Refugees; ‘Murican Lord.

I was a refuge in my mind

cross invisible lines

everywhere I went people said

we don’t want you here,

go back there.

They said “You don’t look like me,

and you don’t talk like us,

you don’t belong here,

you gonna blow us up.”

They said,

“This is my country, this ain’t your town.”

 

No ones asked me what I’ve seen or

who I’ve lost that I’ve loved and

no ones asked me

why

I’m still running.

I seen my father shot ‘tween his eyes,

they took my baby, took my wife.

Why am I still here?

My path is one of sorrow.

I’m just looking for a place to rest

I’m trying to do my best.

Under heaven

I am weary, I am cold, I am lost

and you don’t know what I’m coming from

or the love of the Holy Ghost

when you say

“Go away, go away.”

Go away, Go away.

 

I was a refugee in my mind,

heart lead, eyes red

from all

the tears

I’ve cried.

No one’s asked me of my pain,

no one’s asked me how I’ve changed,

no one’s asked me

my

name.

They just say “go away, go away.”

Go away, go away.

 

I was a refugee in my mind

wandering miles

looking for

a light

in your eyes.

You can’t

see mine,

you’re American Lord blind.

Heart dead, long time,

so’s your mind.

When you say “go away, go away.”

 

They said, “You don’t look like me,

you don’t talk like us,

you don’t belong here,

you gonna blow us up.”

They said, ” This is my country, this ain’t your town.”

This ain’t God’s country, it’s just your town.

 

Wash Your Feet

I’m sitting on the floor right outside the bathroom door as my girls take a bath. A few feet, far enough away to capture a moment to myself. They are having a rare quiet, calm moment. They must be tired. There are half minute bouts of silence, a pause in their singing voices, the waving of the water only audible.

Whenever I leave them to play by themselves for a moment in the bath, the floor is a splash. I wonder which toy that was that hit the floor? A hollow hard bounce. Perhaps it was a boat cup.

boat cup

“Mama?”

“Yeah?”

“Can we have some more water?”

“Yeah.”

I took the moment to wash them. They smell of coconuts and apples. Sometimes the children are cooperative with their washing, some nights it is a struggle. Tonight it was a dumping water on the head kind of yelly wash as Fern did not wish a traditional and relaxing dip of the head in water. Ollie wished to briefly mock her for my reaction:  a stern stare and the statement of her name.

They are both tired. And I’m sitting down, the same. (drop head, sigh.) Oh.

“Mama?”

“What?”

“Will you wash my feet?”

“Yeah?”

“Will you wash my feet?”

Ollie loves to have her feet washed. She slouches in the water, smiles and giggles and sings songs about stinky feet, stinky feet. Fern, not stubborn just now, let me wash her feet, too.  She babbles a whisper, she is a breath of sleepiness now.

“Mama? Everybody has feet right?”

“Well, no. Not everybody has feet.”

“Why not?”

There was a brief explanation of prosthesis, and a genuine concern for the footless.  Therein discovered, an appreciation of the limbs.

Some people don’t have feet, and I am lucky to only have been chased out of time.

The girls are screaming now and and whining breezes, too loud for my corner. The short peace of bath is over.

I’m going to go mop them up.

Brush them up. Dress them up.

Give a sip of water. Bookend them.

Kiss their jolly heads, lay them down.

A Kingdom Cover for Dreamers and Believers

I know I keep telling ya’ll I’m a songwriter, this thing that I have figured out about myself.  But I haven’t supplied  much proof beyond links to a few songs.  A few songs does not a songwriter make. Bear with me as I get my ideas into action, and you will have the bread of my soul laid before you as proof. Grab a chair, stay a spell.  Believers and Dreamers go hand in hand.

When my youngest nibblet, Fern was born, I bore the idea of  recording my songs as videos and uploading them to the YouTube.  Stall as I may, that has never happened.  I did make a few videos, and I posted a couple to Facebook, but the sharing never crossed over into the YouTube channel, as I did not fjord that stream.

