Autumn’s Garden

 

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

 

 

Helicopter Video (Who will make love to me?)

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

 

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

 

Flags on the Rail

 

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.

 

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