Bang Bang, Vroom Vroom

Nothing is easy.
Everything is pleasing
and adventure is teasing
but the moments
we’re seizing
are so unbelieving
I’m amazed that you’ve stayed
to recognize this feeling.

Nothing is stopping us from leaving.
There is no real rationale or reason
why we brush skin and share passing grins
and escape this place every evening.

Everything is easy.
Finding beauty in darkness
catching love in one’s starkness
reminding us we’re needing
a friend, a lover, laughter feeding
on each other
like how silly boys like bleeding
and how little girls like healing.

Everything is allowing us to remain.
There is no gain in woe or to complain,
alongside we share a glimpse of this life,
navigating this amazingly strange terrain.

This whole planet is nothing but feelings
whether concealing, revealing or stealing.

You be the entertainer, I’ll be the sly conniver.
You be the gun waver, I’ll be the getaway driver.

Bang bang, vroom vroom.
It’s just us in this crowded room.


Behind This Smile Lies A Face 30 Minutes away

there is an incredible liberation that occurs when getting away from the city and burying yourself deep in the suburbs. new and foreign grocery stores, outlying sprawling mini malls of chains and bland corner plazas, the lights take forever and the traffic is awful but the pure anonymity is like clean water washing over me.

The Taste of Music

My dad used to sing me Neil Young and Uncle Remus.

Then he showed me David Bromberg, The Rolling Stones and Tchaikovsky.

I was at my neighbor’s house when Black Dog gave my little boy body wide-eyed convulsions.

There was a Tuesday afternoon elective at my school called “Beatles and Drawing.” It was a half hour of listening to the Beatles and drawing whatever you wanted. I was 9 years old. MLC…sigh.

I was a 10 year old when my friend mentioned that his big brother bought Kill ‘Em All and it took me 2 more years of Madonna and New Wave until I finally understood what he said that day.

My first concert was George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers at Portland’s Civic Auditorium in 1986. The following year my dad took me to my first indie show, Screaming Trees with The Dwarves at Pine Street Theater. That’s how cool my dad was.

When my family broke up I moved schools and went from being raised among the culture of the city to now having to explore adolescence deep in the Eastside suburbs, my life took a serious turn. My lifelines were License To Ill, Legacy of Brutality, N.W.A. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, It Takes A Nation and in the 8th grade my friend brought over G.B.H., Jimi Hendrix, L7 and Slayer records and we played them all until the needle broke and my brain melted like soft ice cream.

I was neck-deep in a suburban white neighborhood and it was then that I realized I could either be a product of my bland environment or make a conscious decision to live and think for myself.

Anything that flaunted the system and mocked the establishment, the music that protested corruption, oppression and used passion and adrenaline to express their discontent was music I subsisted on, endlessly blaring into my Walkman. I was an only child who just lost his mother and was now living an hour-long bus ride away from the comfort of downtown. Music was the only thing I listened to because I certainly wasn’t hearing any of my teachers or relatives.

On those bus rides I understood why some people listen to bubblegum pop and others just…don’t.

I found this and this at the record store while dropping out of college. Twice.

My friend at Tower Records told me to buy Pretty Hate Machine. I bought it on title alone.

I showed my best friend the Marshall Mathers LP when it first came out and we played it continuously in his 88 Mustang GT.

A friend came to my house and she showed me Glass Animals.

I went to my friend’s house and she showed me 21 Pilots.

Though words and pictures are like my harem, it is music that leads my beautiful life from darkness into today.

Go. Go Now.

I’ve never been to the South. Never stood in a sweltering street and watched big trees sway in the slow wind.

I’ve never been to the Midwest. Never stood in a sweltering street and watched busses barrel by on long, flat roads.

I’ve never been to Alaska or Hawaii.

Or Africa. Or Europe. South America. Australia.

I believe there is packing to be done.

West Side Story

The sub rural streets deep in the west side of Portland are so incredible I have decided to never trade them for anything else. For now.

Woodsy, early and midcentury architecture lie hidden and overrun by old growth evergreens, asphalt veins and forested hills.

These outlying grocery stores, quaint little shops and bland mini malls are filled with faces and families I’m happily unfamiliar with. My weird need for anonymity outweighs any desire for banal friendliness towards anyone whom I randomly know.

Learning new winding routes and each important thoroughfare through these narrow, pine tree streets has been both thrilling and exasperating. They’re all so unknown so they’re unpredictable and convoluted.

Deep west side now shows my best side.

I really do kinda love it all.

Decades of Nerds Should Sleep Soundly

Star Wars is awesome and you can go home again. Forget what Thomas Wolfe said.

Good, evil, and the sounds of Lucasfilm. It was the movie that everyone wanted, the legendary 1977 weird masterpiece of princesses, aliens, spaceships and laser guns. Jar Jar Abrams did what I hope was what everyone wanted and he did it beautifully. It was the exact same film that hit theaters 40 years ago though I am sure that many people were quite rankled we didn’t get some 21st century, exploding Michael Bay turd betraying an entire generation.

Thank you for not making a hollow, overproduced remake or retooling the story as to make it more palatable for the new millennium age.

(It is widely accepted that there is only one relevant Millennium, anyhow.)

Those Days

There are days I assume you may be on every street corner. There are days I’m secretly wishing you were seeing me walk by, run by, roll by, rev by.

There are days I act as if when every time you find yourself alone with your thoughts your mind will eventually drift to me. Memories, desires, regrets, admissions and resignation…

There are days that I go crazy when the room empties or the phone lies silent, wrestling with the maddening loneliness that attempts to become my definition.

There are days when all my percolating waves of bitter insanity tower over every downtown street and breaks upon every bar bolster in this city which will one day drown, cleanse, then resurrect me.

Those were days that owned me, drove me into the gym, into the bottle, into the arms of those who truly cared or had the good sense not to.

Those were days where the stripes and scars marked each moment and memory, running deep in me like the red and the love in my blood.

These are days that are drawn from an endless well of health and harmony, driven by my desire to question, relax, accept and venture.

This day is the day that I write with sparkling eyes, and with both laughter and darkness, I thank everyone who has plucked me from the fire I was burning in.