The Human Anthology

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The audio disk accompanying the written work has not been mastered or normalized.  All of the audio is pure and in the form of a demo, which means it is a work in progress.  Each track has been recorded in a different place as well as with different hardware and software.  The differentials in sound and quality are due to these factors.  I have done my best to make adjustments when necessary, however each track is as close to its original recording as possible.  I did not want to alter the sound too much because each one of these compositions mean so much to me, it was important not to interfere with the overall integrity of the tracks.




Introduction
 I was born in Pontiac, Michigan on June 12th, 1974, as Charles Ray Kendrick. Linda Carol Turvey Kendrick is my mother, and I have never met my biological father. I was raised by William Drayton Kendrick, which is the only father I shall ever know. My birth was a bit of a surprise to the world. My mother, somehow managed to conceal her pregnancy from everyone for nine months. That is, until her water broke, and I came out of her womb and into the arms of the universe.  Hence, once free, my spirit took a vow of freedom. Never to be hidden or repressed again. At least, not without reckoning.  I lived in Pontiac until I was three years old, then we moved to Pikeville, KY. My mother ended up re-marrying her high school sweetheart, W.D. Kendrick, after a divorce and long separation. While I am not totally clear on the reasons for the rekindling, I would assume it was because, being a single mother and trying to support the both of us, was more frightening than backtracking into the arms of misery.  At best, it was misery for me.  I have always been haunted by the notion that she knew she made a terrible mistake.  But then again, that could be the darkness of my inner dialogue with myself.  The darkness that lives within me, lurking in the shadows of romance and bitterness.

As we drove south, I remember watching the world, as it fell horizontally past the back seat window. State after state, I became more and more anxious to meet my new family, and to put faces with names of the people and places I had been told of. A new granny, a new house, a new life awaited me. I could hardly wait!  I must have fallen asleep for a while, because I recall being awakened by Don Williams on the radio, and my mother yelling at me “Look at the bridge, look at the bridge”! There it was, swinging from side to side, rickety and haunting. I was really scared that the suspension rods were going to snap, or the planks would just disappear from beneath us, and we would be swallowed up by the Big Sandy River in a matter of seconds. Not realizing it then, but as I watched that old bridge slowly shrink into nothingness, from the back seat window, there would be so many times I would find myself in wish, that all of our bones lay, scattered and eroding, on the bottom of the river bed since that night.

It wasn't all bad, however. I had a wonderful time in school. Greasy Creek Elementary was my great escape. I loved school! I can count on one hand, the number of days I missed from kindergarten, all the way to my last day of high school.  Being at home was never fun for me, and when I was home, I lost myself in music. My old Panasonic tape recorder/radio was my best friend. Late at night, on Thursdays and Saturdays, I would pop a blank cassette tape in and record a midnight folk segment from an AM station out of Hazard County. My dad would have bashed my tape player into a thousand pieces, had he known I was up that late recording music. I made sure the volume was turned down and I kept it pushed pretty far back beneath my bed, trying not to draw any unnecessary attention to my hobby. The next day when I would get home from school, I would listen to the segment, and learn every word of every song. I discovered a plethora of folk artists during the time:  John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler, Nanci Griffith, Maura O'connell and Iris Dement to name a few.    I loved folk music! The stories and melodies of this particular genre of music were so intimate and endearing to me. In the late 80's artists like Tracy Chapman, Indigo Girls and Suzanne Vega were popularizing folk music again, a reemergence of sorts. Not since Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Jim Croche and Bob Dylan, had there been mainstream folk artists, with mainstream exposure, which unfortunately fizzled in the late 70's. This new sound paved the way for artists like Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Shawn Colvin, Ani Diffranco, and Michelle Shocked, who recently pissed off the world with her anti-gay antics, which was really odd since she had always been a poster girl for lesbian folk artists. Nonetheless, all of these artist have had a huge influence on my writing and the structure of my compositions. Without them, I can't imagine who I would be today.   My first guitar was given to me when I was 13 years old. The strings were so rusty and tight, my fingers bled from practicing so much.

I began writing music before I even knew how to strum a chord. In elementary school I had a wonderful music teacher by the name of Angela McClain. She inspired me to play piano, sing and dance. Whatever I wanted to do, she would push me and motivate me to follow my voice. I don't know if she realized what she was doing, maybe she did it for everyone, but she was the first person to make me feel special and to let me know that I could cultivate my talents through so many different outlets. Millard High School, would allow me another wonderful influence, J.D. Hall. He taught me all about the guitar and introduced me to some very talented writers, artists and musicians. He loved the songs I would write, and he made me feel validated and gifted. I confided in him about things that would happen at home and he would tell me to write about it, instead of trying to write about things I had no knowledge of, like relationships and girls. There is a song in this volume which was born during this time, Penny On Heads.  Looking back on my early work, I see the depressive nature that would be responsible for my woe ridden lyrics and melodies.

I still have a lot of my written lyrics from back then, which are pretty pathetic, and my mother has a bunch of my old recorded tapes with all the audio. I haven't heard them in years, but I plan on dedicating one whole volume of The Human Anthology to those sessions.   My venture in this volume is to pay homage to folk music and cover a wide range of styles from traditional to contemporary. The reason I decided to send the book out into the world along with the music, is because I couldn't let the music go without their accompanying stories. I thought about doing video blogs for each song, but that would have been too progressive for my “folk” attitude. Besides, there is nothing more intimate than an old fashioned book.  The chapters of the book are in chronological order in relation to the audio CD.

I suggest you find a nice quiet place to relax, grab some headphones and read each chapter, then listen to the audio along with the lyrical read. I hope you enjoy what I have laid out here, and I am so excited to keep expanding my body of work over the next few years. This is Volume 1, Human.



Chapter 1


Human

First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude for taking time out of your busy life to spend with me. The Human Anthology will be divided up into three volumes. Originally, I was going to compile everything into one giant project, however, to maintain the integrity of the music, I think, breaking it up and releasing a little at a time will constitute for a better experience overall. I have been writing music since I was thirteen years old and never really considered sharing it until about 2003. The more I entertained the thought of publishing, the more I put myself out there. The more I put myself out there, the more I realized how important it is to share. Of course criticism is not always great, however, the key is to listen and turn the negatives into positives, which of course put me on the path to The Human Anthology.  I came up with the concept of The Human Project in spring of 2013. I was watching the news, which I seldom do, when they ran a segment about Warren Jeffs. As I listened, I could not believe what I was hearing. I couldn't believe how our government could let something like this escalate to the mess it had become. Innocent people, being victimized, brainwashed and enslaved.

For the most part, I stay away from politics, religion, or people's spiritual ventures. Growing up gay, in a small rural town in Eastern Kentucky, with two agnostic parents, taught me to respect other people no matter what the circumstance. I understood at a very young age, everyone has a story and how each our stories intertwine and we are all somehow connected.    The Jeffs’ story however, plagued my mind and my thoughts spilled out onto paper over the course of the next few weeks. I had no idea what I was trying to write, and for sure I could not find a melody to express what I was feeling. I was about to abandon the whole idea of trying to tackle current issues, especially political issues, when I found myself browsing my news feed on facebook, and there it was. One of my “friends” from back home had posted an anti-gay marriage bulletin, they were using in their local church to solicit support against anti-gay marriage laws.

Living in Southern California, I forget sometimes, how fortunate I am to be a part of a progressive community, where time moves forward not backward. I engaged in an all-out social media war that cost me the relationships of a few of my family members, as well as a few so called “friends”.  I was horrified! I had never been into any kind of altercation for my sexuality, and I especially avoided social media rhetoric, dealing in any kind of hate or ill judgment or ignorance. This circumstance, coupled with Jeffs, all of the anti-gay marriage campaigns, as well as the Sandy Hook school shootings, were more than I could process. In this dark place, I decided to look for my voice and to start being more aware of the people and situations around me. I had a newfound sense of compassion for people in general and for the first time, I felt grown up with a pulsing sense of responsibility. I realized how far from home I had traveled and how the simple, homegrown philosophies, I once had, totally failed me that day. Finally, I felt I had a purpose, and I began a mission to connect my manhood to my childhood. The words came easily and melodies swarmed around like butterflies in my head for days. So I began to write and The Human Project was born!   Human, was the first piece to escape the confines of my tortured mind.

Then came, Ready for Life, Older, Lazy Eye and Anymore. All but Lazy Eye will be featured in volume 1.  As things started to unfurl, I found myself growing and changing in unfamiliar ways. A sort of, metamorphosis if you will. I was so inspired! I quit my job and devoted myself full time to The Human Project. I wanted to create something that would be intimate and memorable that would reflect my personality and my voice as a modern folk artist. As far as the recordings, I knew I wanted a very raw sound, so I recorded everything live then incorporated filters and background vocals. Eventually, however, I tried to get the guitar and main vocal tracks down in one take.

