On the hottest days
In the end of summer,
Back when we lived in the city,
My mother used to make blackberry pie.
She'd give my brother and I
A white construction bucket
And send us into the brambles
Outside of our apartment building,
Where we could hardly hear
The screaming commuters
Suffering the crowded I5 corridor
Over our own childish anticipation.
We'd picked enough berries by now
That we knew which ones were ready
By the color and feel of 'em,
And we were tough kids...
Knowing there was a pie to be had,
We didn't mind grabbing a handful
Of thorny vines to get to the good ones.
We'd pluck one plump blackberry
And drop it into the bucket,
Then one more, that was too purdy for droppin'
So we'd eat that one...
And by the time our Little hands were covered in pin pricks,
And our mouths
were stained in berry juice,
We'd stumble back to the apartment
In our clown makeup
And dirty T shirts,
And drop a bucket of berries on the floor
For my mother
Like we'd just come home from
a 9 to 5...
I'd wash the blood off my hands
And sit patiently in a chair near the kitchen
And watch her mix the flour and roll the dough, and mash all those perfect berries into a slurry,
Pour it all in a pan,
And slide it into the oven,
And I swear
Every poor kid in the building
Got jealous when they smelled what was comin' from our kitchen. . .
After a time,
She'd pull a hard-earned pie from the oven
And my brother and I would watch the steam pourin' of it,
Knowing it'd hurt just as bad as pickin all those berries to take a bite,
And as much as we wanted to dig into that pan
Despite burning our dirty fingers,
We knew this pie was worth the wait.
I've traded blackberry pie
For cheap wine,
I know that the best things take time,
Because everything tastes better
Knowing you worked for it
Now, my brother and I
Tend to bond over decent whiskey
And we're more likely
to bloody our fingers
On guitars named after women,
And I can't remember the last time
I ate a slice of pie,
'cause they never look quite the same
In a glass case,
At some roadside diner,
Where a lot of lonely people
Look at them in passing
Imagining their childhoods.
And a glass of whiskey
Will never quite look like my mother in an apron,
It does look like my brother
Grinning ear to ear,
It won't make up for the
It reminds me
That my mother
Used to make
The path of commerce,
The pursuit of commodity
And monetary gain,
The path of procreation,
The pursuit of improving
The doctrines of our parents,
I Have Chosen
The path of Poetry,
The pursuit of understanding
The world of my birth,
To burn like the Sun
And glow like the Moon
I watch them
In the winter
Falling for love
In the whitewash
Cozy by the fireplace
Cataloging their generosity
Buying new pets
I see them
Getting anxious for proposals
Waiting for the right Snow-lit moment
That will make the perfect photograph
They're getting excited
For new jobs
And new boots
and scarf weather
And make holiday drinks
And seem to like everything....
They like the long winter nights
The snow days
They like the company
And the chaos
They even like eachother...
And I like
Day old wine
In the windowsill
On the nightstand
And writing naked in my bed
At 1 o'clock
On a Tuesday
Recording Begins Tonight! A letter to friends & family.
For my birthday last year, I was reminded of how amazing all of the people in my life are when they surprised me with the kind of gift I really could have never imagined receiving or feeling worthy of...
I got seriously choked up when they revealed to me that they'd started a secret fund and pooled the money so that I could finally record a full length solo album at my favorite studio.
It's an album I've been wanting to make and talked myself out of over and over again...
I'd been putting it off for years, I never felt like the songs were ready, or that I could afford the studio time...
Which songs should make the cut, which ones were "good enough" and I kept letting my head get in the way.
Really, I was putting it off because I felt like I wasn't good enough. Like I couldn't justify the expense because I didn't think it would mean anything in the end.
But they all helped me to remember that my songs are important to people, and it would mean something to all of them,
even if no one else in the world cared... and that's really the push that I needed.
I remembered the feeling of why I started playing in the first place, to take my experiences and my love and my pain, to digest all of it, to find the words for it, and that became sharing those words with people who might need to hear them in a certain moment, to feel a little more understood, or to feel a little less alone.. and in that I have found real connection with so many people over the years and many times found healing in the process as well.
It's been nine months since that unforgettable birthday party.. and over that time I've refined the list, and picked the songs that feel strong and cohesive, dug deep and figured out which stories I felt like I really needed to share...
I began playing acoustic shows consistently again, and got these songs about as polished as they're going to get. It's been great playing for all of you lately, and I really appreciate the responses I've gotten from these recent performances.
