I’ll always love you, like I always said I would
We are one, there is nothing I wouldn’t do
But my illness and addiction, and your hope
Can’t save me or you
There I said it
And I can’t give you credit
For the good that you’ve done
The only good you can do
Is pulling the trigger on that gun
Do it for me, do it for you
I’m no good.
It scares me
My thoughts are out and loud
How can you stand there so rigid and proud?
Your eyes say a lot
And I am left here to rot
While you use your silence to kill me
My life smells of decay
And you, you’re okay
When I’m a withering flower
I need sunshine and water
I need love, I need life
We’re nothing alike.
It scares me everyday
You’re there but you’re gone
And I’ve lost my way
Don’t let me go
Please hold my hand
Before I slip through the cracks
And you’ll wonder what could’ve been
I know you will.
Save me from The End.
I need you.
Help me bloom.
(Photo credit: annstreetstudio.com)
As soon as a man is born he begins to die
From the moment he breathes his first breath
And opens his eyes
And when he is born, his time on earth will have begun
Although, each day ticks away
He will one day grow up and ask: what have I become?
This question will haunt him and follow him around
It’ll hover, whisper and squeal
And won’t ever back down
He will refuse to color himself in and take on the shape of a shadow
He fills his own shoes
And marches on to his everyday battle
Uniformed in a striped tie and blue tailored suit
Is a sad man who wishes
A career in happiness could be pursued
He’s learned that all that glitters is not gold
And his path has been paved a little differently
With forks and grooves in the road
Where did all the people go?
Just an unfamiliar world
Where friends have become foes
He empties his pockets and pours out his heart
He walks away from his life with no meaning
And prepares to depart
Fuck what we are and what we’re fated to be
There’s a deeper story of make-believe for me
And there I was imagining a world of my own
A world with no faces for I was alone
I found myself in the weirdest of places
In a house of cards of spades and aces
Where the Queen of Hearts was screaming, “Off with her head.”
And there I was, not knowing what lay ahead.
(Photo credit: annstreetstudio.com)
Tales from a Coffee Shop…
I had the pleasure of meeting the kindest man named Jackson at the coffee shop yesterday evening. His infectious warmth and contagious smile is hard to ignore. He seems to light up the coffee shop whenever he enters it and he’s always addressing people as dear or lovely or sweetheart having never met them before. It always makes me smile. I had seen him a few times before, typing away on his lap top but I had never spoken to him until yesterday. I’ll definitely be adding him to my mug of coffee shop friends. I suppose you can already tell since he has found a place on my blog. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now. Here is how the story goes…
A tall and lanky elderly man grabbed his coffee, walked by my table, paused and took a few steps back towards me.
“Hellooo. Watcha readin’?” he asked.
His grey eyes and face graced with wrinkles introduced a feeling of warmth and sheer happiness. He was an old fellow with a young soul and heart of gold. You could just tell.
“I’m reading Letters to a Young Poet,” I smiled holding the tiny book up.
“Letters to a Young Poet? Do you write poetry?”
I turned a little red and answered shyly, “I write some.”
“Aah so you’re a poet. Nice to meet you, I’m a writer,” he said.
It was interesting to see that he hadn’t introduced himself by name; rather he identified himself and I by our artistic endeavors. I asked him what kind of writer he was. “I’m an aspiring writer. I’m writing a book,” he told me with poise.
“About what?” I asked.
“It’s about the yearnings of life. We yearn for love. We yearn for happiness. We yearn for whatever our heart desires. So I’m writing a book about that.”
Such is life I thought. Come to think of it, it had never dawned on me until this moment. Jackson had a point. We spend most of our lives yearning for things that aren’t there. We try our damndest to end our search for love, for happiness, for success. It’s part of who we are as human beings and it’s part of the journey we call life.
The conversations we have when meeting new people make our day anything but dull. I find it fascinating and inspiring. Sometimes there’s a reason behind meeting an unfamiliar face. I always welcome new conversations with acquainted strangers. The people we meet along the way give us something to think about. They even have the power to inspire us. Jackson inspired this post.
