James & I are preparing to move to a 1907 four square house in Charleston West Virginia.  There are many reasons I am excited about this.

 

  1. The house was built when Teddy Roosevelt was president. He is my favorite president since the teddy bear was named after him, and I also admire his stout personality and physique.
  2. I love Charleston. I think cities tucked between mountains with rivers running through them are the prettiest, especially when the river is crossed by blue bridges.
  3. I like the philosophy behind four square houses. In their time, they represented a rejection of showy refinement and European sensibilities in favor of something practical, hardy, and uniquely American.
  4. I am glad the numbers of my address add up to the number one. My former addresses have always added up to three.  According to numerology, living in a Number One house helps you to be more of an individual. This sounds good to me, because I have definitely become whatever the opposite of an individual is. I don’t even feel like a specific person. Just a loosely knit pile of air moving through space.

 

My obsession while living in Hurricane has been redecorating my apartment in different color schemes. It has been disturbing to notice the extent to which my patterns and interests change along with the colors, as though I have no inherent identity of my own, but am just a reflection of the walls.

Of all the color schemes I tried, my favorite was probably light pink with dark purple accents. I felt more myself in this configuration. The only downside was being slightly lazy and obsessively reading tarot cards for hours each day. Still, I learned a lot, especially about dreams. I learned that dreams are not so much windows into the inner self, as spyglasses through which you can know the things that other people are hiding from you. And if you take the time to look, you will find that people are hiding a lot from you.

 

 

So, back to being a number one. Why don’t I feel like an individual with a specific personality of my own? I don’t know, it may be a product of living in isolation for too long. Perhaps with no one to be your mirror you lose a sense of what your own face looks like. Of course, I have James, but- in addition to being a hard worker- he is a man of few words. Most of our conversations consist of me asking him a question and then smelling him to find the answer. Or that is how they use to go anyway.

Nowadays, I mostly know what is going on with him through physical sensations. For example, he will be at the office and all the sudden my stomach will start jumping up and down so I know he is upset about something. Or my head will start swirling and I’ll know he’s having trouble concentrating. If I suddenly feel like throwing up, I can be certain someone just touched his sandwich with their artificial fingernail. He hates that.

This sort of communication has limitations though. Normally, I only know what emotions he is experiencing and have to rely on him to fill in the details. Sometimes, there will be numbers flying around in the feelings, but I am not very good at understanding what numbers mean yet. For example, I might get a sudden headache surrounded by black number fours. What does that mean? I have no idea. Also, there are a few emotions I routinely get mixed up. A form of emotional dyslexia, I guess. For example, I have always mistaken suppressed rage for passionate love. This led to much confusion in the beginning of our relationship, when I would burst into to tears because I suddenly “knew” he was dying to make love to his Uncle Eddie- the lime green feeling in the air was unmistakable. And why did he fall in love with the mailman every time our mail was delivered to the wrong address?

 

 

I see stars

25 Dec
0

 

The sad story of a purple magician driven to suicide through harassment from the villagers, to whom he could no longer relate.

 

Purple Magician

 

I see stars in the starry sky
I feel stars in my brain
When they came with sticks and stones
I knew who was to blame…

Quick! Quick!
Hand it to me- silver cup-
Drink it down and shoot it up
I don’t to want to cry.
Last time when they came
Swinging with their jagged canes
I almost lost an eye.

To feel pain- okay! Okay to fall-
But give me someplace to turn, some name to call.

I see stars in the starry sky
I know why they shine.
When I saw them march at night
I almost lost my mind…

Quick! Quick!
Hand it to me- my syringe
I cannot afford to cringe;
I must not feel pain.
Closing on me in a ring
If they see me grimacing
They’ll fall on me like rain.

To feel pain-okay! Okay to fall-
But give me someplace to turn, some name to call.

I knew all the stars in the sky
I knew all their names
They controlled the people
Just like marbles in a game…

Quick! Quick!
Fetch my needle and my thread
Stitch my eyelids to my head-
They must not see my eyes.
They must never know the light
Twisting in from Pegasi that
Shines through all their lies.

To feel pain- okay! Okay to fall-
But give me someplace to turn, some name to call.

To cut- okay! To bleed…
Still I promise you, they’ll never see through me.

I see stars in the starry sky
I stood in their light.
They could see me flutter like a
Moth against the night.

Quick! Quick!
Fetch for me my special pill
Hide the money and my will-
It’s my time to fly.
If I have but one regret
It is that I’ve never met
Someone to tell goodbye.

Alone to live- okay! Alone to die.
Perhaps a hand waits for me in the sky.