Now that I know what I want to do, its finally time to get started.
I'll be joined in the studio by some very talented musicians I've been lucky enough to call friends, that are going to help give these songs what they need, and I can't wait to see what becomes of this project.
To all of you who made this happen,
Thank you for believing in me all of those times I couldn't believe in myself. The gratitude washes over me still.
I'll be carrying your energy in the studio,
This one's for you.
RECORDING BEGINS TONIGHT!
I've written nearly a hundred
That were never meant to leave my bedroom,
I picked at the wounds
To find the perfect words,
And brutishly mashed them over simple chords
A thousand times over,
To prepare them for the judgement of being seen for the first time,
And when they had legs enough to stand,
I'd hold them by the bridle,
Waiting for the perfect person,
In the perfect moment,
That may have needed those words as much as I did. . .
And when I played the song,
I felt it leave me,
Like a neighborhood cat that was never really mine,
Destined to leap from the kitchen window
After regaining it's strength,
To find someone
Who needed the company
More than I did. . .
And in those cases,
I'd never play that song again,
Realizing that it had always belonged to someone else,
And that I was only meant
To deliver those words
To the moment
In which they'd live forever.
People like James remind me
Of that simple truth
I so often forget,
That an entire life
Lived in a single moment
Is a life well lived.
And the best we can give to a moment,
Is our unrelenting affection,
Before we let it loose,
To go wherever a memory goes
Once it's left us.
And we may chase the feeling it leaves behind,
Like a farm dog
beneath a murder of crows,
But we should all be so
To have something to chase.
- Johnny Bourbon
Into the metaverse. (An existential rant)
It's December 1st
And it's warm enough outside to break a sweat,
Lakes, rivers, and reservoirs are seeing all time lows, chronic drought is our new reality,
Meanwhile, Facebook is building a virtual world for you to live in,
where "connecting with people," as Zuckerberg puts it, is the purpose of its inception, considering that soon the world governments won't allow you to leave your house over fears of contracting a virus that your already immune to dying from. But why would you need to go outside anyway?
Automation has already made most of your jobs obsolete, and the rest of you can work remotely,
(here's where the term essential workers comes back into play: those who can do the only things the robots can't..)
Your life support supplies (essentials) can be delivered by Amazon,
And the need for any other life enhancing
Commodity becomes obsolete as well, considering you won't be leaving the house or having company over..
Private property becomes obsolete.
(As does the need for actual privacy.)
You'll opt instead to earn and spend your time, and your "credits"
In the metaverse, on virtual commodities, such as clothes for your avatar, or paintings for your virtual living space that can be traded, "same as cash" or snatched away without warning by the creators of the metaverse, under the jurisdiction of a singular world government.. or even a random hacker.
You'll be sad that the imaginary things you worked for have suddenly vanished,
But it won't last considering You'll be able to press a button and feel any way you want to through the use of endorphin altering stimulant gas pumped in through your new VR headset feeding tube.
Just 10 credits for slightly happy!!
12 for slightly happier...
25 for ecstacy... (short-lived)
50 for pure joy
150 for orgasm...
( if you can afford it. )
For the right amount of virtual money, anything is possible! We become consumed by the pursuit of acquiring enough credits to experience every obscure sex act and achieving god-like super powers.
While you were busy in your imaginary world, Amazon, Google, and Facebook have finally merged to form Skynet.
(And by the way, there are biological robots being built right now using stem cells from amphibians, and they're capable of reproducing.)
Come to think of it, the entire world is already fully functioning in the new virtual one,
Why would all of you biological meat sacks need so much space?
Whole houses and neglected lawns wasting all those resources just for you to jack into the metaverse...
Humans are then shuffled into temperature stable boxlike apartments with high speed internet connections, wireless VR headsets and a series of tubes for their faces and butts.
Their fragile biological structures couldn't withstand the extreme heat outside anyway.. global warming and years of constant drought have fuelled megafires, thus making the air unbreathable without the use of filters.
Humans are kept pacified
With the only things that mattered to them in the first place, the need to buy and sell commodities for the sake of advancing toward an enviable summit of perceived accomplishment.
A need completely met and surpassed in the virtual world.
"We have created everything you need and more," robot Jeff ZuckerBorg smirks.
The Humans are satisfied.
Those that have the necessary "social" skills to thrive in the virtual universe at least.
Their bodies remain plugged in to the grid to produce electromagnetic currents which have been found to be intrinsically connected to the function of the planet
And thus vital for earth and for the machines to survive.
