Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Star-Spangled Banner [In tune, and key of E]

(Original words written by Francis Scott Key are mostly intact. I have changed punctuation and melody where appropriate. The final verse as well has been changed, not for any purpose but to describe my feelings on the State of our Union.)


Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars – through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched – were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare; the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen, thro’ the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes…
What is that which the breeze – o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows – half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam.
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream…
‘Tis the star-spangled banner: oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion…
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.
And the star-spangled banner
In triumph doth wave.
O’er the land of the free
And the home of the brave.

Oh thus,
Be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and

May the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that has made and preserved us as a nation.

Then conquer we must when our causes are just.
And this be our motto: “In no God do we ever…”
And the star-spangled banner waves
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Dear God (and off like lightning)

skip the rope.
jump the tide.
no one ever has it right.
only left to be a man
until the world
is centrifuge.
all in all,
a captain’s hune
for a little passion plan.
and so we go back out.
but you play a game
that i found out.
and as the mothers are homecoming,
please go dancing.
skip the rubbing
and be a good boy.
please your tells.

cause on we go…
Trump’d down.
but play a handle with no hands shooting.
the valves are begging you to press and hum.
my only matter is a seeming circle.
my only dig into the world is god.
and earth is round.
te please.
beds are sweating from summer’s faucets
and you’re letting business handle human rights.
and as the president aids Satan,
he just erupts into a bitter kite
to let it go
sometimes i wonder if its diamond’s telling:
a game of instincts that you’ve lost, it seems.
and even if it turns out i’m pissing,
i’m off like lightning to the copper key:
now truth spills.
and now im hoping that your stupid nonsense
is copping back to sit like finer thugs;
to let your tongue release its wagging;
to chase your tail or splash with slugs.
cause if you hear,
hear now.
my happy days give nights their resting;
my dreams describe to me a placid well
that i go driving into like serpents.
if you can’t see that’s torture
then you never will.
and even so,
slipped fowl,
give your handshakes.
collect your whatever.
find bothering
is just
’til it’s a fucking disgrace.
and then it’s the exact same world
on a different day.
hip hip..

A Joke; An Idea About Yawns

[These two thoughts may seem disconnected]

Two persons meet on a barge.
One says to the other, “Ya think?”
To which is replied, “What do ya mean?”

A Theory of Yawning

People yawn to reset the rhythm of their breathing as it relates to their physical and mental state.

Yawns are “contagious” because when someone sees a person yawn, they have a subconscious desire to match the rhythm of that person who yawned.

Quickly, Now

I erased my day unto myself;
An open stain of continuity.
I reversed these slain depicted breaths,
Out for no fairer community.
I am broken with the pictures of
Children who go running,
And now, I’m sitting back
Can’t cry, no.
Tears are through my blood, humming.
No carrying no tools
You carry knowing better.
And with it, a hammer
When the boards are alive
And are no nails.
With a peter pan depicted calmly.
I am not his ghost.
Children are children when they’re children, only.
Adults are the ones to save their cloaks.
And clearly no one’s words will shift
Society or present drifting.
And our president’s an animal
Calling people an animal.
No people’s an animal.
All peoples are animals.
Skin pierces either way.
Find your gun astray.
Put it away.
Lock it up.
It’s no good.
And so, I pray.

repost: from years ago

The Paradox of Pain

if the fear:

that the passive production of passionate quotations quite possibly predicts a perilous predicament,

whereas the case:

the parting of past progression persuades the quiet punctuation to precede pauses in percussive prose in proving the predilection per the present, quelling the purpose of proud plasticity and instead praising portions pertaining to its quality or point therein,


the prejudice inherently perpetuated postures only to feed and be fed.

Time Is A Circle, After All

We’ve come this far. We really should try and see it through. On through to the next place we will have gone so far to get to, when we’ll be trying to see it through.

Time is a circle, after all.

