It’s not what you think

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Chris Cornell, 1964-2017

Chris Cornell died early Thursday morning. His band Soundgarden played a show on Wednesday night at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Two hours after the show ended, he was gone.

For two days, I’ve been working on a piece to pay tribute to him, and it’s been a struggle. Usually when I have a problem like this it’s because I’m staring at a blank screen trying to figure out what I want to say. That’s not the problem this time. The problem is I have way too much to say.

I’m not going to sit here and claim to have been a huge fan of Soundgarden. I didn’t dislike them, I just had to take them in small doses. I was a fan of Cornell. I love “Seasons,” the solo song he had on Cameron Crowe’s movie, Singles. It’s a droning acoustic song about isolation and the…

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It’s All About the Hustle

I’ve been hustling. And I do mean hustling hard. I’ve got two side hustles going on, on top of the full-time job (which I’m actively seeking to replace with a different full-time job elsewhere – never satisfied anymore, it seems).

One is the tutoring gig, which is frankly more trouble than it’s worth at this point because of an extended commute and a low cut of the pay. But I’m committed to seeing the school year through. They’ve got another month in these parts.

Second hustle is a writing thing I’ve been doing. Fluffy SEO padding shit to trick google. (They probably think I don’t know what’s up, but it’s fairly obvious it’s all bogus to do some hardcore SEO driving. You know, bolding keywords here and there. Burying a “moneylink” in a sea of non-competing, vaguely related links. Appending exactly three license-free stock photos and one embedded YouTube video. Yeah. Fun stuff.) But you know what? I’ve decided that I don’t care. I’m not screwing over any people with the BS articles and blog posts. I’m helping to trick a search engine that tricks people anyway. And while it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, at $15 a post…I can’t afford to linger too long on my reservations. I figure…keep this up a couple of months, and I’ll be back to salient. Quite frankly, that outweighs ethics at this point (to a reasonable extent, anyway).

What does bug me is that the hustle further stymies my own words, because damnit I’m churning out four to eight of those suckers a day on top of my day job. But I don’t know how long the little gig will last, so I’m gonna milk it for all it’s worth.

I think…I just needed to vent that. And say that, no…I’m not trying to disappear. Again. Doesn’t mean I won’t. But it’s not my intent.

One day at a time.

One day at a time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some hustling to do.

Warnings

Warn me
before you listen to hip hop,
Country one said.

Warn me
before you curse,
Christian one said.

Warn me
before you befriend me,
Aloof one said.

Warn me
before you laugh,
Stoic one said.

Warn me
before you believe,
Atheist one said.

Warn me
before you love me,
Jewish one said.

Warn me
before you trust me,
Brown one said.

Warn me
before you cry,
White one said.

Warn me
before you become,
They said.

Warn me
before you exist,
They said.

Warning you
that I’m done,
I said.

Noose

There it dangles, the tiny skeleton,
dancing on its tiny noose, haunting me.

It hangs from your rear view mirror,
reflecting the past into the present.

Skeletons are meant to remain hidden
under layers of skin and despair and false hopes.

But you drag them out,
grinning, heckling, getting off on reactions.

Getting off on pain,
you brag about your conquests of physical and psychological and sexual

abuse.

There it dangles, the tiny skeleton
dancing on its tiny noose, haunting me.

Bobbing in front of the mirror,
dragging the horrors of the past, screaming back into the forefront of my mind.

You are the noose,
wrapped around my neck.

Can you see the scars? They linger still,
finger-shaped bruises in a pretty purple painting on my ghost-white neck.

You are the noose,
wrapped around my heart, my mind, my soul,

my past.

You are the noose from which I dangle,
kicking, jerking, clawing at the frayed edges.

I’ll cut this fucker down, one of these days;
I’ll cut you down.

And then I’ll take those frayed bits and fashion the noose anew,
giving it a new home around your splotchy, bloated, corpse-like neck,

fathermine.

