Over the Green

21 Aug


Over the Green


I don’t like microbes; please don’t touch my arm with your fingernails
I’ve already thrown up in my own mouth three times today 
I twist and spin, still the world presses in like a gauzy veil
Covers my eyes, lies, fuzzy, and white
Voices smile, laugh, holding me tight to the ground
I’ll survive
Let me be- I’m not going outside
Where the butterflies fly too far away to be seen
Over the green.Boxed Worm

I don’t like good people, they don’t feel what they say feel
They’ll never give up their candy for children to eat
They flit and shine as the world crumbles down to obey their will
Buries me down, brown under their feet
Hear me beg, cry, I know defeat- it’s alright
I’ll survive
Let me be- I’m not going outside
Where the butterflies fly too far away to be seen
Over the green.

Stick to the underside, shrug it off for the final time
Spit out the silk line and follow it home.

I don’t like feeling that your brain is in this same building
I’ll blank my my mind as I stare at a big empty screen
A bag of chips and a diet coke; that’s all I need now
You can poke, prod, urge me to live
You can stare, scratch tell that that I must forgive
I’ll survive
Let me be, I’m not going alive

I will fight, bite, leave me alone
Here to die, fly, I’m going home- it’s alright
I’ll survive
In a way, I’m already outside
Where the butterflies fly too far away to be seen
Over the green.


Download MP3: Over the Green


16 Aug


Tell me that you like my hat, walking through the garden path, filtered sun
Flowers sway in golden heat, smiling every time we meet, like we are one

But I know that you’re hard Goodnight Moon
And I know that you’re full of rain
And the ones you discard
I know they never walk again

Then I see you driving by, almost shy, black man against the sky, and my throat begins to shrink
Though everybody says you’re fine, benign, always smiling all the time, till I don’t know what to think

You gotta learn how to die
So why not look in your eyes

Polishing the silver bright, sparkle in the evening light, catch a smile
Hear a knock upon my door,should I answer it before you go wild

Cause I know you’ve been hard
And I know you’ve been full of rain
Standing there in my yard
Your eyes are soft and wandering

But then you catch me by surprise, oversize, black lightning from your eyes and I tell myself to run
But instead I turn and smile, denial, conversate with you a while till it starts to feel like fun

I know that everyone dies
So why not look in your eyes

Life is like an angry man, best to follow his command, don’t run and hide
See you standing hesitantly, why not have a cup of tea, come inside

Though I know that you’re hard
and I know that you’re full of rain
Still it lowers my guard
to see your brown hands trembling

But then you get me on the ground, hold me down, black spirits all around, till I don’t know what will break
And I try to spin my mind through a rhyme to another place in time, till my brain begins to shake

And then you say let’s have some fun, sticky bun, and you’re reaching for your gun, but I cannot feel your weight
Cause in my mind I’m out the door, zombie whore, shopping at the grocery store till you break my crazy eight.


Download Mp3Hard


15 Aug

I see feminism as being the natural, inflammatory response of a society that needs to flush out an excess of fashion designers.

Officially, feminism is about wage discrepancies and political power, yet it only seems to arise in places where women are made to feel neurotic about their physical appearance. Eventually, they reach a fork in the road where they either have to become a feminist or have that extra rib removed. By nature, women are designed to be sensitive towards what men think and feel about them. It hurts to feel that you aren’t perfectly beautiful and lovable the way god made you. And- even if you are a celebrated beauty- it hurts to feel beautiful only because you match certain objective standards that could be met by anyone. It makes you interchangeable, a commodity. I think people become feminists from the perception that men are shallow and incapable of true love, therefore it is dangerous to risk being dependent on them.

Here in West Virginia, there is really no feminism to speak of, but no need for it either. Thin or fat, old or young, neatly dressed or wild looking, the women seem unselfconscious about their appearance. They are confident that simply being alive and female will suffice to attract men to them. Judging by the number of children they have, it seems they are right. It is strange, but, while living here I have yet to hear a single man or woman praise or critique anyone’s appearance, including their own.