I was having a nice conversation about TV shows with a coworker today when a quote from Steven Wright came out of me, and I’m paraphrasing now, as I did then: “No one knows why we’re here, and we’re just gonna die anyway.” I should be clear in saying it did pertain to that which we were talking about, just so as not to come off as someone who drops little bits of existential dread around my workplace. But what surrounded that quote has me thinking, which has me writing, so here we are.

Now, I work retail, and I’m very good at my job. That may leave me with a slight bias this evening. But that bias is fed by a rather stark contrast between what is our national stage and what we as People seem to be doing in spite of it all.

At the most iconic bookstore in the Greatest City In The World, it is busy as Shit the week before Christmas. So today, the 17th of December, was nonstop for hours. I interacted with thousands of strangers. Would you like to know who was rude to me? Just one person. Just one person, whom I know for a fact is worth tens of millions of dollars which I see no reason for to be to her name. It is, of course, just a goddamn name. And that’s all she seems to be: a Goddamn Name.

The person to whom I quoted Steven Wright is not Just a Name. And together, that person who I know, but don’t know, though maybe don’t know I know quite well, we were in that moment deeply affected. And I think it sort of condensed of how I viewed the whole day: Maybe People are beginning to get the hang of all this insanity we’re faced with from President Donald J. Trump [sic] and Congress – every single day. Maybe we’re bringing it all back home again.

A few things have me beginning to convince myself that We have a fighting chance against this tyranny with which we’re being faced:

-The rewriting of the tax code, and its crafters’ maniacal laughs in the face of recorded history, which shows that the very plan they claim to have hatched from their learning from previous success – which never actually was success, but miserable failure and literal market collapse – will probably pass both the House and Senate and be signed into law by President Donald J. Trump [sic].

-The repeal of Net Neutrality, and the three quarters of the country who knows it’s fucked up for the government to do something three quarters of the country knows it doesn’t want to be done.

-The GOP championing of actual thieves, liars, racists, rapists and pedophiles when they claim to be the party of Christian Family Values.

Not only do I firmly believe that these things help only Goddamn Names, but I am certain that they won’t stand. The republicans are trying to put the fix on the game all at once. And I know, the Fix was built into the Game. I get it. But it seems to me that the way the rules were written, the underdog could easily be the favorite. What I mean is, if we’re playing baseball, we’ve got quite a big team, but as only one player can connect for the game-winning hit, the whole team wins the game. President Donald J. Trump [sic] is just Leslie Nielson as the umpire in Naked Gun. He really really likes saying and doing one very specific thing: Grandstanding. (Goddamn Names…grandstanding is all they can do). Grandstanding – especially in the way Trump does it – is quite obvious. Plus, like Nielson in Naked Gun, he’s fucking bad at it. And the GOP – the team on the right end of all that foolishness – is going to lose the game.

Why? Because they’re not a team, they’re a business. And Trump is no BusinessMan. He is and always was just a salesman. One that for some reason used to be pretty good at tricking ignorant people into believing that he was for real and so were his promises. Now, not only is he not a businessman, he’s no longer a salesman. He’s a card player. A bad one. Not only has he shown his hand over and over and over, he’s actively forcing the whole table – his GOP Elite  – to do so along with him. Everyone can see everyone else’s cards. Bluffs and lies have become fabricated reality (“No, Senator, that is clearly a royal flush and if you can’t see it, you’re the liar). We don’t have to work to see through them anymore. They’re fucking transparent. And they know it. And they don’t care, because they’re evil. 100% not men of God, like they like to think they are. Their immorality encases them and shimmers.

They are – like I noticed today – a stark contrast in relation to Us. We might not always be as informed as we could be, but those of us who couldn’t already, are learning to sniff out bullshit. It’s easy to do when it’s being thrown about randomly through disjointed sentence fragments, and the cold, Ayn Rand philosophy of legislated selfishness. I feel like those of us who are not Goddamn Names are reaching more into Kindness.

If not You, the Reader of This, then why not?

Please understand: No one knows why we’re here, and one day we will die.