When I play live, I always tell stories about my music and to have each song going out into the world without its purpose, was a very emotional act to ponder. It was this fear that motivated me to expand the project and do more than just the audio disk. My goal is to try and create the intimacy and purpose of the live experience through music and words in a non-traditional approach, bringing you closer to me and me closer to you, while reminding each ourselves. We are all capable, spiritual, weak, strong, sensitive, ignorant, and brilliant, while reveling in a constant state of being human.


HUMAN

Your opinions do not matter son,
you don't have the right to be heard 
No one wants to hear you 

Everyone will be more comfortable 
if you don't say another word 
I'm so tired of this shit 
how can people forget 
We are human 

We fight to keep our guns 
because we're afraid of everyone 
even ourselves 
Everyone's scared 

While we point and lay the blame 
another kid dies 
And no one wants to blame themselves 
We're all to blame 
I'm so tired of this shit 
how can people forget 
we are human 
you know you know you know you know 

And in Texas lives a man 
with 15 wives on a plot of land 
and its okay 
It’s not okay 
Still everyone blames the government 
and hides behind religion 
So it's okay 
It's not okay 

And your cockeyed views of equality 
Fruit apples poisoned with hypocrisy 
And the seeds from this mess 
make the people forget 
We are human 

Don’t shed tears 
Don’t feed the fears 
that make you weak 
Don’t cry now 

Use your voice 
You’re capable of intelligent speech 
Don't you let them forget 
that you'll never forget 
you are human? 





Chapter 2


Older

 I am sure, with every couple managing a long term relationship, we shall, without doubt, find ourselves in the throes of war at some point in time. Older, is a sort of truce ballad. My white flag if you will.   Glenn and I went through a really rough patch about a year ago, and I know that it was my restlessness and dissatisfaction with my life that brought about, most of the controversy. In hindsight, I suppose I was experiencing growing pains or a midlife-crisis, perhaps. I was feeling very unaccomplished and unsatisfied with my job and my life in general. Also, I was toying with the notion of retiring my guitars and taking a hiatus from writing for an indefinite period of time. Possibly, forever! I wasn't able to write anything worth listening to, and I wasn't really setting myself up for situations in my life that would lend me any inspiration. At least that is how I was feeling at the time. I was also toying around with composing digitally and strumming around on an electric guitar. Neither of which ended up inspiring me. At a total crossroads, I think I created drama in my relationship because I was bored and uninspired.   As horrible and as scary as it was, inadvertently, I ended up writing about my relationship as well as the apparent quest I was on that slowly began to reveal itself. I worked diligently to try and unblock all of my pathways that had become clogged, mostly due to frustrations that were self-inflicted. Ultimately, I re-worked this piece about a hundred times and it kept getting darker and darker. Over and over, I experimented with different verses, melodies and tempos. Finally, it started to take on a sense and sound of reconciliation and love. Once I had the last verse, the feelings of accomplishment and pride began to take hold.   Upon completion, I realized how much I love Glenn, and what an inspiration he is in my life. This song made me realize, I had all the material and inspiration I needed right in front of my lazy eyes the whole time.   Older is about self-analysis, dissection, rejuvenation and the cyclical journey of a wonderful relationship.





OLDER

I don't want to fight us anymore, I don't want to be your shoulder Take a look at what's washed upon the shore, I've never been this lost before

Every time that we make love, I get distracted, your hands wear gloves Could you be any colder, could this love affair be over

What happened to the fight or flight, stuck in the middle? Of some crazy hindsight And I'm too afraid to say anything, too afraid to run So we hide behind the picture frames and bite each other’s tongues and claim We're just getting older

So we up and go to China, thinking we'll find ourselves out there In the temple of my discontent, while wondering how my youth was spent And how I just keep getting older forever


You've always been the only source of light that keeps me warm Without you I am lost, I'm lost right now, will you come home

'Cause I don't want to fight us anymore, I just want to be your shoulder We'll knock the dust off these old picture frames  Watch a movie drink some cheap champagne, And talk about getting older together 'Cause we'll just keep getting older forever



Chapter 3


Ready For Life

I have never considered myself to have ever had an identity crisis, however, I would think the void one dwells in when there is no inkling of purpose is almost the same thing. At his point in my life, I feel capable and very creative. I am inspired by myself and others, both from negatives and positives.  It is an amazing thing to have unfavorable experiences in life.  Especially when we take these experiences and use them as fertilizer to cultivate our greatness.   Ready For Life, is about embracing change and stepping outside of one's comfort zone. Traveling the world and experiencing other cultures make me feel so insignificant, yet so inspired at the same time. I think, feeling insignificant can bring about some pretty amazing opportunities for change. Though the word “insignificant” carries a pretty negative connotation, being associated with suicide, bullying, and self-loathing, never forget, there is also a bright side of the moon. 

When I am overwhelmed and feeling insignificant, it is mostly during  those times when I am looking at the mind boggling vastness of the world. Each of us are so fortunate to exist! Just to think, out of an unmeasurable amount of living matter, I have this one little body, this one mind, a name, a voice, feelings, an identity all to myself. Then I look at other people, and how unique I am, how different they are and how embracing the differences in people provides the opportunity to be the best “self” one can become. By being a better “self,” we become integral parts of our communities, schools, churches, and relationships in general. This song is about that “ah ha” moment when I realized, how significance can be born from feeling insignificant, and how certainty can be born from uncertainty.  Only one thing is certain in life; we shall live until we die.  We fruit then fall! In these moments and thoughts, I am at the ripest and most fruitful period of my life and these notions are the seeds that spawned my inspiration for Ready For Life.





READY FOR LIFE

We fruit, then fall And the seasons have no impact on us at all We fruit, then fall Never deafened to the sounds of nature’s call

Every day I feel you Waxing and waning in your desire Some days I then become you Drifting in that same temporal tear

We fruit, then fall And the seasons have no impact on us at all We fruit, the fall We’re not impervious to the rot that always follows

How do you know when it's right? How do you know when you're ready for life? How do you know when it's time to take flight? How do you know when you're ready for life?

We fruit, then fall And the seasons have no impact on us at all We fruit, then fall I don't think I've ever known myself at all

How do you know when it's right? How do you know when you're ready for life? How do you know when it's time to take flight? How do you know when you're ready for life?





Chapter 4


Rooftops

I originally intended for Rooftops to live out its life as a poem. As time passed, whenever I would read it, I found myself singing it. The organic meter gave birth to an organic melody, which was yearning to be something greater than a poem. Not to understate the flow and beauty of metered poetry, but music adds another dimension, poetry in motion, I suppose.   The song is about accepting love into your life and taking accountability for self- humiliation, and wanting to see a shift in bad behaviors. In order to accept love, it's important to relate to it, no matter in what form it appears. It is also important to understand that life is full of contradictions, be them owned by ourselves and thrown out onto others, or owned by others and thrown out onto ourselves.  When I first met Glenn, I had just gone through a horrible detox, from all of the poison I had been putting into my body for the previous ten years.

For sure, I was not in a place to have a relationship, and I was not looking. We met casually, and were instantly inseparable. He had the perfect life, the perfect family, and not a worry in the world. We were very different people. Never had I been so confused!  I knew I wanted to be with him, but I had already made promises to myself to take better care of “me,” and not worry about anything or anyone else. I had already lost the majority of my friendships; I was the only one of my posse that decided to get clean.  The thought of getting close to someone, and being vulnerable, not to mention, taking a gamble on losing something else, was unbearable. This poem became my promise to myself, to let go and be vulnerable, take chances, and tell my story. The truth will set you free, and it did.    Needless to say, I made the right decision in terms of being vulnerable. We have been together for over 11 years, and we are very happy. Life is all about taking chances. When you stop taking chances, you stop living. Beating yourself up for past mistakes will only lead to future disasters. 

Note to self:  Thank you! 


