Big Ship

19 Sep


Big Ship












You learned to live in a world of dark blue
People walk by but they never touch you
You learned to live in a world of role play
People mean things that they never say

Hold on to your mask, keep on walking fast
Soon the door will open and you’re gonna get past

Just keep walking to the river; just keep walking through the night
You’ll see the door begin to form inside the morning light

Big ship flying out of this world
Big ship flying out of this world

You learned to see in a world of rainbow
Spend your day shopping for a set of new clothes
Cold cold rainbow behind them big smiles
Chills down your spine when the needle slides

Slip inside your veins and it’ll be too late for you
Soon you won’t remember what you came on earth to do
Could you slip inside your mind and make a corner just for you
Maybe leave behind a symbol of the things you need to do

Big ship flying out of this world
Big ship flying out of this world

You learned to walk in the world of today
Scrub, scrub, scrub off the memory
You learned to walk in a world of touchdowns
High-five when another ship goes down

You know you’ll never make it if you don’t begin to run
Do you want to trade forever for a tiny bit of fun
And is it even fun or just another style of pain
Do you ever wonder why your loss is someone else’s gain

Big ship flying out of this world
Big ship flying out of this world

Give them three noes for every one yes
Never apologize and never confess
Run from the people who think that you’re strange
Run from the people who say that they’ll change

People never change, but their ships go down
You don’t want to tie your mind onto the wisdom of this town
You know they’ll never make it, you know their ways are wrong
You got to keep on running to the ship where you belong

Big ship flying out of this world
Big ship flying out of this world


Download MP3: Big Ship


14 Sep



gold and green, hard and roundDaystar: humans, humanoids, space crafts and stars line up to see a flaming tree
favorite son, toast of town
bathe in wine, soak it up
slip inside golden cup

soaking up the golden sun
seeking smiles from everyone
life is laughter, life is fun
seeking praise from everyone

for your fire for your flame
golden face, golden smile, golden name
they will see just how happy you are
you are the sun, you are the way, you are the daystar

you’re no fool, you know the fluff
is the child of darker stuff
nameless men, blackened faces
shoveling in darker places

underground, never done
shine no light, see no sun
when they emerge on creaky knees
you will be the star they see

it’s your fire, it’s your flame
golden face, golden smile, golden name
they will see just how humble you are
you are the sun, you are the way, you are the daystar

in your stomach something churns
late at night, acid burns
clutch your stomach, clutch your wife
you deserve a happy life

fix your stomach, fix your self
mommy’s picture on your shelf
you are smart, you are good
you will burn the ancient wood

for your fire, for your flame
golden face, golden smile, golden name
they will see just how lucky you are
you are the one, you are the sun, you are the daystar


Download MP3: Daystar


Dream World

12 Sep



Dream World

You’re all alone now, nothing changes The Letter (Rainbow)
Snow blows and it rearranges
Time froze into winter cages
Try to settle in.

Cold air through an empty earhole
Brain cried its last tears so many years ago
Fur hat is a symbol of a world that’s never been.

But you hear stories of cinnamon cloves
Fingers thawing over ovens and stoves
Copper kettle that whistles and blows
Dogs that wag their tails when you walk in.

Dream World, sleeps in a box at night
Seed World, hidden from every light
Need world, nothing to do but hang on. 

Dream World, why can’t I breathe?
Because you’re in the ground; it has things that you need,
But love is all around; you’re only a seed so hang on.

Night falls when nobody sees you
Might be death when nobody needs you
Limbs freeze when nobody feels you
Life continues on.

The spring will come, yes, but not for me I’m sure
Streams that freeze won’t bubble anymore
Ice glued to a frozen door won’t welcome anyone.

But you’ll hear stories of cinnamon cloves
Clouds of licorice clinging to clothes
Sun shining over tea towels and doughs
Arms of baking bread when you walk in.

