd paint landscapes of the sea
and my stress would be released
there'd be no more complaining
only marmalade on toast

          and world problems and the blues
          couldn't reach me from afar
          'cause I'd never hear the news
          and share my views from NPR

but that's all just a dream
and I live in the real world
danger hides around the bend
and it's itching to be free
but peace is sweet like ice cream
for men and women, boys and girls
so if peace should come, my friend
let it begin with me

yes in a world of no

when I was a child in catechism
I was taught that God was everywhere
so I looked for God under the sofa
but I didn't see nobody there
still I continue to be on the lookout
I search everywhere I go
just like I keep on searching
for a yes in a world of no
for a yes in a world of no

Thursday, March 30, 2017

I tried, Jesus

I tried, Jesus, I tried
I swear I tried as hard as I could
I really tried not to be selfish
I always strived to be good
I prayed like nobody's business
I even wrote you a song
so, pray tell, sweet Jesus
why did I turn out wrong

I cried, Jesus, I cried
I cried me a waterfall
I cried loud and long and lonesome
I cried, but nothing happened at all
except my glasses got dirty
and I had to change my shirt
which was soaked with pain and self pity
and a lifetime of hurt

I prayed, Jesus, I prayed
like Daniel in that old gospel song
where he prayed each morning and noon 
and evening all day long
I prayed with all the rituals
that came with my OCD
but sometimes I have the feeling
you're not listening to me

I tried, Jesus, I tried
but my efforts always fail
I'm like the black dog of depression
chasing its own tail
I know I'll keep on trying
it's what I always do
but I could use some divine
intervention from you


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

this professional world

I'm checking out
I'm leaving town
I'm doing without
I'm standing my ground
I'm walking away
I'm afraid to fly
but I'm doing okay
here's the reason why
I'm saying goodbye
to this professional world
this professional world

where it's
okay to lie
okay to steal
okay to do
whatever you feel
to anyone
standing in the way
stab 'em in the back
it's okay
it's okay
here's the reason why
it's always sell or buy
in this professional world
this professional world

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

who's the enemy

it ain't right
it ain't fair
all I ever do is fight
every day of struggle
every restless night
putting up my dukes
showing off my might
like it's always 2:15
on a saturday night
you can find me
with my fists up
and my gun drawn
waiting to kill
the fiercest beast
I need to think clearer
I look in the mirror
and there's me
only me
it's plain to see
who's the enemy

I don't need you

I was here before you
forgive me if I ignore you
I don't mean to bore you
but I don't time for you
I'm living the lifestyle I was meant to
and you're not a part of it
go back to where you came from
I don't need you anymore

Monday, March 27, 2017

messed-up mind

it doesn't matter, does it
it was nothing but wasted time
I thought hope was here but it wasn't
damn my messed-up mind

you'd think I'd simply ignore it
but I've left common sense behind
now I'm forced to bow down before it
damn my messed-up mind

          give me my life back
          I can't help myself
          quiet all this noise within
          call county mental health

I got a big lunch box of bottles
my prescriptions have been refilled
I got lots of whiskey shots to
wash down all my pills

I've taken tons of photos
of this world I'm leaving behind
my sum is less than total
damn my messed-up mind

          lexapro for lethargy
          knots of nervous energy
          razor blades on the bathroom shelf
          suicide hotlines
          any help that you can find
          call county mental health

I've run clear out of answers
there's nothing left to find
that'll end this mental cancer
damn my messed-up mind
damn my messed-up mind
and it happens all the time
damn my messed-up mind

Sunday, March 26, 2017

in Ireland

I am going to Ireland
I am going to another continent
I am flying thousands of American miles
so I can finally be at rest
with myself
or even second best
even if I am depressed
at least I'll be depressed
in Ireland

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A functional depressive

Thought I'd say hi.

farmboy! I haven't talked with you for a while. Last time you were feeling up about you're storytelling debut.

