I work lots but share little, which any business school dropout knows is stupid marketing practice. So in breaking radio silence, here’s what I’ve been up to. First, a rough cut of a song I recorded last year with my buddy Spencer in his basement. It begins with us talking about beef roast and twice-baked potatoes.
Like everything we make together, it’s lo-fi and fun for us. Eight years ago we had a garage rock band called Natural and the Disasters. True to our name, we went through four drummers in one year. At one point, we had a drummer but no kit, so we bought a children’s set from a trailer park in Westminster for $20 that we christened The Mighty Tinies. Our final show was at Denver’s 10th UMS at the former Club 404.
One of the highlights of having a band that year was playing a battle of the bands at Hi-Dive for my kickball league. Anyone from the league in a band was recruited (which was, like, half of us). I had a 90’s cover group called the Um Bros with musicians Ross Harada from Land Lines, Ian Short from Hello Kavita, Adam Lancaster from Curious Yellow, and Eli Mishkin from Hot IQs.
Although I can read music and play a tiny bit, I’ve never considered myself a musician. Writing words has always been far more important to me. Speaking of, I’ll put the lyrics to the above song at the bottom of the page.
Aside from entertaining the ghosts of music’s past, I’ve been writing essays about the connection between fun and death. It’s less morbidly abstract than it sounds. Stay tuned.
In October, I gave an informal talk at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design for Creative Mornings. The theme was Honesty. I talked about how it influences my work as a poet. You can watch it HERE.
Besides the swell people and free donuts, the other cool part of that day was walking next door into the Rotunda Gallery to see the Picture Me Here exhibit. I volunteered last October for the organization, which helps immigrants and refugees build multimedia story-telling skills. It was an honor to work with Zahraa Otaifah, an immigrant from Iraq and mother of a child with autism. She’s a brilliant soul and it was a pleasure to see her work on display.
That about does it for now. I hope you enjoy my song “It’s Nothing but the Everything You Believe to be True” as much as I enjoy long song titles. “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” is my favorite. Anyway:
Don’t you see, can’t you be?
The limit to the water where we all begin to breathe, oh
Don’t you see?
Oh listen to the wake
It’s the point of indecision where we all begin to quake
I found a way for me, way for me, just like I do
Am I somebody’s superstition or somebody else’s proof?
I found the mist of me, mist of me
It’s like I knew
I put your painting by the door and then back underneath the pew
So pray for me, pray for me
Just like they say
When there’s no logic to the living and the dead have gone their way
But wait for me, wait for me, and set the pace
I’ve been so tied up in the walking I almost forgot to wait
But wait, oh no, oh wait, oh no, just wait, I’ll show, the gate aglow
This might be all for me tonight
This might be the last moment that the light in me is left alight
In spite, the difference between curtains is perspective of the eye
They caught me gazing at the stars and then decried me as a spy
My spirit’s mired in wisdom but wisdom is mired in mind
And the mind gets so contorted in the curvature of spine
I find I listen when I’ve ended my internal diatribe
And the response to all my wailing is the dropping of a dime
I don’t mind the silence of the living nor the noise of the divine
I find the difference with ovation to just sitting on your spine
Is if simplicity is squalor or the best that you can find
But wait for me, wait for me
I know that if you give me just a minute than the infinite is known
It’s as simple and contorted as the nautilus exposed
The spiral of the cycle of the rhythm of the throes
Wait, oh no, oh wait, oh no, just wait, I’ll show, the gate aglow