Often, the conversations I have with people always seem to spark my curiosity, especially conversations about music. In light of a conversation I had with one of the most enlightening, opinionated people I know and aspiring musician, I decided to write this post. We talked about Kurt Cobain and his drug addiction. We challenged whether Kurt was a much loved icon because people truly loved him for his music or if he had become an icon because of the media’s contagious desire to sensationalize his life and his death. We questioned why people placed a man so heavily dependent on drugs on a pedestal and even went as far as questioning whether Kurt was worth the credit his fans have given him. As we conversed on our ride home, I thought about a lot of what we talked about (and even argued about). I realized that our fascination with the artist and even Kurt Cobain (aside from our morbid fascination) is prompted by our curiosity and desire to get inside the artist’s mind. This is one of the most extraordinary things about people and music- our undying fascination with the artist. I think it goes beyond our obsession with fame. Maybe we’re entranced by the artist’s ability to translate confusion and contempt into something beautiful that gives us all the ability to try to understand the world. Not only that-it also makes us feel, think, and act. The beauty of an artist is the mystery that lies behind their work and even their life. Erase all of the hype, tabloids, negative attention and what do you have? A happy artist who is free from the media that beckons for more- unfortunately that’s not reality.
Music is a lot like writing. It brings us back to the core of humanity and realization. It helps us expose our rawest emotions and it reminds us of what it feels like to be human. It’s what brings people together and it’s something we enjoy. It’s also one of the things we ascribe to. It would be hard to imagine music without the musician. We need to know the face behind the voice. Seeing them on stage, tuning our ears into their lyrics, feeling their music (and sometimes their pain) is a part of this so-called relationship between the romantically involved fan and admired musician.
The musician allows us to reach out and place our hands on their hearts, feeling the tremendous infectious love they have for the art form. It’s more than music with a purpose. It’s music on a mission, conquering all of the fakes, all of the industry-funded leeches, all of the tainted apologies, the list of do’s and don’ts, and the ever so tasty fame that comes with a price. But the question is: are we smart enough to see the artist’s mission or cry for help? Some of us yes, most of us, no. Those who are oblivious of the artist’s motives are left with a complex story mish-mashed in guitar riffs, words and a voice, demonstrating that hearing between the lines is almost impossible. When does it become apparent that the music artist has reached an end? When we see them give into drugs? Or when we see them begin to not give a shit? Is this what the artist rebelling against the industry looks like or is it proof of the industry’s ability to tear the music artist apart? To give a damn or not to give a damn? That is the question.
“Here I am, inspired to write only because I’m pissed off”– Kurt Cobain
There is a lot more to music than meets the ear and a lot more to the world than meets the eye. The in between is the artist who tries to make sense of it all. In between the music and the world was Cobain who confronted his fears, ambitions, the raw truth on pages and pages of his written retreat- his journal. Evidently, the greatest story of all is the one we have written in a journal.
I was lured by the cover that read: IF YOU READ YOU’LL JUDGE and decided to dust it off. I wanted to read Kurt Cobain Journals and put some of the pressing questions I asked above to rest. I have to admit, I was a little reluctant to read. As anyone knows, a journal is personal and is for the writer’s eyes only. It would take the world for anyone to pry mine out of my hands. It’s the only safe world I have created with words and without walls. So here I was breaking the intimacy between the writer and his journal. I even felt as though reading Kurt’s journal was an invasion of his privacy- yet this didn’t this stop me from opening it up. Was I also guilty of feeding into the sensationalized musician created by the media? Most definitely. But it’s not my fault, I swear! The media made me do it.
Fluttering around in the media machine is an overwhelming amount of theories, opinions, and ideas about who Kurt really was and how he died. Did he really commit suicide or did Courtney Love kill him? Was he confused and sad? Or just wise beyond anyone’s contemplation? It seems as though the media knew Kurt better than Kurt knew himself. To this day, we’re still doing what Kurt hated the most- trying to figure him out (I guess you could say I’m guilty of it too). Left to the words of his biographers, critics, and money-makers, Kurt was reduced to an object constantly pricked, prodded and analyzed by the watchful eyes of the press who suited him up for their next exciting story. Hmm…Just when we thought that creating was the artist’s job.
The journals were a way of getting inside the mind of a man who was too compassionate, understood too much and was torn between enjoying the world and hating it. It reminded me (in an eerie way) of what a human being can be- contradictive. Aren’t we all?
I’m sure Kurt would have never wanted anyone to read any further than the cover’s warning for lurking eyes: If you read, you’ll judge. Naturally, anyone would cringe at the thought of one person reading their innermost thoughts, let alone the world. His journals served a personal purpose. They were a place where he could rant and be opinionated, opposite of the world so callous and judgmental and here people were, revealing the world that Kurt kept a secret and felt safe and sound in. Despite what would appear as exploitation, the published journals exposed a different Kurt outside of the one that the media created.