 

Download MP3: I See Stars

The Gatekeeper

2 Dec
0

 

A new edition to my collection of songs about relationships between men and other species, in this case a gatekeeper.

Gatekeepers are humanoid immortal beings about two thirds the size of a person who are able to open the portal between dimensions. This particular gatekeeper lives in the black world of outer space and controls the gate which leads to the world of gold.  The gate is made of 2 brass doors swinging on hinges, about 10 feet high. Behind them lies a white mansion set on a yard of checkerboard grass. The gatekeeper herself can never pass through the gate. Like many immortals, she is free to move through time but bound to a particular space.

Her job is a lonely one, since not many humans pass through this particular gate. Why? Because they don’t have the balls to travel through a million miles of cold, empty blackness to reach the gold that lies on the other side. She has been watching this particular man, with whom she has become infatuated, travelling towards her for quite some time (you can see very, very far in space.) The combination of loneliness and his golden character has cast a spell on her. 

Therefore, she is considering using her position of power to initiate a romantic relation, albeit a brief one, since his golden character necessitates that he must past through the gate. In addition, it must be a non-sexual one since gatekeepers, like many immortals, don’t really have genders nor reproduce.

However, despite her power over him, she feels it may be difficult to capture his attention, even for a moment. The black world of space is one of the hardest to pass through. It is cold, dark and empty, and years of walking through this world can numb the extremities and cause the blood to turn white. When the traveler finally does reach the golden gate and see the white house behind it, the last thing he will want to do is loiter with the gatekeeper. The last thing he will want to do is gaze into round starry eyes set in a jet black face.

 

The Gatekeeper

 

Stars swim in the dark of night
Underneath sharks that bite
In between stands I prepared to fight.

Stars swim through the darkened past
Sharks eat bones; nothing last
I guard the gate through which you hope to pass.

But please stand with me
For just a minute more because I’m lonely
And please do not forget I hold the key.

If you touch my hand, I’ll be good to you
I’ll open up the gate and you can walk on through
I’ll bow my head, I know I’ll think of you.

Stars struggle to illuminate
Sharks grow tired beneath the gate
I think of you, your hands, your eyes- I wait.

I think of you- your eyes, your hands
Your hidden world, I understand, at best
I am a shadow to you, man.

But please stand with me
Let our shoulders touch because I’m lonely
And please do not forget I hold the key.

Let your fingers slide in between my own
I control the gate to your only home
I would like to feel your eyes upon my own.

Stars shine against the past
Sharks eat all the crumbs at last
I guard the gate through which you hope to pass.

Stars shine inside my head
In my mind you are my friend
I think of you, the night begins to spin.

So please stand with me
For just a minute more, because I’m lonely
And please do not forget I hold the key
I can feel it burning inside my hand
The golden door to another land
You will walk through, I will remember you man.

 

Download OGG file: The Gatekeeper

Eskimo

1 Sep
0

 

I promised myself I would not write another song until I had something warm and tropical to sing about. I feel like a cold front is sweeping this country, filling people with piousness and righteous ideas. I am okay with a little righteousness, but once it reaches the point where people start to take pleasure in doling out justice I get nervous. I did not want to add any ice to the group mind.

Still, this Arctic song woke me up in the middle of the night and I decided to write it down anyway. Because the South is all about trusting in Providence, just as the North is about Self-Reliance.

 

Eskimo

 

 

We walk through the frozen mountains.
We wade through the icy stream.
We shine like the northern rainbow.
We blow like the icy breeze.

Am I real?
Am I real?

Kneel down to drink from the water.
Kneel down to drink from the stream.
I’m too thirsty to think about it-
I don’t care if it’s dirty or clean.

Am I real?
Am I real?

We lie upon a caribou fur.
We rest our eyes upon a ceiling of ice.
Silver needles fill my fingers and toes-
I start to sink into a paradise.

Am I real?
Am I real?

We work beneath the silvery sun.
We rely on our ancestry.
Sometimes cold overtakes my heart-
It floats beside me like another me.

Am I real?
Am I real?

I cut my finger with a silvery knife.
I tuck my knife back inside of my fur.
He licks my finger with an eager tongue-
Raw meat is what we prefer.

Am I real?
Am I real?

We walk through the frozen mountains.
We wade through the icy stream.
We are silver needles beneath the sky,
Dissolving into the Bering Sea.

Am I real?
Am I real?

The Other Side

28 Jul
0

 

The Other Side

 

If you want to cross to the other side,
I will follow you.
Splash the water over my face now,
Deepest shade of blue.

