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

Monday, December 15, 2014

Time I Whisper - First Draft of New Song


I feel like I'm either close to shutting down or to the start of career-defining work.

Not sure what.

Winter and depression and doubt can muddy that diagnosis.

But I'm here.  I'm clicking quietly away.

Got a new song.  For me. For anyone wondering out there if it's their moment to eke out a sense of purpose, to be known.  To be bold, and compassionate, and sharing. To prosper. Even be loved.

Here we go.


first verse

ive given up on suffering

is it my time i whisper
is it my time i whisper

tucking in for winter
ill see you spring


prechorus one
see me lay down
beg the night my soul to keep
ive never earned love good as sleep
head crooked
watch the silence fill the room
year spent chasing urequiteds sweet perfume

if you gotta run
if its hard won
like a flare gun
lets make it binding
make a promise to finding
what were worth
dearth of motivation
moldy conversation
leaden deprivation
am i unwinding
is the madness still grinding

verse two
im getting smaller
take less space
staring out the subway
and i see my fathers face

prechorus two
see me talk less
every word its a thought grenade
you wont catch me turning round
seeing what ive made
the lost traveller
my guide
ill course
ill scribble on
this little wick of pride



verse three
ive buried loss
so calm collect
still mouthing syllables
in a manner circumspect

prechorus three
see my debts paid
by my spartan living style
im just a monk serving nothing but my own guile
and i summon in the air
a little nonsense
no one seems to care


Thursday, December 11, 2014

TFLN Poem - Texts, Truth


Here's this week's poem.

If it’s not a grainy,
Sun-shy letter, stuffed in a shoebox,
Move after move,
Almost forgotten,
 Or a foggy evening
Overlooking the Edinburgh center,
Hands locked, creeping quietly between the mausoleums,
Trespassing, sharing.  Silent, yet staring at the cages
Of the dead.  (Their mortsafes, their iron ribs,
Hoping to spare one last indignity.  A leg torn here,
A body resurrected there,  
A fresh, shining corpse sold to a medical school
Otherwise. )

If it’s not
Strip poker on a gnarled shag carpet
Watching you spin yourself
And shake to fits of giggles
As this boomerang in my impatient grip
Remains determined
To exist solely
As a stick,

If it’s not even a gram
Of disarming, aching hope,
If all it is,
From word to word,
(these disposable and effortless words)
Is lather,
The dull, warm compress of common talk,
And no blade,
Then stop, Now. 
Let us see each other.  Let us be loud, bracing.
And let us love clearly again.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

TFLN poem - Charity, Courtship


Here's this week's poem.

There’s no epigram
On my goddamn mons pubis.

Emma Lazarus didn’t scribble out some
American Exceptionalism between
My thick and curlies.

I don’t want the tired,
The wretched
The homeless, the tempest-tost .

Yearn to be free away from me.

My clit wasn’t supposed to end up
Like a dented can of apple pie filling
In a food drive.   Lacquered in dust. Pawed at with
Itchy boredom by the disenfranchised.  No tools or time
To make a decent, thoughtful meal. 

But, what’s left?

Where’s my wild-eyed man who needs no saving,
No rehabilitation.  Someone who smiles
In the dark, when there’s no one left to please.
A man with a landscape of scars, thin white constellations
Of open, examined suffering.    Not hidden.  Not raw. 
Ornaments of kindness.     Where is that earnest, unblinking love…

Thursday, November 27, 2014

TFLN Poem - Dorm Sex, Debate Skills


Here's this week's poem.


Is 36 too old to fuck a college student? THIS IS BOTH IMPORTANT AND TIME SENSITIVE

I’m in the cab, Simon.
Got maybe twenty-six minutes left to reason me down.
Otherwise, I shutter off the phone,
Pop a Tic-Tac,
Make it to her dorm,
Spend the weekend straddling the top of a rickety twin bunk bed.
Fighting for dominance with her stuffed animals.

Rules. Of course.  I know – divide in half, add seven.
And that gives me, what?  26? 25?
Sex math’s hard.  And fact upon fact,
By mid-twenties,  (twenty-one minutes,
And no, don’t play the dignity card –
That’s like trying to start a fire
With wet leaves)

Women wise up.  Seek more.  See that ramshackle
Stare on my face, see me as a tourist of
Human experience.    (sixteen minutes, Simon –
You’ve got to really flex your rhetoric, buddy.
Been a dry spell.  Some goddamn
Annus horribilis )

And if love’s a tomb of compromise,
If I still, years later,
Wake ragged, screaming,
And I justify yesterday’s hateful word,
Each blow.  Each artful punishment.
Clearly, something deserved and true.
If there is no anger in response to that decade,
That child who earned no comfort or protection,
But only a well of manicured sadness,
Then let me live as a charming ghost.

I'll cope.
Be of service.
Entertain. Whisper.  Listen.
Hold court and self-protect.

It’s time.   I’ve paid the fare.

There’s a spittle of snow starting.

Too hot to stick.  Just makes a flitter and melts.

Talk soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New player on ODES AND NONSENSE - King of the Hobos Cast Soundtrack -


There's a cool new player on the website.  You can stream and listen to all of my original songs written for my one man hobo musical: KING OF THE HOBOS .

Heck, if you'd like to keep some of it for your very own, each track's available at Bandcamp for a buck each, and the whole album's as cheap as 7 dollars.  Go to it!

To stay updated on new information about this show, "Like" our Facebook page!

 - Jara

Thursday, November 20, 2014

TFLN Poem - Force, Fallout


Here's this week's poem.



They couple.   The muscles contract.

Force yields.    

I cook in the resolute dark, Nana.

Can’t draw candy until it’s cool and still.
Every stir, every cricket in the mosaic of night,
(that shift and lens of cloud-sight where moon shines
On flakes of dead, whispery skin)

Shapes what I make.
No room for surprise.
You watched your telenovela,
You had your cinnamon tea,
You wrapped your brown, scuffed robe
Against your frame
And you went to bed.
Not to wake until 5 or so.
That’s what’s done.

I closed my eyes.  A moment.  Thought again of
Typing condolence letters in the Green Zone,
Boxes of ash, slightly warm,
Laden on my desk.
Working at night.  I was not prepared
By your footsteps
Or your shadowy hug.
And I’m sorry, Nana.  

It’s just a motion my body makes.
The chocolate seeks optimal care.