~

P.S. A big fat thank you to everyone who offered up ideas and made banners for me. I’m saving all of them and may rotate them out from time to time. Y’all rock my socks. All the damn time.

A Request and a PSA

Two quick things before I run away from work and drive downtown for Flogging Molly. I’m pumped, aside from a niggling fear that mystery pain will get worse and force an early exit from the show. Fingers crossed.

  1. Request: Does anyone know how and feel like making a new blog banner for me? The one I have now and have had for ages was made for me by The Aussie. It was to be temporary while he worked on something special. But he must have died and taken the banner with him, because that was months (well over a year) ago. I’d love to have something new, but I have no idea how to go about it myself.
  2. PSA: Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day! Get out there, grab some free comic books and don’t forget to buy something to support your local geekhaven!

Happy Friday. Or something.

Désolée (an un-poem)

I’m sorry, but…
I’m giving up on you.

Waiting for your call, your text, your email.
No more.

When you finally come to your senses,
I won’t be there, waiting as I always do.

Ardently, perpetually, relentlessly waiting.
No.

Je ne renoncerai plus à moi.
Je m’abandonne à nous.
Je renonce à toi.

Désolée.
Je suis très désolée.

5-Day Song Challenge: Fifth & Final

The five songs I’ve used in this challenge surprised me. The only one I knew I’d use was Slow Cheetah. The rest happened a day at a time, and none of the other songs I planned to use made it into the five posts – including today’s. That’s one of the interesting things about music moods for me – I never know what I’ll be in the mood for from day to day. And this time, rather than relying a planned lists of songs to type about, I decided to wing it from day to day and let my mood guide the choices.

Which leads us to today’s selection.

Song the Fifth:

Float – Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly’s Float is on my mind for two reasons:

  1. The theme: struggling with depression and indifference as time inevitably marches on. Trying to make sense from the senseless and grasping for reasons to persist. For obvious reasons, it speaks to me. Rather, it speaks me.
  2. The timing: totally going to a Flogging Molly concert tonight, and I’m stoked. Fucking. Stoked.

Have a listen.

The Lyrics:

Drank away the rest of the day,
Wonder what my liver would say,
Drink… That’s all you can.

Blackened days With their bigger gales,
Blow in your parlor to discuss the day,
Listen… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built, you built to keep afloat.
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built.

Sick and tired of what to say,
No one listens anyway,
Sing… That’s all you can.

Rambling years of lousy luck,
Ya miss the smell of burning turf,
Dream… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you Built, you built to keep afloat,
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built… That you built to keep afloat.

Singled out for who you are,
It takes all types to judge a man,
Feel… That’s all you can.

Filthy suits with bigot ears,
Hide behind their their own worst fears,
Live… That’s all you can.

It’s all you can.
It’s all you can… do.

No matter where I put my head,
I wake up feeling sound again,
Breathe… It’s all you can.

Tomorrow smells of less decay,
The flowers create this blooming fray,
Be thankful… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, don’t sink the boat,
That you Built, you built to keep afloat.
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built… you built to keep afloat.

Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built, that you built to keep afloat.

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
I’m a ripe old age,
That’s what I am.

I’m a ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
Just doing the best I can.

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
That’s what I am!

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
Just doing the best I can!

The best I can!

~

Fighting hard to not sink the boat. Hoping like hell that tomorrow smells of less decay. I’m doing the best I can. Are you?

So I Skipped Another Day (AKA 5-Day Song Challenge: Day 4)

Yesterday was insanity at work. Mostly good insanity. I love when I get to not do my job and do something completely different. (Not even sarcasm.) I interviewed several people for a management program we’re kicking off in about two weeks, and then the dreaded meetings (which I actually like when the people are normal, productive and cool).

So yeah, no posty. And now today, some fucked-up I hope it’s not a medical emergency shit going on with me. But I’m posting anyway, because damnit I’m trying to be here.

And since I’m in a fuck society punk rock place at the moment, I’ll share some with you.