Rooftops

There's a stairway to my attic
But it's really hard to get to
And if you manage to climb my stairs Be careful of the rafters,
They can really cut deep, they can really cut deep
There's a corner where the ceiling's really high In that corner, you will find me even higher
I'll be naked I'll be laughing
I'll be angry from the tire
From crawling through my rooftops
Searching for desire
But at the same time I love you
But I'm a little more than tired
From crawling through my rooftops
Searching for desire
Like you I have found nothing
But a lifeless form of nothing
Standing in a corner
Of a place that nearly killed me
I guess I'll say I'm sorry
For not telling you before
 It’s so good for my body
Some things need restore
I'm sure someday you'll join me
 In a corner of your own
And maybe then, you'll surely see
Why were all alone
A simple hesitation before you climb any higher
In these lines the contradictions In the search for desire


Chapter 5


The Wise Ones

 New research says we should forget our first love affairs - because later ones will never live up to their ecstatic passion. Rose-tinted tripe? Well, I think it depends on who you fell for.  According to scientists, we would all do better to forget our first loves - because they give us impossible expectations of relationships in later life and lead to disappointment. But is that really the case? And what happens if your memories of first love are terrible?  From all the literature I have read, most researchers believe that we set an unreasonable benchmark with our first loves that will never be obtained later in life. At first I found this to be ridiculous, until I re-visited my early feelings of love and the excitement surrounding the whole experience. 

“The Wise One's”, encompasses a moment in time, when things I thought I had forgotten, things I thought I had locked up in a box and swallowed the key to,  resurfaced at the most inopportune of times. All of a sudden, the box explodes and all of those memories came billowing out like a thick fog, clouding everything I thought I was sure of in the “now”. Shedding a not so dim light on unresolved issues and my inability to follow through on anything. 

It was about seven years into my current relationship, when I received a call from my first real experience with love, Eric Hines. He informed me, he had recently stopped taking his medication for Epilepsy, which he had been on for a few years. We talked for a couple of hours, most of which were spent reminiscing. We were very passionate, we fought a little, and laughed a lot. Concluding that we would probably still be together, had he not been such a whore.   

We stayed connected for a couple of months and talked once or twice a week. Though I was very much in love at the time, I could not help but allow those feelings of young love to take me over, and I fantasized about what it would have been like if we had stayed together.   Over the course of a couple of months, as we were reconnecting, he started having seizures due to epilepsy , and he become very frustrated and disorganized.  The medication he was on made him depressed and unable to think clearly, so he decided to stop taking all of them.  He had an episode at work and unfortunately, his foreman requested that he not return, for he was a liability. He also lost his driver’s license, and became confined to the house, all of which would inevitably lead to his suicide. 

Not so out of his character, he called me quite late one night and asked if he could visit me. My current partner had just lost his father, and we were in mourning, trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered family. Ultimately, I had to say no to his request. I told him when everything cleared up and returned to normal, or at least a semblance of normal, we would revisit the idea.

Needless to say, I never got the chance. The next morning I received a phone call from his mother telling me he had taken his own life in the middle of the night. I was absolutely devastated. The guilt I carry is more than I can even express in words. I have come to terms with most everything, however, the sadness still looms, and it never gets easier.

Initially, the lyrics were a poem and then melody and notes took hold of them and it practically wrote itself. I have a lot of material from this period of time, however this piece sums up everything in a nutshell.   With all my love and all my heart, I will never forget my first love, and nothing will ever compare to that experience and I am very happy living in that reality. As well, that very first relationship gave me the confidence I needed to call upon later in life to cultivate, yet another wonderful relationship. 

 Note to Eric:  I miss you terribly :O)


The Wise One's

Oh, you've come 
Brought you back from and odd flame 
Flicker then undone 
Why you got to be so cold in here 
It’s going to take a lot of protection 
Sliver through the holes got to break on up though
Time is the ice sheathed over the blue you 
Begging up to the sun in hopes she'll recognize you 

But what if told you  
I could explain You all you mysterious ways, well
 Maybe I'll just hold you And we'll wish away 
All the ugly things  T
hat have staked their claim on you 

Oh we're young  
We’ll leave virtue for the minds of the wise one's
Waiting on life to get less complicated
Running a race with the ghosts of the jaded
As far as I have heard  
We all have a curfew 
When the lights go out 
Make sure the 
Heavens can hear you
Begging up to the sun, in hopes she'll recognize you 
And what if I told you I know the way 
Through you and your delirious maze, well 
Maybe I'll just show you  
And we'll make a fast escape From all the ugly things 
That have staked their claim on you




Chapter 6

Anymore

 The words happy and content, can function as synonyms, but it could also be said that happiness is more intense than contentment, and perhaps also more fleeting in many instances; while the word contentment contains within it an implication of low-grade, long-term happiness. A person can perhaps be content, which is to say bearably happy, without being truly happy. A content person can suddenly experience true happiness, and so, say to themselves:  "It doesn't get much better than this."  Happiness is a state of considerable pleasure and cheer. The happy person is often gleeful, light, and even euphoric. Happiness is wonderful! The mind and body may be overcome with elation. It is a beautiful place to be! However, happiness may come and go. Contentment, on the other hand, is often a way of life. Pondering these differences, was the precursor to writing, Anymore. 

We have all been there. That place where there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Stuck in a job, working for someone else, or waking up every day in a relationship that seems non-progressive. Both of those scenarios fit my mental and emotional states during this time. The fear of never being anything other than what I am today, is the drive that helps me to maintain a constant state of change, which in turn, constitutes my happiness. It takes a level of commitment and perseverance that proves to be ever so exhausting to sustain this plateau of happiness, which in turn, keeps my creative juices ever flowing. Of course, I can't always maintain. For there are times of utter hopelessness and fatigue where I will find little jewels, like Anymore, lying in wait. However, my depressive ventures are short and sweet. Upon visiting contentment, she never leaves me empty handed. Perhaps the coming up from a low, is when I am most happy, because “happiness,” is where I always want to be. It is in that place, my soul shall give no allowances to contentment. It is in that place where I am most like myself. Oh, the contradictions!   I could continue on with the debate, however instead of drive myself crazy, I wrote Anymore.  Note to self:  All these words familiar have new meaning.




Anymore

My addictions to the world You cannot comprehend Our differences are vast In multiples of ten to a million I'm not feeling I'm not feeling you anymore I'm not feeling I'm not feeling  I'm not feeling you anymore, 

You've broken my intuition You've broken my pride Left a wake of anger In the wake of my eyes 'cause I'm not seeing I'm not seeing I'm not seeing you anymore I'm not seeing I'm not seeing I'm not seeing you anymore

Wouldn't it be lovely? If we could have our hearts erased A kind of heart hypnosis Just to save our faces I'm not happy I'm not happy  I'm not happy here anymore I'm not happy I'm not happy I'm not happy here anymore

I'm not going to teach you Anymore lessons love So watch me while I leave you For the both of us
'cause I'm not living I'm not living I'm not living here anymore I'm not living I'm not living I'm not living here anymore

My addictions to the world You cannot comprehend Our differences are vast In multiples of ten to a million I'm not feeling I'm not feeling you anymore I'm not feeling I'm not feeling  I'm not feeling you anymore, 

And all these words familiar Have new meaning And all these things I shall leave here Never find myself, never find myself Never find myself, I'm going to find myself again

I'm not feeling I'm not feeling I'm not feeling you anymore I'm not seeing I'm not seeing I'm not seeing you anymore I'm not happy I'm not happy I'm not happy here anymore I'm not living I'm not living I'm not living here anymore



Chapter 7


Scattered

Unconventional format time :O)....

 I am going to take a different approach in telling the story of Scattered. The song is about a conversation that occurred between myself, a very self-destructive friend, and Glenn. I will break it down verse by verse so as to clarify how the dynamics become relevant.

You’re' not even too shy to Ask of me to stop his coming 'round Your pupils are so hungry I can't even see the brown

 This verse is a conversation with Glenn. There was a time in my relationship with a particular friend, we shall call Jay, which became very destructive.  Everyone saw the disaster that was to come, except for me. Jay’s progression from Raspberry Stoli and Sprite to methamphetamines, seemed to somehow occur at light speed. I was no stranger to this process, however I believed so much in our friendship and in him, in general, I really believed he was going to be ok.  Glenn, of course being my boyfriend, equipped with a built in set of control issues, was of no use to me here, really, because whenever he would try and alert me of the disaster occurring in “slow-plosion,”  right before my very eyes, I would just accuse him of being jealous or trying to control me. The references in the first verse, about dilated pupils, is a comparative to the state one is in when using methamphetamines. Some people get high from drugs, some from pain, some from sex, and some from controlling other people.  No matter what the vice is, the foundation is always obsession.  I suppose I was obsessed with a very unhealthy relationship, and addicted to joy it brought me whenever it was good.

Half each day you know my ears are plugged To the annoyances I've found In the hallway of a strange way We're in what city what town

 The second verse is referencing the ugly truth about “only seeing what we want to see.” One of the most painful losses I have had to endure in my adult life is the disintegration of my relationship with Jay. In hindsight, I did overlook a lot of the dysfunction that ultimately would cost us our friendship, and I take full responsibility for my ignorance. I suppose the safety of my relationship with Glenn kept me happy and out of the minutia of Jay’s destruction. Therefore, I only lived in the best parts of our haphazard fun, and left him to deal with his affliction on his own. On the other hand, as we started to pull away from each other, I really did try and help him, after all, I had been in his shoes before, and I know the difference between wanting and needing help. Knowing that our relationship was close to dissolving, I thought I would practice tough love and I could be the one to “fix” him. 