Follow the hand of an invisible man;
I still have eyes to see.
Cross the water where the moonlight glistens,
Like waking from a dream.

Oh did I fly? Fly? Fly right next to you?
Did we run on legs to the mountain top
Palest shade of blue?

Oh did I fall? Fall so far I couldn’t breath?
Did you watch my eyes through the bubbling waves
Beginning to believe?

If you call to me from the other side,
I will always come;
Come in the body of a feathery bird
Sucking on my thumb.

Whistle to me through a deep blue wave,
I still have ears to hear.
Splash the water over my face now,
The hard things disappear.

And we will run, run, run through fields of green
And you will cry out, what a happy surprise,
Things were never what they seemed.

And God will run, run beside us like a dog
And we will toss him sticks, and teach him tricks
As the golden sun dissolves.

But if you want to stay in an indelicate world,
I will stay with you.
Splash the water over my face now,
Blackest shades of blue.

Three men watch from across the hill,
Head to toe in black.
Lines are drawn and when you cross them
You’re never going back.

But I could fight, fight, fight just like a dream,
And I could teach myself to always believe that
Things are what they seem.

And I could hate, hate, hate right by your side
And we could struggle to take the western gate
Before the golden sun declines.

 

Download MP3: The Other Side

Shiny Soldiers

21 Jul
0

 

This is a song about the gray fairies who are responsible for recording everything that occurs so that Justice can be doled out in the correct proportions at a later time.

 

Shiny Soldiers

 

Big city ways
Everyone is gay
Try to find a way to shine

Living in the night
Everything is right
If you keep a spinning mind

Big man brown
Knock me to the ground
No one was around to hear

Furry furry man
Spitting on his hand
The only thing I knew was fear

Slide away
Shiny soldiers follow me
Eyes of gray peering from around the trees

Tiny spines so straight
They watch, they wait
Slide away.

Slime slime boom
Big city room
All the grown ups want to play

Big black night
Dancing in the dim light
Meeting creeps in the alleyway

Big man blue
Swinging with his shoe
No one was around to hear

Big city ways
Wanting to get paid
The only thing I knew was fear

Slide away
Shiny soldiers follow me
Eyes of gray peering from around the trees

Tiny boots, they glow
They see, they know
Slide away.

Gray gay white
Everything is right
Long as we don’t have to know

Plus the truth might lie
And one day we’re gonna die
So we better let the good times flow

Big black hole
Sliding down a pole
That was the only world I could hear

Black man bite
Crawling in the moonlight
Watching all the blood appear

Slide away
Shiny soldiers follow me
Eyes of gray peering from behind the trees.

They will dig, record
Then even scores
Slide away.

 

Download MP3: Shiny Soldiers

Hi, it’s me!

15 Jul
1
IMG_3103

Slippers & I out and about, hoping to bump into some friends.

Hi there, it’s me! I feel like it would be rude if I didn’t, every now and then, step out from behind my songs and say hi as a person. I know some people prefer musicians to “shut up and sing,” but personally I find it a bit uncordial if someone keeps singing at me and never says hello. As they say in West Virginia, “Handshakes before hugs.”

Perhaps that is why I dislike concerts, as a rule. Not only are they extremely expensive (I prefer spending money on tangibles), not only are they cold, smelly, and impersonal, but I find it dull to watch a person perform for hours on end without ever removing the mask to reveal their self, if only for a moment.

Since musicians are supposed to like concerts, it took me a long time to admit how I really felt. Finally the day came when I had front row seats to a Roseanne Cash concert, but I stayed home to watch Columbo instead. It wasn’t like anyone was going to get murdered at her show. A couple weeks later, I had front row seats to a Justin Townes Earle show, but once again I couldn’t bring myself to go. I tried to give myself a pep talk- he’s a heroin addict, maybe something exciting will happen.  But I couldn’t budge myself. I knew he would probably be on his best behavior, singing his songs without a hitch and making witty comments about the wonderful audience. Perhaps I am a bad person, or maybe just a Scorpio, but I find it so dull to watch someone put their best foot forward. I always want to see their worst foot. But professional musicians never seem to fall off the stage or forget their medication. What is the point then? If I just wanted to hear someone sing, I could take a shower.

*

At any rate, here is what is going on with me- nothing. My life is so boring that I feel a pang of awe that I am able to survive it uncrushed. A testament to the human spirit. The most exciting part of my day is walking Slippers and saying hello to the rotating cast of semi-wild dogs that join us. As I’ve mentioned before, Slippers used to be one of these roaming dogs until she got hit by a car and was going to be ‘put down.’ Back then her name was ‘Nasty.’ Because “Keepin’ it Nasty” is the unofficial slogan of our holler. At first, I wasn’t sure what it meant. I thought country people were supposed to be square, with rigid morals. Boy was I wrong! If it isn’t illegal for at least three reasons, they won’t even touch it around here. Especially when it comes to love.