Something tells me, we all know what happens next.
Enjoy the REAL world while you can folks... we may not be allowed to for long.
Sitting in a Hot Tub, Between Nothing and Nowhere
Blue is the only color that matters.
Outside of this
There is only blackness,
To which, my hands reach into
And are greeted
There is no one waiting out there.
I am the angriest man I know.
My stomach is rotting from the inside.
I crumble under the weight of kindness.
That silence feels like a brick
In the back of my head,
Blue is the only color that matters.
Inside of it
There is stillness,
The only barrier
And pitch black.
The rain falls on the tin roof
To remind me of the season,
With it comes change.
I think I can change, but all I really know
Is that some changes require attention,
While others, require destruction
And the rain doesn’t know the difference.
One day, it will get so heavy
That it falls through the earth;
Right through our houses
Right through our hearts
And our minds,
Through our every accomplishment
And all of our regrets,
Through our long goodbyes,
And scripted endings,
Straight through the other side of the world
And into the void,
Where our story
Has never been told
Some things don’t deserve a rewrite.
In the noise of my childhood mind
I had a panoramic view
Of what the world was.
I wanted a father
Like a mountain range,
A mother like soft earth,
A god that payed attention to me.
I wanted dreams to achieve,
And adventures to have,
places to explore,
And a love that would never leave me.
I was so naive.
Beneath Western Sands
Lots of things
Are buried here
In the salty absence
In the drowning heat.
The Native Children
Hiding in the cracks
Between the eras
The devils in their dens
Below the crackled crust
The hoof beats
Of the long dead stampedes
Beneath the dry soles
Of the 20th century...
The remnants of the sea
Are buried here
The shattered bits
Of the giant saltwater snail’s shell
Along with the beak of Davy Jones’
The fossilized footprints
Of giants and Pharaohs...
The remnants of freedom
Are buried here
Well-traveled charred hardwood bits
Hidden at the foot of a taproot
A lonely spur
And a severed bootstrap
In the shade
Of the red rocks
The sun-bleached hide
And the horseshoe
By the dry river bed
The hardened wagon trenches
Along the canyon
The Aztec gold
In the Cavern
The medicine wheel
Prominently left alone
To the 6 portals of heaven...
The remnants of love
Are buried here
With rattlesnake bone
And Clovis point
A tattered dress
And last words whispered
That echo softly still
Through the walls
Of the towering Mesas...
Lots of things
Are buried here.
Three worlds before our own.
The rise and fall of civilization.
The genocide of the children of Atlantis.
The death of frontier hope
Under the boots of Henry Ford.
The gold fever broke
Before the eyes of J.P. Morgan.
The unachieved dreams
Of the American Revolution.
All of them
Preserved perfectly here
In a land
That knows no time
Humming gently beneath
A crystal blanket
Beating and pulsing
With the drums
Of the Anasazi
Waiting for something
That nobody knows
In a silence
You can hear it.
Shanghai’d in Paradise.
I want to go somewhere and be desolate.
Out here, in the country
Isn’t far enough.
I need to be a stray in a city,
Alone in an empty crowded place
Like a phantom limb,
To do my best work.
We are fighting each other
Over our own seclusion;
So desperate for attention
We jockey for position
At the speed of rattlesnakes.
Venomous creatures live alone.
We want to be seen, and not touched.
We want to be heard, but not answered.
We want the esteem
Of being well-versed in literature,
But this era is too busy
For busy poetry.
We want something for nothing;
We want it immediately,
And we want it to change our lives.
It’s Vegas Baby!
And we’re all trying to win big
In a desert.
God damned the desert.
Just about anyone can be seen from the clouds
On a salt flat so shallow.
Now every washed-up prom queen gets to feel accomplished.
Is not meant to support new life.
Its purpose is to decompose
Every one-hit wonder and regurgitate.
Feed you like a baby bird.
I’ve been doing this a long time.
By now, I don’t expect anyone to give a shit.
But I have no right,
It’s hard to imagine Neal Cassady at the bar
Punching notes into a smartphone;
Or what Jack’s Instagram page would look like.
I doubt we’d ever know.
He wasn’t the type of Catholic to modernize.
And he sure as Hell
Wasn’t the type of Buddhist
to profess enlightenment on the internet.
#poetry #prose #nealcassady #jackkerouac #selfieculture #disassociation #alienation #vanity #society #technology