Mostly, I found that the making of the video made me nervous. Cameras make me squeem and make me lose focus. Couple that sentiment with the gallop of children wearing requests on their tongues like thirsty donkeys, interruptions during the video taping processess were abundant.  There are frequent short takes where either I have deemed myself too mistaken to press on, or I am competing babies crawling over my shoulders, into my lap, and emitting noises that are the funniest in the world, apparently. ( I tried to upload a segment of the silliness, but had technical difficulties. )

Last night, I had a revelation.

I decided to record  the Lucinda Williams cover I have recently learned how to play.  I don’t know how to play many cover songs.

I started to teach myself how to play guitar when I was 23. I taught myself not by learning chords and other people’s songs, but by writing songs myself.  I played the guitar strings with one finger, that I would move to hit and make the right note.  Gradually that became me playing with two fingers. When someone informed me of a way to cheat,   I began playing with three fingers and chord formations that made veteran guitar players have to pause and use their musical theories to figure out what note it was that  I was strumming. I certainly didn’t know, only that it sounded like it worked. I wrote perhaps twenty or more songs using my simplified chords.

Jon Flanary taught me how to play “Dead Flowers” by The Rolling Stones with my cheating chords. That must have been when I was 27,  four years after I’d started playing and building up my song arsenal. A couple years after that I learned how to play “Greenville” by Lucinda Williams using those same substandard chord formations.

Now I play just regular old chords, and I know their names, as I’ve picked them up over the years. I still don’t know how to play a good “B” without a capo, though.  I have bones missing from my wrist that make playing a B-chord a curse worthy task.

The revelation is this. When I decided to record this cover of this Lucinda Williams song last night, after a few rounds of singing a few bars and making excuses to start over, I stopped.

I looked at myself in the screen of my computer, saw myself staring right back at me, and I told myself it was time to get down to business.  I told myself to make a change, and to stop being so dag on aware of the camera. Since I heard that a camera steals a little piece of your soul every time it takes your picture, I’ve been a hesitant participant of the lens.  I make awkward faces, I drop my eyes.  I make a noise that mumbles, “iiiidohwannaahh”.

This all changed last night, with a quick breath.  I hit the record button, sang and played without hitch, conquered the red eye.

Proudly, without procrastination, I decided to come share the video on this site, but questioned what sense it made for a person claiming to be a songwriter to have their first musical entry of their site be a cover song. While questioning the point, I ended up writing something entirely different about business school, staplers, and the moon gods.

Throughout the day I’ve considered the logic, and concluded that one reason it does makes sense to have my first foray into the video-blogosphere be a cover song is that everybody likes cover songs. They are safe, they are known. They are bridges that build a connection. They are sung in the hearts of many. They are interpreters of human connection.

I’ve explained myself well enough. You all are all hip.  This is one of three covers I can play. It’s “Learning How to Live”, by Lucinda Williams. Presented to you with real chords.  Sponsored by the Dell Inspiron.

That’s it for now. It’s bedtime in the kingdom.

Wanted: Stardust Honing Business Skills Stapler

I’ve decided today that I need to go to business school.  I need to rack up a bunch of debt, become more poor than I already am, and insert myself into a place that seems unfamiliar.  Numbers and deadlines, hosiery and telephones, oblong tables and elevators.

I don’t fancy myself a business type, but I do covet the fancy business skills that I lack. Perhaps, I just need some assistance digging the skills out and shining them.  Business school would be an expensive shovel, but  a costly twenty thousand dollar dig may motivate me to more assertively advance my creative endeavors. Is there perhaps some sort of business skills stapler out there with the capacity to attach the needed attributes for my toils? The endeavors crawl into me and creep out constantly, with no fruits to bear. I’ve got dreams to remember, but a reluctance to heels.

There is something that holds me back from producing my visions, my art.  I stew my musings in private.

I am a musician. I am a songwriter.  I have written 91 songs.  I have recorded less than a quarter of those songs.  Or, to be more clear, there are rough practice recordings, but in 10 years I have not released one damn full length record.  I was 25 when my old band, Scarlet Harlot released some overly rushed to be produced album.

