Disillusions

I’d have been a mage
but I had to settle,
and seek the closest
vocation to shooting fire
from my hands—

and in this world
as in the game
the fantasy’s never final,
and we never admit it,
we run and hide from the day
the fetish leaves our objects
and they become dulls as rocks
and the earth proves not a mother
but a dull rock—

and disillusion flows like rivers
to the brackish sea,
from sources on imprecise mountains
dreams like meltwater
dripping,
collecting
in the thin,
clear,
air

Tags: poetry

From the New Yorker. I really like how stupid the writer makes this show sound. As a listings guy myself, I can tell you this is A+ listing writing

From the New Yorker. I really like how stupid the writer makes this show sound. As a listings guy myself, I can tell you this is A+ listing writing

Your Utopia

I fear there will be no poets in your utopia
I fear there will be no jokes in your utopia
I fear there will be laughter, even, in your utopia
I fear there will be no families in your utopia
I fear there will be no personalties in your utopia

I fear there will be too much freedom in your utopia
I fear there will be too much responsibility in your utopia

I fear your utopia lies not in the future but the past
I fear your utopia is like all the others,
I fear your utopia is a wobbling tower of childhood frustrations
I fear your utopia is nothing but revenge
I fear your utopia is merely the enshrinement of your and your friend’s peculiar misery
I fear your utopia is not having to live at all
I fear your utopia is a warm womb of mamma-infant love

I fear your utopia will not be a new order but a reversal of the present one
I fear your utopia will not be an order at all
I fear your utopia will lead to the very police state you claim we have today

I fear your utopia because I fear your rhetoric that it is not a utopia
I fear your utopia because I fear your compassion which feels strangely angry
I fear your utopia because I fear your confidence in authors with not much more experience than you
I fear your utopia because you seem to freaked out and scared and confused just like me

I fear your utopia is ultimately just that,
no place at all

Tags: poetry

Father Time at Rao’s

The fat man who’s always at Rao’s,
aged middle sixties, some species
of insignificant European,
a little head with a little beard,
a cane to balance his significant girth,

always talking, often irritated,
some issue always to his displeasure,
his considerable displeasure,
he is the arbiter of things,

he speaks from a secret throne
in this Valley cafe—
not even speaks, more correctly intones—
decrees from this Valley cafe—

and he is here every day,
every day,
we can’t escape him,
though he is not exactly a threat

chain smoking hasn’t killed him yet—

he is often with friends
but doesn’t seem to like them—
he is the world’s unhappiest teddy bear,
he is utterly unable to be cuddled with
not by life, not by experience,
not by his wife, one assumes,
if she still exists,

he could die tomorrow, perhaps,
but he’ll sit here forever—

he has seen too much
or else not enough
to want to move anymore—

Tags: poetry

Old Man

I am always in that room at UMass,
Freshman year,
called on and having nothing to say,
called out, by Comm Coll professor Bob Dow
berating me with traumatic eyes
and in his voice authority,
blazing and bright,
berating me for wasting his time
and my classmates time,
insulting their work,
thinking myself greater and more privileged,
trying to get by without reading,
sap their intelligence,
without reading the Old Man and the Sea,
ire of the overachievers heaped on me,
scapegoat of corner-cutting,
me,
and thinking how like Christ am I,
but for the sin being mine,
how like that Ancient Mariner,
to the mast of my indecision tied,
my future the albatross shot
on a whim,
my future,
food for the toothed
and the finned

Tags: poetry

Refugees

There are miners trapped underground in mines
and praying in mines in the dark they are praying
and food is being lowered down to them manna-like,
and children running across US border from beneath US,
children being called now refugees not immigrants
and Republicans do not want to let the children in,
they have no manna for the children, and

And Stephen Hawking says man must escape earth,
but if man is trapped, who will rescue man,
will food someday be lowered to planet earth?
Will earthlings escape to other planet as refugees?
And will there be Tea Party aliens there too
refusing?

Tags: poetry

Oh god Tumblr friends, I have almost no money right now. If you went on my Bandcamp page and purchased one of my albums I’d be so grateful. Oh god, so grateful. 

Perhaps you could purchase FINE, THANK YOU.

It contains two of my best pop songs, "Lydia" and "Maybe Tonight", as well as weirdness like "Oliver the Humanzee", a semi-true story, and "Psychic Vampire", a mostly-untrue story. It was heavily influenced by Daniel Johnston (the title being a play on his famous “hi How are you”), and marked a transition from precocious lo-fi geek rock to morose, self-pitying lo-fi emo balladry.

