Monday, April 20, 2015

Smokey -First Draft of New Song for KOTH


Slowly but surely working on an updated version of KING OF THE HOBOS.

Here's the first new song. Gonna be the second song in the show.  Gilly sings it as an ode to his new love, a red six-string cigar box guitar named Smokey.


every heart got a song to sing
every object got a whisper o time
found the box what a shiny thing
on the tracks bout a mile
from the saint louis line

she was fire red hot
and i couldnt let go
later that night
caught a country show
strum by a fella
named les paul
and it came clear
and i understood
got me to thinking
found some wires and wood
now id have a girl
at my beck and call
id call her

gentle like the
i never had
simply speak your chorus
and ill be glad
all the friends ive known
now dust and bone
and my empty little guts
like a sack o stone
yet merrily ill play
oh smokey
were whats left today

second verse
every heart got a song to sing
if you dont whats the goddamn reason
you rise
sing it soft for a nick o courage
kick the devil right square in his eyes

well ive sang each days
when my arms were sore
only rhythm was my sleeping snore
waking off the weight
from another night
fore i sang for anybody else
you see
these little ditties they were meant for me
now i got a girl
feels so good and right
i call her...


if i breathe
and i just start moving
smokey heals me and keeps me fine
hear her speak while my fingers sliver
feel them bleed as our souls entwine
if you cant be handsome be useful
its what james always said to inspire
hell i aint one for smarts or manners
smokey and me were a house afire
if i breathe
and i just start moving
smokey heals me and keeps me fine
hear her speak while my fingers sliver
feel them bleed as our souls entwine
if you cant be handsome be useful
its what james always said to inspire
hell i aint one for smarts or manners
smokey and me 
were a house
were a house 
were a house afire

third verse
every heart got a song to sing
listen close
hear the sound
its the kindness you weep
add some words from the book o suffering
put them together
its a fortune youll keep

she was fire red hot
and i couldnt let go
later that night
caught a country show
strum by a fella
named les paul
and it came clear
and i understood
got me to thinking
found some wires and wood
now id have a girl
at my beck and call
id call her


every heart got a song to sing
every object 
got a whisper o time

Monday, March 30, 2015

Patreon - the what, the why, and how to support Jara


For over two weeks now, I've hosted an artist account on Patreon.  Patreon's like Kickstarter, but ongoing and monthly.  You can donate as little as a buck a month to support artists and receive special content and exclusive content before others do.

In these 14 days alone, I've posted:

Behind the scenes production photos
Diary Entries
Alternate tracks of previously recorded original songs
New poems
Little-known songs I've written
Sneak peek at scripts and excerpts of plays I've written
Easy, direct access to my You Tube song and poetry videos.

The site allows you to comment, provide feedback, post your own artwork, and share things together as a community,

So, why am I doing this?

Sure, it's a way to encourage more creative daily interaction.  But the heart of it is that I'm paralyzed with fear because my day job has issued some pretty tight fiscal cuts.  Got my first check after the changes last Friday and spent hours balancing my checkbook and making up a budget based on my monthly expenses.  And it's way worse than I thought. Due to my day job, due to increased medical expenses this year, and due to a lack of paid acting work so far this year, I'm short about $830 a month.


And this is with me living a pathetically spartan life.  Spending an average of 15 bucks a day on food.

So, I'm scared.

I'm hustling to find more acting work, part-time work. I've established this Patreon account.

Don't know how long the center can hold.  Not sure what else I can strip away or do without.  Doing all I can to avoid more debt.

Realistically, I need to make $1000 more a month before taxes to break even, and $1500 more a month before taxes to actually start making inroads into my acting career.  But how?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Trophies - poem


Here's a new poem.  Donors to my new Patreon account got to see it a week ago. I'll explain tomorrow more about the Patreon situation, and how it's a more updated, more communal version of ODES AND NONSENSE.

Used to find it 
Shivering myself warm in some dusty winter lodge, 
Gazing upon a prostrate 
Bear skin rug. 
Glass eyes wide and blinkless, shining glimpses of the crackling fireplace. 
Seemed wasteful. 
Beyond the logistics of recreational murder. 