That lasted a couple of days, which I am extremely thankful for. But now I'm back to, I don't know, whatever. It's worse than depression but it's got some of the same stuff. I don't want to get out of bed in the morning, problems leaving my apartment. I still do most of the stuff I used to do, but that's because I'm a functional depressive. Or something. I don't know. I ain't no doctor, man.

Speaking of which, have you talked to your therapist?

Yeah, but that's just once a week.It helps, though. I like him.

Brian 2?

Brian 2, that's right. My old therapist, the one who dumped me without a safety net, he was a Brian also. My psychiatrist who does my meds, his name is Brian, too. Or maybe three.

Why don't you try to get an extra session, farmboy?

I might. I'll check his schedule when we're through. Hey, I'm so fuckin' self-centered. How are you?

Me? I'm fine. Thanks for asking.

That's it?

Yes, farmboy. I'm fine. No problems. Just your everyday annoyances but they pass. Everything passes.

That's what I tell myself. But it's sure taking its fucking time about it.

stupid human race

Jesus help me
saints preserve us
a good life was once
one of service
now just breathing
can unnerve us
we don't deserve much
of anything, do we
us creatures of greed and bad taste
what a waste
we could have been great
stupid human race

Friday, March 24, 2017

I don't want to cry

I don't want to cry 
I'm tired of wiping my glasses
'cause the tears I cry
are gonna dry
and leave their marks of salt
I know it's all my fault
life ain't no sweet molasses
and that is why
I don't want to cry

Thursday, March 23, 2017

we were never friends

it was my mistake
I'm sorry
I'll accept all of the blame
this is more than I can take
I'm sorry
but I've had more
than my fair share of the pain
we were never friends
we were never friends

this is all my problem
I'm sorry
there's all these questions in my head
I've tried everything to solve them
I'm sorry
I ever believed the kind words you said
we were never friends
we were never friends

I'll be leaving now
I'm sorry
I guess you were never really here
there's only grieving now
I'm sorry
it's time for me 
to disappear
we were never friends
we were never friends

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


all I ever do is grieve
or that's what it feels like, it seems
I grieve for the loss of my parents
I grieve for the death of my dreams
I grieve for the friends who never were
I grieve for my waste of time
I grieve for the chance for happiness
I once thought foolishly was mine

I wait for mail to be delivered
I anticipate the moments when I look
at all my recent emails
at the comments and the likes on facebook
I take my smart phone with me
come and go, call, leave a message p!ease
but all that lack of contact
is just one more thing to grieve

I grieve for my wasted potential
I grieve for the jokes that got no laughs
I grieve for the people who don't want me
I grieve for the friends I'll never have
I grieve for every rejection
and believe me, my cup overflows
I grieve for talents never given
and God knows I've got plenty of those

I don't mean to look like I'm ungrateful
I'm thankful for the blessings I have known
it's just that today I'm real unhappy
it's just that my heart has no home
and all I ever do is grieve
that's what it feels like, it seems
I grieve for the loss of my parents
I grieve for the death of my dreams

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

everybody's always busy

everybody's always busy
everybody's running around
everybody's worried
they're letting everybody down
everybody's gonna tell you
everybody's doing fine
but everybody wants you
to read between their lines
'cause everybody's reaching out
and everybody's afraid
that everybody won't like them
like they didn't in third grade
so everybody's going home
they'll lock their doors behind them
to keep everybody out
where no one will ever find them
so everybody's lonely
but what else can we do?
when everybody out there
is just the same as you

Monday, March 20, 2017


all these empty spaces
all these missing pieces
what to do with them
God only knows
all forgotten places
all prayers sent to Jesus
a hymn in hobo rhythm
dressed in sunday clothes

          everything is a mystery here
          even your history's here
          someday you will disappear
          but your love will continue

I used to be a child here
but I still don't understand
just where the time went
God only knows
now I search the atmosphere
disregarding all my plans
all the tears I spent
I have no idea where it goes

          everything is a question here
          living in suspension here 
          someday you will disappear
          but your love will continue

          your answers still unknown
          looking for a home
          hoping seeds are sown
          knowing you are never
          knowing you are never


