Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Don't Worry, He's Just A Little Rough Around The Edges

We carved a stumbling path
of bribed bartenders
and jealous hobos
as we danced steps newly invented.

We ended up at your shell of an apartment
with three bottles of illegal booze.
Once they were brutally murdered
we spun those glass corpses
and kissed the ghosts between us.

You left me there
to find your boyfriend
and I woke in the morning
with my nobility still intact.

I don't think you've ever forgiven me for that.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lips Of Faith

I'll remember the day I crashed into lands unknown,
like a casually dressed avalanche
invading deserts filled with folk singers.
I expected to fall to ruin
with mud my only evidence.

I'll remember the arcs, the arcs,
funny little half circles
supporting the white of the page.
A strange reminder
of the flowers I never brought.
There they sit
waiting for 1 hundred and 80 degrees.

Friday, March 11, 2011

You Have 18 Songs To Change The World

I finally got myself a car a couple of weeks ago. Now, I'm not trying to minimize the awesome that comes with having your own car, but there's something that is missing from my car. A jack to plug an mp3 player into. Perhaps I'm a little spoiled, but damn, I love having my little mp3 player, filled with close to 1,300 songs at my fingertips during long drives, or hell, short drives. The last car I drove had one. But, my new car does have a CD player. Which means, if I want the music I want in my car I have to play things 03 style and make some CDs.
I grew up in a strange time in history. I was born in '88 so my teenage years were contained solely in the first decade of the new millennium; the decade of internet piracy, blatant copyright infringement and CD burners. Everyone knew that a standard CD had enough room for 18 songs, 19 if you were lucky, 20 if the songs were 1 minute a piece. Everyone had that CD case that would strap to their sun visors and was just packed full of burned CDs. I knew some very entrepreneurial kids who actually managed to make some extra cash by burning CDs for other kids.
Now I imagine that most people approached CD making with the shotgun approach, which in hindsight is the best approach. They'd grab 18 songs and bam, CD was made. I on the other hand tended to take the surgical approach. Every song had a purpose, the order of the tracks was done with a specific intention in mind. Every CD I made was like a concept album. I remember pissing my friends off by delaying trips for a half hour just so I could put together the perfect road trip CD.
There was something special about putting together the best CD you could. It was like sorting through the library of all the songs that have meant something to you, either emotionally, or just because you connected with the beat, then picking out those memories and gathering them in one place. Sure, there are still playlists for mp3 players, but there was something much more permanent about making a CD. Once you clicked that "burn" button, it was over. There was no turning back. Your careful consideration and tedious nitpicking about whether Semi-Charmed Kind of Life worked better either before or after California Love would soon be a physical object. Your contemplation on whether or not Matchbox 20 belonged in that "Romance" CD you didn't tell your friends about.
Speaking of romance. I know I'm not the only one out there who made CDs for girls. That was the epitome of CD making. This was the chance to show how awesome you were without having to say a single word. If you could put the right songs in the right order she'd fall in love with you right? You'd make sure some of her favorite songs were in there. Then you'd throw in one or two of your own. Then towards the end you'd get a little cheeky. R,Kelly Bumb n Grind, TLC Red Light Special, Spice Girls 2 Become 1, yeah because you know what you really wanted to happen after you gave that CD to her. Don't lie.
I know before the onset of CDs people made mixtapes, but I didn't so I don't care.
Well, I'm older now, but I'm back to making CDs. Funny how some of those skills never leave you. Now if you excuse me I have to go put together the ultimate indie rock/punk folk CD ever.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Fresh waters of the Michigan capped

in brilliant sprays, with rainbow webbing.

The cotton storms picked up on the lake winds

and in the twilight sun

Refused to burn, even when engulfed in fire.

I took a breath then and smiled

dizzy off of spiced apple wine.

On the island of the matriarch

the wildflowers shook anxiously,

preparing for their slumber

under the autumn sun.

I ran my fingers for a final time

along the sharp edges of the prairie grasses

and left behind what was created there.

The shimmering Mississippi

glowed like a vein of phosphorous.

It was violent with flood waters

and ignited under the noon sun.

Among the artists and cultured

I watched the river burn

while they painted the scene perfectly.

I’ve found peace a handful of times,

underneath a generous Wisconsin sun.