The Song:

Smallpox Champion – Fugazi

A nice, solid, damn-the-man punk rock song.

The Lyrics:

Smallpox Champion of the U S of A
Give natives some blankets warm like the grave
This is the pattern cut from the cloth
This is the pattern designed to take you right out

This is the frontier with winter’s so cold
Greed informs action where action makes bold
To take all the cotton that’s cut from the stalk
Weave in the the disease that’s gonna wipe you right out

What is good for the future
What is good for the past – won’t last

Bury your heart U S of A
History rears up to spit in your face
You saw what you wanted, you took what you saw
We know how you got it- your method equals wipe out
The end of the future and all that you own
Under the blankets of all that you’ve done
Memory serves us to serve you yet
Memory serves us to never let you wipe out

Cha-cha-cha-champion you’ll get yours
Wipe out

~

So this is a heavy one and more than a bit “political.” I wrapped that word in quotation marks, because I think it’s a cop-out to dub genocide a political issue as a justification of sidestepping uncomfortable topics.

If you’re into punk rock, you’ll dig it. Love me some Fugazi.

5-Day Song Challenge: Le Troisième Chanson

What up, peopleaneous! I’m sleepy but hopped up on truckstop caffeine (and not of the coffee variety because spew). I gotta stay awake so I can tutor after work and then go to a comedy show. Yeah baby!

This post is the third of five songs I’ll offer up for the 5-day song challenge. (By the way, you’re all challenged to join in. If you wanna.) Let’s get into today’s song selection.

Today’s Song:

Not Afraid – Eminem

It’s tough to choose one song – or hell, even just five songs for this challenge. I wanted to use Pearl Jam’s Black. Or DMB’s Grey Street. Or Bob Marley and The Wailers’ Three Little Birds. But bleh. I keep changing my mind. Hmph.

This one, though. Eminem’s Not Afraid, while not my favorite of his tracks, is an important song for me. For where I’m at. For flipping the middle finger to the world and holding my head up high, walking tall and strong so I can keep on keepin’ on. Some days are easier than others – today is easier than yesterday. And some weeks are harder than others. This week is tough as fuck compared to last week. One day at a time. One hour at a time. One motherfucking minute at a time. Right this minute?

I’m not afraid.

Let’s dive into the lyrics. Do y’all love lyrics as much as I do? I’m a lyric fiend. Love the tunes, the melody, etc. But the lyrics? That’s where I live. If you’re one of those weirdos that hates words but has a fucking BLOG, then just listen.

The Lyrics:

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

Yeah, it’s been a ride
I guess I had to, go to that place, to get to this one
Now some of you, might still be in that place
If you’re trying to get out, just follow me
I’ll get you there

You can try and read my lyrics off of this paper before I lay ’em
But you won’t take the sting out these words before I say ’em
Cause ain’t no way I’ma let you stop me from causing mayhem
When I say I’ma do something I do it,
I don’t give a damn what you think,
I’m doing this for me, so fuck the world
Feed it beans, it’s gassed up, if it thinks it’s stopping me
I’ma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly
And all those who look down on me I’m tearing down your balcony
No ifs, ands or buts, don’t try to ask him why or how can he
From “Infinite” down to the last “Relapse” album
He’s still shitting, whether he’s on salary paid hourly
Until he bows out or he shits his bowels out of him
Whichever comes first, for better or worse
He’s married to the game, like a fuck you for Christmas
His gift is a curse, forget the Earth, he’s got the urge
To pull his dick from the dirt, and fuck the whole universe

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

Okay quit playing with the scissors and shit, and cut the crap
I shouldn’t have to rhyme these words in the rhythm for you to know it’s a rap
You said you was king, you lied through your teeth, for that
Fuck your fillings, instead of getting crowned you’re getting capped
And to the fans, I’ll never let you down again, I’m back
I promise to never go back on that promise, in fact
Let’s be honest, that last “Relapse” CD was ehhh
Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground
Relax, I ain’t going back to that now
All I’m trying to say is get back, click-clack, blow
Cause I ain’t playing around
It’s a game called circle and I don’t know how, I’m way too up to back down
But I think I’m still trying to figure this crap out
Thought I had it mapped out but I guess I didn’t, this fucking black cloud
Still follows me around but it’s time to exorcise these demons
These motherfuckers are doing jumping jacks now!