Dream world, sleeps in a box at night
Seed world, hidden from every light
Need world, nothing to do but hang on.

Dream world, why can’t I breathe?
Because you’re in the ground; it has things that you need
But love is all around, you’re only a seed so hang on.

Brains shut down and spirits die
Souls dry up when they never cry
But hearts keep beating cause they know
the answers lie in time.

Dreams sleep in the frozen ground
Pink dots lost in a world of brown
They can’t be seen or make a sound
but their ears are open wide

And they hear stories of cinnamon cloves
Candies smothered in ribbons and bows
Flowers blooming in well tended rows
Arms that squeeze so tight when you walk in.

Dream world, sleeps in a box at night
Seed world, hidden from every light
Need world, nothing to do but hang on.

Dream world, why can’t I breathe?
Because you’re in the ground, it has things that you need,
But love is all around; you’re only a seed so hang on.


Download MP3: Dream World


A song about my favorite season, Autumn.

Autumn’s Garden

When at last the autumn came, he was wishing that the summer would still remain
the leaves were crackle and crisp, flaming, exhilarating but still the same
he didn’t feel quite ready yet, he didn’t feel quite ready for the sound,
the earthly crinkle that would snap and crunch each time he laid a footprint down.

What beat to make, he wondered, what sort of rhythm should I impose
once all the leaves are gone too many clear cut lines will be exposed,
where will I lay the silence, where the tinny tap and leaden thud,
is this a dream or must I actually know bad from good?

The Brothers: A brother eats a pear sent to him by his brother through the veil of the grave as the sun watches.
















* Leaves fall, animals grow thick hair
apples sway on the trees
you, sir, will spend the fall on your knees.

Pumpkins, squash, persimmon and cranberries,
autumn’s sword can be kind,
kneel down, fly away in your mind. *

All his life it seemed, green leaves had swirled around him like a smoke
languid fruits that dangled there for him to eat if he felt so disposed,
leaves that dappled light swelling in an air as thick as butter
made it seem alright somehow to say one thing and do another.

Time was a blob then, it never held him at gunpoint and made him choose,
he could make various gains, never needing to select a battle to lose,
and any loose ends could be scattered round the forest here and there
making him less than eager to see the things that autumn would lay bare.


People said he was handsome, but he wasn’t really sure how they could tell
green leaves controlled the light, they twisted it just like a magic spell
he’d been in love so many times, so many people took his breath away
sometimes leading to intimacy, still he dreaded to see them when the autumn came.

How could he laugh it off then, when soon his eyes would see so very far
things long forgotten coming starkly into view from his own yard,
he hadn’t really meant to lie, it was just the dappled world he was a part of
is it justice to try summer’s child inside the court of autumn?


Download MP3: Autumn’s Garden



This is a video James made with his helicopter. I like it because it captures the hovering feel of the song. Plus, I like the scenery of West Virginia. It is so green here that sometimes I get green overload. My new hobby is walking around parking lots, in fact, because their crisp flatness provides a nice contrast to the the crazy, plant infested hills I am usually contending with. Plus, the parking lots are beautiful, because they are surrounded by green mountains in every direction. In addition, they are interesting, because the average parking lot contains about 3 gambling establishments, all of which have names like “Nel’s Coffee” but inside they are filled with slot machines. People here like to gamble, I suppose. They also like Jesus, family, sports, guns, and exercise.

My favorite thing about these mountain folk is how friendly they are- it is hard to buy a bottle of shampoo without finding out what a stranger had for breakfast. And if you have anything you’d like to get off your chest, the person in front of you at the gas station will be happy to listen. If the mask of New England is to appear high-brow, moral, and intellectual, the mask of West Virginia is to appear down-home, simple, and guileless. But I have already been here long enough to realize this is just a projection- the people here have just as much guile as they do anywhere else. Sometimes, I feel truly shocked by the amount of guile humans have- would it be possible to overestimate how tricky and deceptive we are?

