Tag Archives: music

FROM MUSCLE SHOALS TO BAKERSFIELD

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FROM MUSCLE SHOALS TO BAKERSFIELD

 

From Muscle Shoals to Bakersfield familiar vagabond spirits I meet

torch of knowing burning through opened eyes

we know what’s it’s like to live on the other side

to exist on the outside looking in

we know why others find comfort dwelling inside another’s’ dream

and why we choose a life

chasing freedom

 

From Tacoma to Portland, Maine

I recognize their kind

essence of life dripping like sweat from the tip of our nose

committing sins as if sins are our daily bread

forgive us father for we have erred time and time again

attaining knowledge from our trials

forgive us father if we have grown so much wiser

than the fearful kind who have faced no trials at all

forgive us father for we have sinned

time and time again

learned from our mistakes and moved on

aware that experience may darken the soul

light dimming with the passing of years

but if we allow wisdom to blossom from failures

there’s a special kind of light that burns

when we conquer our fears

 

From the harsh winters of Fargo to the tropics of Brownsville

we move on down this road with a song in our hearts escaping

these weary travelers disconnected

from mechanisms of society intended to control us

disconnected from those desiring to lord over us

to own us

we cut the puppet strings and paved our own road out of here

this song in our hearts escaping

our severed hearts finding a chorus to hold on to

these vagabond souls singing all the time rejoicing in

Whitman’s Song of the Open Road

Cello Heart

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My heart is a cello tuned in perfect fifths

take your bow and gently caress these heartstrings

coax from me dark emotions once latent

deep mournful sounds of an artic caribou searching

frozen woods for a lost lover no longer earth bound

with your bow play my heart, scratch this soul

evoke images of ruinous times

swirling grey smoke of smoldering dreams

crumbling brick on scorched black terrain

on my cello heart play the lonely song of a sperm whale

searching for companionship in deepest seas

play the tears of an orphaned child in some foreign land

hopelessness of a junkie lost in a roach infested dive

hot needle piercing the vein

with your expert bow play this cello heart

tithe my allegiance to your cause

tithe my time to the cause

tithe my pay to the cause

tithe my blood to the cause

tithe my tithes to the cause

play this cello heart

In Bloom

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Blood in the soil

blood of ancients spilt long ago

blood seeping

seeping through Time

roots of vines piercing

piercing Time

roots absorbing

blood of the line

infantile roots feeding

from toxic pools

vines producing

thorns, small and sharp

sharp like a knife

piercing

slicing

razor sharp thorns

protecting

defending the vine

preserving blood of the line

razor sharp thorns

protecting

Children in bloom

Worker’s Prayer

Kneel down at the corporate altar

pray for economic strength

record profits

a healthy stock market

wait for the riches to trickle down

Cry and scream

at the corporate wailing wall

beg manufactures not to leave

move factories to foreign lands

no no no

please don’t take away

high paying jobs and financial security

our carrot on a stick

that keeps us pushing forward

craving education

pushing us harder to achieve

comfort for our families

We will frequent your temples

five days a week, if given the opportunity

eight hours a day, more if you request

whatever it takes to ensure your success

try to be something greater

shed blood sweat and tears

sell our souls

sacrifice our lives

to serve your purpose

This blood stained altar erected just for you

we’ve adorned with tax abatements

loopholes

and off shore banks

so you can protect your wealth

met your demands

so we all might prosper

only to discover

that the only thing trickling down

is your shit

Searching

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SEARCHING

 

Sometimes I see you

just out of view

out of the corner of my eye

quick as a hummingbird in flight

and when I turn my head you’re gone

as if you were none

as if you were never there

vanishing into the air

 

Took the last exit

final train of thought so desperate

where the bridge had crumbled

and the road disappeared into rubble

trying to get to you

where a harsh wind blew

down a winding path

into desolation’s wrath

knocking on closed doors

not knowing what I’m looking for

but no one was home

in this land of desperation I roam

 

Changed my name a time or two

spinning bullets in a revolver so few

changed my address

another move in this game of chess

a new street in a new town

facing my shadow in a showdown

 

Tried a new scene

escaping old routines

changed my ways

hoping for better days

spent a lifetime

dodging Life’s mines

searching for myself

searching for you

Knocking on closed doors

never knowing what I’m looking for

but no one was home

in this land of desperation I roam

 

Rust Belt

Another excerpt from The Evolution of Disconnect:

 

018

10.

The Rust Belt is spreading across America as more and more manufacturing plants move overseas. When I was laid off at a semiconductor plant in 2003 the final email I received (accidentally released too soon; see Broken Highways) described why this layoff occurred. I was struck by the emotion of the email which was blunt, but optimistic about the future of the company with an edge of excitement. To paraphrase the email, it announced that the company was building 26 new state of the art manufacturing plants in China. 26!!! Why would anyone in America be excited by that? The plant has closed its doors and sits empty, most likely to never reopen.

 

RUST BELT

 

Walking these streets

city in decay

buildings falling down

people falling down

in cities and small towns

all across the rust belt

Aggravation

corporate devastation

people in migration

nowhere left to go

decay touching every soul

nowhere left to go

living in the rust belt

Every street is a dead end

so many fences left to mend

people carry the weight

no longer masters of their own fate

misery cards dealt

living in the rust belt

 

Going Down

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Another excerpt from The Evolution of Disconnect:

 

Think this one works better as a song than a poem.

 

GOING DOWN

Lost my job

lost my house

got to find a brand new spouse

‘cause I’m going down

catch me when I’m falling brother

‘cause I’m going down

This rain won’t stop

raining around the clock

levee bursting at the seams

don’t know what it means

levee holding back my troubles

good intentions buried in the rubble

 

No take home pay

think I lost my way

living on the streets

can’t get back on my feet

I’m going down

Banks I’d rob

they cost me my job

but I don’t have a gun

don’t like living on the run

so here I’ll remain

trying to stay sane

another child of the sun

hopeless when the world comes undone