Category Archives: Lyrics

Soul Donor

Busted
Busted

Something haunts the attic of my imagination, locked in an old trunk, it watches my movements through the keyhole. While I stack character traits, it lies in wait. While I lay scenes on the card table, it bides its time. While I wave my marker, connecting plot points across the wall, it stares at my rolling chair with bright green eyes, a prince watching a throne, waiting for his time to come.

Entering the attic of my imagination, I find streaks through the floor boards. The trunk sits beneath the window, the keyhole positioned to see out into the real world. Trying to drag it back to its place, I give up part way. Distracted, I read the notecards scattered across the table, I toss half of them to the floor. There’s just no room for them anymore. I need this section of my imagination to process something I’ve been thinking.

Jotting a word down, I set it on the open space. The card says: INDECISION. The floorboards creak. Thunder claps off in the distance. I set the word OBLIVIOUS in an empty spot. There’s a thump. The lights flicker. I set the word UNREQUITED down. There’s a crash behind me, a click, followed by the groaning of a rusty hinge. Turning around, I find the trunk has moved. Its lid has opened on its own.

Peaking inside, a swarm of locusts engulf my eyes.

The trunk was filled with all of my romantic compulsions. Every time I develop feelings for someone, the infernal crate starts filling. The self doubt, the jealousy, the fear of rejection, all these things start rumbling. I can stack books atop it, hammer nails in, put it in a dark corner of the room, but sooner or later the trunk bursts open.

Once that happens, darkness takes over my imagination. My characters break down, my plot points get painted over, and my scenes get scattered. The story I’m developing disappears as the specter of a doomed romance leaves its mark on everything.

2. Trunk

I wrote the following in my early twenties, back when my best ideas were abandon in favor of an overwhelming urge to vent. Its wordy, silly, embarrassing, and completely honest. Recently, I dug it up and gave it the musical treatment. I hope you like it.

(If SoundCloud is down, download the track)
(Download the instrumental version here)

Soul Donor

The third law of thermodynamics
The one we all love to hate
I poured my heart into something
That didn’t reciprocate
I syphoned out all my good parts
To feed your perceptually aching machine
I slowed myself to crawl
Just to keep it going

Like a vampire blood donor
Like an eleventh hour Valentine
I put so much of myself in you
But you’d never be mine
You’re feeding off my entropy
I’m running out parts to give
I’ve been dying long enough to know
That dying is no way to live

It’s safe to assume
It’s safe to foresee
Even if it makes
An ass of “u” and “me”
It takes an addict
To spot another addict

Ah fuck it, I admit it
I really am psychic

The only law that Murphy had
The one that we all try to break
I left so much room for error
Our foundations were bound to shake
I always came when you were jonesing
For the high only I’d provide
Who knew you could quit cold turkey
And let this whole thing slide

Who knew you’d leave me in this bath tub
In this motel up the street
Dry ice freezing my skin off
You only take the parts you need
When I signed on to be your lover
Did I sign on as a soul donor too?
How could I hate myself enough
To give my love to the likes of you?

It’s safe to assume
It’s safe to foresee
Even if it makes
An ass of “u” and “me”
It takes an addict
To spot another addict

Ah fuck it, I admit it
I really am psychic

3. Ghost Hand

My Best Posts on Love or Lack Thereof

V for Valentine
V for Valentine

(The V for Vendetta aspects of this post were inspired by a Twitter conversation with @fredamoya@CantrellJason, and @jazstory. Go forth and follow them)

Valentine’s Day is here. For some it’s the biggest date night of the year, a time for hard won reservations, and subpar service. When collective expectation is at a fever pitch. A time to feel put on the spot by romantic peer pressure. A day when one-upmanship makes lovers jump through flaming hoops to prove their feelings.

For some it is a day to abuse social media with forced romantic sentiment, a day for contrived vows that could only feel genuine if delivered in person. Some clog news feeds with couple’s selfies, while others clean house with mass-unfollowings.

After Christmas and New Year’s, Valentine’s Day is the last note in a overwhelming chord. For some it’s a victory lap, a day to celebrate the love they’ve been given. For others it’s the last stretch of a gauntlet of loneliness. V-Day is when they cash the last of their resolutions in.

