Monday, September 28, 2009


A variety of events lead me to this ramble/poem (I will explain that a little later). First my friend Mel and I were chatting about poetry after the St. Charles Coffee House Open Mic (#StCCHOpenMic for my Tweeps). She was curious as to what style my poetry would be considered. I have never been good with labels for my poetry or music, not that I am above them, but I am unschooled in both, so it is hard to nail down a genre for either. I am creating both out of grace, out of passion. I am impelled to write and sing (not play the guitar; that is a labor of love, definitely not natural for me).

My Mom is a singer and filled the house with amazing music my entire life, every car ride featured silence and radio, minus outbursts from my sister, love you Twyla. Cleaning the house was not a chore, it was an opportunity to listen to great music at volumes that helped me to feel it. I listened to her singing the songs, and like any good son I joined in. So, I come by my voice naturally, and the music I create is a blend of everything I have heard my entire life and what natural skill I was born with.

Similarly, my father is a writer, so my pen has always been there. Unfortunately, I lack his desire to craft. I just want to paint pictures with words. Sometimes they are beautiful and intense, and sometimes they are more like cheesy post cards, but it is a natural form of expression for me.

I told Mel I wrote Free Verse and explained my style is derived by the fact that I am a musician and hear it in my head when I am writing it. I think there is a definite distinction there. Some writers see it, see the form, see the language scrawl across the page. I do not. I am not a visual person. I hear it in my head, hear what it would sound like if I read it, the pauses, the inflections, the meter shifts. The conversation ended with, “Well whatever it is I like it.” I thanked her, and asked her to send me a subject, and told her I would write something for next week. Sometimes it is good for me to force my pen…sometimes not. You’ll be able to decide later what this was. She sent: struggle, survival, and hope.

You’d think these topics would have an instant effect on me, but I think I view struggle as challenge and survival is innate, so I really wasn’t sure where I was going to go with them. Then I watched Fame this weekend. It was a very important show to me when I was a kid, it helped fortify my passion allowed me to dream. I sat down Saturday evening, about midnight, running on 3 hours of sleep from the night before, and this spilled out. Did it address her subject request; I hope. Is it one of my better poems; nope. Is it real and authentic; yep.


I remember the first time I wanted you
Fifth grade
Stale scent
Old walls
Clanking keys
Pure voices
External pressure non-existent
But internal
To hold
To touch
To feel
You were unobtainable
Was stoked
Flames roared through junior-high
Seventh grade
Shoe string strap
Hockey stick strum
"Suicide Solution" sung full throat
Trying to evoke you
Please you
Intoxicating embers carried me through high-school
Ratio of words spoken to sang
Resulted in nullification
And free hours when shorts chased skirts
Found me communing with sacred sheets
Controlled the rudder
Continued to steer
Through boot-camp to coffee shops
Through dingy smoke lit bars to shiny stages with large lights in eyes
Left me feeling
As your ghostly caress
Found me
Held me
Like you had 25 years before
And I still want you
But you…you remain
Nothing more than a construct of my

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