we watched the July 4th fireworks popping off the Maine coast from the ocean ten miles away. I couldn’t take the picture so she painted what we saw.
this brilliant cascade of notes burst out and I imagined a psychedelic bouquet, hyperblooming in a cartoon-in-real-life vase. an aggressive kiss from my guitar to my Celestion Blue speaker. times like this when chance intervenes. I prepared well for the job, but the moment itself was the genius. I breathe well around that kind of air.
I said to my good friend: you and me have drank some of the same water. cosmically and otherwise. he smiled and agreed.
self-sequestered in a semi-underground bunker, riding out the inner storm, I’m looking for good ideas from the masters and my own instincts. having spruced up my outer self lately, I gaze toward unpurchasable treasures.
for this mission, I am gonna need more yerba mate, CBD, blueberries. and two bicycles. for this mission, I’m gonna need to make my mind and body the places to be.
it’s not so much my main man escaping. it’s that, too. but it’s also the weights coming off my shoulders.
it had to be hell. there was no way around it.
we walked and talked honestly. we’d walk down the street where, for a time, they both lived and we’d be honest to each other like strangers on a bus in a foreign city on a groggy Tuesday morning. when one was down, the other so often was up. we kept in balance like twins.
for me and her, as long as it’s up to inner strength, we are as golden as the sun rising over the point where the river meets the creek on some silver-plated morning.
part of you is me. with you, I am free. I’m glad they made two.
photo by Matt Park, NYC 2008
that freaking clown showed up again. I recall seeing him dive off the stage and onto the Snipes farm lawn. Olivia Crocker had some words with him, but i don’t know which ones. I’ll ask.
I did not notice my mom in the crowd. she told me that I sang great, played great, and that she loved me. I wonder which songs she saw and if I played them OK.
the yerba mate steeped a little too long and my joy switch has been flipped.
Alicia Keys doesn’t say “if.” she says “when.” lately, I’m trying to watch my language, too.
on a road in rural New Jersey yesterday, I reminded myself:
because life is short, we can only aim for the best.
I imagined myself on my most desired stages around the country and the world but doing the wrong songs. velvet failure.
Dad would’ve wished us peace in his aftermath. to him, that might’ve meant an extended beach trip. there will indeed be morning ocean walks soon in Delaware, North Carolina, New Jersey. but more than anything, the pleasure I am finding in this strange summer has to do with being still enough to listen to the voice of instinct. listening to my nerves; the tension in moments when nothing is wrong. the anger I carry with me from inconsequential moments from both recent and ancient history.
facing the fact that my longtime friend and collaborator coffee is exacerbating these things.
up in Churchville, I photograph yellow flowers and think of Marcella. I imagine the pleasure she’d find in her continued influence and I smile.
my energy seems feels stronger, calmer. I chalk it up to things like a decrease in caffeine, but maybe my dad’s spirit has integrated into mine and my sister’s in the way that I feel Marcella’s has.
as dad enters universal peace, I wish to find it here on earth.
that guy lives in my head now, but then again he already did. the goofy lyric changes he’d make in our favorite songs. his amazement at my musical development. his love for my sister and his grandchildren. a little anger about something in his worldview or his health choices. mostly i imagine him at my side, observing the world through my experiences and hoping I continue to choose to invite him.
I do. I invite you.