While half each day I know your eyes are closed To the hatefulness you so once opposed And in the alleyway there's a suitcase And no one wants to take the clothes

 This verse is basically addressing the issues of restlessness and complacency that began to take hold once Jay began using methamphetamines frequently, initially once every two weeks or so, then weekly, then daily.   I could see him starting to morph into a whole new person. It was almost like he just packed up, moved out, and merely abandoned his own body, which I suppose are still searching to be reunited. I just had this image of him crawling out of his own ear, tossing an empty suitcase out of his bedroom window, quietly escaping into the dark, steamy shadows of some rat infested ally.  While his body lay in a strange bed, helpless and unaware of the fight that lies ahead.

My how things have changed Who is next and who’s to blame For the displacement of all this pain What does it matter let it rain

For half each day I know the sun will shine Of every city and every town And all these things that once were yours and mine Are broken scattered all around


Once his drug-use had consumed him, as a last-ditch effort, I found him on a train to Vegas, on a mission to move there with his cousin, in hopes to detox and get a job. I thought this was going to be the best thing that could have happened for him.  However, my hopes were not validated. It was a disaster! This time, it was a whole new ball game. I guess the drugs in Vegas are better than in San Diego, because he hit an all new low. One of our mutual friends called me and told me he had casually mentioned to her that he was writing a book, and that he was going to interview Rhianna, for an article he was writing for some magazine. Okay, so I know in California, this is a pretty normal conversation. However, if you knew Jay, you would understand why our mutual friend had an anxiety attack and was going to call the police to pick him up. She was really having a meltdown. Frankly, I couldn't believe what I was hearing either. Knowing the power of meth, I knew he was in for the long hall with his addiction.  At his point nothing surprised me.    Upon his return to San Diego, I ended up running into him at a local bar we all frequent, and I knew the moment I looked into his eyes, my friend was gone forever. Needless to say, he made a spectacle of himself that night, and it was pretty embarrassing. My heart was broken, because I realized, at that very moment, every laugh, every tear and every moment we had invested into our friendship was cashed out and gone forever.

You may as well have been off to war You came back shell shocked You're not pretty anymore All these things we worked a lifetime for Are tossed and scattered all around Broken shattered on the ground


Scattered

You’re' not even too shy to Ask of me to stop his coming 'round Your pupils are so hungry I can't even see the brown

Half each day you know my ears are plugged To the annoyances I've found In the hallway of a strange way We're in what city what town

You may as well have been off to war You came back shell shocked You're not pretty anymore All these things we worked a lifetime for Are tossed and scattered all around Broken shattered on the ground

While half each day I know your eyes are closed To the hatefulness you so once opposed And in the alleyway there's a suitcase And no one wants to take the clothes

My how things have changed Who is next and who’s to blame For the displacement of all this pain What does it matter let it rain

For half each day I know the sun will shine Of every city and every town And all these things that once were yours and mine Are broken scattered all around You may as well have been off to war You came back shell shocked You're not pretty anymore All these things we worked a lifetime for Are tossed and scattered all around Broken shattered on the ground


















Chapter 8

Watermark
 Have you ever wanted to go out with someone so badly, and finally you get the chance, then you slowly begin to realize that you would rather never see this person again, and you're not sure why you ever wanted to go out with them in the first place. Well, that is the story of Watermark.  There is a club in San Diego called Bourbon Street that was a lot of fun when I first moved here. I guess it was around 2001. That was my favorite place to go, and one of the only artsy places, period. I would go there every Thursday and Friday to hang out and listen to music. There was a guy I met there and his name was Miguel. He was so cute! I could hardly wait until Thursday rolled around every week, because I wanted to hang out with him, desperately. We never really talked about going out or hooking up. I, however, dreamt of the day he would ask me out. Finally, one Friday night after the club had let out onto the street, he asked me for my phone number and then stated that maybe we wouldn't have to wait to till Thursday to hang out, and mentioned hanging out on other occasions. So, I smiled, gave him my number and then hailed a cab home. I didn't go out at all that weekend, because I waited by the phone for him to call and he never did. All week I waited, and still nothing. Of course, I went to Bourbon Street on Thursday, and he did not show up. This was the first Thursday in months that he had not been there. I just knew he had died after I had given him my number. I am the curse of death! Every time someone likes me, something horrible happens to them. Keep in mind, at this time nothing really tragic had ever really happened to anyone that had liked me, but for some reason, I just kept imaging a thousand ways he could have died, and maybe some of my exes from my past were dead as well and I didn't even know. This whole week was a disaster! Ecstasy was calling my name. I needed a good roll to wash him out of my brain. So off and out on a Friday night I went with the girls to dance the night away.  Upon my return home, I noticed a  message on my answering machine. There it was! The big red light, flashing slowly in the dark, in sync with my every heartbeat. I was so scared to play it! What if it was Miguel, and he was at Bourbon Street looking for me. Maybe he was found in the river and my
phone number was the only contact the police could find! I wanted to freak out, but I was still feeling too good from my molly to let it bother me too deeply.    Beep! “Hey Charly, it’s Miguel. I just wanted to say I'm sorry for asking you for your number, but I am even sorrier I haven't called you. I am in a really bad place right now and I don't want to get involved with anyone at the moment, so I hope you understand. Maybe in the near future we can try again, and maybe then I'll be in a better place. Take care. Oh yeah! I'm not going to be hanging out at Bourbon Street anymore either I need to save money so I can find a new place to live.” I was so embarrassed and angry. How could I get dumped before even going on a date? Situations like this, was precisely why I was never a regular in the dating scene.   About a year after this whole ordeal, I ended up running into him again at Bourbon Street; the same bar, ordering the same drink, and the same cute smile.  I had changed my number right after our little bump, so we were not in contact at all, until now. He was so excited to see me, he bought me a drink and instantly, he stated that he was really sorry about what happened and he was now in a place where he would like to date me, if I wanted.  Definitely, I wanted to, but I was really worried that he would disappear again. We decided just to hang out casually and see how things would organically evolve. I must say, it was quite nice for about a month and then we started making out all the time. It's very hypnotic and easy to lose sight in a situation when your mind is being seduced by someone else's lips.  Everything was going great, until he asked me to spend the night with him.  His gesture was poised with a big bright twinkle in the middle of his big, beautiful, brown eyes. This was it! Yes!  I felt we were ready to go to the next level.  The only bad thing was, I had to work the next day, so I could not stay over until the evening after.  When I got off work the next day, I quickly got ready and rushed right over to his apartment. We had some wine and he cooked dinner, everything was perfect. It was time! We went into his room and we were hanging out for a few minutes and I was looking around at his pictures and he appeared to be very clean and organized, which was a good thing. I must say I was
a little worried. Looking at all of his photographs he had of himself, I realized, I had never seen him without his hat off. He had a beautiful head of hair in all of the pictures I saw, so I was expecting the same thing when he pulled his ball cap off that night. In the midst of me trying to piece together his, seemingly, fun and exciting life from all of the things in his room, he turned to me and said, “I have to show you something, but I don't want you to freak out.” Oh my God! He is disfigured or something, I was so freaking out! How can you ask someone not to freak out, and expect them not to freak out? So I asked him what it was and expressed my need to know immediately or I would leave. He sat down on the end of the bed and pulled his hat off, and he was totally bald on top of his head. It didn't even look that bad. He was so cute anyway, it wasn't that big of a deal. But instantly, I started thinking back to a bunch of awkward moments we had shared and it all started to make sense to me now. For some reason something clicked inside of me and just like that,  I didn't like him anymore. Gone! The only thing I could think of in my mind at this point was how to tell him, it's not because of his hair, or lack thereof, rather. What was I going to do? I told him I just wanted to cuddle, till morning, and so we did.   When the sun came up I got up and got dressed, as he pretended to be engrossed in sleep. I found a paper and pencil on this desk, and I wrote him a note, while pretending not to notice he was pretending not to notice what I am doing. “I had a really great time last night, however I don't think we are going to work out. Thanks for everything, I will call you.”   That was pretty much it. He showed up at my work a couple of times, but we never talked. My co-workers said they saw him hiding from me as I walked through the office spaces in my department. I found this to be a little creepy, but then again, I already knew he was a little strange. I ended up meeting Glenn the week after I broke it off with him, so I don't know if I would have went back or not. Although, about 7 years later, I ran into him a leather bar where my friend Jay and I were shooting pool. He was in the bathroom getting pissed on. I was pretty sure at that moment I had made the right decision.  Everything works out for the best I suppose.  Note to Miguel:  It was not your appearance that
frightened me that night it was the hollow of your eyes. In that moment, I remembered that night, when you first took my number and never called me, and the message you left about your messy life. I saw a scared little boy, broken and lost, and I knew I couldn't be a part of that. Especially after what I had just been though myself. You are a beautiful guy, but I think we would have been ugly together.  Annnnnd, I actually wrote the song seven years later, when I saw you in the bathroom at the leather bar.
Watermark

Boy you sure have a lot of troubles these days I hope you can find your way over from that place Could it be choice aye? Could it be fate?