I sort of admire their krazy spirits, but only from a distance, watching with binoculars from my window.

So why is my life so boring? Personally, I think it has less to do with isolation and more to do with geography. There are hills on all sides. If you want to see the sky you have to look straight up. Giant walls of earth pressing in on me from all directions, vibrating my body with their cold brown waves. It is the sort of feeling you get in a library, being surrounded by heavy books, except it’s brown rather than gray. I like to think it is making me strong. Maybe wise too.

 

I am trying to get over my

No friends today, they were all hiding because of the flood and Slippers is pissed.

 

 

 

 

Little Man

2 Jun
0

 

Little Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little man look to the sky; the world is something blue.
Bridges rise and bridges fall; they will not hold for you.
Bridges rise and bridges fall; you doubt the things you’ve seen.
Did a man cry out in pain or was that just a dream?

Little man look to the sky and let your blue eyes burn.
Bridges rise and bridges fall; there is nowhere to turn.
People everywhere have thought the rain would never end;
Standing in the cold, that’s when they learned they had a friend.

Clouds descend upon you and they fill your eyes with white.
If it’s necessary to do something, you’d rather do what’s right.
Clouds descend upon you and you doubt the things you things you’ve seen.
Did a man cry out in pain or was that just a dream?

Clouds descend upon you, knock you down onto one knee.
Please don’t marry her, little man, you need more time to be free…
People everywhere have thought the rain would never end;
Standing in the cold, that’s when they learned they had a friend.

Winds blow in from everywhere they cut you day and night.
If it’s necessary to do something, you’d rather do what’s right.
Winds blow in from everywhere; they bring the scent of pine.
The world is something far away, a blue and icy line.

One day you will cross that line, uncertain what you’ve seen.
The images will swirl and fade like walking in a dream.
People everywhere have thought the rain would never end;
Standing in the cold, that’s when they learned they had a friend.

Almost everywhere, they thought the world would never end.
When the ending came, that’s when they knew they had a friend.

 

Download MP3: Little Man

 

Starry Night

To swing, to fight
A world at night
To shake, to weep
A world asleep.

They sleep, I see
No one touches me
They think I don’t know
The place where all the children go.

Paw Paw the ringing boy
When spring comes he will bring you so much joy.
Paw Paw the ringing boy
When summer comes then the world will fade away.

These things
A world of strings
But look, you’ll see
The world is me.

Alien, okay
I don’t care what they say
I am bought and sold
Although he is very old.

Paw Paw the ringing boy
When spring comes he will bring you so much joy.
Paw Paw the ringing boy
When summer comes then the world will fade away.

Your needs
A string of beads
I dance, I twirl
A milk white pearl.

Worlds fade, worlds end
I dance, I spin
No one touches me
Except for spirituality.

Paw Paw the ringing boy
When spring comes he will bring you so much joy.
Paw Paw the ringing boy
When summer comes then the world will fade away.

Download MP3: Paw Paw the Ringing Boy

Golden Fingers

27 Jan
0

 

Checker Board

The Greenbrier, West Virginia

Watch the world with hopeful eyes
staring at its black disguise
hiding-where are you?

Underneath a checkerboard
knights and kings keeping score
crying- can it be true?

Under your purple eyes
black squares and white squares lie
fighting- which one is true?

Under your aqua shirt
hope is killed off by hurt
all on the surface is blue.

Don’t lose heart whatever life brings
you must believe that behind all things
Golden Fingers pull on the strings!

Prop your head up on your arm
in your eyes I see no intent to harm
that’s why I love you.

But the day will surely come
when you will kill or be the one
whom they pour their poison into.

Don’t be their fluffy sheep
sink into places deep
let evil flow through your root.

Hardened heart, inky skull
feast like a cannibal
all of the black squares were true.

Killing hurts and killing stings
but you must believe that behind the scenes
Golden Fingers pull on the strings!

When you’re dark, when you’re mean
doing things that shouldn’t be seen
I will be here with you.

Bodies lie, angels spy
we fall to earth, one day we fly
all of the white squares were true.

In the sky they saw
your hand and they understand
you did what you had to do.

Kill or be killed they know
that’s the way black squares roll
all of their tears were for you.

Don’t lose heart whatever life brings
you must believe that behind all things
Golden Fingers pull on the strings!

 

Download MP3: Golden Fingers

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