Just last night, for example, I discovered that a friend who died a couple year ago, actually faked his death! But why should I be shocked, when my own favorite book in high school was “How to Disappear and Never Be Found” a book about how to fake your death and assume a new identity?

It is hard to blame people for being deceptive, when it can feel like the whole world is set up to punish people for telling the truth, and to reward those people who claim to feel what they don’t feel, to think what they don’t think, and to be something they aren’t.

Do Not Trust This Man

Tongues of Fire

23 Aug


Ever since I left New England, I’ve felt a touch disoriented. After a couple years in New Hampshire, my life started to gain a clear and singular focus- to escape the cold, dark world of the Yankees. But now that I’m in West Virginia, the meaning of life seems more vague. It’s sunny and warm outside, the biscuits are big, cheap, and fluffy, the people are friendly (and to my surprise they actually DO say ain’t and decorate with confederate flags), and yet… at the same time, here I am all alone in a big white apartment, no friends or connections, nothing to do, nowhere to go… it’s as though I’ve left the North, but the North hasn’t left me.

So I took a good look at the man in the mirror, and decided that I need to become a warmer person. Which is why I have to give up ice cream. The thing about frozen treats is, once I start eating them, they take me to a strange head space from which it impossible to stop. James will drive me to four different McDonalds in a row, so I can get a cone at each one without seeming weird. Then I will fill the entire freezer with a selection of ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches, ice creams, and popsicles, which I will eat continuously until the very last one is gone.  Which might not be so much of a problem, if I wasn’t such a cold person to begin with.  It only takes a few servings until I start shaking with the chills, and after a few days of this, I am so cold I can’t leave my bed, but just lie there convulsing under an electric blanket. Obviously, this is no way to build the Fire Within. So from now on, whenever I want ice cream, I’m going to drink hot chocolate instead. Because chocolate is passionate and fiery and people who eat  lots and lots of it are less likely to get murdered. Which brings me to another addiction that I must give up.

Rainbow Horns


Which is watching murder mysteries. The pattern is pretty similar to the ice cream- once I start watching murder mysteries it becomes impossible to stop. I have to watch five a day, and I start to feel more and more afraid of being murdered until it interferes with my ability to function in life. Last night, for example, I couldn’t sleep because of a tapping sound which I was convinced was the tapping of  a spoon that somebody wanted to use to remove my eyeballs. Ugh, I am freaking out just remembering it! But the point is, I need to stop watching these movies that keep me frozen in fear, and watch heart warming comedies instead. Comedy has never been my favorite genre- who wants to be the idiot laughing their head off as someone creeps in the window to murder them? But if watching comedies can melt the giant glacier that my life has become, then I am going to do it.

So, anyway, this song is sort of related to my craving for fire and heat, because it was inspired by the spirit of the tropical ginger plant, whom I imagine as a warm, brave, and wily man, one of the many justice spirits I like to believe are roaming our world.


Download MP3: Tongues of Fire



A Pirate Wedding



















Ok… well, I suppose this is a song about the pirate Blackbeard.

I first heard this song (in my head) five years ago while walking along the banks of the Ohio River in Owensboro, KY. But the next day I returned to Louisville and was working in my garden when I heard another song (this one about flower fairies) set to the same melody. I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to write two songs with the same melody, because I dreaded the moment someone would say, “Hey, those songs have the same melody.” I was playing open mics around Kentucky, where the presumption was that you must suck, or else you wouldn’t be playing open mics, you would be dancing on a golden stage. So, I was feeling a little sensitive, and to avoid potential criticism, the Blackbeard song was buried and forgotten.

Until yesterday, when I heard it again, and decided to write it down, because if God can write multiple songs set to the same tune, then so can I.

So this is a song about Blackbeard. I have written a number of songs about people on boats, although I don’t know why. I have no interest in boats in real life. I also write a lot of songs about soldiers, and even gay love between soldiers, although once again I have no idea why.