Permit me to speak from the heart, with some help from the gut, with a little bit of bite, and a twist of the tongue.

My volatile Valentine’s vendetta derives its viewpoint from a bevy of vulgar visuals. Vapid vagrants with malevolent intent, visiting taverns to vocalize a variety of vacuous vows, proverbs with vanilla verbiage voiced verbatim, inviting victims to venture beneath their duvet for a vigorous vault through venerial viruses.

Avoiding reverence, evasive lovers veto verses, and revoke overtures. Vexed with a variety of vultures vying for votes, vixens avert involvement. My vehement vows provoke vagabonds to vanish. My devotion advances vamps through a vortex. Their verdict delivers a violent vivisection of vital vascular valves and vessels, leaving a vacated void, a victory for the villainous, a vasectomy of the virtuous, a vestige of St. Valentine’s venture.

A memory memory for the 14th of February, the Saint beaten beheaded, left to rot, I see no reason, the real reason for the season should ever be forgot.

This year, I’m one of those bah-humbuggers. To quote Placebo, “I’m killing time on Valentine’s. Waiting for the day to end.” For me the day completes a trilogy of unhappy holidays. Some days I believe in love at first sight, sometimes I want to tell Cupid where he can stick his arrows. Today is one of those.

If you’re at home reading blogs on Valentine’s, then I think I know which camp you’re in. If you’re looking for something to read, that hits that bittersweet spot then I’ve got you covered. Be you a hopeless romantic or a ceaseless cynic, I’ve got something for you.

May I present my best posts on romance, be they short stories or blog entries, poems or podcasts, I’ve got something to make the time pass.

The NSA Took My Baby Away
A Missed Connection from a love struck NSA Agent.

An Ode to Love Songs
A love poem where each verse is stitched together from song titles with the word “Love” in them.

11th Hour Valentines
A study of the bar close mating ritual.

Bullet Proof Cupid
For every romance, there’s a massive covert operation. Watch Cupid’s tactical unit engineer a happy accident.

My Time Travel Romantic Comedy Pitch
What’s missing from the time travel romantic comedy genre? A harsh dystopia. What if every manic pixie dream girl, was secretly a talent scout from the future?

Bubble Pipe
“There’s more than one way to get noticed by the opposite sex,” says the man smoking a bubble pipe. A blog and a song on the silly things we do to get attention.

The Tragedy of Headshots
Sometimes dating feels like auditioning for a part you know you’ll never get.

The Narration
When a strange voice declares a young woman’s romantic intentions to her friends, she’s forced to do some serious back peddling.

The Night the Moon Came Down to Earth
There’s nothing more romantic than being on a stake out for an urban legend with someone you have crush on.

The Residual Blues
They say that amputees can still feel sensations from their phantom limbs. So what do you feel when someone rips the heart out of your chest?

Harvested
Have you ever felt like you were harvested of all the love you have to give?

Unnecessary Hero
“It’s better to have loved and lost or some crock of shit. Free advice is worth what you paid for it.” Lyrics on romantic heroics.

Pigs Will Fly
“There are wedding bells for you and I and the pigs will fly.” An optimistic look at becoming more than just friends.

Full Red Submersion (Audio Short)

A piece about seeing red when your space is violated.

I was thinking of calling this "Red Drew Redemption" but thought better of it.
I was thinking of calling this “Red Drew Redemption” but thought better of it.

(Download the instrumental version here)

Have you ever felt so rotten you were afraid people could see it in your face? Reading your micro expressions, they caught the instant your smile fell out of synch with your eyes. From there, your audience put all the pieces together. They took a second look at your posture; your arms crossed over one another, like a Jolly Rodger made flesh, and they just knew.

Shifting your weight to one heel, you leaned away from their scrutiny, drawing a border with your free foot. Ignoring these cues, they breached your comfort bubble. They listened as the inflection dipped from your voice, as your confidence waned, and your tongue twisted. Your composure seeped out, like a sigh through your lips.

Your shoulders slouched. Your accent shift. Your customer service mask slipped. There was a draft where your armor should’ve been. Your space had been invaded. You were exposed. Your audience got in on your introversion. Finding their way into your attic, they were pulling out your insolation.

