Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back of the Bar

I wrote this Saturday night while watching a show at a local dive bar. I still sometimes get into the middle of the pit, just not nearly as much as I used to. Ha!!

Back of the Bar

When I was younger
I liked to be in the thick of it all,
bouncing off body after body
in the middle of the pit.

Not that I'm older
I sit at the bar
or on the edges of the pit
watching the crowd
as much as the band
still as content as ever.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rock Star Human

Just learned recently that the rhythm guitarist for one of my favorite bands is in treatment for addiction. I've loved this band for over 10 years now, and this really hit me hard for whatever reason.

Rock Star Human

Playing rock god-style
night after night,
sneer curled in your lip
though your face looks at peace.
Sweat pours down as you hit
power chord after power cord
synchronized with the six other men on stage.

The show ends,
house lights come up in the venue,
adoring fans wait
for a handshake, autograph, or photo.
You slip off to backstage.

Back in your private room
You feel less like a legend
and increasing more human each night.
Open a bottle, take a swig,
the alcohol warms your throat
and numbs everything else.

Others watch you closely
as you slip further away.
Family, friends, fans
all see you in unwashed holey clothes.
You joke about being told that
‘you are letting yourself slip away.’

The time finally comes
when those who love you,
who have seen you grow
from a skiny skinhead teenager
into a man,
can’t watch your descent any longer.
They gather around you
and plead for you to truly look at yourself
and see that you need help.

Onstage your band plays on
without you.
Every night when your frontman tells the audience
why your aren’t by his side right now
we can feel the love and concern
and how much they can’t wait for you to be better again.

So many people root for you,
knowing the struggle personally
or remembering how addiction played out in their lives.

We can’t wait to see you again,
playing rock god style with your band,
stronger than when you left us for a short while.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

"Marked: Another Experience" & "My Fantasy"

Marked: Another Experience

Private party show,
because the venue forgot
to renew the liquor license.
Marked with a sharpie
so we could exit the club between bands.

I stand in the back against a wall
while the first band plays
punked-up folk music
wearing Donnie Darko masks.
I spend the set going between
hoping the masks weren’t going to star
in fucked up nightmares later on,
and thinking that they were too talented
to have be resorting to stupid gimmicks
to gain the attention of an audience.

Between sets I run
out to my car for some granola.
I catch glances from the smokers
as I run back into the club,
they seemed amused by my antics.

With the second band
I move closer to the stage.
Last time I saw them was 9 years prior.
The energy and passion are still there,
no doubt revved up by their hometown crowd.
I’m soaking in the feel of the upright bass
reverberating in my chest.
It’s been too long
since I last had that feeling.

Between sets, back to my car,
more granola. And to leave
my hoodie in the front seat;
there would be no need inside anymore.

I move my way through the club
to the second ‘row’ of the pit
and hop foot-to-foot
as the headlining band sound checks.
They start their set
and everything moves in unison.
And I’m at peace again
shaking my head, my body bouncing
almost rhythmically off of others.

Later on, back in the kitchen
the ink of the X is already fading.
Smiling, thinking, nothing last forever
except memories.


My Fantasy

Many days I fantasize
about buying a one-way ticket
to anywhere outside of the US.

Leaving a note, or texting, or e-mailing
those who will worry
that I’m okay. I’m just going
on one of my one-woman adventures,
just this time a little further out than normal.

I’ll drop into some big city,
walk into some little dive bar-type pub
and beg the owner for a job.
I’ll be paid under the table, of course.

I’ll explore the city
and when I get tired of it,
take a train to anywhere else.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bye-Bye Button

Hope you like it! Please let me know what you think, I always appreciate it! Thanks!! :-)

Bye-Bye Button

I used to have a red button
pinned to my purse proclaiming,
Don’t Be Afraid of Dying
Be Afraid of Not Living

I bought it while playing around in Boston
and promptly lost it
on my flight back to Michigan.
To be found a few minutes later
stuck between the airline seats.

Damned thing had a habit
of unlatching itself from me,
and trying to go on its own adventures,
only to usually end up on the floor of my car.

Then one day
when I was out hiking on my own
in the forests of northern Michigan
I sat to take a rest,
put my bag on a stump
and saw that my button was missing.
I continued my hike
and on the way back kept glancing to the ground
in hopes of spotting my wayward pin.
Back at my car I searched
around, under, and in,
never finding my little escape artist.

