A Preference for the Madness

when I see a man alone
in a shopping center parking lot
flailing his arms like a dry land drowning victim
I expect him to be insane – or engrossed in a manic episode
but all too often, he’s simply wearing a tiny telephone earpiece
quoting disappointing sales figures or bickering with his girlfriend
and the closer I walk – and as the truth sinks in more deeply
the more certain I become that I’ve somehow been cheated

Movie Theater

I took a sick day and went to the movies. I like to go alone on weekday afternoons. People are at work, and the theaters are nearly empty.  It was Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, and he badly wanted some poor sonofabitch to get off his lawn.
I chose a central seat a few rows from the front and glanced around to see just one other person sitting, oddly I thought, far away in a back corner.  But to each his own, I decided, and turned my attention back to memories of other Eastwood films I’d seen. Several minutes later, as the previews were winding down, a man strolled down the aisle and sat directly in front of me — as if reporting dutifully to his assigned seat on the second day of tenth grade geometry.  After glancing around the desolate theater a few times to be sure I was not the target of a practical joke or the subject of a social experiment, I began to analyze the possible motives behind this man’s most bizarre seating selection.  I thought mental illness was plausible — but I finally decided that he was somehow oblivious to the imposition, and I’ll have to admit, this triggered a rage response in me, complete with fleeting thoughts of sudden violence.
But then Clint flashed onto the screen with his trademark technicolor scowl, and returning suddenly to myself, I switched to a more suitable seat a few rows back and let the projector’s pale blue opiate glow sing me down to the bliss of no longer knowing.

Donut Shop

Tom Chalmers rested his elbow on the donut shop counter and watched as customers filed through the early morning line ordering coffee, donuts, and bagels thick with cream cheese.  No one complained about Tom’s habit of craning his neck for a clearer view of certain transactions — if they noticed at all in the rush hour hustle.  Tom spoke to no one, but he did nod knowingly from time to time, occasionally crooking his brow.  Only Bill Peterson, seated quietly at a table nearby, observed Tom’s routine with any depth of interest. After months of observation, he had nearly achieved clarity regarding Tom’s behavior and found himself standing on the precipice of a startling new theory that was certain to turn the entire donut industry on its ear.

Mid-June Round-Up Features Giants of Diving

Thanks to http://www.spectralnights.com for featuring my song in their mid-June round-up.  View the full article to read their comments on my track American Weekend.

Spectral Nights - alternative music, indie music, music reviews, new music, music blog

With Glastonbury taking place next week (which we won’t be going to for the first time since we started attending in 2003 – damn ticket servers), our inbox has unsurprisingly been packed with new music of bands getting set for festival season. Here’s some of the best we’ve heard lately.

A Compilation in Aid of C.A.L.M Part II

Released by our friends at Till Deaf Do Us Party records, all proceeds from this compilation go to a very worthy and deserving cause. Released to promote the fact that mental illness is no longer a taboo and to help people realise there are people looking out for them, it features the likes of The Xcerts, itoldyouiwouldeatyou, Night Owls and Tellison. By downloading it, not only will you have a bumper 20 new songs to listen to but also be helping an important cause.

Bearpark – ‘Distant Fields

One of…

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The Giants of Diving EP – now available on Spotify:

A Poem

Here’s a poem I drafted years ago and have revised a number of times since.  So far, no publications have been interested, but more than one friend has singled it out as a favorite.  It’s not for me to say if it’s any good; I only know it’s true.

 

Reverie

a brief examination
of tree or flower
and the way that
any living leaf will
lean toward light
through icy dagger wind
or blinding sand oblivion
into the sun’s embrace
tells all one needs to know
about the way to live
and why the poet sits
before blank pages
waiting

 

IKEA: A poem in progress

Not like that girl in that book
that became a movie with Natalie Portman
she had nowhere else to go
so she slept in a tent at Wal-Mart
No, I mean I want to move
out of my apartment today
into the land of name brands
I can neither pronounce nor understand
I want to live at IKEA
Bring me a life
where the beds are always made
and the most challenging of choices
lies between the two shower curtains
and their polka-dotted patterns
I want a life
that’s easy to assemble
full of color-coded parts
and an arrow to follow
when I lose my way
Bring me a life of designs
full of long clean lines
where every exchange begins and ends
with the promise of sugar and cinnamon
I want to live at IKEA