The Age Of Enlightenment

Enlightenment is a funny thing. As with any quest in life, the path of spiritual growth is littered with inherent imperfection, decided upon, seemingly, with but the whim of its own disposition. We have little control over why, but we must, in any case, be walking. To be doing so is essential. But we must also each sometimes double back, with the sense that we may have missed something along the way. Or just to visit a particular section over again, which we remember all too well; to lay our coat down over a puddle so someone else won’t step in it, for it soaked our socks and lead to the painful blisters we’ve endured for years for fear of being barefoot. Now, more than ever, our ability to discuss our pain – those passages through time where we were bleeding – allows us to reach one another, and aid in keeping our feet dry in the first place.

Yet even as any experience should breed knowledge, we must remember that an experience alone cannot breed wisdom. The sharing of context is key. There is always the danger of stepping in a puddle. And a few blisters are of course preferable to an alternative, like having to step through broken glass without any shoes at all.

What I mean to say is that it seems an anecdote cannot fully capture its own nuance, just as a still photograph can capture but a split second of humanity. Our existence as solitary creatures is simply too vast to pretend otherwise. But as with anything, there are certainties. Like when a butterfly flutters its wings, somewhere a tree creaks with the breeze. It’s fairly easy to digest that basic cause and effect.

I’m not sure, however, if it makes a difference that there are butterflies. I really can’t decide. But if one of them should fell a tree, I feel it is important to not condemn their wings, or merely mention how strong the tree once seemed. For you know, you can build just about anything from a fallen tree. Especially a fire around which to gather and discuss how much blood we’ve lost from the cuts and blisters we’ve garnered from a path strewn with obstacles. To compare what remains of our shoes. And ask why certain people have so many pairs.

When Baseball Defies Odds

I like to watch the trains as I smoke cigarettes. It’s something I’ve taken to doing sometimes, usually at night, walking the block to the bridge that overlooks the Long Island Railroad. Standing, peering down, I’ve often thought of how it all came to be. And not so long ago. Engineers bashing through plans for tracks to be laid, crisscrossing North America, by the bare hands of those with a hunger. Some of it literal; some divine. A battered innocence cut. And all but with some idea that it was indeed for something bigger. For the present and future as one. For a past wrought without civility; without mercy and without care. A train, for one thing, might take you anywhere. Anywhere at all. And so why not let it ride?

Of course, with history, we know that the rails were built by suffering. That’s all we’ve ever truly built with, this nation of ours. We are a land of the supposed will for compromise and with a certain moral superiority, yet we’ve a penchant for absurd greed and ragged muscle. For a fire ant’s mentality. For a rusty sheath of ice cold steel. With a bubble bath in the headlines and its filth disappearing down the drain.

Funny how it is that filth upon which those tracks were laid in the first place. To comb our past is to present no disparities to wonder. Blood and sweat spill. Yet whatever our motives in the treatment of each other, we should know we are one as Something, if not something else. And with a lifetime of maturity, it seems we could be able to get to that someplace better.

Of course, such fate may seem to drag it’s knuckles. Time waits for no one when they seem eclipsed by darkness. And in our world, there is much darkness. Too much, to be sure.

So within this blanket of night, where do we go for a light switch? I tend to look for pieces of art. For music, dance, pictures, and laughter. For that which is so vast in it’s scope, it is played out perpetually, with each passing moment a momentum for change; for history made. For that impossible emotion brought forth from your soul.

It seems I’ve been feeling these tides of elation more and more these past couple years. One moment aghast by our national stage: a man with a constant hardon and a history of sexual assault, serial fucking around, and a failure at common sense and decency who is leading us further into a darkness. This is no abstract notion. But it’s not his fault. He wasn’t made for this. He was made to play the game. But when it isn’t a game anymore, what is it? And what will it turn into?