I've never seen anything so cruel As the burdens put on your heart by you

How can you show your pretty face? Living in a constant state of disgrace Don't really want you hanging around this place If it we only that easy to erase you

Ding Dong bell There's your warning not to dwell For too long in your hell Throw you pennies in the well

I've never seen anything so cruel As the sadness that has watermarked you

Are you going to give it up baby? Are you going to stand up baby? Take responsibility for your life

I've never seen anything so cruel As the sadness that has watermarked you

Are you going to give it up baby? Are you going to stand up baby? Take responsibility for your life








Chapter 9

Critical Moment
 Critical Moment came from the same window of time as Rooftops. I go through phases where I will play it to death, and then I'll forget about it for a while. I have always loved the melody and the rhythm, but I felt it was always missing something. Recently, I have been experimenting with different types of percussion and beats, so I decided to incorporate beats with my guitar tracks. The result is the album version from this project. Live, this song has a whole other feeling, but I would still say it's a little more contemporary than my other music.  Ultimately, the song reflects my fears of vulnerability and emotional engagement.  From a theme perspective, you can probably see the relationship to Rooftops.  There are many more songs from this time in my life, however I will group most of them together in volume 2.  I plan on doing an acoustic version of Critical Moment within that set as well.   The overall mood and flow of this version, is a good representation of how I felt at that time in my life. Very relaxed, and chill. I am happy it has taken on a new life, because it reminds me of my dear friend Lyne R. She was a co-worker of mine, and we hung out drank wine and smoked pot, a lot. Whenever we were about to pass out, she would say “play critical enjoyment, or whatever that song is that you wrote about being critical.”  Of course these words were coming out of a very incapable mouth, which was always a sign that she was probably getting ready to piss on my sofa again.   I had so much fun recording this song, and this will always be a part of any set I perform. The words are pretty straight forward and it means exactly what it says.    Note to Lyne R:  You were the best! 








Critical Moment

Critical, Critical, Critical Critical, Critical, Critical It's a critical moment You lift me up too Every time I kiss you A state of emergency So for my enjoyment You make me crazy I'm pretending to miss you

For as much as I wanna stay  Is how plentiful the reasons I should walk away  And just forget about it Ah ha forget about it

It's a critical moment You push me up to  Every time I touch you A state of emergency So for my enjoyment You make me crazy I'm pretending to touch you In my time of need

My heart has never been a place for a lover From one hard man to another Come now......

It's a critical moment You push me up to  Every time I kiss you A state of emergency So for my enjoyment You make me crazy I pretend that I'm with you In my time of need







For as much as I wanna stay  Is how plentiful the reasons I should walk away  And just forget about it Ah ha forget about it

It's a critical moment

My heart has never been a place for a lover From one hard man to another Come now......

Critical, Critical, Critical Critical, Critical, Critical


You lift me up to  A state of emergency You make me crazy  In this time of need You push me up to A state of emergency You make me crazy  In this time of need It’s a critical moment

Critical, Critical, Critical


Chapter 10

The Delta
 I wrote The Delta in 2005. Glenn and I had been together for about three years at that point. Our relationship was quite rocky and I was looking at every natural disaster occurring in the world, as a metaphorical comparative to my unconventional relationship. Watching the news one day, I had heard mention that the floods from Hurricane Katrina had been so bad that the Mississippi river had actually shifted its path to the delta in order accommodate the flooding. I could definitely relate!   We were only three years into our relationship at this time, and in gay years, three years is an eternity. For most, we look at gay dating years like dog years. When someone asks how long Glenn and I have been together, and we say “12 years,” some people almost have a stroke. “What? Oh my God” they exclaim. A commendable and respected feat. Little did I know at the time, but we would have three more years and three more years and three more years, but we did not move in with each other, until four years later, which put us seven years into our relationship.   Due to Glenn's delicate situation with his parents being elderly, and his obedience for cultural obligations, he had to remain with them indefinitely. His cultural dilemma, was a blessing and a curse. This sure put a damper on my dreams of being in a fairy tale relationship. You know, where boy meets boy, boy marries boy, boys buy a house, and we get a bird, a cat and a dog, and live happily ever after. But then again, who was I kidding. Things have never gone as envisioned in hopes and dreams for me, so I had to calm down and settle once again into someone else's reality. I knew I loved him enough to accept any challenges life dealt us, so that is exactly what I did. Though not without a fight, or two... or many.  This song talks about my struggles, early on in the relationship, trying to realign my thoughts, while taking a more realistic look at myself, in terms of what my wants and needs really were at that time. The realization that youth and indifference were still on my side, allowed me to settle into the relationship and stop fighting a battle that did not exist. I was actually in love with my life at the time, and I was more than happy we were not nesting, but for some reason I would always
use it as an excuse whenever we would fight about stupid things.  Finally, after seven years into our relationship, we moved in together.   And believe it or not, when it finally happened, at the time, I felt like it was too soon.  However, I am grateful now that we waited, because once we finally merged our lives, it was like we had begun all over again. Needless to say, this song has always been relevant in our relationship and shall, hopefully, always be. It is about being flooded with emotion, love and fear. Anticipating the future and being transparent in the journey of expansion and partnership. It's okay to have disagreements and to get down into the trenches. Otherwise, life would be pretty boring and without challenge. That's why, I keep shifting the path to the delta.     Note to Glenn:  Thanks for being my life partner and always supporting me no matter what happens. I love you more every day, and can't wait to live the rest of my life with you being here with me.


The Delta

I keep shifting the path to the delta Don’t you listen to a word they tell ya You know me better that anyone else does All the angels are bound to be Mad at you at me  Cause we got it all figured out

It's as simple as that Like a tire gone flat I left the car sitting by the side of the road Nothing makes sense to you I know It shocks me because you're part of the show Look now I'm all tired out I'm all tired out

I want to be more intimate with you It’s something I never learned to do Can you teach me? I think we've both go a lot to learn Every new corner is a sharper turn And I'm  So tired of the sacrifice

It's as simple as that Like a tire gone flat I left the car sitting by the side of the road Nothing makes sense to you I know It shocks me because you're part of the show Look now I'm all tired out I'm all tired out

I keep shifting the path to the delta Don’t you listen to a word they tell ya I know you better than anyone else does All the angels are bound to be Mad at you at me  Cause we got it all figured out



Chapter 11

Easy
 This is going to be a very difficult chapter to write, because I am not very proud of a lot of the things this song represents, however, this was a time in my life that I had to go through to get to where I am today, so my gratefulness outweighs my shame. Maybe through my telling of this story, it will help inspire someone else to wake up and clean up.  When I first moved to California, I became engulfed in the club scene. Drugs were a normal part of my everyday life as well as the lives of others.  Well, the others that  comprised my circle of friends. Methamphetamines and ecstasy were as common to me those days, as breakfast and dinner. This song is a glimpse into a platonic relationship that I lost due to my lack of self-control and overindulgence.   I came to San Diego with my best friend, Ronnie Ratliff, who was in the military. He got stationed here and I came with. We lived together for a few months and we seemed to manage our party lives, as well as our jobs pretty well, considering the culture we chose to immerse ourselves into. We were functioning addicts, I suppose.  That is, until I ended up falling in with a group of junkies; I become engulfed in sex, drugs and the SoCal club scene. I felt like a superstar! At the time, I thought it was the most glamorous lifestyle anyone could ever have, I suppose I was living in a movie. Even in the lulls of sobriety that would occasionally rear her ugly head, I was in a trance. I was so deeply entranced, mind you, I lost my job. I was falling through the cracks of the dance floor. Unable to pay rent, I ended up crashing with my friend, whom I really cared about at the time. He was such a great guy, however he did have the worst meth problem I had ever witnessed. When in Rome! Yes, I took advantage of this situation and before I knew it, as if things could not get any worse, I ended up homeless and sleeping in my car at the beach.   Our relationship began to deteriorate when he realized I had been stealing his laundry coins to buy myself a .99 cent ultimate cheese burger, every day from Jack in the Box. He was growing weary of my mooching off him, so he became increasingly more angry and distant with me. The icing on the cake was when I ended up breaking both of my wrists, both elbows, and five of my ribs, inline skating while high. I knew
then, it was time to go. There was just one little problem. I had nowhere to go. I had too much pride to go crawling back to Ronnie, plus he had a live-in partner now and they were both on drugs as well. I knew if I left Phillip's house, I was going to clean up once and for all, even if it meant faking a mental illness and getting locked up to get help. Although I am not sure I would have been faking at that time.   Before I left, I wrote this song to Piper, and I played it for him with a smile as though to deflect any accountability for the demise of our relationship. I blamed him for everything and convinced myself of his evil, spiteful, soul. I took my guitar, music, and what clothes I had left and headed to the beach. I showered in the community beach showers and hand washed my clothes in the calm waters of the bay and dried them in the warmth of the sun. I ended up getting a job and living out of my car for a while, until I saved enough money to get an apartment. Once I had a safe place to detox myself, I started the ugly process of purging the poisons from my frail and angry body.  I put this song away for years, as well as a few other compositions from that time, because the memories are shameful and painful to visit. Pulling this one out and recording it, has helped in my letting go of a whole lot of demons from that time.     Note to Piper:  I am sorry for being such a terrible friend, and of all the things I lost to my unjust addictions, your friendship is the one thing I yearn for most.