Of course this may stem from the fact that hillbillies devote less of their brain to imagining how other people see them in general, probably a necessary trait for thriving in secluded areas where admirers and applause are hard to come by. From what I can tell, they derive less pleasure from making a good impression, and less pain from making a bad one. Hence, the classic Appalachian front yard, filled with sofas, rusted pieces of metal, and semi-broken toys. Once I asked a neighbor about her landscaping style. She explained that storing junk in your front yard creates more space inside your house, and keeps the backyard free for games and picnics.

Putting your worst foot forward also creates a sort of protective psychological coating, similar to the No Tresspassing signs that adorn every property. It tells people upfront that you aren’t going to bend yourself out of shape to put on the ritz for them, and if they want a cup of sugar they should go elsewhere. Which is an important vibe to put off. Living in the same mountain crevice can get rather intimate and you really need to have a bit of a barbed wire feeling about you or your neighbors will be cleaning out your fridge before you know it.

But anyway, back to feminism….

The myth of sexism, I think, is that it flourishes among backwoods country people and square religious Midwesterners. My observations, however, have led me to believe the opposite, that sexism- like many contagious diseases- begins in the largest, most cosmopolitan cities who then export it through movies, music, and fashion to the rest of the country.

Of course, this depends on your definition of sexism. To some, sexism is defined by the genders having complementary roles rather than identical ones. To me, it is a mental disease that causes women to have low self-esteem which they then attempt to fortify through male approval. Sometimes they do this through excessive focus on their physical appearance, and sometimes through trying to adopt masculine traits that they don’t actually possess. The classic movie heroine, gunning people down in a leather bikini, would be doing both. In a non-sexist society, females can be pudgy and have no greater ambition in life than to create an “Under the Sea” theme for their child’s birthday party. And their husbands can feel very, very proud of them for doing this.

James is very proud of me for making this picture.

James is very proud of me for making this picture.

Of course, the urban worldview causes psychological stress to men as well. They may no longer feel that being a good husband and providing for their family is enough, but instead feel pressure to worm their way towards the top of the human pyramid. These pressures may also exist in the country, but they are not as strong. It is much less exhilarating to sit atop a tiny pyramid and much less painful to live at its bottom.

Which is why I don’t see sexism as being a problem, in and of itself, in our society. It is just one of the many inevitable side effects that occur when a whole cluster of people try to source their self-esteem from being better than each other. We could start a social movement to make all sexist sentiments go away, but since they would probably be replaced by ideas just as offensive, why bother?

On the other hand, while I don’t recommend trying to wipe it from the planet altogether, I do think there are two little steps we can take to diminish the power of sexism in our own spheres and thus render feminism unnecessary.

1) I think a number of “mental diseases” could be cured just by people expressing themselves more honestly and more frequently. One thing I have noticed with men especially, is that it tends to be the most obnoxious and also the most sexist of them (Donald Trump) who are always running their mouths, while the “better” men tend to remain quiet. This sometimes gives the impression that Trump’s thoughts are representative of men in general. As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

2) On a personal level, we should relish the poisonous ideas of our group mind to the extent that they spur us on towards greater mental independence. After kicking their babies out of the nest, eagles remove the soft filling to reveal a bed of thorns. When the little birds try to fly back to mommy and daddy, their bodies get cut up and bloodied. Likewise, our group mind is filled with ideas that tend to cut into our self-esteem, and the older you get, the less they seem to flatter you. Perhaps this is by design. These thorns push us, once we are ready, away from the mucoid comfort of conformity, and out into the big blue world to perceive and believe what no one else has before.

Silver Rain

11 Aug


Silver Rain

Silver rain upon my hand so soft, fallingRed Arrow
Silver sky coagulate and cough, falling down
Didn’t you say it would be easier to tell the truth, you were wrong
Didn’t you say there would be somewhere in your world where I could belong

Clouds cry, something’s wrong
You knew I was not strong
I only wanted someone to care, is that wrong?

Silver words dissolve upon my tongue, tasteless
Silver links of love that stretch so long, baseless why?
Didn’t you say you would be one man in the whole wide world who never lies?
Didn’t you say you would be just one man to never cover up his eyes?

You cry, something’s wrong
You knew I was not strong
I only wanted someone to care, is that wrong?

