The silence that Tuesday night brings

I

I went to the place where blisters were blooming on fingers that felt pride in putting them there. A woman named Mary provided a fishbowl, a backdrop for dreamers, and pint after pint. There were masters of melody, rakers of rhythm, and teller of tales about freight trains and fears. It’s easier to listen to strange-sounding strings than to suffer the silence that Tuesday night brings.

II

When the tables were turned and the clouds were behind me, the strangest illusion of calmness I’ve known washed over my nerves like a musical blanket or the last acorn to fall from the tree. Not even fear itself could frighten away the creatures who gathered to feed it to loneliness.

III

I said I don’t usually do this
I said that you’ll soon find out why
I said that I love you, again, without fear or regret, except one: that it can’t be returned.

IMG_3438

The Specter of Certain Death

I

The specter of certain death raises its head again but this time it’s as a punch line. We can share a laugh with nothing more than eye contact now. How could something as heartless as time perform such a sweet service?

II

The best of us have flaws while the worst carry the seeds of redemption, waiting for sunshine and moisture to set them free.

III

Even if the day comes when there is no place in your life for me
and that could happen
(let’s not fool ourselves)
I can’t imagine a day when there’s not enough emptiness in me to fit you.

IMG_1852

Like most people…

Like most people, the first time I saw a ghost it was hanging over the bathroom sink. Part of him was me but most of him was not. What was most recognizable about him was the fact that it would take very little effort to shatter him into shards.

mike2

Up The River

I

We came to the place that was founded by men who risked and lost lives in the mouths of great beasts whose fat was burned to light the page and warm the bones of men’s children. Presidents came, and prostitutes too, in days best remembered in drawings and the fading photographs that line the entry to the place built to house weapons that is now home to books.

II

We walked in the shadows of Martin Van Buren and waded in puddles of forgotten tears. We listened to stories, with rhythms and melodies, borrowed and plundered, of fathers and kings and lovers long gone.

III

We answered the questions as well as we could, not knowing how honest or accurate we were able to be. We waited for sunshine and cried for the past and we buried our gold in the hungry dirt of Finland.

IMG_3425

The Price

All knowledge comes at a price. 

When the cost is ignorance, it’s a bargain

but when it demands more – 
innocence or fidelity or faith – 
it can be unaffordable. 
Sometimes knowledge exacts its price from unwilling hands, 
at the point of violence.

It’s Funny How Beautiful

I

It’s funny how beautiful the world looks this morning
In the glow of a love as ancient and inevitable as the rising sun
The day after a show, or something equally profound,
Hums and crackles with a renewed belief in the ability
Of ideas and passions to share their strength
Across times that share no dates
Between people who have not met
And paths that do not cross

II

We carried your love across the oceans of night
Through the land of dreams
Just to plant your flag in the soft soil of this morning

III

Long may she wave

IMG_2351

Every generation…

Every generation produces a group of artists fueled by and strung out on drugs, sex, poverty, and other forms of desperation and desire who create something entirely new. Subsequent generations produce those who copy the original group, note for note, word for word, stroke for stroke, and believe they are carrying on the tradition of their idols. They are not.

IMG_3281