Sunday, March 19, 2017

I need to be adopted

I need to be adopted
by a happy family
in a home out in the country
with dogs and avocado trees
fertile ground below me
clear blue sky above
and I can be the cool uncle
that everybody loves

Saturday, March 18, 2017

when grown-ups weren't around

when I was young
and you were young
our laughter rolled
right off our tongues
when grown-ups weren't around

Friday, March 17, 2017

I'm sorry, God

I'm sorry, God
that every blessing that've given
gets covered with shit
from me
I can't seem to take
anything going right
so I try with all my might
to find anything that won't let it be
'cause anything good 
is undeserved by me

so I'm sorry, God
I'm not taking it for granted
in fact, I'm pretty pleased
by this life
it's just that I 
can't let myself shake
that I'm not a mistake
that joy is something
of which I have no right

        all I have to guide me
        is this hunger inside me
        and needs that will never be filled
        I need the inspiration
        for a good foundation
        and something off which
        I can build

I'm sorry, God
I see all that you've given
but there's my inability 
to love
but I swear
I'm gonna try harder
to notice what
this world's made of
I'm hoping it will be enough

Thursday, March 16, 2017

the deepest blue

you closed your eyes
you saw the deepest blue
like the blue before the sunsets
in the hometown of your youth
you remember fireflies
you were maybe five years old
it was magic and surprise
it was a long, long time ago

you looked at the ocean
you saw the deepest blue
like the blue of an orchid
that somebody once grew
you gave one to your grandma once
she turned 81 years old
she gave you that special hug
it was a long, long time ago

you look into your heart
you feel the deepest blue
the sound of a saxophone
down on seventh avenue
you remember promises
that only you could know
that you made to yourself
it was a long, long time ago

you closed your eyes
you saw the deepest blue

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


stuck at the intersection
of real life and indecision
freedom and addiction
passion or pride
waiting for a resurrection
of hopeful vision
let's live in nonfiction
and go for a ride

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

spark in the dark of night

take a deep breath
hold onto your hat
click on the new york times
read about death
there's plenty of that
have some punishment and crime
but you have to know
what's going on
the world is bigger
than your front lawn
I ask you, friend
what side are you on
wrong or right
do you see hope
like a spark in the dark of night

Monday, March 13, 2017

what shall we do with the politicians?

(to the tune of "What Do We Do With the Drunken Sailor")

what shall we do with the politicians
what shall we do with the politicians
what shall we do with the politicians
in the next election?

try to find someone who's honest
who does more than falsely promise
find fair leaders there among us
in the next election

what shall we do with the politicians...

throw out all the cheats and liars
they work for us, they should be fired
let yourself feel inspired
in the next election

what shall we do with the politicians...

what shall we do with the donald trump man
throw him in the garbage dump and
kick him in his big fat rump, friends
in the next election

what shall we do with the donald
throw him in prison like a scoundrel
for all the women that he has fondled
it's natural selection

what shall we do with the politicians...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I guess so

So I did my story! In front of a pretty big -- well, for me, big -- audience, even.

And how did it go, farmboy?

It went fuckin' great, man. 'Course I had worked and worked and worked on the story and having an audience energizes you.

How was the audience response?

People stood up and cheered.

Wait! You got a standing ovation?

I guess so.

That's major, farmboy. This was your first time, right?


Well, congratulations!

Thanks, man.

How are you going to celebrate?

I ordered pizza. And it should be here any minute.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

In a nervous kind of way

Man, I've been working on telling my story all fuckin' week. This is such a different experience for me.

How so, farmboy?

It's mores personal than musical performances usually are, at least for me. This is so fuckin' personal, man. 

And it's not a musical performance. I'd be more comfortable in a musical performance, that's for fuckin' sure.

So how do you think you'll do?

I'm getting better. I'm treating it like it is a musical performance, in a way. I'm just rehearsing over and over and over. Practice, man. There's no substitute.