Creating and hunting a monster Is a rich person’s game. 
One needs professionals. 
The most patient, effective 
Tools to tear out flesh. 
One must isolate that still-beating 
Note of empathy, muffle it into a cold, tuneless void. 
One must suffer to make the silent, shockwave sounds of greater suffering. 

Some years ago, Through savings and death and inheritance, 
Through the compound interest of dissatisfaction, I found my own quarry. 
Chose my hunting party. 
Slouched uneasily in the orthodontics chair. 
And, with a minimal gloss of anesthetic, 
Had a front row seat to the death of that beast. 
His gnarled and yellowed fangs, wrestled brutely 
From their bleeding stumps. And yes, 
Though it was and remains 
More waking terror-torture than  I’ve ever known 
I demanded those nine teeth be surrendered to me. 
In a paper envelope, creased with a thin stamp of blood. 
But what marks me apart from other hunters is this: 
They’re not displayed. 
No pride or pompous pleasure fills 
A room with this torment, this work. 
They’re tossed in an unused closet, along with 
Old, handwritten love letters and mementos 
From mentors long dead from cancer.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Four Years In the Blood


So, I'm in a diner. Torn seat cushions. Greek football on the radio. On my second cup of coffee.
And I realize, for the first time since I've moved here, the start of a new year hasn't been punctuated by frantic, creative desperation.

2011 - Get here. Push through the snowstorm. Rebuild. Find new artistic work at all costs.You have lost everything.  Get moving.
2012 - Prove yourself. Do summer stock auditions and as many shows as you can.
2013 - Take a risk. Pull out that solo script you've been scared to do for a decade -edit, submit, produce and perform GHOST ON A STICK.
2014 - Join SAG-AFTRA. Realize that you haven't dealt with death and loss and a corrupt sense of self. Go back to therapy. Do meds.  Make a brand new solo show and hustle that as hard as possible.

And now? 

There's uncertainty. Not in a troubling way.  But in an open, inviting approach. Maybe a solo show will take off this year.  Maybe more poetry will follow.  Maybe love will chime in my bones. Maybe work in TV and film will begin.  It's an exciting future.

So, let's get to the heart of why I jot these down each year. Mark the notch of time. Ego? A bit. More importantly, it's to remind me that it's never done alone. Every inch of what's been accomplished is the result of countless people (only a handful of which are personally thanked today) who have shaped me and kindly supported my odes and nonsense.

Here's what's been done, what I'd like to do this upcoming year, and my thanks....


Produced and performed KING OF THE HOBOS  -   Guys, this is the quite possibly the best thing I've ever done. A one man hobo musical set in the Great Depression.  All the current music is available online to stream for FREE (or, if you want to download it, you may purchase)  Plans are in motion to edit the show to an hour and twenty minutes, do another workshop this year, and then pitch it for an long term Off-Broadway run.  I owe Abigail Taylor-Sansom so much for finding the heart of the piece and continually pushing me as an artist with this work. 

Wrote four new songs -  Apart from new songs for the hobo musical, I also wrote some individual new music as well.  Some much more refined work than the past.  Songs about mental recovery, loving in New York City, and bracing for uncertain, hopeful change.

Came back to poetry - after a break, I found myself stumbling back into poem-making.  Re-released my book of poems, RAMSHACKLE, and did a reading of it in NYC as well.  Started two new poem cycles - The Divorced Dad Poems and Texts From Last Night Poems.   All in all, wrote FORTY poems this year.  Here are some of the best.

Jumped into fun theatre projects - another launch of PAGEANT PRINCESS, a daunting, intense affair doing all three HENRY VI plays in rep with Hamlet Isn't Dead, and a production of Vicki Mooney's play BROKEN HEARTLAND.

Wrote the start of a new play (THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS) in a glass fishbowl - such a wonderful, weird experience. Every word you type displayed to the world for the two hours you crunch. Making something brand new out of nothing, for the first time, in front of strangers. Being completely fearless. 

Finished the first draft of THIS GREAT MORTALITY - my play cycle about the Black Plague and a loose factual account of how it affected Avignon, France in 1348.

Lost 67 pounds - Started 2014 at 300 pounds. With diet, exercise, and meds, I've knocked it down to 233. No longer pre-diabetic. 