Driving back to my home base that evening,
I couldn’t help smiling to myself.
My little companion went out
following its own advice.

I hope some kid,
who was maybe dragged out to the trails
finds it and takes its words to heart
and vows to keep exploring, learning, and playing
until their last days.
That’s what I’ll be doing.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Punk Rock Sense of Honesty

So, I've been listening to a lot of Frank Turner lately (a folk-punk rocker) who is an amazing songwriter! The title is taken from part of a line in his song "Nashville, TN" the entire line is "A simple scale on an old guitar, and a punk rock sense of honesty." I was driving around today and the last part of the line just stuck with me, so of course, I decided to write about it. This is pretty much a stream-of-conscious piece, so the formatting is very intentional in this one. Hope you like it! Let me know! Thanks!!

I absolutely Love this photo of Frank! From Google Image

 A Punk Rock Sense of Honesty

Passion of friends, family, causes, life!

I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I rage quietly
                        and loudly
when things go bad
or in celebration
                               when life is kicking ass.

You piss me off and I
will scream at you face-to-face,
in your face,
me more than likely on my tiptoes.

You make me cry
and I will hug you
and try to never let go
until my arms tire and I need my space.

I will scream, rage, and cry
about injustices faced by you, me, and the world.
For the early needless death of the ones who’ve lit
fires in our souls,
for the loss of our carefree lives
and the depletion of our sense of calm.

I sit outside a coffeehouse
calm, writing, quietly
while my head buzzes with an ever continuous monologue
of life, and with tunes running through my brain.

I realize that I’ve gotten off the topic
of punk rock honesty,
yet we never really quite left it after all.

Punk has always equaled passion
for life and everything it compromises,
and honesty is excepting life.

and honesty is trying to change
the needless bullshit and injustices thrown into our world,
it’s not staying silent.

We write songs, poems, prose
about ourselves, our hearts, our worlds, our friends
as honestly as we can, no matter what.

We laugh together
We cry together
We party together
We fight together
We live together
We dream together

We look at the world
and tell it that we
Will Not Be Ignored.

We’ve lived,
and our stories will be told.

and That is punk rock honesty.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

For Us All

Sorry if this gets kinda preachy at the end, but this is what's been on my mind for a while now. Kinda got coughed up onto the page this afternoon. And yes, I damn well should take my own advice at times.

For Us All

The other day I was exploring
a semi-upscale shopping center dressed
in an old college hoodie, oversized shorts and faded bandana
when in walks a woman dressed
to the nines in her bridal gown.
I smiled to myself, straightened my posture,
and continued browsing.

Now I’m having brunch outside a hipster establishment
eating, sipping coffee, and writing
and all the hoity-toity tourists walking by
keep giving me bad looks.
I’m sure I look like just some young punk,
clad in a black band shirt, beat up black hoodie with a white bandana.
I give them each a hard stare
(to add to my persona)
while smiling to myself.

I know who I am, and lately
I’ve taken a better liking to her:
the girl with a kind word for others,
yet a strong backbone for herself.
Sure, a little rough around the edges still,
but she assures me she is working on that.

So often lately I’ve seen strong-willed people complain
about situations are out of their control or
forgetting about all the good in their universes.

I want to take them
and shake them,
tell them to take charge of their lives and create their own happiness.

Dance alone in the city streets at midnight
to the soundtrack running through your head.
Write down each and every thing,
tiny or huge,
that has ever made you smile.

The truth is:
we make and we break ourselves.

Be kind when you can,
stand up for yourself and your beliefs.
and make sure to show the world your strengths.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Age of Innocence

Age of Innocence

Him: I hate all these kids
nowadays, crying over Justine Bieber!
Don’t they know that there are actual issues
to be concerned with?
Me: Calm down, they’re young,
the terrors of the world will hit them
soon enough.

The next day we all watched
in horror as a madman
gunned down 5-year-olds
and stole the sweet butterfly chasing
innocence of an entire community of children.

We know violence, brass knuckles, blood, death
as adults watching others
too often with weary eyes
waiting for them to strike.
Yet we try to shield children
from the news of planes flying into towers.
We are left to to figure out how to explain
cops, vigilantes, and madmen
killing unarmed citizens
and stealing loved ones from their families.

I miss not having to worry
about the world
destroying our innocence.