Friday, September 30, 2016


Image result for the swans glowing man

It's been sitting around the house since it came out, not sure why it finally took me this long to put the latest SWANS cd on.


I had no doubt it would be good but, motherfucker, it is AMAZING.  I think it's probably, song for song, better than THE SEER, and we all know how good that one was.

As you were.


So, looking back at the dates on this blog, it was about 7 years ago that I had my creepy plagiarist/stalker.  Younger guy, started writing me about poetry & music, proposed we do a small chapbook together.  He put it together and sent me a copy, and it was a little weird, cuz all of his poems looked like someone blatantly imitating me.  Same images, same choppy stanzas, he even wrote about his sons (he had no children). 

Image result for the warlocks phoenixSoooooo.........

Didn't seem like it was worth freaking out about, so I just casually blocked him on whatever social media I was on at the time (myspace?) and stopped answering his emails.  And, of course, he kept emailing me to say that somehow he'd been unfriended on the social media sites, and could I re-friend him?  I think he eventually got the picture.  I blocked him on this blog, too, inasmuch as that's possible.....

Image result for the warlocks RISE AND FALL
And then, a few months later, I started getting emails from other writers who said "Hey, who's this whacked-out fucker ripping you off in [insert publication name here]?!"  This happened a few times with a few different zines, and I thought it was odd that only one editor ever got in touch with me.  Or maybe I flatter myself about how damn distinctive my writing is.  Anyway, she told the guy to knock his shit off and stop ripping me off.  She sent the poems of his that she'd rejected, and he had apparently evolved past pseudo-John Sweet poems into essentially cutting and pasting poems I'd written, chopping them up into new poems, giving them Sweetish titles (i.e. "the palace of..." or "the burning horse...." or whatever).

So, I'm here to tell you, imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery.  It fucking sucks.  Obviously, it's only poetry, so what's going to happen to the guy?  Is he stealing priceless art?  Fuck no, he's stealing poems by an obscure poet in a world filled with obscure poets.  Sure, I put my heart and soul into the stuff, but I always thought that was the point of writing, which brought up my other WHY? question (the first one being "Why the fuck are you ripping off the work of an obscure poet?  Fame and fortune?  Naked chicks?  What the fuck?").  And, okay, that's 3 questions, but they all tie in.

But the other WHY? question is "Why aren't you just using my work as a springboard to create your own style?"  Look at all the bands the Velvet Underground and the Pistols inspired.  Look at how each major art movement helped inspire the one that followed.  That's art, goddammit.  You use someone/something else as a launching pad.  You act and react.

Image result for the warlocks THE MIRROR EXPLODESAnyways.....  There's a big gap in this blog back around 2009 or so, I quit writing and painting for about a year, the world continued, I eventually found my groove again.  Read a shitload of books that year, tho....

And now I'm listening to the Warlocks, just finished a painting and, before that, a quick little oblique poem about plagiarists/sycophants/leeches.

Rock on.


Dude knew what he was doing....

Image result for odilon redon

Image result for odilon redon

Image result for odilon redon
Image result for odilon redon

Thursday, September 29, 2016


a Surrealist AND an Anarchist.
Makes your life look pretty empty, doesn't it?

Image result for remedio varos

Image result for remedio varos

Image result for remedio varos

Useless Science.jpg


a nation of assholes with guns

the palace of curtains

van found empty on
the side of the road and
the woman gone

the pond dragged

the passage of time

six months
and then a year
and still nothing but the
empty space between my hands

the way i tell you
i love you
but not the reasons

and how far away
do you have to stand from
the uncovered pits filled with butchered bodies
for them not to matter?

how long can a child be
locked in a cage
before it starves to death?

you need to remember that there are
people in this world who know
the answers

you need to open
the bathroom door slowly

watch the mother
drown her children

listen to what she says

words that are obliterated by actions
which is nothing new

look at the men
you've voted for
all of the sons and daughters
they've raped
or sent off to die in pointless wars

the magic of turning god
into money

this country
that feeds off both
the living and the dead


originally in Drifter's Oasis


Image result for manic pop thrill petrol emotionMANIC POP THRILL kicks ass.  It's like a zillion bees on cheap speed crammed into an electric guitar.  Except for where it slows down to some pretty sugary sweet pop.

And then BABBLE gets even better.  More variety, energy displaced in a wider variety of ways, periodic bouts of dark moodiness, dance rock, defiant anger......  Probably their best album.

A handful of singles during this period, too, and all of them pretty tasty.