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

And I just can’t keep living this way
So starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage
I’m standing up, I’ma face my demons
I’m manning up, I’ma hold my ground
I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now! (now)

It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me
Admittedly, I probably did it subliminally
For you, so I could come back a brand new me you helped see me through
And don’t even realize what you did, ’cause believe me you
I been through the ringer, but they could do little to the middle finger
I think I got a tear in my eye, I feel like the king of
My world, haters can make like bees with no stingers
And drop dead, no more beef lingers
No more drama from now on, I promise
To focus solely on handling my responsibilities as a father
So I solemnly swear to always treat this roof, like my daughters
And raise it, you couldn’t lift a single shingle on it!
Cause the way I feel, I’m strong enough to go to the club
Or the corner pub, and lift the whole liquor counter up
Cause I’m raising the bar
I’d shoot for the moon but I’m too busy gazing at stars
I feel amazing and I’m…

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

~

I’m gonna let these lyrics stand on their own. It’s difficult for me to select specific parts that mean more to me than others, but I’ve boldified the ones that touch me the deepest.

Enjoy. And remember; you’re not alone.

5-Day Song Challenge: Day Numero Twovius

So yeah, this was probably supposed to be a consecutive post thingy, yeah? Yeah. As much as I like thingies, I couldn’t post this weekend. I mean, I could have, but yeah. Yeah. A lot of “yeahs” in this post? Had you noticed, or did I just point it out for you and make it worse? …yeah.

I already did the intro and rule thingies in numero the first post. So I’ll get right to today’s song.

Ahem.

Today’s Song(Bet you didn’t see that coming. Cuz I’m suave. Like Rico.)

Feel it Still – Portugal. The Man

This is a new song, and I’m digging the hell out of it. It’s extremely overplayed on a local station, but I don’t mind (yet – I will soon hate the song with the rage of a thousand scorned dragonflies (you thought I was gonna say “women” didn’t you?)).

Have some lyrics in your faceholes. The two little ones that (usually) have eyeballs stuffed in them. The Lyrics:

Can’t keep my hands to myself
Think I’ll dust ’em off, put ’em back up on the shelf
In case my little baby girl is in need
Am I coming out of left field?

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
I been feeling it since 1966, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still
Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it’s 1986, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

Got another mouth to feed
Leave her with a babysitter, mama, call the gravedigger
Gone with the fallen leaves
Am I coming out of left field?

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks now,
I been feeling it since 1966, now
Might’ve had your fill, but you feel it still
Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it’s 1986, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

We could fight a war for peace
(Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now)
Give in to that easy livin’
Goodbye to my hopes and dreams
Stop flipping for my enemies

We could wave until the walls come down
(Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks now)
It’s time to give a little tip
Kids in the middle, move over ’til it falls
Don’t bother me

Is it coming?
Is it coming?
Is it coming?
Is it coming?
Is it coming?
Is it coming back?

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, yeah
Your love is an abyss for my heart to eclipse, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
I’ve been feeling it since 1966, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still
Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it’s 1986, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still
Might’ve had your fill, but you feel it still

~

It feels to me like this song is about quite a few things. I did bold some of the lyrics that I like the most – or are the most meaningful to me.

For the most part, to me it’s a song that has a fun feel and makes me move. As for the lyrics, there are a lot of things and even people about which and whom I can say, “I feel it still.” Might be over now, but I feel it still. I haven’t had my fill.

As for what or whom those things and people may be? I think I’ll keep that bit to myself. For now.