Friday, November 1, 2013

I'll be honest with you
I want a little red wagon
Stack up my things in the order I would have them
Clenching the handle, get off my ass and drag them
Down the path that I choose

I'll be honest with you
I want raincoats and galoshes
To keep off the rain and keep dry from puddle sloshes
I'm safe from the storm, though you might suffer some losses
On the road that I choose

I'll be honest with you
I could really use a pancake
Perfectly buttered and syruped and hand-made
There's none left for you, and I think that is a damned shame
But this is the life that I choose

I'll be honest with you
I appreciate your kindness
For giving me things that I want and even blindness
To selfish instincts, and calling me “Your Highness”
Throughout this life that we'll lose

I'll be upfront with you
There's no easy way to say this
I've found a new wagon to carry the same wish
I laid upon you when I fancied your lame kiss
These are the wheels that I choose

We're frantic and true
But we're false and level-minded
The poetry's dim, but the sad truth's behind it
I want what I want, and you aren't allowed to mind it

Because lying's a game I can't lose

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Family Living

Brothers begging me to stay sing a song I have to tune out
Stamp my feet into the clay until I'm gone away, new routes
Are enticing eyes and echoing the future into the past
Change is fast, and we become the souls that die in the slowest way
The last ditch is the only one I ever bother digging
Every new itch has passed before my brothers stop their begging

How can people all get along
When we're all too proud to sing each other's songs?
Why can't men just internalize the cost
Of living here at home among the lost?

Sisters loving me and holding me often do so with an ease
I rarely strap a boot on without thinking of one to please
Sacrificing self to someone else is not a simple task
Change is fast, and we become the souls that die in the slowest way
The last fence is the only one I ever stop to mend
Alas, the sisters that I love are those I'm so prone to offend

How can people get along
When we're all too proud to sing each other's songs?
Why can't men just recognize the price
Of turning a blind eye to sacrifice?

Parents scolding me along the way are electric to my bones
But time and time again I come back asking for a loan
For slicing my dreams up into bits I can sweep into the trash
Change is fast, and we become the souls that die in the slowest way
The first piece of me is the only thing I ever sold
And though my parents made me, we both came from the same mold

Monday, May 2, 2011

Attention, followers

This blog will continue to be an outlet of creative writing, but I've also got a tumblr page that will be more of an all-purpose weblog.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mortality in Question

When kids learn about death, they then ask a new question
And grownups give them an answer just to keep them from guessing
Because pressing the issue's something kids do best
They haven't figured out that life's about teaching to the test
Lest they worry like us, we say there's life after death
As we call it 'afterlife', it puts a chill in our breath
Still, don't expect the sad ones to accept your answer
It's simplicity grows in them like a burgeoning cancer

After life there comes death
& after death, we're all dead
But in between we like to keep our curiosities fed
Find our answers in books
Yeah, you know we're well read
While the here & know's absorbed by all the holes in your head

I was looking for clues, thinking back to the beginning
Back before my becoming, my original sinning
Coming close to the outcome, then further once again
Back to my negative years- I was an integer then
I recalled something odd about my preborn days
I just didn't exist- it was a necessary phase
Amazed at the fact, at least you'd think I was
But it went unexamined like my Twitter account does

A whole generation takes their questions to the net
& argue about answers 'til they die or forget
Now my poetry's a part of that, if you happen to read it
I turn the feedback option off because I don't really need it
Or tell me what you think- It won't change our destinies
Unless you're God & if you're God, all I want is rest in peace
The least of these have their answer in every morsel that is thrown
Every breath they get or have to breathe is enough to be known

After life there comes death
& after death, we're all dead meat
But in between we like to keep our curiosities discreet
Find our answers in each other
Yeah, you know we'll make end's meet
While the here & know's absorbed by every day you complete

Friday, October 8, 2010

My girlfriend's in another country and it makes me all gooey insi-hi-hi-hiiiide.

It's happened. My thick veneer of boyish charm has been worn down to rough and jagged moonlike surface, gathering dust and craters alone in outer space.

Nah, it's not that bad. I miss my bugglyboo, but there are plenty of things here in HANNIBAL, MISSOURI to keep me busy to the point of being all worn out. This, by the way, is my favorite treatment for depression. I get up and go to school, come home and exercise for an hour, eat and go to work. When I get home from work I might do homework (ha!), read for a bit and sleep lightly to the sounds of Hannibal daredevils peeling out not far from my window. If I weren't a Christian, I'd sniper them like Tom Berenger in the movie "Sniper 2" or Tom Berenger in the movies "Sniper 3" and "Sniper".

By the way, that reminds me- why do all my Christian friends like to use that passage about Jesus whipping money-lenders to justify all kinds of violence? "I don't like this wimpy version of Jesus." they say. I recall the scene from Talladega Nights where Jesus is imagined as a baby, a mischievous badger, and a winged spirit singing lead for Lynyrd Skynyrd. It's interesting that our deities look so different from one another (even when we call them by the same name and use the same book to try and figure out what they're all about). To some people, God looks like the God of the poor and downtrodden, on the side of social justice. To others, God looks like a military general, creating hurricanes to punish the gays and whispering into George W. Bush's ear to invade Iraq. God can be a Democrat to some, a Republican to others, and a Libertarian to crazy people. My point is this- monotheists believe in one God- theirs. I'm not telling you what to do with that information. Ignoring it is probably the most practical thing.

