I’ve Got a Little Black Book With My Poems in It

I guess it’s about time that I posted some of my own stuff and maybe give a little peak into the bizarre mish-mash of ludicrous confusion that I call my brain. Here’s just a couple of free-verse poems that I will hopefully be able to turn into song lyrics someday, when time decides to allow me to. Continue reading

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An Artist’s Statement – The Individual in Society

Doodle

Most people think of the relationship between the individual and the community as one of struggle — the nonconformist rebelling against social injustice while the community oppresses the rebel’s voice in an attempt to keep the peace.  But that is just one phase of the cyclical, symbiotic relationship shared between the community and the individual. They need each other like how clownfish need anemones and anemones need clownfish. One without the other would lead to the death of both.

What happens when a community discriminates, ostracizes, or condemns an individual and what is the impact on society as a whole? Continue reading

The Stars Look Very Different Today

David Bowie - Blackstar

David Bowie during the filming of the music video for his “Blackstar”. Photo credit: Jimmy King, September 2015

“News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying…

My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there.”

– “Five Years”, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust”

When I first heard the news, it didn’t make any sense. There was no way that the star at the center of my solar system could have blinked out of existence — so quickly, without warning. Without it’s gravitational pull, all of my planets flew out of orbit and asteroids collided with moons and made craters so deep that I don’t think they could ever be filled again.

And that’s when I started crying.

David Bowie had left us, late Sunday night, losing contact with ground control forever to drift into deep space and take his place among the stars. Continue reading

Remembering John Lennon

Today, December 8, 1980, the world lost John Lennon.

I’m not going to say much — so much about John Lennon has already been said. Rather than listen to what everyone has to say about him — that he was an icon, that he was an individual, that he was a genius, that he was a hero, that he was a rebel, that he was a heretic, that he was a messiah. In each head, there is a different picture and a different perspective of who or what John Lennon was. But there is one thing that can’t be argued: the fact that he left a massive impact on the world as he knew it. Continue reading

What About the Blues

Blues Final

It was dark, probably about half past 12:00, but sleep was not an option. At times like these, there is only one thing to do: play some music.

I pulled out my phone and scrolled through the thousands of songs on my playlist and then I found it. I sunk back into my pillow and closed my eyes, listening to the pops and crackles of recording technology from a time when my grandpa was a boy living on a farm in Alabama. Electricity buzzed through the atmosphere and I was in a rickety wooden shack in the deep South, maybe on a cotton plantation or maybe in the middle of nowhere. The air was no longer chilly but hot and humid, as a man with so many troubles that he sold his soul to the devil sang about standing alone at a dusty train station, crying for an unrequited love. Continue reading

Which is Right and Which is An Illusion? – Late Lament by the Moody Blues

A man takes a walk down the street. The frost lines the sidewalk, so that when he attempts to sidestep a stray cat that runs by he slips and falls on the icy pavement and lands in a pile of fresh snow. There, embedded in the piles of crystalline water, is a ten dollar bill — fate’s reconciliatory gift for his nasty fall. He pockets the cash and continues on his way. He rounds a corner, where he sees a homeless man, bundled in an assortment of ancient, browned, and smelly garments, stretching his arm outward with a tin can, begging for spare change to sustain his miserable existence. After some hesitation, the man reaches into his pocket and retrieves the twenty dollar bill. Sure, its a lot of money to give to a beggar, he thinks, but it’s good karma and I don’t need it anyways. He reaches out and drops the bill into the tattered tin can. “God bless you!” the beggar says as the man continues on his way.

This was a good deed, right? An act of charity that may have saved the life of someone in need, someone struggling to keep his head above the waters of death, which could ultimately take his life whenever people decide to stop giving without self-interest in mind. Continue reading

Watching the Wheels – John Lennon

There is defined path to success. Find a safe and stable job. Make money. Get married. Make more money. Buy a suburban home with a green lawn and white picket fence. Keep making money. Retire. Die happy.

That’s how society wants us to live our lives.

From the moment our brains are developed enough to understand what the heck is going on in the crazy world around us, they start taking the crazy out of it. When you’re little, you imagine yourself as a wizard or a superhero or a powerful fairy queen or time-travelling rockstar or the captain of an alien spaceship that has entered a wormhole and is a about to discover a new universe with a billion opportunities and where anything is possible. Then, they tell you that when you grow up you have to be a financial advisor. Or a pharmacist. Or a housewife. They say that everyone has a place in the world, but they’re not going to let you find it by yourself. Why are we expected to stuff our identities in a bottle for the sake of social approval, respectability, and money? Why do we let our inner selves rot away and die, only to be encased by a corporate robot that the world has deemed “respectable”? Why is everyone so afraid of risk-taking and adventure when that’s what has allowed our species to progress in the first place? What is so wrong about the word different? We all have freedom of choice. You can choose to play it safe and live a stable life. If that’s what you want there is nothing wrong with that. But if normality is something you have been trying to escape, keep running. Sure, the rest of the world will look at you and wonder what you’ve done with your life and talk about how you’ve ruined it. You probably won’t be getting their approval but you will get something far more valuable: self-satisfaction. Watch everyone else continue to roll along the same track, never venturing an inch off the path, to follow the same route that the preceding generation and the generation before that and the generation before that have all taken, while you explore the rest of the world and its multitude of opportunities. Continue reading

Life On Mars? – David Bowie

Likes. Retweets. Followers. Trends. Fads. There is no doubt that the media commands a massive influence on modern society. Not only that, but it is a media that was born with the potential for the sharing of expression, art, knowledge, wisdom, and original ideas with the world but has become increasingly driven and corrupted by money and profit. We attempt to escape from the drab of day to day life only to find that what we watch on TV, hear on the radio, and see on the Internet is all too often no more interesting than our own lives. We spend all of our time lost, in search of something greater than our everyday routines or what the media offers to sedate us, when really, greatness is not something that can be found. It’s something we have to create for ourselves. Continue reading

Old Man – Neil Young

People tend to draw lines between each other and place themselves into categories. You are either young or old, educated or uneducated, thoughtful or shallow, middle class or working class, popular or a loser, or whatever other labels society uses to define us. Why is it that we pay such close attention to whatever groups we “belong” to rather than reach out to each other in spite of our differences? Neil Young’s “Old Man” discusses the idea that beneath our external differences, we all have the same desires, fears, and feelings.

Neil Young in 1970.

Continue reading

Isn’t It A Pity – George Harrison

The world is full of problems: hunger, poverty, disease, abuse, intolerance, destruction of the environment, homicide, suicide, genocide, entire nations at war with each other, and so much more that brings pain and suffering to the world. But this is not the saddest part. What I find to be the most bizarre and mind-boggling is that all of us sympathize with at least one of these problems. We can all tell that something is wrong. We all want an end to these problems. We all feel that something must be done.

But how many people will actually do something?

The thing about people is that they can see suffering on their TV’s, they can read about it in the news, they can even be a spectator of it on the street, but very rarely will they cast a second glance after thinking, “Oh, how awful!” before continuing on their way. The problem is not that people are insensitive – for the most part everyone will feel something after witnessing a tragedy – the problem is that most people do not think of how much their actions can make a difference. Continue reading