Easy

Welcome to the flight of the navigator, I knew it would happen sooner or later Just not right now, not right now When in Rome you better displace A hundred little voices and a brand new face It’s alright now, it's alright now

I'll shut up eventually, As soon as everyone sees I just wanna talk about me Yes I know what you think of me

Hate has got her red dress on, Crying that it's time to go home I said not right now, not right now


I've got to hand it to you boy, you make it look so easy The way you bring everyone down down down down down down down down down down

You're so easy, easy You're so easy, easy You're so easy, easy You're so easy, easy oh oh

You'll shut up eventually, As soon as everyone sees You're just jealous of me, yes I know what you think of me I know what you think of me I think think the same of you You think I'm easy, easy I think you're easy, easy



Chapter 12

Blue
 Vera Akins, is one of my dearest and longest friendships. We went all the way through school together, sharing everything from tears to taffy. Sadly, after graduation day, I did not see her again for fourteen years. Actually, we hardly even talked on the phone. Only when someone died or some other tragedy would push our words across electronic air waves into one and other's ears.   One day, out of the blue, I received a phone call. It was Vern on the other end. She explained that she had met some guy online and he lived in San Francisco and was willing to fly her out to the West Coast to meet. He was also willing to fly her down to San Diego to see me as well, then she would just fly home from here. I could hardly contain myself. Over the next couple of weeks, all I could do was tell everyone my sister was coming out to visit. I could hardly sleep or eat, while awaiting her arrival. I couldn't believe, after all these years, we were going to be reunited. And so it happened. She looked amazing! Time had been very generous to her. At that time, she was pretty innocent in terms of alcohol and marijuana, however, that was all about to change.   All through school, our relationship had been based on stories we would share about our horrible home lives. We helped each other get though the abuse and horror we each endured on a daily basis. Her father was a raging alcoholic, with a violent temper and my dad was a Vietnam veteran with an unpredictable streak of violence and hatred towards me. Actually, it was pretty predictable. If I was breathing, the chances were pretty high that something more terrible than the day before  was bound to happen. Vera and I both lived in a cyclical nightmare of abuse. Not knowing how or when it would ever stop.  Vera ended up getting married right out of high school, so she had it pretty good for a while. She had two children, one of which has autism. Her marriage ended not too long after the last birth, which was probably long overdue for severance in the first place. I had not been around her in so many years, I really did not know what to expect or how to act. I had only seen my family once in fourteen years as well, so having someone so close to all the horrors, I thought had left so far behind, from so
long ago, proved to be much more difficult to deal with than I had anticipated.   The first couple of days were amazing! Then, everything slowly began to unwind. As we drank and partied and smoked weed and drank and partied, I realized how depressed she was, and how depressed I was.  I was in a fairly new relationship at the time and I was already practiced in the art of repression and secrecy. I never really talked much about my past, especially about being molested or abused. Ultimately, having her there was just too much for me to handle. So of course, I snapped!   One beautiful sunny San Diego day, Vera asked to borrow my roommate’s car to go to the zoo. My sweet friend Cynthia said yes. She was so nice, she even had to hitch a ride to work the next day so Vera would have something to do until we got home. All day at work I just kept thinking about my family, about high school, all the pain I thought I had left behind and the sadness that was swallowing me whole. I had planned on taking her out to a nice dinner that night, so we could just sat down and talk about everything, like we use to do in school so many years ago. Sadly, that did not happen.   Upon my return home from work, Vera was already there and resting on the sofa. Everything seemed to be normal, as we chatted and waited on Cynthia to return home from work. We were cleaning up the apartment and just talking about our day, when I decided to take the trash out. Once outside, I happened to notice that Cynthia's car had been wrecked, and the front right fender had been seriously, demolished. Yes, needless to say, I started to have a panic attack. I ran up the stairs to my apartment and asked Vera if she had wrecked the car, and she became, very embarrassed and upset. My ears went deaf with anger as she proceeded to tell me the story of what had happened at the zoo. I started yelling and screaming at her and in a blind rage, I grabbed her suitcase and stuffed all of her clothes into it, while cursing and ranting of my disappointment and disgust in her and I threw her out of my apartment. I don't know what came over me! Before I knew it, she was hailing a cab from the front of my apartment complex. What had I done? I was so ashamed, hurt, scared, I didn't know what I was feeling.
I just felt sick!   Upon her return home to North Carolina, I called her and apologized. We, amazingly, laughed about the whole ordeal and started planning another rendezvous on the west coast.  As we became closer and worked towards rekindling our relationship, I watched her slowly spiral out of control. I didn't know what to say because she always feels like I am judging her, and that I think I am perfect, whenever I say anything. That being said, my way of telling someone something, anything actually, does not always come with a side of ice cream and candy.  It was this sense of helplessness that manifested itself through music.   I wrote a few songs about her, and then I decided to write one for her. Blue is a plea to Vern from myself, begging her to see how wonderful she is and how beautiful she is. All of my friends loved her, whenever she came to visit, and I loved that everyone thought she was my sister. But her greatness seems to have gotten lost in a forest of depression and disregard. Don't you know what that means that they love you? It means you can have anything!  Note to Vera:  You will always be one of the most important people in my life. Though we are estranged again, I hope you can find the strength and will power to strangle the depression and self-destruction that has you by the throat. I know you think that my life is perfect and I am just bouncing through my blissful days without worry or woe. This, however, couldn't be further from the truth. I wish you were able to be there for me when I need you and I wish I could be there for you when you need me. Maybe one day when we grow up, things will be better, and we will be better. Until then I will be here waiting for you to live.

Blue

Don't you know what that means that they love you? It means you could be anything But you act like nobody loves you And we're all a part of the same bad game

The fact that you try to be  So innocent to me Is a sure fire sign Of your need for some good 'ole fashioned company

If you'd try just a little bit harder You’d find you'd have nothing to lose Oh but you're just a fire-starter  And inclined to the deepest of blues blue  blue  blue

Don't you know what that means that they love you? It means you could have anything  But you won’t let anybody love you  And somebody always owes you something

I know you prefer to be invisible to me But I see you Wrapped in a blanket of trees That won’t let the sun through

If you'd try just a little bit harder You’d find you'd have nothing to lose Oh but you're just a fire-starter  And inclined to the deepest of blues blue  blue  blue


Chapter 13

Sirens
Siren:  often capitalized:  any of a group of female and partly human creatures in Greek mythology that lured mariners to destruction by their singing