Soft things follow me
Dark words I cannot see
Didn’t you say you would find me?

All the words left hanging in the air, silence
All the words you never need to share, violence, why?
Didn’t you say that in this big blue world, you were the man who never falls?
Didn’t you say that when the clouds fell low, you were the one who would never heed their calls?

I cry, something’s wrong
You knew I was not strong
I only wanted someone to care, is that wrong?

Download MP3: Silver Rain

The Lucky One

9 Aug



The Lucky OneWorms

Quilts lined his hallway
his eyes were so kind
he shook your hand, a gentle man
perhaps that was a sign.

You followed him to the patio
there were steaks on the grill
the trees swayed, the clouds flew
the world became still.

Now you awake and you’re the lucky one
you’re alive and they died
twenty white coffins lined up side by side.

They died believing that the universe was good
they died when his eyes were hid by a hood.

A face tan and placid
nothing furrowed his brow,
laying apples in a basket
he glanced over you and how

could his eyes glow like blue lakes
on which the sun shines.
he almost seemed spiritual
perhaps that was a sign.

Now you’re awake and you’re the lucky one
you’re alive and they died
layed out like white stars in boxes of pine.

They reached for goodness they reached for the light
their prayers were answered in boxes of white.

His picture still hangs on the wall by your bed
surrounded by white stars to symbolize the dead
and you gaze in his blue eyes now trying to get
the wisdom that white light would never permit.

In darkness all the stars rise
from their beds hard and plain
if they speak to you, believe in them
they have nothing to gain

And they will speak, cause you’re the lucky one
in a feather soft bed
cottony pillows to comfort your head.

Some say the universe is ruled by the good
Some say it’s ruled by a man in a hood.


Download MP3: The Lucky One

Spirits Fly

8 Jul



Spirits Fly

Spirits Fly

spirits fly, one two three, come up behind me tonight
shadows shine, brilliantly, burning behind me so fine

spirits talk, they whisper lies, green trees and cloudy skies- someone is high
spirits breathe upon my face; lighter than than lace I comply

people stare, stare at me, I’ll be what they want me to be- I don’t mind
stay inside, lock the door, prisoner of war so refined

spirits fly, four through six, held by the wrist I can’t lie
burning cry, lost in mist, don’t let them see in my mind

secret things on tippy toe, where do they go in the night
introduce, stop and stare, walking on air it’s not right

never known, misunderstood, nobody’s good in the night
cotton falls all over me, how can i see what is right

silver moon, decompose, never expose us tonight
spirit’s fly, seven eight, drip and dilate it’s alright

people stare, stare at me, I’ll be what they want me to be- but they can’t see in the night
spirits fly nine and ten, sun rises up muscles us into the light

brains will fall back into place,hearts wear their double face, running a race to the light
dreams will dry and disappear, cheer will replace getting high


Download MP3: Spirits Fly

i could love you

17 Jun


i could love you Poptart James

the touch of silk, the smell of rose
that’s life, that’s the way it goes, i know
the smell of rose and lemonade
close my eyes, not afraid, oh no

everyone that seems to care they feel so far away
imagine that love fills the air, imagine it will stay

i could love you, i
who could love me, not i

a hand that’s overgrown with hair
touch me, that means you care, i know
a hand that smells like lemonade
every day sweet love is made, oh no

big eyes circle round the town
go ahead and stare
big eyes circle round and round
don’t look for love, i looked, it wasn’t there

i could love you, i
who could love me, not i

the smell of lemonade and rose
close your eyes imagine that love flows
the feel of silk where petals lie
please don’t say that love can die, oh no

white clouds settle on the ground and fill the neighborhood
feel my head spin round and round, this must be something good

i could love you, i
who could love me, not i


Download Mp3: i could love you

Wavy Minds

16 May



The Ohio


Do you remember you walked me to the car
your arm around my waist; I promised to call
I never told you that I felt our lives were so small