Wrapped a short comic film with Abigail, Rocky, and Megan Jeannette Smith.  - it's always a treat to collaborate with these sweet, talented beasts.  And Conor Stratton's camera work was top notch.  Can't wait to see the final product!


 - A diet of expectation is appropriate and healthy.  I've come to say this at least twice a day. It's on a card at eye level by my desk. 

 - Always leave a party when you start to feel sad.

- Before you were making things in an effort to earn glory or fame or wealth or any money at all, before you were making things to garner potential status or affection, or prestige, you were making them for yourself. As a quiet, invisible child, alone. Start there. Remember that. 


Here's where I get unconventional this year.  I'm not getting specific. I'm gonna focus on three spheres of human quality, and with each undertaking I do, I'll ask myself:  how does this improve or limit me in these three areas?

I want to use this year to further deepen and improve in the following three tenets:


And now, let's define them.

Self-love - Internal maintenance and growth.  Mental health. Physical health (eyewear, dental work)  Time given to rest and to goof off and to create. Consistent examination of negative thought patterns and limiting behaviors.

Self-care - external maintenance and growth.  Apartment upkeep. Clothes.  Food,  Walking. More engagement with friends. 

Self-respect - Appreciation of abilities and esteem. Taking professional stock in myself. Being prudent with time on external projects.  Accepting compliments and praise whole-heartedly. Being open to receiving love.

 Thanks to the following people:
mi mama   
Jelina Seibert and Dave Seibert  
Jeric Jones and Stephanie Girard 
Bekki Doster 
Mark Kinch
Megan Jeannette Smith
Emily Travis
All those who helped produce KING OF THE HOBOS
Tess Suchoff
Bobby Lux  
Patti Cox
Mike Valloney
Katrina Lenk
Shannon Algeo
Jen Ponton
Sarah Baskin
Sarah Dacey Charles
Meredyth Kenney
Everett Goldner
Alan Corcoran
Sigi Gradwohl
Michael Geffner
 Robin Rightmyer
David Andrew Laws
Kristen Penner
Lorelei Mackenzie  
Abigail Taylor-Sansom
Rockford Sansom
Dianna Tucker Baritot
Adam Baritot 
Malini McDonald
Vicki Mooney
Tony White
Vicki Oceguera  
Tod Engle 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

TFLN Poem - Schadenfruede, Support


Here's this week's poem.



Blood is thicker than
Water is thicker than
Your off-brand pepper spray and
Why the everlovingfuck did you tear
Off the label and leave it next to my
Breath spray, Karen?

I’m in bed.  Basically blind.  Supposed to be a safe place.
Now my tongue’s closed up like a failed kite and you’re topless,
Peeing yourself laughing. 

I need this to get better.  Now.  Taste things. Speak. 
Stop being a sexy, sadistic nurse and think of something else.
Ice cubes.  Go buy some sourdough bread , wet it with your
Mouth, and softly fill my cheeks.

Or so help me,
I’ll jump over there,
Weeping and full of Vitamin C,
Strip off your thong,
And I’ll bury my suffering in your gleeful sweetness.

Oh, I’ll do it.
Mutually assured destruction, Karen.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

TFLN Poem - Cuckolding, Contemplation


Here's this week's poem.


Maybe if I get to know him I'll stop wanting to fuck his wife so much.

He’s got the personality
Of a stone.

But that’s just
Making a hasty imprint.

People are unkempt
Hidden from time.

Given access,
Given the permission of grace,
There’s got to be some dormant dram of color.

Because she once savored him
Because she once matched his murmured breath
And found him flavorful.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

TFLN Poem - Missing, Muddled


Here's this week's poem.


Cradling three pieces of a Lincoln Log set
I’m wearing what’s left of my broken pair of glasses like a
There’s a fistful of auburn hair inside my wallet
But small ones
Got all these clues and yet, no clothes
Inside somewhere     Can’t see where the other wall meets
But it smells like pencil shavings
And fish
Please   someone feed my lizard
And match up the pic of the hair thatch
With our circle
Buy some tape or superglue
Head towards the ocean
I think I can hear the ocean
Pack my pair of emergency chinos
I’ll be waiting