Not sure what happened after that.  Too many guys writing the songs individually, it seems to me.  I have no problem with albums that lack cohesiveness, but END OF THE MILLENNIUM PSYCHOSIS BLUES and CHEMICRAZY just seem to thrash about and meander and ultimately flounder under the weight of their own uncertainty.  If the songs were all topnotch exercises in whatever style the band was attempting, that would help, but a lot of this stuff is pretty faceless.  FIREPROOF sounded kind of tired to me, which is a possibility as the band slogged around endlessly, but could never rise above their cult status.  That's gotta wear you down.Image result for babble that  petrol emotion

TPE is one of those bands where people like to say "Man, if they were around today, they'd be HUGE", but they wouldn't.  They were out of step with their times, definitely, and they had a US label for a few albums that didn't seem overly interested in pushing them, and so eventually they just ran out of steam without ever gaining more than a tiny toehold with record buyers.

Pick up those first two records, tho.  The latest CD reissues have bonus tracks, but the original albums themselves are the truest testaments to how passionate and vital this band was.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


The real deal.  CURSE OF THE MEKONS was probably equally as strong.  Good times......

Image result for mekons rock & roll album cover

the days all bled dry: a theory

you in the frozen
sunlight, dreaming of pilate, of
wide open spaces

dreaming of dylan, his
tongue nailed to a bible, his
hands on fire, and this had to
have been ’64 or ‘65

both of us starving at a
leaf-covered table in some
november back yard

both of us golden and one of us
stoned, and i was trying to
tell you i loved you

needed you to understand you
were my one true goddess
in the age of despair

Monday, September 26, 2016



A print on canvas from the 99¢ Store at the insanely oversized mall in Syracuse.   Don't let the store name mislead you, tho.  Apparently, the prices of stuff there all just END in .99¢.  The smaller version of this was $7.99, the big one about 5$ more.  Artist obviously had a lot of cadmium green & bismuth yellow to play with.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Again, praise be to Dionysus for the CD age and all these groovy deluxe editions and box sets.  I'm not a huge fan of Lush, but it was nice to see them get a box set a while ago. 

Image result for swervedriver mezcal headSwervedriver got the 2 cd JUGGERNAUT RIDES a few years back, but damn do they deserve more.  They kicked ass 15 ways to Sunday, and they have a shitload of non-album and non-cd music floating around out there.  Plus, MEZCAL HEAD is the musical equivalent of a ton of bricks landing on your head.  If that's good.  OK, maybe I just mean it was HEAVY AS FUCK.  And it was.  It and RAISE both got reissued with bonus tracks, but a lot of that was already available on JUGGERNAUT.  There's a lot more work to do.
Image result for a storm in heaven verve

I see the first 2 Verve albums just got the deluxe treatment, so that's cool.  A STORM IN HEAVEN is their best, back when they just rode grooves and tripped out blissfully.  The bonus music is mostly their early singles which, despite a lot of that stuff being available on NO COME DOWN, is still pretty damn excellent.  The debut mini-album isn't included in this set, but you can grab that cheap at all the usual places.  And you should.  Now.  While we're waiting.

Image result for catherine wheel ferment

Catherine Wheel also need some serious reissuing and boxsetting.  CATS & DOGS was a good non-album song collection but, like Swervedriver, it just scratched the surface.  I think the 30TH CENTURY MAN mini-album is long out of print and now officially in hard-to-find-at-a-reasonable-price status.  And FERMENT and CHROME could both use a little sound tweaking.  Man do they sound good cranked up to 13 or so......  
Image result for catherine wheel chrome

ADAM & EVE also kicked ass, in a wide screen panoramic kinda way.  HAPPY DAYS sucked, with the exception of about 3 songs, and WISHVILLE was pretty lame, but the non-album stuff and the 3 1/2 aforementioned albums are more than enough greatness to warrant some reissues.....

I am seriously confused as to why these record label dipshits don't consult with
                                                                            me on this stuff.


A few older pieces that first appeared in THREE CANDLES...

