Monday, April 29, 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Maybe It's Not Them

What if it's not the media
What if the problem is us
They just give us what we want
That's their job
Isn't it?

'Til Death Do Us Part

Every sentence I write is a jailbreak
I'm a lobster escaping the boiler
That's why I love this so much
This is how I fight for my freedom
This is how I fight for my life

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Nature Of The Fray: A Day In The Life Of A Modern Freedom Fighter

I have now educated myself to the point where I can't un-see the things I see, which means I have no choice but to sound off on politics from time to time.  As someone who claims to be a writer and artist and philosopher, I absolutely must have a voice in this.  That said, I don't want politics to dominate my life or my writing.  But the Democratic primary is heating up and I can feel an endless wave of political debate coming.  I hope to be writing love stories rather than political essays, but we'll see how it goes.

I do have to say a couple things, though.  One is that I like all the Democratic candidates, and I would love to see all of them beat Donald Trump's ass one by one.  I am not going to vote in the primary because I am an independent, but I will be happy to vote for whichever candidate emerges from that highly competitive field.  Whoever wins that race deserves to be President.  I think that's all I really need to say about it right now.  I'm gonna take the 10,000 foot perspective on this and not get too tangled up in the weeds - for now.

Politics is something that keeps sucking me in because it's something that's always fucked up.  As a lover and defender of society, it's a constant eyesore for me and I can't ignore it.  You ignore these things at your own peril.  It's a cliche that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, but it's true.  You have to speak up or you become a slave, real quick.  Freedom is never given, only taken.

That's why I feel like I have to use my voice.  I have to fight for freedom.  My journey as an artist is a fight for freedom.  That's the nature of the fray.  It's about freedom of speech and it's about freedom to live the way you want.  It's about the freedom to not have a shitty nine to five.  Instead I worked out and meditated and played guitar and read and wrote and cooked delicious food.  That's what I did today.  I had to fight for the freedom to do that.  Otherwise I would be in an office right now slaving away in a cubicle for someone else.  That is a fact.  And I know because I did that too.

I played my guitar and wrote today and had the most fun I have ever had in my life.  And there are some assholes who would say that I should give that up to go sit in an office like a slave so that I can repay student loans.  "Because they had to."  There's a whole generation of people out there who thinks that.  They think people like me should spend the prime years of our lives in indentured servitude because we wanted to get an education.

What a tragedy that would be.  What an absolute tragedy if I had given up today to sit in a cubicle or an office or whatever.  What a tragedy if I had decided to do anything other than exactly what I want, and be exactly who I want to be.  Today is one of the greatest days of my life.  I did exactly what I wanted to do.  I worked out.  Stretched.  Showered.  Meditated.  Played guitar.  Ate breakfast.  Smoked a joint.  Rode my bike to the coffee shop.  Wrote in my journal.  And I am now writing a blog.  It's an absolutely perfect day.  I wouldn't give it up for anything.  People who think that people like me shouldn't be able to live like this because we wanted to get an education are simply wrong.  I'm here to tell you on behalf of everyone like me, that you are wrong.  Take the L on this one, and rethink it.  I promise I will do what I want and enjoy every single moment of my life, right in front of your face, in spite of your opinions and partially motivated by them.  You can either be jealous, or start taking notes because I've got some good shit going on over here.  You can't beat me, so join me.  Take my hand, brother.  You're coming to a good place.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

My Divided Loyalties In Professional Baseball

I am from San Diego through and through.  I've lived here almost all my life and lived in almost every neighborhood.  I grew up here.  I remember Tony Gwynn and Hoffman and Greg Vaughn and Steven Finley and Kevin Brown and Ricky Henderson and Ken Caminiti playing in Jack Murphy Stadium.  I remember when they won the pennant and made it to the World Series.  I remember all of it.

But both of my parents are from St. Louis, which means they are Cardinal fans.  If you know anything about Cardinal fans, that means I was a Cardinal fan.  Cardinal fans are die-hard loyal.  Friendly and respectful, but die-hard loyal.

My favorite player growing up was Ozzie Smith.  The Wizard.   Still one of the slickest shortstops of all time.  He used to do backflips on the field too.  He was a 15-time All-Star.  Imagine being the best at your position 15 fucking times.  He won 13 Gold Gloves.  Those are video game numbers.  He was a first ballot Hall of Famer.  He could hit from both sides of the plate, too.  He was a real genius.  Way ahead of his time.

So I was born into a dichotomy, being both a Padres and a Cardinals fan.  There was nothing I could do about it.

I lost touch with baseball for a long time.  I had to.  I played baseball from when I was four years old until I was almost 20, and when that chapter was over it was time to move on to other things.