I drove away from you my hand on the wheel
the clouds were fluffy and high; I started to feel
how come the dreams are so much bigger than what is real

wet hearts do not burn, wavy minds cannot learn
tho i die i will return

a little house, a fence, a pure ring of gold
the basic things of this life, they flicker like a ghost
clear and uncontained i am exposed

how can everything seem so plain
a handshake, an afternoon, dry and contained
the feel of pants weighed against the fear of pain

wet hearts do not burn, wavy minds cannot learn
tho i die i will return

you said a fire of red it lives in the earth
and all our fingers and bones they hunger for it’s warmth
you said fire is where we return

and yet watch how I float then I drown
liquid arms they are guiding me down
and i feel i feel the love surround

wet hearts do not burn, wavy minds cannot learn
tho i die i will return


Download Mp3: Wavy Minds



So far, my time in West Virginia has been lit by two spirit guides- the colors mustard and brown.  I used to hate these muddy earth tones, but since moving here I have craved them like a drug. Every morning must begin with a brown or mustard coffee mug, and every evening must end with brown checkered curtains drawn over windows filled with amber glass.Brown and Mustard

If it wasn’t for brown and mustard, I’m not sure how I would have survived the extreme isolation. After all, the only person I know here is James, and he spends most of his time at work. A more practical person might make an effort to actually meet people, but, as for me, I can’t be bothered.

Because, for starters, despite feeling depressed by the isolation, I could never be sure if it was the ACTUAL isolation that was dragging me down, or just the IDEA of isolation. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by the idea that being alone is not only dangerous to your health but an indication that you are an unloveable creep. James, on the other hand, frequently reminds that there is no one I admire who didn’t spend a good deal of time in isolation.

Still, all this alone time left me feeling depressed and despondent. It felt as though my self was dissolving, and there was no one there at all, just an emptiness. And only the colors of mustard and brown could touch this hollow feeling, throwing handful after handful of dirt into the sad gully. After 9 months of their earthy influences, I no longer feel isolated or alone at all, despite the fact that my situation has in no way changed.

From mustard, I learned the reality of hope- that no problem lasts forever- and also the virtue of endurance. Sometimes, victory consists of simply hanging on and persevering until circumstances change of their own accord.

From brown, I learned the brain’s magic power to brighten to gloomy corners of our life. If our external life is temporarily dark and depressing, we can generate a light from within simply by engaging our intellect. I found that as long as I kept my brain engaged and stimulated, by studying math or chemistry for example, that it was actually impossible to feel depressed or lonely.

At times, I did feel superstitious about the potential hazards of overusing my brain, having tended to see the brain and heart as opponents, with one gaining ground only at the other’s expense. But eventually, I discarded this notion. After all, the heart craves things and people to relate to, and it is the brain who supplies us with these friends by illuminating the people around us, and sometimes by illuminating the friend-filled world inside our mind.

So far, my favorite intellectual pastime has been chemistry, a subject which seemed so cold and chalky in school. But now I find it heartwarming to get to know the elements and to witnesses their relationships dramas, which seem so much to mirror our own.

Still, as nice as it has been, spring fever is now reminding me that I can’t remain in this mustardy, brown cocoon forever.




8 Mar



Julien Aklei in Paintsville KY

Me, exploring downtown Paintsville (Ky). It would be fair to say that Appalachia is the sort of place where you have to make your own fun.


snowdrops rise from the snow
sparkle & shine- they don’t know how to warm me
i know they don’t bloom for me

sun beams fall onto the snow
sparkle & shine- they don’t know how to touch things
they only shine on the crust of things

and that’s the place where you live now

why did you leave me
you didn’t need me
i needed you

men leave tracks on the snow
sparkle & shine- they don’t know where they’re going
luminous and unknowing

a shadow falls on the snow
it’s only me, but they don’t know- they don’t see me
shiver when they are near me

but i shiver too

why did you leave me
you didn’t need me
i needed you

fingers flowing through the air
there’s nothing there, there’s nothing there
i reach for you my fingers flow like hair

place my hand into the snow
to feel the pain- i want to know what the pain is
i thought i heard it whispering

gauzy wings upon my arm
sparkle & shine- there is no harm that can change me
let the cold embrace me

and i will be a light for you

why did you leave me
you didn’t need me
i needed you


Download Mp3: Snowdrops