Was Kurt Cobain really THAT complex or interesting? Or were these hyped up ideas about Kurt Cobain planted in our minds? It’s hard to say. One thing is true, Kurt was a human being- something we all have in common with him…unless you consider yourself extraterrestrial? His journals reveal him as:
-someone who had a vivid imagination
-someone who was sad and melancholic at times
-a person who wanted to be loved
-someone who hated oppression, racism, and everything that was evil
-a man who felt guilty because he couldn’t live up to the expectations people had set for him
-a person who didn’t think much of himself; mostly humble
…like most people. We often assume human beings are simple creatures, easily definable and only having one side. People have many sides and are far from simple. If anything, we’re closer to complex, yet we always seem to scrutinize those in the spotlight like they’re different from us.
Who knows, maybe Kurt had an inkling that someone would read his journals one day. Kurt wasn’t stupid. Maybe his journals, filled with stories, ideas, rants and drawings were in his defense, a portrayal of a sensitive man very aware of the world and everything in it. Perhaps it was his way of throwing a curve ball at those who had an unnerving fascination with his life and at those who would choose to sensationalize his death. Building him up as the tragic artist, replaying his videos, and replaying his songs seem to have always brought on a strange and eerie sense of revival. Sedated by the media, it was hard for anyone to wake up and see what was being created- a music icon. An icon people would make money off of (his published journals being just a fraction of earnings).
A coward? A junkie? Or enlightening and willing to see the world without rose coloured glasses? The tall tale of the tortured artist who found it better to “burn out than to fade away” is a story we’ve heard too many times- the romanticized version, of course. It leaves us feeling sad and at a loss for words. What helps us find them?-whatever you’re reading and whatever you’re watching. Little do we know what lies behind the face we starve to see perform. In the end does it really matter? There is a hidden message that makes us curious about not only who the artist is, but what they think about. I think it’s a mystery that deserves to be untouched and left to the music artist’s crazy way of expressing what most of us can’t. There’s no Rosetta Stone to the artist’s life. Sometimes some things are better left to the imagination. Some things are better left in our journals.
Freedom. How sweet it is. You speak of freedom, I speak of freedom, we all speak of freedom- a word that often rolls off of slippery tongues. This idea of freedom is merely a myth and still resonates in a dream often re-created in stories or poetry. That itself is proof that freedom is something most are still in search of and desire. The explorers and storytellers? -The Def Jam poets. They’re like their very own poet’s society where they cease the moment when they’re on stage and reveal an organic representation of their struggle to find freedom. Embellished with emotion and awe-inspiring voices that send chills up your spine, each poet redesigns the stage into a political platform where matters like racial identity, gender identity, crime, poverty, violence and greed cannot be ignored. I’d say they’re rebels without a dangerous cause, just a cause. Their poems are a peaceful demonstration for intolerance, giving a voice to those who are tolerant of what they no longer have the strength to overcome.
In light of a poetry session that took place (to my surprise) at a neighborhood coffee shop in the middle of suburbia, I decided to write this post. Writing in a coffee shop- you just never know what you’re gonna get. That’s what I always say. I was excited to listen to some poetry from some fellow suburbanites. I often poke my ears around the city for some heartfelt poetry sessions so I was pleased to see that one was happening right here, right in my own backyard. I love me some poetry. It’s my weakness, I have to admit. Maybe I got it from my Pops.
These poets were my saviour for the night. I didn’t think I could bear another corny 80’s love song relentlessly piercing my ears (
courtesy of the coffee shop owners). The coffee shop poetry sesh sort of inspired me to write this post. I went home and submersed myself into some spoken word courtesy of Def Jam Poetry. It’s not hard to fall in love with most of them. I’ve been a fan ever since a professor of mine had our class listen to a poem by Jill Scott.
As much as I love the written word, there is something immensely powerful about transforming the written word into the spoken word. Here are some very powerful poems that touched me (Explicit Content Below).
I’ve always been inspired, enthralled, and moved by Def Jam Poetry. The power of the spoken word relieves us of silence and has the power to move you and the power to leave you speechless. Writer’s write what they know. Never shy of a surprise, these poets establish a social climate in a room where issues like oppression, racism, and identity are confronted. An intellectual outcry, their poetry gives the streets a life of their own, translating real-life problems into prose. Because Def Jam Poetry is reaching such a diverse audience made up of different races and class backgrounds, often the message is either misinterpreted or gets lost in translation. This is what troubles me. Often you’ll hear critics stripping poets of their expression saying “they swear too much” or “they promote violence” or “they promote misogyny.” To the culturally ignorant: these poets are narrators of reality- their reality.
Now, the point of poetry isn’t to change the world. Most poets know they aren’t going to conquer the world with one poem at a time. Poetry is about one opening up the world they live in and letting others in. It’s about reciting true accounts and making history in ways that will reach many people (the oldest form of sharing and remembering information). In return, what does the poet wish for?-An outsider’s appreciation for their story.
On that note, “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” -Robert Penn Warren