A Phrase

Complications of
Relational dynamics
A work in progress

Giving and/or receiving
Paradox indeed

With the best efforts
Of good deeds and intentions
Two things can be true

Holding up mirrors
Core skillsets and aesthetics
Unlost on the trail

But the day has come
Or has it already passed?
Views of tomorrow

I see through the knots
This is all built already
Sitting back watching

No need to gamble
When you possess everything
Blindingly wealthy

Pen goes to paper
Free from hashtag overlords
Looking up from hands

And in summary
Drinking the cool cool water
Meets expectations




Enough of Things


The mirror is not always the best place for reflection
    No one knowing who you really are

Have I not impressed you    yet
    Have I not entertained you    yet
        Have I not proven myself to you    yet

Yet for the very first of times
    I have proven myself to me
        All actions justifiable
            And irrefutable

I’ve paid my dues
    Says a man taking life advice
        From hippie and classic
            Pop songs from
                A long time ago

A person does have at a certain point
    The credibility and luxury to ponder
        Not only what was it all about
            But what the hell will it ever be

Even Pinocchio became a real boy
    But like everything else in history
        That was a nonfiction glitch

Put it in your pocket for a rainy day
    Let me tell you about the power


Try Not To Think


The sporting press
The randy gossip
Sentries of American democracy

Lust            the mind and body

Not everyone sees
    what we see

Visionaries who understand the potential of [         ]
    long before most people do

The history of loving
From beginning to end
Having always been
    in love

A feeling of unstoppable
Giving from deep inside
Until there is
    nothing left

It never ever matters
If there are consequences
Because life is
    ultimately short

If the only thing
One is remembered for
is how much
    they loved

The fundamental goal
in living this long
and full life is learning

About self and others
but mostly about self 

Because one can only
control what one can
control ultimately



“Boy on Roof” Monroe Street, New York, Walter Rosenblum, 1950

for Evan


Situations are Infinite


That may have been the very last warning

The more it takes the more I want to take until I take it all

A lot going on - one makes particular choices to suit situation and desire

But it’s not even that I know what it is I desire

And situations are infinite

I'm uncertain when it started but we’ll have a really good idea when it ends

So frightened of losing the whole hand but that’s the risk when we go all in

We just have to keep a poker face and power forward despite

Born alone
Live alone
Die alone

There are no real goals and there never really were

It is almost like I am at my best when I am dead inside

And–more often than not–there is where I live

It is the basis of my being perhaps

But it makes the highs so much higher

An exploration of rabbit holes and storm drains resulting

There is a certain lightness within a darkness––the weight removed

Performative and societal pseuicide–Ars Moriendi my friends


I Simply Cannot Compete (with your smartphones)

As in a dream-state dreamscape
I cannot seem to remember which station it was
    where I got off the train
        or where I was going or why I got off
Yet here I wander in a strange but familiar place

Alone and fully exposed
Wearing vulnerability as awkwardly as an ill fitting suit
    because the brain chemistry changes
        during the course of a marathon
Our desires are the motivational properties of addiction

I will always be one of one and never will I be one of many
Waxing and waning philosophies since inception
    What more can we give • What more can we be
        Still learning • Still building
You can lead a horse to mirrors but you cannot make it reflect

What I want is exactly what I need as desires decussate necessity
    (at the seventieth percentile mark of this life)
All constructs have fallen afoul and are helplessly farcical now
It no longer matters if the trains run on time
    if there is no longer an intention to get back on




9:01 para auriculares y cacao


tKoL25: Quit While You're Ahead

 tKol25: Quit While You're Ahead


46:16 para auriculares y cacao
 • • • • •
When I met Ty, I only knew about five or six chords on the guitar. After three years of playing with him non-stop, I knew all eight. I always had something to say back then and I made sure none of that came through in the lyrics. As the Washington Post wrote about us, "The doors to the Kingdom are not wide open. Strangers will encounter private jokes and willful indulgences. Still the band achieves an engaging groove. Whatever songs like "Princess Bridge" and "ButterPump" are about, they slip-slide along with eccentric aplomb." After I looked up what aplomb meant, I felt seen. This is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me. (For the record, ButterPump is about a butter pump.)

For The Grand Escape (1999), our final paid public performance, we actually had a set list because we played with Marcus Esposito, a second guitarist. Nonetheless, we forgot to play one of the songs on the set list which was fine because right before the show, Avelyn Mitra asked if she could play flute and we wondered why it took until our last show for people to figure out that they could do that. Just show up and play an instrument.

I never want to perform in public again and I'm sure Ty agrees. It's too much hassle. People seem to think that you have to in order to be a real band but the music was never for anyone not on the stage. It still isn't. If I could erase all the music tKoL has ever made public, I probably would. I like it in my earholes. It's been declared "an engaging groove" by a reputable newspaper. But I don't care about anyone else's earholes. Not even yours. In fact, stop reading. This is not for you either.

Rich Walkling
The Otter Farm, Berkeley, California
• • • • •

At first, in 1996, it was just fun because I could make Rich laugh–at the corporate office where we both worked–with silly but pretty in-the-know allusions. Oh, this guy gets it I thought. Then some time later at the Zone he goes, “You know who you are?” To which I probably replied, “Huh?” “You are the king of leisure.” To which I probably replied, “Okay." We just ran with that rather than think of anything better.

Then one day Rich said, “I played some songs into my answering machine.” To which I probably replied, “Huh?” Then he said, “There are drums in my basement.” To which I probably replied, “Oh, I play the drums.” So we just ran with that rather than think of anything better.

I think we played exactly one show to an audience because that’s what playing a show was supposed to be; playing for strangers. This was after the headliners found us lazily buying candy across the street. Most of that show consisted of us playing some songs, talking to each other, bagging on the headliners (our friends), and yelling at people for not listening to us do this. After that, we basically just played for and to each other either in Smelly Hell or at “shows”. Because why not? Then we stopped playing songs.

Thousands of hours of trying to entertain the person on the other side of the stage was what it is all about whether the stage was a literal stage or through the tubes and across the world wide digital divide. It’s all the same; what kind of response will this silly but pretty in-the-know allusion I just made elicit from Rich. So we just ran with that rather than think of anything better.

That’s showbiz, kids. Quit while you’re ahead.

ty hardaway
The Otis, Middlespace, Maryland
• • • • •