So I'm in a good place as far as the performance goes. I'm even kinda looking forward to it, in a nervous kind of way. 

Adrenaline, man. Ain't no substitute for that, either.

Friday, March 10, 2017

so today

so today
like every day
I got depressed
that's what I do
the whatchamacallits
in my brain
are out of tune
I feel like three 
in the morning
when it's just
late afternoon 
I need some help
and I need it soon

Thursday, March 9, 2017


water's boiling
rolling bubbles
throw in pasta
on the double

chop the garlic
brown the meat
pinch of sugar
hint of sweet

check the pasta
take a look
whatever you do
don't overcook

"firm to the tooth"
al dente
make the whole bag
you're gonna want plenty

parmesan cheese
sprinkled on top
not too much 
hey -- I said stop

tomato sauce
tomato paste
you want lots of
tomato taste

drain the pasta
sauce is ready
now it's finally

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

moments when I am sane

from the cradle to the grave
from conception to the coffin
I have moments when I am sane
but they don't come very often
so I try to take advantage
when these rare occasions arrive
to see if I have any reason
to be glad I'm alive

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

damn old world

damn old world
damn old life
buy the ticket
hold on tight
grab the reins
with all your might
it's gonna be
it's gonna be all right

same old sky
same old earth
maybe I was
switched at birth
I've done nothing
in my life but search
for anything
for anything that works

give me facebook
give me twitter
my babysitter
I need shiny things
decked in glitter
all I know is
all I know is I'm not bitter

damn old world
and universe
you took my life
you made it worse
a drowning man
dying from thirst
am I just guessing
am I a blessing 
or a curse

Monday, March 6, 2017

A million fuckin' years from now

Hey, it's farmboy! Haven't heard from you for a while. What have you been up to?

Well, I'll tell you, man, I'm here at the county courthouse serving jury duty. I am so fuckin' pissed right now. They June let everybody go home...except 18 people for the fuckin' people they called for the jury. And, of course, I'm one of them. So now we're just waiting here because our time is worthless. Goddamn motherfuckin' government assholes. These people always think they're better than us and our time is fuckin' worthless. Goddamn it! Fuck these self-important government fuckers. Goddamn them to hell.

Wow! You're angry!

This is the way my fuckin' life is, man. Every fuckin' thing goes wrong. Nothing fuckin' matters, everyday is wrong. If I had the fuckin' balls I'd just fuckin' shoot myself and save a whole lot of time and trouble. What the fuck is wrong with me? Jesus Christ, what a fuckin' worthless life.

Have you taken your medicine, farmboy? Have you called your therapist?

My therapist doesn't want me to call. He wants me to reach out, that's what he told me, but then he says not to call. Well, fuck him. Fuck everybody. Reaching out ain't no good if you can't do it. Everybody says you should reach out as long as you don't reach out to them.

I'm sorry, farmboy.

I'm just so fuckin' angry at the whole fuckin' world. Nothing fuckin' works. Goddamn it, so when the fuck do we get to we the almighty judge.? How fuckin' long do we have to wait? What the fuck is wrong with these people?

farmboy, did you take your medication?

Yes, I took my fuckin' medication. But it ain't helping. I just want to do harm to myself. I just want to rip my own skin off. I am so angry that I just fuckin' feel like getting a gun and blowing my fuckin' head off.

Call your therapist, farmboy.

I can't! I'm not allowed to. I got read the riot act last time I called. I did call and I left a little bit of a message but I'm not supposed to call. I'm not supposed to reach out unless it's to somebody else. And I'm sure no one else wants me reaching out to them either. Fuck reaching out. People like me don't need to real out. I'm a fuckin' freak, that's for sure.

When do you see your therapist, farmboy?

Wednesday. A million fuckin' years from now. And I'm sure he'll ask me about the phone message. I'm a bad patient.

Fuck this world, man. I am possessed by hate and anger and there's no fuckin' relief. 