But, I suppose the world of the unconscious is different from this world and the meaning of things aren’t the same. In this world, my favorite activity is shopping for scented soaps, but I will probably never write a song about that. Nor would I write a song about how much I appreciate special people in my life. That would be weird and nauseating, not to mention bad luck. Songs seem to come from a world that is upside down and backwards to this one. Their ways are not our ways.


Download MP3: Flags on the Rail

I am the bone.

1 Aug


Well, this is my first song written and recorded in West Virginia. I thought maybe I’d end up writing gospel songs, but I guess it didn’t turn out that way… And now is the hard part where I have to say something about the song I have written… so, I suppose this is a song about me… being held prisoner by a swamp monster.  What else can I say? Sometimes I find it so hard to write these posts, because I feel I lack that core identity and sense of self that makes it possible to project oneself forward into the world. When I try to search for my ego, that warm sun within, all I can find are cake crumbs in a void… as though there once was something there, but someone ate it. Which in a way is what this song is about… a person’s light and sense of self dissolving through being held prisoner too long.

But, you know what Bruce Springsteen says, “Everything that dies, someday comes back.”  If you leave it sitting on the counter long enough, a crumb WILL one day turn back into a cake.


Skin Man feels exuberant in his swamp, with his prisoner, beneath the moon.


Download MP3: I Am the Bone


Why is it that in Hurricane, West Virginia, surrounded by trees and plants in all directions, I suddenly feel the irresistible urge to become a city slicker?

Whether to become a city slicker or a plain folk (country person), is a decision everyone must make at some point in their life. Do you want to live in the world of plants (the country), or the world of animals (the city)? I always assumed I would be more of a plain folk, since I feel like a plant at heart. Plants provide relief from the constant assault of human ideas upon our brains. They bring peace, beauty, and wisdom. Their minds are pure and spacious. Human minds are more like houses, structured and confined to include only a tiny slice of reality. And just as with houses, unless people make a concerted effort to clean their minds on a regular basis, the funk tends to build up until things take on a rather unappetizing smell. But plants live under the open sky and the stars, there is nothing to shield their minds from reality, and so, over time, their ideas become more true. Humans build thought structures to protect themselves, and these structures seem to keep the bad in as much as they are designed to keep the bad out.

Save Thyself


















But I’m not knocking humans, because when it comes to energy and zest, humans are where it’s at. Plants can lull you into a state of contemplation and wonder, but humans snap you out of your reverie and stimulate you to get back on your feet and fight. Humans are smart and brisk; they challenge us to be all we can be; they awaken our creativity and passion. Humans are wily and deceptive, but also fast and clever. They bring heat and light to our world, and warm up our hearts in a way that no plant can. Even their evil ways can bring about robust health by stimulating the flow of bile in our liver.

In essence, plants are from Venus: beautiful, harmonious, and lanquid, while animals are from Mars: driven, devious, and willful. And now that I am living in a place overflowing with plantness, I suddenly find myself craving the fiery red shiny hard plastic life of the city mouse.

But what does it entail, exactly, being a city slicker? And what do I need to do to become one? (I’ll do anything!)

Well, according to google, in order to become a city slicker, I need to

a) join a fitness club (because city slickers are fit)

b) learn three new words a day (because city slickers are smart)

c) keep up with fashion trends (because city slickers are fashionable)

d) call my friends “sexy” (because…?)

Hmmm… I know I said I would do anything, but wearing polyester scarfs and calling people sexy? Maybe there is no future for me in the city. I don’t know. I will try to keep an open mind, though, because after all, Hurricane is only thirty minutes away from Charleston, WV. Charleston is supposedly just a city of 50,000 people, but when you see it at night, all twinkling between the mountains and the river, somehow it seems way bigger and more urban than Boston.



The 3 Musketeers

27 Jul
The Three Musketeers

the three musketeers