I’m talking about that embarrassing moment when someone calls you out for having a bad day, when you’ve done everything in your power to bury it. This is about the sense of violation from someone telling you how you’re feeling.

I have to admit, I wrote this one shortly after ending a career in retail where I’d accumulated my share of these experiences.

The calming musical accompaniment is there to contrast the heated prose. The melody rises in subdued hums. The beat echoes across a vast space. The throbbing synth-bass was inspired by College’s song Real Hero (you might recognize it from the end credits of the movie Drive). These combined elements make this my catchiest track yet. Check it out. Continue reading Full Red Submersion (Audio Short)

Cheek to the Ground

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I’ll sing this song
With my cheek to the ground
With my eyes on the sky
And my head in the gutter
The world passes by
In big giant strides
Or maybe you all
Seem so tall from down here

Wine breathes better in the bottle
Wine flows better down the street

A pavement pillow
A cement spread
A parking space
Where I rest my head
I have an arrangement
With the asphalt
With this patch of ice
And this pack of rock salt

Wine breathes better in the bottle
Wine flows better down the street

I stepped on a crack
And broke my back
Wasn’t watching
Where I was going
I stepped on a crack
And broke my back
Had my eyes on
Where I had been

I’ll sing this song
With my cheek to the ground
With the stars falling
Into the grass
The constellations
Have some place to be
Or so it seems
At the rate they pass

Wine breathes better in the bottle
Wine flows better down the street

A debris duvet
A black-eyed come on
A patch of laurels
To rest my head on
I have an understanding
With the underbrush
With this pile of leaves
And this puddle of slush

Wine breathes better in the bottle
Wine flows better down the street

I stepped on a crack
And broke my back
Wasn’t watching
Where I was going
I stepped on a crack
And broke my back
Had my eyes on
Where I had been

On where I had been
On where I had been
On where I had been

Spring Forward, Fall Apart

IMG_0307

The temperature falls
Cabin fever rises
We all catch
The same thought virus
We prepare our homes
For the contagion
We prepare ourselves
For hibernation
The big bad wolf
Is at the door
The raven pecks
Forevermore
Jacob Marley
Shakes his chains
Old Man Winter
Raises Cain

Spring forward
Lag behind
Daylight savings
Rob the mind
Spring forward
Fall apart
Daylight cravings
Starve the heart

Bricks in hand
We wall ourselves in
They huff and puff
And we take it on the chin
We’re dismay preppers
A horde of hoarders
We’ll never have to
Look past our borders
We see red
With our attitudes
Dreaming of a White Christmas
Waking to the winter blues
We go stir crazy
Mixing up our metaphors
Going out of our heads
Behind closed doors

Spring forward
Lag behind
Daylight savings
Rob the mind
Spring forward
Fall apart
Daylight cravings
Starve the heart

The Boogeyman in My Basement

Bloody Door

There was a peck on the door. Not a knock, but a gentle rapping that wasn’t sure of itself. This was not the beak of a raven, but that of a hummingbird. Yawning in the hallway, I thought I’m not putting my pants on for that.

The tapping stopped, whoever it was. The Jehovah’s witness had second thoughts about sharing their beliefs with someone with such an unkempt hallway. The vacuum cleaner salesmen doubted his product would do me much good. The petitioner doubted someone with that many bottles on their porch cared about wildlife preserves.

The stairs creaked as the mysterious solicitor slunk back to the sidewalk from wince they came. I shuffled over to the kitchen to attend to the pressing matter of eating ice cream straight from the tub.

My roommate had asked if I’d borrowed any of the cash on his desk. I’d helped myself to some of his razors, deodorant, and clean socks, but I wasn’t aware that he’d left any money out.

I caught movement out of the corner of my eye; a shadow beneath the back entrance. A key clicked into the lock. There came a rapping, so faintly came a tapping, and my ice cream hit the floor. I squeezed my knuckles into fists and positioned myself in front of the door.

It screeched open to reveal an intruder. His face was slick with sweat. His skin was sun dried, red enough to hide the cysts along his hairline. He was shirtless, an emaciated golem. His skin left none of his rib cage to the imagination. His shorts were a patchwork of grass and blood stains.