"Caroline" was a track whose basic structure I conceived of way before the period of these recordings—winter/spring/summer 2007—but I never got the second part till later. i recorded it not long after I returned from my disastrous attempt at studying abroad in the UK. i thought i’d broaden my horizons but i mostly just stayed indoors and ended up having a nervous breakdown and being to scared to go back. the dark mood of most of Fine, Thank You is a reflection on this failure of courage. there’s a fragility and desperation on it that I haven’t ever matched, nor would I ever want to again. Caroline ends the electric tracks and the rest of the album is purely acoustic. i’m definitely aiming for a pinkerton feeling. i couldn’t sing the last few lines, but i tried really hard to do so and thought that my yearning attempts to sing would possibly be more compelling than singing well.

I think "Nobody" is one of my best songs. It was an attempt to write something like Emily Dickinson’s famous poem. the poem had existed for a while before that. most of my poetry doesn’t turn into songs—for whatever reason there’s a big break between them. 

"Birthday" is a sort of prototype of later power-ballady tracks like "Sunday School" and "No Such Thing As Love". I don’t think it’s as good as those later tracks, but the impetus for all of them goes back to a song by Kid Icarus called “The Most Important Thing” (not presently available), which I always thought had a beautiful feeling, for me, of when you’re so depressed you can’t even content yourself with nostalgia, and yet there’s a kind of yearning not in the nostalgic sense but even for the ability to feel nostalgic. Hard to explain maybe. But in “Birthday” I stole a lot of the vibe of “Most Important Thing” including Eric’s metaphor of an “old house”. i don’t know what eric’s song was about but mine was about not wanting to grow up.

Oh god Tumblr friends, I have almost no money right now. If you went on my Bandcamp page and purchased one of my albums I’d be so grateful. Oh god, so grateful.

Perhaps you could purchase FINE, THANK YOU.

It contains two of my best pop songs, "Lydia" and "Maybe Tonight", as well as weirdness like "Oliver the Humanzee", a semi-true story, and "Psychic Vampire", a mostly-untrue story. It was heavily influenced by Daniel Johnston (the title being a play on his famous “hi How are you”), and marked a transition from precocious lo-fi geek rock to morose, self-pitying lo-fi emo balladry.

"Caroline" was a track whose basic structure I conceived of way before the period of these recordings—winter/spring/summer 2007—but I never got the second part till later. i recorded it not long after I returned from my disastrous attempt at studying abroad in the UK. i thought i’d broaden my horizons but i mostly just stayed indoors and ended up having a nervous breakdown and being to scared to go back. the dark mood of most of Fine, Thank You is a reflection on this failure of courage. there’s a fragility and desperation on it that I haven’t ever matched, nor would I ever want to again. Caroline ends the electric tracks and the rest of the album is purely acoustic. i’m definitely aiming for a pinkerton feeling. i couldn’t sing the last few lines, but i tried really hard to do so and thought that my yearning attempts to sing would possibly be more compelling than singing well.

I think "Nobody" is one of my best songs. It was an attempt to write something like Emily Dickinson’s famous poem. the poem had existed for a while before that. most of my poetry doesn’t turn into songs—for whatever reason there’s a big break between them.

"Birthday" is a sort of prototype of later power-ballady tracks like "Sunday School" and "No Such Thing As Love". I don’t think it’s as good as those later tracks, but the impetus for all of them goes back to a song by Kid Icarus called “The Most Important Thing” (not presently available), which I always thought had a beautiful feeling, for me, of when you’re so depressed you can’t even content yourself with nostalgia, and yet there’s a kind of yearning not in the nostalgic sense but even for the ability to feel nostalgic. Hard to explain maybe. But in “Birthday” I stole a lot of the vibe of “Most Important Thing” including Eric’s metaphor of an “old house”. i don’t know what eric’s song was about but mine was about not wanting to grow up.

weird spam account on twitter

weird spam account on twitter

Who were they for,
those silky tears,
those tears of silver,
shed by the saints,
who were they for,
those tears of crystal
saline and pure
who were they for?

Whose children were 
they, clinging
to the jungle-gym rood,
even until they grew
wrinkly and grey,
but still, they 
were children
 of the Lord,
tho history makes plain:
no one’s ever
answered
to that name—

so I say, I still say,
I wonder, 
who called them in 
at last 
at the sound of thunder,
when there was no time
left in the day
to play?

Who were they for,
those silky tears,
those tears of silver,
shed by the saints,
who were they for,
those tears of crystal
saline and pure
who were they for?

Whose children were
they, clinging
to the jungle-gym rood,
even until they grew
wrinkly and grey,
but still, they
were children
of the Lord,
tho history makes plain:
no one’s ever
answered
to that name—

so I say, I still say,
I wonder,
who called them in
at last
at the sound of thunder,
when there was no time
left in the day
to play?