I fuckin' hate my life with a passion. I need a gun.  And it's not just me that I want to shoot.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Storytelling 5

farmboy is taking a storytelling class and is preparing his first story.

Outline 5


I was waiting for the ambulance, lying where I had fallen on the concrete and gravel, when it started raining. I thought, well, it just doesn't get worse than this. Little did I know. 

-- going to emergency
-- falling twice
-- admitted into hospital
-- diagnosis and surgery
-- moved to physical rehab, legs in braces

Middle 1: life in rehab
-- "surreal" and "time machine"
-- haven't lived with people/walls
-- preconceptions about rehab
-- having own room, friends with instruments
-- but it was the staff...
-- examples of staff
           -- multicultural
           -- caring
           -- humor
           -- staff would hang out
-- how staff broke through walls
-- making relationships w/staff
-- (song) keep the pain meds coming

Middle 2: mental breakdown

-- surgeon gives okay
-- try to stand, crying, flashback, therapists' reactions
-- the next two weeks, failure, misinformation
-- desperation, suicidal thoughts, dependency

Middle 3: leaving rehab

-- another transition
-- going to second rehab, brother's house
-- isolation and too much time to think
-- the novelty of loneliness
-- hanging out, by rehab

Conclusion: a work-in-progress

Another thing I did after I could leave the apartment and get around was get professional help. I knew I was in over my head. 

-- emotional health work
         -- therapist
         -- psychiatrist
         -- outpatient mental health rehab
-- therapist: "they are not your friends"; "live your life"

I am living my life It's not easy and I hate it sometimes. I still miss the people from the rehab and will be grieving for a long time. I still can't believe they are not my friends, no matter how I try. And, believe me, I try. But in the meantime I live my life. And I do things that I never would have done without these experiences:

-- becoming closer to a few people
-- songwriting and performing
-- storytelling class
-- Ireland

-- in other words, I'm living my life, no matter how much it hurts.  
-- playing music at rehab
-- I am a work-in-progress. I am living my life and I can only trust I am moving in the right direction.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

crying uncle

I haven't cried yet today
this may be a world record
for a man whose life is troubled by
a history that's checkered
by mistakes and miscalculations
and an endless need to change the station
watch your step, man, goodness gracious
this ain't no push or shove

I haven't been upset today
that's one day in a row
for a man who's been up for one hour
only 23 hours to go
give me morphine
give me liquor
anything to numb me quicker
what don't make you well 
just makes you sicker
it's no substitute for love
let me up, I've had enough
I'm crying uncle

I haven't been mad today
but I'm setting up the trial
I'm lying to myself right now
and living in denial
don't make me laugh
don't make me cry
don't tell me your excuses why
I ain't looking for no alibi
I'm packing up my stuff
let me up, I've had enough
I'm crying uncle
I'm crying uncle

Friday, March 3, 2017

wake up anyway

what if there is no happy ending
what if hopes never comes true
what if prayers never get answered
what if the sky falls down on you
what if you don't have a reason
to wake at daybreak to a brand new day
wake up anyway

so everybody's taken you for granted
so everybody's kicked you to the curb
you've built a steel wall around your feelings
and put up a sign "do not disturb"
everyone around you is a bully
and kindness only gets in the way
be kind anyway

Thursday, March 2, 2017

all I ever wanted

all I ever wanted
was just not to be afraid
all I ever needed
was love
so why is my
heart always aching
all I was given
was never enough

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

dear world

dear world
on behalf of only myself
I would like to apologize to you
for my country's president
his actions and thoughts
are not what I know is true
I'm sorry you have to listen to him
I'm sorry he's causing a hassle
I'm sorry that now it looks like sink or swim
I'm sorry the president's a fuckin' asshole
dear world
thanks for your cultures
the vultures are flying overhead
circling and waiting
at the government's luncheon
but their consumption won't get them ahead
and that's what I believe is true
dear world
on behalf of only myself
I'm saying I'm sorry to you