His hand shook, wielding the key like a prison shank.

I stepped forward. “How’s it going?”

The intruder leapt back. “Is, um, Mike home?”

Shaking my head, “Nope.” I put my hand out, “Can I see that key?”

Feigning to set the key in my palm, the intruder dropped it on the floor. Lowering my eyes, I missed his getaway. The intruder slid down the railing, tapped one foot on the mezzanine, and leapt down the stairs. He was ghost.

So it turned out this was the tenant I’d been brought on to replace six months ago. He’d been stealing DVD box sets and pawning them for drug money. Here he was to make another rental from my roommate’s library.

Running down the stairs, I saw no clear sign that the intruder had left the building. My hunch was that he hid in the basement. Flashlight in hand, I made my way through the cobwebs and the mouse traps. Shattered glass cracked under foot, announcing my position to the darkness. I scanned the abandoned storage closets. There were deflated bike tires, doors stacked against the walls, and circular saws in the laundry room sink.

There was a color crayon picture on the work bench, a crudely drawn man with a handlebar mustache. A series of violent lines sliced through his gut, a gash of black across his middle. A caption down the side read:

I DIDN’T DO IT, BUT I KNOW WHO DID.

He’d been living down there. Who knows for how long? In the coming months, I would jump whenever the wind rattled the doors, put my ear to the walls, listen for bumps in the night, look for silhouettes through the blinds, and drudge into the basement to check for boogeymen.

Though the intruder never returned, the intrusion haunted me. Continue reading The Boogeyman in My Basement

Love in Lowercase

LoveAn Ode to Love Songs

What is this feeling called love? We get an education in it from song titles.

It’s a crazy little thing. Tender, sweet, and strange. It’s tainted and it stinks, but we’re addicted to it. It’s our drug. We’re love stoned. We’re crazy in it. It’s all we need, provided we can get enough. We would do anything for it (but we won’t do that). We can’t buy it, because it don’t cost a thing. We keep it locked down. We don’t take it to town, don’t throw it away, and don’t flash it around.

Once we’ve lost that loving feeling, we won’t want to live without it. That’s the power of love. It will keep us together. It will tear us apart. It’s stronger than death, and we will kill for it.

We’re nobody until somebody loves us, but nobody loves us when we’re down and out. Fools fall into that love below. How deep is our’s? We rock the cradle of it. We hate ourselves for feeling it. We give it a bad name.

Love is a battlefield, it will conquer all. It bites and it hurts, especially the ones we feel it for. Stop in the name of it. Love vigilantes take no prisoners. We look for it in all the wrong places. We wonder if it was ever love? It must have been. All is full of it. It’s like oxygen. It’s in the air.

Babies do it. Puppies do it. Muskrats do it. Radars do it. We do it on trains, we do it on roller-coasters, and sometimes we do it in shacks.

Is our love strong enough? Can we prove it, justify it? We think we love you. We know that sometimes that just ain’t enough, but we can’t get enough. All we need is love, but sometimes even love is not enough.

Love is patient. Love takes time. True love waits. We’re waiting for a real love, no ordinary love, one love, not a bizarre love triangle, but a love supreme. We’re waiting for it to lead us back. To lift us higher and higher.

Maybe we don’t always feel it eight days a week, but Friday we’re in love.

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I’ve written many a love song back in my day, but following piece is one of the scant few with the word right there in the title. Continue reading Love in Lowercase

Fake It Until You Make It

IMG_4323I am not one of those writers who writes only what I know. I do not chalk up my research to life experience. I do not believe that method writing makes one story more genuine than another. Nor do I believe that every fiction author is secretly penning their own memoir. Though I often write to wrench the weight off of my chest, it is not my sole reason for doing it.

I write about what I am passionate about, but I don’t always have a manifesto in my back pocket. I have something to say, but I don’t always smuggle my closing arguments into a narrative. Sometimes my subtext is just a plot thread that’s been left there to dangle.

My imagination can take me far away from my obligations, but I don’t always write to escape.

Sometimes I write just to see what will happen. To tinker for the sake of tinkering. To experiment and see if the results surprise me. To feel like I’m outside of myself, just because it feels funky.