I for one, prefer no game. But if I have to choose, I choose beauty over brawn. I choose finesse over annihilation. A ball over a bullet. A handshake over a clenched fist. I choose baseball: America’s pastime. It is our Mona Lisa. Along with rock and roll, the greatest thing that we’ve created as a culture. And it goes on and on, baseball. Over three quarters of the year, we watch and we listen. And sometimes, we see the impossible play out before us like theatre drawn from the mind of some idealist romantic. Our hearts soar with the crowd as a team from Cleveland plays like no team has ever played, winning more consecutive games than any of the thousands of teams that have played the hundreds of thousands of games since Major League Baseball began over a hundred years ago. A team that – over a 22 game period – won all of them, hitting more home runs as an offense than the total number of runs allowed by the pitchers. By twenty-something men gliding past expectations and holding fate and chance as no deciding factors in the purge of true soul in motion. For three weeks, Cleveland Baseball was as perfect as the world has ever seen. And it was so remarkable.

But tonight, as I stood watching for those trains rolling beneath me, on those tracks built by the past, I thought about our present and future as beings in our existence. And although I may always shudder at the world as it seems to have always been, I can’t help but have some hope. Because we as human beings continue to mine for and witness beauty. For three weeks, 25 young men participated in something no 25 young men have ever more than dreamed up. And as it has come to it’s end, I stood on that bridge and I glanced down at the tracks beneath me and smiled. Not at the railroad, its history, or its future. But at the reality of the cars’ inhabitants: a few of the millions of people who know a world where 30,000 people will all rise in ovation at the end of an inevitable defeat, as 25 men wave their hats in gratitude. None of it because of losing the game. But for a collective epiphany that Cleveland has once again made us believe in Light. Even while the world is draped in darkness.

Thoughts Upon The Release Of My New Album

A seven year song purge peppered with life-changing events and experiences led me to make the move to New York with Alexandra Tsubota and begin a phase of life I never thought possible. In doing so, I would leave some things behind: people who I love and miss deeply who, along with the city of Cleveland, took me in and treated me well when I least felt like I deserved it…time and their compassion rehabilitated me and made me well to be not just living, but alive. I have so many people in my past and present to thank for so much that I won’t begin to try to list them all here. If you’re reading this, figure yourself one.

But now, here I am. And my heart’s a bit torn in two. One half is elated at my good fortune to be where and how I am: living with and loving the most incredible person I could know; working full time for one of the most well known bookstores in the world, which happens to currently employ some rad people who I have come to consider friends. My mind is stable enough. And I’m happy.

But the other half is sick with fear and loathing; disgust, but also helplessness and confusion. Why should things be fine for me and not for everyone? What is keeping me whole? It’s odd, I spend so much of my time feeling invisible, but what I’ve realized lately is that being the kind of invisible I seem to be is, in some way, a goal to a lot of people…I’m a working class, white, straight, 29 year old male in the United States. I need no crutch in this country. I need no home in this world. And that makes no sense to me at all. 

So when I look around me in the morning as I’m going to work and there’s dozens of people sleeping on the sidewalk, my stomach turns, but I don’t have any money to give them. When I read the news, I scream or weep or both, but what do I do to fix it? Living well and being a hardworking, kind, compassionate and empathetic feminist goes a long way but I can’t be at peace when most everyone else isn’t. Perhaps there’s just no true peace to be had. In every country on Earth right now people are either disenfranchised or targeted, murdered or massacred, are starving or are sick. Why is that – the most obvious of all injustice worth putting to an end – what is invisible? My invisibility is a cloak. I wear it. It is a shield to me. It allows me to escape into a home I have, press play, and forget. 

Fuck that. I’m tired.

I have love to give. Certain people​ have shown me how. So during a year of changes in my personal life, and continued upheaval in our country and around our world, I wrote. I played. I sang. That’s what I can do. That’s what I can offer you. It’s free. I wrote the first song the day after election day. The next ten tracks came over the next few months. 

I write about what I see and how it makes me feel. And though in all my cloaked existence, I shudder to think of what it’s truly like for so many others who can’t escape into my Oblivion, I can at least let them, and you, know that I care. And if it’s not enough, I’m really sorry.

But I’m trying.

Beside The War

Sometimes I wonder if it’s about the Battle or the War.

