A Happy Birthday Of Sorts

7 Jan

I don’t like a big deal made out of my own birthday so tonight I’m spending my yearly hibernation listening to some solid music and relaxing. So here’s to another year older and another year to be buried in the past…. it was a good one…though this next should be better.

The weather has been outrageously warm today, usually I’m locked inside fighting off the cold, this afternoon I had the windows down in the car and things felt right. Tonight I’ve got the window in my apartment open and I’m at ease… not a bad way to go.


By Jay Armstrong

Wanting to feel this breeze,
Steady through the window,
I want this place on this bed,
Someone could rest beside me

Wanting this bed in another apartment,
Small, cramped, perfectly placed
In New York city,
A view of traffic and tiny markets,
Summerheat sweating through the window,
No breeze. Just stuffy and burning
Day finally giving way to night
Thick darkness and streetlights.
The sound of traffic and static movement
Like rustling leaves but more metallic
I am content

Settled within my self
The electric buzz of my soul
Lifting the skin on my chest
So light and so wanting


I wrote that a few summers ago and found myself thinking about it all day today. I’m no writer, that should be obvious by now, but creating poetry is something I still love to do and haven’t ever shown anyone (what better place than here, right?)… feels kind of nice seeing it not scribbled in my third-grader scrawling.

Here’s the music I find comforting today.

1. Karen O And The Kids – “Rumpus”

2. The Ugly Club – “Hope We Survive”

3. Paul Baribeau – “Boys Like Me”

4. Bright Eyes – “Landlocked Blues”

5. Merle Haggard – “White Line Fever”

6.  Matthew And The Atlas – “I Will Remain”

7. The Tillers – “Ludlow Street Rag”

8. Wentworth Kersey – “Oxbow”

9. Sea Wolf – “I Made A Resolution”

10. Sun Airway – “Put the Days Away”

11. Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland 1945”

12. Bishop Allen – “Ghosts Are Good Company”

13. Born Ruffians – “Hummingbird”

14. The Cold Front – “Full Circle”

15. Youth Of Today – “Youth Crew”

16. Jimmy Eats World – “A Praise Chorus”

17. Oh No! Yoko – “90’s Kids”

18. The Raveonettes – “Forget That You’re Young”

19. One For The Team – “Best Supporting Actor”

20. Girls – “Heartbreaker”

21. Library Voices – “If Raymond Carver Were Born In The 90’s”

22. The Gaslight Anthem – “Casanova Baby”

23. Cursive – “Art Is Hard”

24. Pavement – “The Killing Moon”

25. The Good Life – “Album Of The Year”

26. Blitzen Trapper – “Furr”

27. Mimicking Birds – “Burning Stars”

28. Why? – “Fatalist Palmistry”

29. The Books – “Smells Like Content”

30. The Format – “I’m Ready, I Am”

31. The New Amsterdams – “Hanging On For Hope”

32. David Dondero – “Living And The Dead”




Thinking of poetry has put me in the mood to dig up a few of my favorites. Here are a couple of poems that come to mind which I love and connect with completely.


Roll the Dice

 by Charles Bukowski

if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, its
the only good fight
there is.


Philip White


“Talking only makes me feel more alone,”
you said once in the car outside the clinic.
Two years later, you spoke the same sentence
word for word one night after friends had gone.
Within a month, you’d erased yourself    . . .
Erased? “To absent oneself,” I found scribbled on
a wrapper a year later    . . .
                                                                     Now sunlight and tree
shadow rush over the windshield of  the car:
I’m talking with my new wife — then gone, absented.
“Sometimes I feel almost too much joy,”
you wrote from the balcony of  your cheap
hotel in Paris. “What are you thinking?” she asks.
Light shutters across us. Wherever you are
in me I’m there, though it’s not what you wanted.

Allen Ginsberg with Tom Waits – “America”

You Came, Too

By Nikki Giovanni

I came to the crowd seeking friends
I came to the crowd seeking love
I came to the crowd for understanding

I found you

I came to the crowd to weep
I came to the crowd to laugh

You dried my tears
You shared my happiness

I went from the crowd seeking you
I went from the crowd seeking me
I went from the crowd forever

You came, too


By Charles Bukowski

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do

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