I believe that life experience can make a story feel authentic. It helps describe the lay of the land. It gives you a quote for specific scenarios. It puts ready made thoughts into your characters’ heads.

That said, I do not believe you have to live through something to write about. You may have to research it. You may have to interview others who have, but if you dwell on it enough to bring tears to your eyes, you can write about it. Just respect your readers enough to handle difficult subjects with care and nuance. Continue reading Fake It Until You Make It

Party of One

Photo by Keane Amdahl, follow him on Twitter @FoodStoned
Photo by Keane Amdahl, follow him on Twitter @FoodStoned

What follows is an ode to self-defeatism. To those of us who over-share when someone asks, “How’s it going?” To those of us who proclaim our circular reasoning until we sound like broken records. It’s about when we need emotional reinforcement, but lack the language to ask for it. Unable to get into the specifics, we say whatever comes to mind. Too bad our minds are scrambled. Our conditions create a language gap, an abstraction, an anomaly in the exchange of ideas.

Like broken computers, we don’t communicate. We spout off an error code. We kernel panic. We blue screen of death. We say we need our space. Then we forbid our guests from leaving. We ask for brutal honesty. Then we accuse them of ganging up on us.

This is an ode to those ironic cries for help. The attempts to lure people in only to push them away. When we walk out of our job, because we want a raise. When we duck out of the party, because we want people to talk to us. When we give the Batman goodbye, because we want people to notice us. We’re quiet, because we want to be heard. We hide, because we want to be found. We run, because we want to be chased.

We want to get under your skin. We want to get into your head. We leave messages on bathroom mirrors, in magnetic poetry, stashed in paperbacks to be discovered later. We soak our boots, step over welcome mats, and leave footprints down hallways. We key cars, impale pillows, and shatter portraits. We burn letters in the sink. We leave messes. We leave evidence.

Here’s to those of us who vague-book in the middle of the night. Who say something serious we can always accuse our commenters of reading into. Here’s to the divas, the drama queens, and the boys who cry wolf. To those of us who keep it real, in the hopes that someone will call us out on it. To those of us who get sloppy in the hopes that we get caught. To those of us who wear our injuries like merit badges, only to rediscover our shame.

This is about the fixes we discover when left to our own devices. It’s about the moment we spot the evidence of our own self-sabotage. When we face palm at the revelation that we’re the ones who are hitting ourselves. No one can fix our heads, until we realize that we’ve encrypted our thoughts. We’re the ones with the most at stake. We’re the ones who have to break the code.

We have to identify this pattern: stress from without creates stress from within that creates stress from without. Continue reading Party of One

The Residual Blues

3rd Blue Rose

They say that lizards can feel
Where their tails used to be
They say the same thing
Of amputees
You took my heart with you
When you parted with me
But I still feel the space
Where our love used to be

My phantom parts
Call me from afar
Like secret agents
They tell me where you are
You took an arm and a leg
Now I’m out on my last limb
Left with the chore
Of filling the empty spaces in

Clipped and severed
Left with only the stem
There’s a phantom image
Where a flower would have been
You left your aura
Your essence behind you
Open my eyes to
A residual shade of blue

Residual Blues cover

You made me feel

Like another person entirely
Now that you’re gone
That person’s here to haunt me
The ghost of moments past
Squealing like a banshee
Scaring me shitless
Making dissonance of my harmony

Did you hear a thump in the night?
Did you feel a chill?
When you think of what we had
Do your arm hairs stand still?
Don’t get too close to mirrors
Don’t even say my name
My ghost is breathing down your neck
Just waiting to be summoned

Clipped and severed
Left with only the stem
There’s a phantom image
Where a flower would have been
You left your aura
Your essence behind you
Open my eyes to
A residual shade of blue

2nd Blue Rose

I took up smoking

To taste more like you used to
You put the nicotine in me
Before I started to
Our love has been ashed
Right down to the filter
But whenever I cough
I know it’s still there

Clipped and severed
Left with only the stem
There’s a phantom image
Where a flower would have been
You left your aura
Your essence behind you
Open my eyes to
A residual shade of blue

(There’s a gallery of roses after the jump)

Continue reading The Residual Blues