But now baseball is back.  The Padres have a great team and a beautiful park and a beautiful city and I am fucking pumped about it.  I am going to the game on June 3 with 120 people from my work, and I can't wait.  It's going to be great.  I might even blow some of my next paycheck on a Padres hat.  Glorious.

I'm not gonna lie.  The Padres and I have had some rough times together.  One time a law school friend got us tickets to a Giants game.  I was living in the Bay Area at the time.  It just so happened they were playing the Padres, which worked out perfectly.

Or not so perfectly.

The Padres got no-hit by the Giants the night before, and they were having another rough night.  I had to be the only Padres fan in the whole fucking stadium.  I still cheered for them the whole game though, in spite of being booed and hissed by all the cunty Giants Fan yuppies.

The Padres took an L that night, and I took another L because my sandal broke halfway through the game.  There were no sandals in the gift shop, so I had to walk the rest of the night with one fucking sandal.

Thankfully it was only a short distance to the place we were staying.  My homegirl's brother owned an insane condo on a high rise overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.  The bridge is over 70 stories tall and we were looking down on it, so we were way the fuck up there.  Floor to ceiling windows  Immaculate view of the whole Bay.  I asked my homegirl what he did to afford a place like that.  She didn't share details and I didn't ask why.  My buddy and I got absolutely nuked on whiskey and played Wii bowling until 5 in the morning until the sun was glistening on the Bay.  It was absolutely divine.  It turned out to be a great night, and a great fucking memory.

Maybe it's time for me to start repping the Padres again.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Naked And The Powerful

Last night my friend told me that people sometimes talk about me behind my back.  This is a familiar conversation.  I've had it before with other people.  The nature of the conversation was as follows:

Friend: "Sometimes people say things to me about you."

Me: "That's not my problem."

Friend: "But it is my problem, because I defend you."

Those weren't the exact words of the conversation, but that was the essence of it.  As much as I appreciate my friend defending me, he didn't have to.  I don't feel the need to defend myself from people who say things about me behind my back.  The reason I don't need to defend myself from them is because I know I already have power over them.  I know that I already have power over them because they haven't said a word about it to my face.

The fallacy that shit-talkers believe is that a person's power lies in other people's opinions about them.  What those people don't realize is that a person's power lies not in the opinion's of others, but in their ability to speak their own truth.  A person's power lies in their truth, and by hiding your truth from someone and talking behind their back, you are actually giving them power over you.  By hiding your truth from someone, you are giving them power over you.

There is only one reason you talk shit about someone behind their back, and it's because you're too scared to say it to their face.  You are too weak and cowardly and scared to raise the issue directly with the person.  Maybe you fear the person's ideas.  Maybe you fear their intellect.  Maybe you fear their influence.  Maybe you fear getting you ass kicked.  Whatever you were afraid of, you were afraid of something, and you were too cowardly to face that fear by talking directly to the person you have an issue with.

A man who knows this, and lives in his truth, is invincible from such attacks.  A person's power lies in their integrity, and every time you say something about someone that you wouldn't say to their face, you lose your integrity.  Every time you lose your integrity, you lose power; your word means less and less until eventually it means nothing.

I know I have no right to hold a grudge against someone without first talking to them about it, and I know other people have no right to hold a grudge against me without talking to me first.  Since these anonymous shit-talkers aren't man or woman enough to talk to me, their opinion means nothing.  It's also a good indication that whatever they said is false, because if it was true they shouldn't have any problem saying it directly to me in front of everyone.  In fact, that's a good rule to follow: don't say anything about someone that you wouldn't say directly to them in a room full of people.  If you wouldn't say it to them in a room full of people, then you probably shouldn't say it at all because it was probably you who was wrong and not them.

If you can't speak your truth to someone, then they have power over you.  So keep talking shit behind my back, minions.  You're giving me power over all you, and I love having power - especially over weaklings, liars and cowards.  You can keep talking shit and I will keep telling the truth to everyone, standing naked and beautiful for all the world to see.

Friday, April 12, 2019

A Man With Good Sense

A man with good sense
Is humble
And learns from everything
And everyone

A man with good sense
Pays attention to the feelings of those he loves
And makes it his objective
To make them feel good

A man with good sense
Is patient
And knows things will happen
As they're meant to

A man with good sense leads with his heart
Because he's conscious
That the mind knows nothing

A man with good sense
Doesn't judge himself or others
Because he's too busy enjoying the moment

A man with good sense
Tells the truth
Because he knows the truth
Is both a shield and a sword
And will protect him from evil

A man with good sense
Can discern who is believable
Because he himself is believable
Because he tells the truth
And keeps an open mind

A man with good sense
Realizes that his power lies
Not in other people's opinions about him
But in his own truth

God Bless America

Average Joe is the average American. He works a desk job at a company he doesn't own, which means he is already losing. He knows he's losing, too, which is why he hates Congress like he hates AIDS.