A:  a woman who sings with enchanting sweetness  B:   temptress  A:  an apparatus producing musical tones especially in acoustical studies by the rapid interruption of a current B:  a device often electrically operated for producing a penetrating warning sound <an ambulance siren> <an air-raid siren>    All of the above definitions are applicable in this tale of love, and well, deception. I wrote Sirens for my best friend, Ronnie. It began its life around 2011, when he found himself at the end of a very dysfunctional relationship. There are many other words that I could use here, however I will stick with dysfunctional. I wrote the verses based on his experience during that time, and how I could never figure out why he always solicited but never heeded my advice. Upon terminating his toxic relationship, he rebounded a lot more quickly than I had expected.  As an act of goodwill, I decided to put this little tune aside in hopes that I would not curse his new found peace of mind, with an ode to his emotional blindness. And now that he has left all of that “bad” energy behind him, he can look forward to a bright and wonderful future. A healthy pursuit of the one that he shall, one day, call “husband.”  Well, I only had half of the matter correct. I will elaborate on this at a later time because I am getting side tracked here. Okay, where were we? Oh yes! It wouldn't be long however till I got to knock the dust off this little tune and add the chorus.  Yup, you guessed it, he was back with more inspiration. A true muse, this one!    Before I could even think of finishing it, yet another rebound, or at least I thought it was a re-bound. “This is the one,” he stated over and over, so many times he even had me convinced. So, once again, I put away my lyrics and waited in the lobby of his discontent, until I received the call that I knew would give the inspiration I needed to finish it off once and for all.
 Sure enough, just like clockwork, it came. I pulled out the lyric sheet and as soon as my pen hit the paper I wrote two new verses. “No one wants to be in constant abuse, well it's no use you're no longer my muse! When people show you who they really are, you should believe them, and admire from afar”!  Everything made sense now. The song began to take shape and have a chance at a real life. It took me a while to get the arrangement to where it is today, however I am so glad I invested the time and energy into creating it. This is one of my favorite songs to play live, and I actually love the percussion version on the album. I'm thinking of recording an acoustic version, but I haven't decided for sure yet.  As for Ronnie, he is back with the guy whom lent his affections to the third and final round of tweaking of this composition. I hope this is “the one,”  but then again, all of his relationship dysfunction plays a huge role in manipulating the ebbs and flows of my ocean of inspiration. He is and will always be my moon.  It's selfish I know, but my life is boring, and I have to have some form of reckless “vicarity” to live through.  The voice of the lyrics shift their focus from Ronnie, to the situation, to myself and then continue on in this cycle for the duration of the song. It was inevitably born from my frustrations, thinking that he would solicit my advice and then do the opposite of what I would suggest. This process made me feel like a pretty terrible friend for the most part. I was actually fighting a silent war between the two of us, except both armies were headed by me. The constant struggles he would always find himself in, seemed to be some sort of Groundhog’s Day curse. Could I be perpetuating this? It just kept happening over and over and over, and I was caught in it with him. I found myself repeating the same lyrics of advice to the point where we were creating our own cliché, rhetorical story.   I had to break the cycle, or at least my participation in it. “You're no longer my muse,”  was a line I used to try and put the message out into the universe that I will no longer use his “situations” as inspiration for my music and I would be turning the focus back to myself and my relationship. Either that or reap the rewards of some other unsuspecting victim. Lord knows I have plenty of friends and case studies to draw from.
   Note to Ronnie:  You are my brother, and life. I hope you have found that awesome guy that is going to make all of you dreams come true.   It's time you have the respect you deserve. No one deserves to be in constant abuse!

Sirens

No one wants to be in constant abuse Well, it's no use You’re no longer my muse When people show you who they really are You should believe themselves Admire from afar

Sooner or later Sooner or later

You’re just a little too hard And I'm a little too exhausted To even try To alter your senses I knew soon enough It would expire Underneath the big black sky The night is the hardest part Of reconnecting Putting back together  All the forgotten pieces Lie after lie who have I been protecting, aye

Why do you even try? That’s the one thing about you  I truly admire Go on and take your life  I'm anxious to see  How things will transpire

And on my way back home I was thinking About all that we've been through And in my heart this sinking feeling Yeah, well, this time baby I will follow through Cause,


No one wants to be in constant abuse Well, it's no use You’re no longer my muse When people show you who they really are You should believe themselves Admire from afar

You’re just a little too far And I'm a little too grounded to reach that high The sirens are sounding All the reasons profounding Without my even asking why

Sooner or later you're bound To see the traitor Hiding behind your eyes I'll be the gator  You can be the trainer And I'll try and empathize

Why do you even try? That’s the one thing about you  I truly admire I'm going to take my life You’re the one thing around Me I can't wait to expire

And on my way back home I was thinking About all that we've been through And in my heart this sinking feeling Yeah, well, this time baby I will follow through Cause, No one wants to be in constant abuse Well, it's no use You’re no longer my muse When people show you who they really are You should believe themselves Admire from afar




















Chapter 14

Horn by the Bull
 This is a new song, I feel it has wanted to be written for quite some time now.   Defining a conventional relationship is much more relative and subjective than I had once thought. Our ideas of ourselves as well as each other, are rarely what we think or proclaim, no matter how well we think we know ourselves and others.  There will always be the element of surprise, rearing her ugly head, here and there, to keep things interesting.  Lately, I have been intrigued by the mass majority of our friends, revealing and coming out about their open relationships. Personally, I could never do that with my relationship, mostly because, that is not how we started it. I have discussions with my best friend about this all the time and we think it is how we were raised that gives us such conservative opinions about our relationships. However, I have friends of similar backgrounds, from small towns that came from simple families that are engaged in open relationships and very wild escapades.  There are many different genres of openness. There is the “don't ask don't tell,”  “we only do it together,” “when the cat's away,” “no emotions, only sex,” or “swingers” and “voyeurs.”  This emergence of strange subcultures is becoming the new and acceptable norm.   I got the idea for this song when my best friend and I were talking about this rocky, roller-coaster of a relationship he has been in for the last year. Upon the recommendation that he should open his relationship, he was just appalled. Though, it is an integrity issue for him, I, being on the outside looking in, fail to find any integral thread holding this relationship together in the first place. At least he would be putting himself out there, on the market, in hopes that he will meet someone wonderful. Ah, now I see! If you decide to “open” the relationship, with the intent to meet someone else, I suppose that would be cheating. It's all about the intent? Whatever the case may be, as long as no one gets hurt and everyone gets what they want and need in the end, I guess it's great to live however you want, which is the moral of this song.

Horn by the Bull

Can we start all over?  Again You need a little more me time And a lot less of him You deserve so much better baby Those big brown eyes  Just drive me crazy

It’s okay to be non-conventional We’ve got everything backwards Got the horn by the bull It's okay to be non-emotional As long as not one gets hurt And our bellies are full

You know I'm sorry I mess everything up You know I can't promise you baby If you come back I won’t do it again You use to think I was funny Laughed at everything I said Not I've got this funny feeling Everything is dead

It’s okay to be non-conventional We’ve got everything backwards Got the horn by the bull It's okay to be non-emotional As long as not one gets hurt And our bellies are full Can we start all over?  Again You need a little more me time And a lot less of him You deserve so much better baby Those big brown eyes  Just drive me crazy


