Playing the Changes


The music, once lifeblood, is wallpaper now.

Distraction packaged to a T. No more introspection.  No more grand concepts to espouse. Where once we found a wellspring of honest communication, a power for true consciousness raising, an untainted form of collaborative self-expression, now we see these things collapsed and eclipsed by the weight of ego and braggadocio.

Somewhere, there was a change. The true talent of expression has given way to the vapid skill of claiming talent at expression. Have we gone so far down the rabbit hole that we are willing to accept this as our escape from the world? Does the call for shallow entertainment carry further than the call for meaning?

Deaf, dumb, and blind, the children dance to rhythm without reason, and rhyme to meet a word count. Futile exercises in formula. Mindlessness. It’s hard to speak wisdom when appealing to the masses. It’s hard to pull the weeds from the garden when you’re sitting on the fence. Still, what’s good to sell is good to buy, and what’s easier to sell than the surface?

We stand close enough to the canvas to see the finer strokes, but not the bigger picture.

The middlemen are multiplying. It’s getting harder to make out the voice of an artist among the others squabbling for position in his work. Platforms are sold according to expected outcomes, and advertisements bring more revenue than human beings.

It’s the coldest kind of war. The separation of life from life. And those who sell the mortar want to build the walls.

In consequence, only marketable beauty is allowed the privilege of generating art. So much for being made of star-stuff, as it turns out, you need to look the part. When you rely on the promotion of others, you need to play the game by their rules. No biting the hand that feeds you.

Short of some cultural revolution, it’s nothing more than a waiting game now. We’ll lack the means to fight the fight when there’s no one left to show us how. And one by one, the men and women who used to lead the way fade away.

When our daughters and our sons have been diluted, then maybe we’ll decide to make a difference. And even now we gamble on the fact that our hindsight will remain just good enough to remember how. To protect innocence.

Meanwhile, we continue to buy these lies. Cheap at the price of the true artist’s livelihood.

Stars are born. Hope dies.

The bottom line is the bottom line.



Poem – “One Day”

One day, a man with no allegiance shooed the songbirds from the trees.

One day, a priest with no religion shunned his flock to wear his fleece.

And in one day, everything had changed.


The victims were saddled with blame, as if by sleight of hand.

And those who were more equal than others grew fat from the land

At the expense of the man who once gave a damn.


Great desperation makes sweeter the call of the dice.

And blind indignation breeds hatred between you and I.


And one man couldn’t change a thing.

So one million men didn’t change a thing.


Poem – “Hiding in the Forest”


Life lies in the minds of mortal men


I etch my thoughts onto paper

Hearts carved into trees by a young lover

Pressing myself into the world


Until all of me is secreted in my writing

Life as an idea in the mind of another


I commit myself to paper

Like a child, I hide in the forest

And as long as I can speak to other hearts and minds

I live forever


In the end, we are more fragile than paper

A simple sentence can hold its worth longer than we can hope for ourselves

Some of us will change the world

for the simple sake of being remembered


But time heals even the cuts of paper

Eternity is finite too

And with no minds left to hold ideas

They fade, as we do


Words without meaning

A universe without eyes

Existence without perception

All for nothing


Poem – “Public Consumption”


If this is your calling, you’d best stop this fuss

You haven’t the time. It’s a spent luxury

Exhale for luck. Odds are for supper

Evens supplies for the next work to be


The painter who hangs on the wall for a change

Sees Darwinist nature in sharper relief

While the young art collector, the market projector

Determines his fate with a glimpse of his teeth


She’s an unfaithful mistress

Unshakeable sickness

She’ll enrich your life and paint you a clown

You’ll gain traction with charm

But right now

Her arms are holding you



If you must take the chance, put your shoes on to dance

You must play the game or be lost in the noise

And if fashion desires, you’ll stay for a while

Losing your passion as you serve with the boys.


And you may find it strange, as they move into range

The audience turns on the fool at the feast

At the end of the day, something’s got to hang

You may as well make it a canvas, at least

“Perhaps It’s Time…” New Song.

As some of you will know, I’m working on putting out a new album in the near future, once I’ve solved some equipment issues on my end. In the meantime, here’s one of the tracks, “Perhaps It’s Time…”


Pity the children left behind

born at the top of a steep incline

gifted the slagheap that we designed

told we were justified.

They’ll play on grass we paved as we tell them to act their age

but perhaps it’s us who need to change

Think of the leaders, through whose fingers

promise slipped when ego lingered

so content to leave the world

unbalanced and uncertain

Think of the chosen ones who stand

in wings and leave the stage unmanned

caught in history’s remand

beneath the velvet curtain

Pleasure is the game we close our eyes to play

So perhaps it’s time we make a change

We shake ourselves from childish stares

extolling the virtue of a world unfair

the cold of the cynic is all the rage

perhaps it’s time we make a change


To be content seems quaint when all of this remains

put distraction down and make a change.


In a world where being a consumer

Is more important than being a thinker


Where a smile sells

And a heart sits on the shelf


When appearance is everything

Changing one’s mind becomes an admission of something unsavoury

The shame of having not known everything before


One must protect one’s own perfection

One must retain imperfection to hide from it


We devolve to prove we are not animals

We sink continents to keep ourselves afloat


We elect to stick to our guns

Even when they are pointed back at us