By the way, ignoring important things is kind of how we stay not miserable. Somehow I manage have feelings other than elation and utter satisfaction even though I'm a rich white kid who can afford to do things like write for fun and pursue dreams because I don't have to work the land for 15 hours a day to not starve. In fact, sometimes I experience despair over my clearly awesome life and if I were a bit more wealthy, I'd probably pay another rich white person to try and figure out why I'm so sad when the secret might have something to do with the fact that I'm not running around in the wilderness using every iota of my homo sapien wiles to snare a wild beast and forage for berries and nuts. Seriously- we get our food out of cans and frozen bags, replace real sensory stimulation with shiny pixels flashing on all manner of flat screen and substitute real problems of survival with amateur, self-indulgent anthropological blog posts. I need to invent something that has nothing to do with words.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sufjan Stevens - All Delighted People

At first I was confused as to why this was released as an EP when it weighs in at a hefty 59 minutes. Upon listening to it, it made more sense. "All Delighted People" is not a cohesive effort, but I'm interested in how it will foreshadow Stevens' next full-length work, "The Age of Adz" (CD coming October 12th). The aforementioned ep includes 8 tracks.

1. All Delighted People (Original Version) [11:38] - This is a big brassy, stringy, choir-y song that seems to crescendo and decrescendo over and over again in anthematic fashion. Sometimes it seems focused and the next minute a misguided guitar will cut through like a jigsaw. Stevens' voice seems a bit more confident here and it needs to be to contend with what seems like about 30 different ideas for a song that he smushed together in just under 12 minutes.

2. Enchanting Ghost [3:39] This is familiar territory, and it's damn good. He ditched the grandiose production he's been so fond of lately for this song that features a few strumming guitars, a banjo, an occasional piano and a harp playing chords in the background. It's a tight, well-written folk song and fittingly chilling at points.

3. Heirloom [2:55] A simple folk song that the Bob Dylan fan in me really loved. Guitars intertwine like on the last song (the harp is back too), but Sufjan's voice is doubled and echoed which really helps to buttress his naturally weak and trembling timbre. Another great song that is appropriately confident in itself.

4. From the Mouth of Gabriel [4:03] Occasionally, Stevens swaps out his traditional instruments for avant-garde synthesizing. In this song, they run into each other and seem to get along. His habit of exploring religious imagery with a personal dimension present as well. The juxtaposition of encountering an ancient messenger of God to the tune of a weak upright piano and heavily distorted, warbling synthesized brass is interesting, but fails to present a really great song like the last two tracks.

5. The Owl and the Tanager [6:38] This song opens up with a lonely piano (so lonely in fact, that you can hear the felt padding as Stevens' fingers strike each key). When his voice comes in, it echoes, further isolating the songwriter. Isolated he stays, and tells a story that is just vague enough to keep the listener wondering, but just explicit enough to convey a tragic and shameful feeling that is palpable beneath the ever lonely and building piano.

6. All Delighted People (Classic Rock Version) [8:07] This is exactly what it claims to be, though don't expect anything along the lines of The Who or Zeppelin. He starts off with the same banjo and leads into the same brass, but as soon as this version begins to crescendo, there's a lot more rock-based percussion and he leaves behind the strings for electric guitar. He also indulges his inexplicable affinity for rambling, aimless guitar solos (Captain Beefheart he is not). I personally don't enjoy this at all, but it comes with the territory and I expect it enough to put up with it. Overall, this version is worthy and seems a bit more victorious.

7. Arnika [5:13] "I'm tired of life, I'm tired of waiting for someone; I'm tired of prices, I'm tired of waiting for something" This cautious poem features limited, lumbering instrumentation, and each crescendo is quickly exhausted as the song continues. The music and words work together well here and the sample of what seems to be a rocking chair works well with the vocals in the background repeating "I'm goin', I'm goin', I'm goin'". Working together, these sounds paint a picture of an elderly individual waiting for death. Oh, and the cheap-sounding harps are back for the second half of this song.

8. Djohariah [17:02] The song that rounds out the hour is the most tedious, though I'm not sure it's meant to be popped in and listened to individually. The confused guitar pops it's head in throughout this groovy jam and really... just tires me out. This song builds and builds for about 5 and a half minutes before it changes pace and the chanting begins. "Djohari, Djohariah" for a minute and then back to the confused guitar solos, then back to the chanting, then at 11:43 the song starts. It's an ode to his sister (Djohariah Stevens), and it chronicles her struggles and importance as a mother. Good stuff once you get to it.

Overall, this is an encouraging ep for Sufjan Stevens because it hints at a whole new full-length album that will hopefully have some kind of conceptual and sonic cohesiveness like his past works have had. For five bucks, you'd be hard pressed to find a better hour of music. Pick it up- this rough work features some gems.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Abandoned buildings
Stinking haze and rotten wood,
-the town was filthy
Stuck deep inside the waning flood
-and cut off at the knees
With people stuck to their top floors
-and praying for the sun
To dry their homes and set them free
-because the

Rain came down and the
-floods came up
The rain came down and the
-river came up
The water fell down and the
-sewers filled up
And oh, the sewers spilled their souls upon the street!

Where were the children?
Oh when the rain began to fall
-I heard them laughing
You know that little kids so small
-should not play in the rain
I hope to God they got inside
-before the powerlines
Were snapped and shocked what was alive
-oh God!

What will we do, wife?
Our crops all ruined by the flood;
-where is the carving knife?
That I might drain my farmer's blood
-don't try to stop me
'Cause we don't got no food to live
-I love you too, girl
But I've got nothing left to give
-because the

Rain came down and the
-floods came up
The rain came down and the
-river came up
The water poured down and the
-sewers filled up
And oh, the sewers spilled their guts upon the street!

This is a Godsend
This flood that soaked the town below
-I will be wealthy
With more work than I've ever known
-they'll need a carpenter
To build them shelves and doors and chairs
-they're calling for me
And I'll have charity to spare
-because the

Rain came down and the
-floods came up
The rain came down and the
-river came up
The water fell down and the
-sewers filled up
And oh, my pockets, they'll be filling up good too!