No matter how hard Joe works, he barely gets by. He has enough to pay his bills each month and maybe he'll get to go on a small vacation this year, but nothing more. He got a small raise last year, but then his rent went up, so the landlord pocketed that money. Joe feels stuck and frustrated and confused. He knows he's being fucked, but he doesn't know how.

It turns out that Joe is right, he is being fucked - and the reason he doesn't know how is because the fucking took place hundreds of miles away in Washington D.C. Joe was fucked when Joe's boss' boss' boss, Donnie Billionaire, paid off a Senator to put Donnie's interests ahead of Joe's.

The Senator was happy to oblige, even though there are millions more Joes than there are Donnies, because all the Senator cares about is getting re-elected and the Senator knows it's money that wins elections, not votes. So the Senator doesn't give a fuck what Average Joe thinks as long as he gets the money from Donnie Billionaire.

At their meeting, the Senator reassures Donnie that he is almost sure to win because he spent his entire past term gerrymandering the voting districts and raising money for his next campaign instead of fixing the roads, schools and healthcare system.

With the roads, schools and healthcare systems in disrepair, the Joes are pissed - and they should be. They're broke, their roads are shitty and overcrowded, and they can't afford school or healthcare. They're calling for the Senator's head. So what does the Senator do? Easy solution - blame the other party!

The Senator has been using this tried and true method for years. "It was those fucking Yellows!" he hollers into a crowd of Purples, making no mention of his meetings with Donnie or the payments he received. Joe hears this and he's more pissed off than ever, except now he's pissed off at the other Joes (the yellow ones) because he thinks it's their fault. He thinks it's their fault because the Senator lied, and the Senator keeps lying and lying and blaming the other Joes until the Joes hate each other so much that they've forgotten all about Donnie.

The Joe's don't know who Donnie is, yet Donnie controls their whole life. He tells them when they have to show up to work and when they can go home to their family. He even tells them when they can eat and shit. Yet the Joe's have never met Donnie and don't have access to him. That's because Donnie doesn’t want to be accessed by Joes. He wants to control their lives silently and invisibly without them knowing. The less they know, the better. If the Joes knew what Donnie was doing, they would strip him of everything, take all his money, tar and feather him and drag him down Broadway by his pathetic little pecker - and Donnie knows that.

Donnie controls Joe's whole life, and he doesn't even like Joe. In all likelihood, he hates Joe. He thinks he's better than Joe and that Joe will never be as good as him.

But Donnie owns Joe because Donnie owns the Senator.

God Bless America.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Poetry Reading: Palabra at La Bodega 4/11/2019

Here is my poetry "set list" for tonight at La Bodega.  I wrote all three of these poems today in the order they are posted, with "Take The Stage" being first.

Take The Stage
Happiness is what happens
When you're on stage
Pay close attention
See how you're feeling
It's happiness

It's what you've always wanted
And when you find it
You find happiness

So take the stage today
Take the stage every day
The stage in everything you do
Because there
You'll find happiness

Fools And Kings
The Fool and the King
Are one and the same

Show me a king 
Who says different
And I'll show you a king
Who is a liar

Show me a king who is not also a fool
And I'll show you a king 
Who is not a man at all

All men are fools

The greatest conclusion
Of our greatest minds
Is that we know nothing

So show me a king
Who is not also a fool
And I'll show you a king
Who is a liar

What is a joker
But a fake king

If there is indeed a difference
Between fools and kings
It's only that a real king
A real man
Is aware of his own ignorance

All men are fools
But only men with good sense
Are aware of it

What If I Write A Shitty Poem
What if I write a shitty poem
And everyone falls asleep

What if I have nothing to say
And can't even utter a peep

What if I run out of words
And rhythm
What if I run out of style

What if I stammer and spit
Like a freak
And Everyone thinks
That I'm wild

Then I'll write that poem anyway
I'll finish it to the end
It's my job to write shitty poems
And I'm not going to bend

Show me a poet
Whose never wrote a shitty poem
And I'll show you no poet at all
Because all poets know
That we write shitty poems
And we love them one and all

Monday, April 8, 2019

Struggle, But Struggle Well

Struggle, but struggle well
Struggle with the right people
Struggle for the right reasons
Struggle to keep you dreams alive,
no matter how far away they seem
Struggle to build lasting relationships
Struggle to be honest
Struggle for integrity
Struggle for love
Struggle for peace
Struggle for character
Struggle for passion
Struggle for meaning
Struggle with doubt
Struggle with fear
Struggle with ego
Struggle to be who you're meant to be
Struggle, but struggle well