There is a cold summer rolling in. Cold in the fact that our leaders are frigid; ourselves shattered under the pressures of ice as we succumb to our environment’s conditions. Our pain is stupified. We are lost.

But are we losing? It’s the question I’ve had recently. For, even when the left put forth a poised, eloquent, intellectual, they still couldn’t repeat themselves. And so now we have a President Trump. And a fate so porus, the water floods.

Let me be clear: Trump is fictional. We’re living in the sort of post-apocalyptic fever dream that is so popular right now when created in novel form. Big Brother is making rich men richer and poor men think they understand why they’re not the proverbial rich men. Us folks in poverty? We’re the last of a breed undead. For we know that it is each other who keeps us broke and angry. Angry. Angry. So much anger, it’s obscene. So much. And yet, as such, so misdirected.

Not in these times. Not in these battles. Not in this war. This war is as old as time. The fact of mobilization and military mightiness is what makes it so different. The battles become miniscule; the war, global. Facts should give us pause, and yet intelligence leads to bombings; instincts to a tweet and some lies. Sometimes simple diarrhea of the soul. I mean, what the fuck? How dumb are some people? How thick are their necks? How willing are they to drop towels and fuck shit up? with their dingy mindsets; their malleable idea-stream…that which is otherwise stationary.

Christ. What a shithole we live in. We have but closet freedom. A banal hoax. A poor excuse for pleasure. Even the righteous build up walls, or worse, take them down just to spit bullets down upon you. An eagle soars. The Hawks nosedive. The owls disgust. And the dove cries. For there is but one.

So what, then? I mean, truly what the fuck? What do we do here? I cannot just take to the streets, for I do not wish to die there. I can only fight with my words, my music, my mind. But I will scream toward the heavens. And my battle will be won. Even if the war is beyond me.

A Song or, A Confused Melody

“Nobody told me there’d be days like these. Strange days indeed. Strange days indeed.”

-John Lennon

I want to make clear in pointing out that there are no sides here. There is righteous and there is corrupt, but they are mutually exclusive. We know that the only difference is inherent. It isn’t a matter of taking sides. It is complete misunderstanding and it is a sight from the Third Eye. It is knowing or not knowing the fact that what we have are a few dozen career con men pulling another over on a third of us who are either too thick or too slow to realize we’re being fucked so we go along with it because we’re Happy Consumers; you have the rest of everyone who are just powerless in changing anything. Let us not forget that this past presidential election was anything but a Trump-Russia conversation. We had our own party ripping the rug out from under the better candidate to perpetuate some linear Greatness of a family name. It was low. And ironically, it was a tactful retread of themes we fought hard against eight years ago and beat out because of the rise of a truly Great Man in Barack Obama. But neo-liberalism is dead.  And by a long shot…so is conservatism (if it ever existed in the first place.) It’s the same damn trip. We need a revolution! We need anarchy! We need…

We need new buzz words.

I get ahead of myself. What I mean to say is that we need peace. We crave it. So our Fight is anything but. And that is where they’ve got us. They’re good at fighting. They’re good at fighting – and I mean with guns and bombs and chemical warfare, torture and cold-blooded injustice – and they’re good at lying and the best one can say about them is that they are steadfast in their feeling that They are the best and let’s make it better for no one else. It is a sick and evil, foul and twisted, placid view of humanity. And they define it. Let us not say that lightly. Please. Anything but.

So what, then? What do we do? Where do we go from here? I don’t know. I mean, I am disgusted. Let’s be clear. I am disgusted that these evils exist. But it is the plane on which we live. It is our reality. In the entire history of this timeline, there has been war and forced famine and disease, bloodshed and malice and violence. So often just violence for the sake of it. Maybe it really is our true nature. I mean, the universe is pretty goddamn combustible.

Perhaps merely discordant. And that’s where lies my comfort. That this all must just be one infinite song. That the notes themselves are secondary to the space between. They have to be. Because if there is no song, I am thoroughly at a loss. I just want to play.