Chapter 15

Penny on Heads
 Oh, my! I don't know where to begin with this story. I will try and save a lot of face here, however impossible that feat may be. This chapter is only scratching the surface of what I will be talking a lot about,  in the next installment.  I really didn’t want to start my project off talking about my family, and a lot of things have transpired since I began this ordeal, so I feel that everything has happened, exactly the way it has, for a reason.  The perfect way to end this volume is to begin again.    I wrote the lyrics to this song when I was seventeen years old, and by the time I was nineteen, I had finished the music. I spent the seventeenth year of life in high school at Millard, Kentucky. That year of my life was one of the most important years of my existence, to date. I spent the whole year in fear of what was to come after graduation. No one ever gives you the right advice,  as how to live life after high school.  The guidance counselor at my school was very scary and she made me really uncomfortable. She was always eating and she had a smell that clung to your nostrils for hours, even after only five minutes in her office. Therefore, I never really vented my frustrations to anyone, and all my friends seemed to be on cloud nine. I just pretended to be on the same cloud as everyone else, in hopes I would soon drift into the same pocket of happiness as everyone else. Maybe we were all pretending! Everyone was probably freaking out just like me, however, we were walking around like a bunch of scared zombies, smiling and high-fiving. Needless to say, I was freaking out on a major scale.    The whole last month of high school was a disaster for me! On our graduation day, I thought maybe, I would just collapse right in the middle of the ceremony, and die. That way, I would never have to experience life after high school. Yes, I lived, and yes, my fears were validated. It was a horrible existence for a while. To make things even worse, I did the unimaginable..... I came out of the closet my first semester of college. Can you say STUPID!  As far as college goes, I only applied to one. Hannibal La-Grange in Missouri.  I received a small academic scholarship, in lieu of my  GPA coupled with an essay I wrote accompanied by a couple of songs and some poetry.
 Seeking a degree in literature, seemed to be the path I was on at the time. My parents seemed to be okay with this decision, until it came time for me to pack for orientation, then all hell broke loose. My dad decided, it would not be the best thing for me, and I should stay home and remain the slave he had groomed me to be, my whole life. This idea was more than I could bare, so I started making phone calls and utilizing my resources to try and get into my local college.   My French teacher in high school, Mrs. Brooke happened to have a husband happened who held a high position at the local college in Pikeville. I called him and explained my situation with my parents and what had happened with Hannibal La-Grange. Since I was only a week away from orientation, he tried to scrounge up any scholarship funds he could find to help me,  because it was apparent my parents were out of the picture financially. My dad had also sold my car and trapped me at home like a caged monkey.  Luckily, the administrations department at PC helped me file for financial independence from my parents in order to qualify for grants, as well as get a partial athletic and academic scholarship, as long I would be a part of a new program for male cheerleaders.  This was perfect because I spent my whole life doing gymnastics, so I might as well put it to use. I accepted these gratuitous deeds with open arms, and my liberated life began.  At this time I was starting to focus on my music, and I was playing on and off campus.  My favorite place to play was in at The Bears Den.  I lived in the dorms first semester and second semester my parents talked me into moving back home to help out a little. So I agreed to do just that.  This decision proved to be the most disastrous decision of my life.   I really thought my dad would be more respectful of me and my life in general, seeing as how I was always succeeding, against all odds. This was not the case!  In hindsight, I think it made him more furious with me and his rage and anger towards me never seemed to dissipate.    Finally, on a cloudy spring day, our family was sitting around in the living room and my baby brother Larry, who was sitting on the sofa between my dad and I, picked up a clipboard and flung it in my direction and ended up cutting a gash in my
face. I grabbed the clipboard from his hands and my dad jumped up, grabbed it from me and whacked me with it again, along with cursing and swearing at me, for no apparent reason. I guess he could not stand the fact that I was attempting to defend myself against his precious Prince.   Fed up with his constant abuse and degradation, I fought back, and needless to say, that was the last time he would ever lay a hand on me. Once he got away from me, he ran upstairs and kept screaming for me to get out of the house. I had blood all over my hands and on my clothes, and for a second I felt like Carrie in the midst of a cruel and violent prank. Calmly and vindicated, I walked out of the front door and down the street for about a mile. I figured when I came home, there would be peace and we could start mending and respecting one another a little more. I could not have been more wrong.  The sky had begun to mime my tears as the gray clouds rolled in sucking up any remnant of light,  and I let the rain drops chase the blood from my face and hands and tried to calm my heart, which seemed to be in my throat at the moment. To my surprise, upon my return, I found all of my clothes, my music, my books, basically my whole life, scattered across a wet and muddy lawn that would no longer be “my” home. My mother was on the porch crying, proclaiming her sorrows, and all I could say was, “I can't believe you have let him destroy our family, I hope you are happy, because you have lost me forever, and you will never see me again.”    To say I was devastated, is an understatement. But then again, there was a keen sense of relief on the underbelly of my heartbreak. A relief which would eventually be responsible for the ultimate severance of all communication, with both my mother and father, as well as my two little brothers and my beautiful little sister. Though I could feel the forever freedom in the lake of tears that seemed to be strangely, ever flowing, down my young and inexperienced cheeks, the sheer heartbreak of not being able to be with my brothers and sister was more than I could deal with.  They were my whole world.  The fact that my mom let all of this happen, made it easier to have resentments toward her, however, the innocence of my brothers and sister  would be the very tool my dad used to poison them against me
in the end.   I ended up renting a cute little house in downtown Pikeville, with my then-boyfriend, Barry, and this is where I really began to think of myself as an artist. Penny on Heads, was one of the first songs I was really proud of.   This is probably one of the most important songs of my life, because it really defines my emotional state of being during this fragile time, as well as a tinge of a dream, I would someday go back home and everything would be fine.  Despite my disillusion, I did return home twice more.  Once ten years later, and then again ten years after that.  Only to find, mere characters of people I had created from images, faded and unfamiliar, along with elaborate storylines of happiness and peacefulness.    Note to Barry:  Thanks for being such a wonderful lover and friend. Two of the best memories I have of my life were the time when we first made out upstairs at my house, and riding around in Staci's car listening to mix tapes. I guess we really “gave them to something to talk about!”
Penny on Heads

a penny on heads a little luck to come my way Is it too much to ask for  Do I really compromise my faith? I'm flying my flag  Above a bloody battle ground Saving my grace How sweet can be the sound? Of giving in After all this wasted time I'm walking home On a road that burns my feet I kept my smile  I'll never talk about the war At least for a while Till I'm absolutely sure my penny on heads Will keep me bout  A foot back from my door I won’t give in Cause I surrendered once before

I'm doing' my time For an innocent daze That left me open In my time of truth  In oh so many ways

My penny on heads Was a way to let me know? Everything’s dead It’s ok to let you go

My penny on heads A little luck to come my way Is it too much to ask for Do I really compromise? My faith
I'm flying my flag  Above a bloody battle ground Saving my grace How sweet can be the sound? Of giving in


POETRY
The Shape of a Boy

Gathered myself together Past the world  Performing her duty of suspension

Tipped off my hat to fate So clever her ways Liquidated All forms of intervention

Then, dupe The Tuesday Trolley Brought me a most Pleasant joy

How delightful! A wondrous umber beaut In the shape of a boy

While the station descends  From my backward view The arc of the tracks carve my happy in two

I swell my mouth Gave to the city my smile How, comes a hungered  man From such a lucid child










Moonlight Clippers

Like scissors, come the blades of morning sun, Clipping out darkness from a cardboard backdrop Hanging outside my window.

I poke my head from the inside of my sleep, Indomitable to my possible decapitation

Comes then, the songs of birds, Barely escaping the darkness, Catching pieces of black In their practiced beaks. Conditioned a carry, Off to a faraway land To the other side of somewhere. Piecing back together the night,

Creating an equilibrium about the world.





















 My Memory Can Be a Monster Sometimes

When I sit down With my pen Between my fingers, I get so scared My brain Will regress Back to the times When I never lacked A muddy puddle to Dirty rinse my ribbon out in.

I would not mind The thought Of you however, Since about a lifetime ago You came with falls Of abandon, Allowing me To breathe At the beauty of Imperfect “things”

Things, such as myself!

It's just that some days When I am not So, so good I am bitter Ridden with Those blocks of a satirical Flood and fall

Boasts the filthiness of  A ribbon I wear like skin



 I might just wake back To the mess you made And find Myself Meandering around Trying to Piece back together The fragments of city Once We gave life to.

It is then, I realize!

This isn't very Darwin of me!

So I clean rinse my ribbon With virgin ink Realign my thoughts And go “clickity click” Back up the fall From which I came.


Across An Ocean Cordial

Can be, there, no love found? So sharp with lonely comes sound Sly like a fox Bitter the blood hound Can be, there, no love found

Cried hard and bled from restrain I have raped and slain Stood proud in the face of blame I have been raped in the brain

I consider not, death a portal Energy aloof, will once be mortal Fly my dust, across an ocean cordial I consider not, death a portal

 A Flight of Joy and Peril

Romancing this illusion However real it is Caused grievous confusion In my development

Come naturally this love Go out into the world Release, white the dove A flight of joy and peril



To tame a beast, wild

Dare to tame a beast, wild!

Nature may not approve.

Wisdom to temperament, as time, she will mild.

When forced,  May slaughter the shrew.


 Life For Sale

The weight of this world upon my shoulders, grows increasingly heavy as I'm growing older. I wish at times, for time to stand still, Just to be motionless, to see how it feels.

To watch birds fall from the sky! To witness the weightlessness of the perpetuate lie!

The weight of this world tipping her scales, The offerings of “some” lady, not roses, but, LIFE FOR SALE. 
Next:  To Inspire

Heard tales, from masters of such necessary things, Only I possess notions that can make me sing. I try I try And I try. Still I can't essay hard enough. It is not my duty, has never been, To dream of such foolish things. On a quest for Zen? I die I die And I die. Still I live too long. I re-learn kissing? I am reminded by him, The geography of my body. Charted then lost, I find it again. Still there is no compass about my breast. Could be the lack of inspiration, Could be his breath? Cloaked, hooded, stealing the signs, I'm am lost, these passions, an anomalous path. I vie I vie And I vie. 'Till my mouth refuses to lie? I am relearning love, I can remember now!







When you've gone

Tenanting memory!

Your fingers felt right Pressing against my taint

I shy myself away from the world For a moment And let you work your curiosities Kneading my body like little pastries

The smell of time creeps out From the scared drawers Onto the worn shaggy carpet fibers

The language of This stale room Reminding me This will all be over soon

Your lips felt right upon my ear Beating my drum with the roll Of your sweat, sodden tongue

Still, I hear the music As my body sways most near my sleep Where I shall begin to Forget you Again For the last time

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Sentimentality OUT NOW!