A year and a half ago my band released an EP, but even that is three years old.  Yeah. It took  a year and a half after the recording sessions to release the album as an EP.  To be fair, my band was rolling and recording and ready, when I zapped into super secret hermit mode upon finding out I was toting a baby bomb.  Stopped recording. Stopped practicing.  Stopped everything. Unplanned pregnancy equals freak out time. I froaked. (yes.)

But, still, that is just an excuse.  I’ve had hundred of them. Like: I don’t have any money to start this. Or: I’m really sad.  And: It’s not perfect yet, it’s not ready. Also: I’m having a kid. Then: I’m having another kid. Yes: I smoked too many cigarettes, and my throat hurts.  Excuses, excuses.

Would going to business school rid me of the procrastination? Is there some sort of insertable drive I might acquire where I stop the excuses and continue a vision through to a fully explored path?

There is some button that I just don’t have.  I am a damn dreamer is my damn problem. And I’m okay with that, is my other one.  Does business school provide one with some sort of hammer or rope with which to exact a swing of upward mobility? Is there some ladder I can scale to reach the next level of continuous motivation to achieve my dreams?

Perhaps I should just get a payday loan, risk the interest on that junkie, get a bunch of money and record a bunch of albums and publish my children’s book.   Would the interest on a payday loan be of enough motivation to me  to right my wrongs and ring my mid-life bell into productivity?  35 is mid-life, y’all. Should I go business school? Or get some seedy loan? Should I start a letter writing campaign?  Start a youtube channel?

What the hell am I waiting on?

I have a job. I work for great people. It’s not a job that I will advance in;  the advancing of position has never been of much importance to me. I’m not that type of personality where I need the best job with the best money. But realistically, I could use more money.  Because. I don’t have health insurance.  I can’t afford it. I want it.  I need it. If something goes wrong with me, I’m gonna die.

I don’t feel like I’m poor, but I am.  I have great talents that could make me less poor, if only they were asserted.  I want better for my daughters.  We are not at the bottom of the barrel, barely. We budget and make do. But, there needs to be a change!

When do I start? Who’s in charge of pressing the start button?

Me?  Yes. Me. Why haven’t I hit it yet?  Maybe I’m about to. Is there some strange moon tonight?

Ho-boy. I looked it up. Yes. Yes, it’s the stars.  Always the stars!

The moon is in Aries.

I’m born on the last day of Pisces.You know what that means, right?

In astrological terms, if you’re born on the last day of a zodiac sign, you’re born on a cusp. Meaning, that you are strongly influenced by the next zodiac sign but you’re NOT the next zodiac sign. Pisces are dreamers, engulfed by emotion. Aries are do-ers, riddled with ambition.  Technically, I’m supposed to have some Aries traits up in my mix, somewhere.  They were prevalent in my younger life, but long since laid dormant. My Pisces particulars are evergreen.

Tonight, them traits are on alert. I am beaming. I am scratching at the bit.

I kid you not, my steady gears are turning, I feel a wriggling, I feel a jump coming.  I mean, seriously? SERIOUSLY?  Today I began to think about something that I HAVE NEVER EVER CONSIDERED.  Business school!! Business school???   Cutthroats and stressors, brown noses and bitches.

I don’t need business school to do what I need to do.  You don’t need business school training to just begin, do you?  Follow through is an exertion that does not require a life ladening loan.

You just need the moon to come round right. Right?

Dear Moon, don’t you go. Glow, glow down here. Dear Moon, you got a hold on some soul up there. Dear Moon, could you  phase me to the next stage of my life?  Dear Moon, I got a ladder, gonna climb up to you. Dear Moon, I got a rope, gonna tie on to you . Dear Moon, would you swing me on into the light?  I’m a shadow to shine over, I’m a shock of a shell.  Dear Moon, you kept beaming, lives been through hell. Dear moon, if there’s a man in you, would you please be mine?