beneath the violent weight

in the afternoon
we speak softly of the
queen of open wounds

we walk from the house
to the river
and you name the flowers
we find along the way

you look past lorca's bones
to the beauty of his soul
and ask why i can't
do the same

i have heard this before
this bitter desperation
but never beneath
the beautiful weight of a
late june sky

i have listened to you
long enough to learn to
doubt myself

long enough to believe in
the holiness of
the burning house
and there is between us
a wall that neither one
will admit

fear is the
next step after sorrow
and beyond that
there is only desert

it's here
that we will finally
look at each other and
not be blind

* * *

first snow in the season of rust

think about
these ideas that you
can never see

about the darker shades
of november twilight
and the way the ground begins
to freeze beneath the

and think about stillness

about the weight of it

about quang duc
in his shroud of fire

his body reduced to ashes
but his heart left intact

the war dragging on and
then the next one beginning
and then the next

a poet i've never met
found dead behind the wheel
of a borrowed car

everything important
left unsaid

* * *

to be given the gift of helplessness

it is a small thing
to tear
the child in two

it is the
absence of laughter
or the open hand sharply
across the
unsuspecting face

it is so easy and
the wars
are all far away

imagine a lit cigarette

a stove burner

minor atrocities that will
never make it beyond
page three
and i am tired
of drowning in anger
and i am tired of feeling

it is a strange thing
to be sitting in a room
with a woman who undresses
as she tells you how her
mother's boyfriend raped her
when she was

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Not sure how I even found this.  5 very interesting poems from a young woman's series of poems (written about 10 years ago, by the looks of it) called the John Sweet Series.  Unsettling.

wreckage:  a later interpretation

or she's eighteen and
her wrists are healing

the hills rise up on
every side of this town and
i get a letter from a man who tells me
that the indians have their casinos

that all debts have been repaid

and i drive slowly into the city
with a handful of poems
and a belief in empty spaces

i offer columbine as one choice
and cobain as the other and
no one speaks

no one stops me when i
get up to leave
and when she's twenty one
she no longer dreams about the
god of starving dogs

when she's twenty three
she could be anyone

it happens as simply as war

a man approaches you with a gun
and you live or you die

you learn to build houses
from the bones of priests

you're buried in the
frozen soil like a dog

like so much garbage

and the days move on effortlessly


I sold this one to an awesome dude out in California a few years back.  Last I heard, his daughter had purloined it for her own wall.  If I gave it a title, it escapes me....

Friday, September 23, 2016




Abstract digital art, some very powerful stuff.  Some hints of O'Keeffe here and there, some other instances of Name-the-Influence, but it's all quite excellent work.

the negative future

patron saint of
sunlight on chrome, you understand

a better bible for
darker times

spent our days getting high down by
the river while our parents went blind

while mortgages were paid and
daughters raped and i kept telling you
i loved you but
all you did was laugh

all you do is hold out the
hearts of lesser gods like
semi-precious stones

tell me to consider the hundred
million miles of desert
between value and worth

maybe get lucky and
find myself there

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Okay, Sniff 'n' the Tears were an amazingly mediocre band, sure, but Driver's Seat will always be a desert island tune for me.  Just dripping with mystery & melancholy.  Fucking amazing.  And when you factor in what an incredible painter the band's leader (Paul Roberts) is, bonus points are given.  Photo-realism TO THE EXTREME.  His website is

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


These guys are incredibly good.  Personally, I think this one's their best.  Their third one mixed in some acoustic guitars, I read a few reviews that claimed this was "gimmicky".  Again, reviewers are assholes.  Probably their 2nd best album.

Image result for tomorrow's harvest boards of canada

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Image result for SUNSET


When I first started getting work published online, I was invited to join a few poetry forums.  The workshop approach to writing has never been my thing (we sociopaths don’t play well with others, as a rule), but I figured What the hell? and decided to give it a try.

The results were about as chock full of hilarity as you can probably imagine.

I was bitched at for not taking the editing advice of others, I was bitched at for not offering enough constructive criticism to others, I was bitched at for stating my belief that repeatedly re-working a poem left you with the literary equivalent of a heavily glazed xmas fruitcake…..

I mentioned on several occasions that workshopping wasn’t a substitute for just getting out there and submitting work.  I said that, after a point, it was just needless procrastination and cowardice.  I was motherfucking Captain Popularity!  I said “Post your work, and I’ll tell you whether or not it works for me.”  What else can you do?  If you rewrite someone else’s poem enough for them, is it still their poem?

An editor at one of the forums made the mistake of deciding to choose a POEM OF THE MONTH, and then went and chose a couple of mine in the first few months.  A few people immediately started screaming about how unfair this was, since I was a “professional” poet and they were just amateurs.  I explained, again, that I was simply a writer who actually submitted his work to magazines instead of posting it on forums for others to fix.  I also explained that the bottom line for me has always been IF YOU DON’T LIKE SOMEONE’S POEM, THEN JUST WRITE A BETTER ONE OF YOUR OWN.
How hard is that?


I obviously eventually left all the forums, and I’m sure no tears were shed.

If it weren't for free porn and youtube videos of teenagers ingesting cinnamon, this whole internet thing would be a complete waste of time....