Sliding Home Again

 sliding home again

Today I’m feeling the slide quite deeply. Almost as if I’ve been anticipating it, waiting for it, and needing it. Now we can put this thing, or, all these things to bed. Finally. It’s not like everything needs a pretty bow or anything, but resolution is an extremely undervalued aspect of context.

the eagerness forces the choices

I’m used to the loneliness, really. It’s where the so-called magic happens. Things only get confusing when I try to pretend that I am a real human and there is a place for me among the people. Sometimes learning takes time. I have been productive for several decades. It happens largely in isolation, in quiet, in darkness. This is probably why I’m so awkward yet preserved.

long wakes and future gifts

I do sometimes get away from the process, out of plan, out of pocket, off-book, and lost in the forest. And it is with welcome relief and surprise that I can actually still find my way home. It’s like how I conduct conversations; leading everyone down meandering paths following scents and subtle movement only to deftly reel everyone back to tonic. I’ve been called a conductor, a producer, and a legend. But none of that means anything anymore. I’m just another person.

crossroads between a rock and into the fire

In the end (Indian) I guess it’s always going to be the same. That’s probably likely because this is exactly how I’ve built everything to be. From concept to design to curation, it’s all there, customized, optimized. For a while, anyhow, because if we’ve learned anything, it’s the realization that absolutely nothing is or will be forever. Forever is a myth like government and religion. Forever is the carrot and history is the stick. I think the two or three people who have actually taken a close look at this nonsense are most likely to run the farthest.




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
• • • • •


Peaches Too


10:39 para auriculares y cacao



So this is where the dice have landed this turn
At least this rigged game is now amusing     or at least better understood

Back in the ring for one last bout in a cash-out PPV extravaganza
the script is read and the scenes are rehearsed

Social batteries recharged on chaos uncertainty and pandemic
Bad habits atrophied and autopilots disengaged     there is clarity anew

Because once they taste blood–sharks and vampires and artists
all they want is more and more until there is none

While we will never literally live forever we can
Leave the breadcrumbs that suggest there was once a life    worth living



Still Here


Desperate times deserve appropriate responses
Since we lucked out this time around
And we already know the next go will be twice as wrong

Survival as a concept has been absolutely perverted
Authenticity has been curated into a fine dehydrated powder
To keep a straight face is a Sisyphean chore

I am still the same
I am completely changed
I am still here

Promises of post-era behavior remain ignored
Even though we barely skated out alive
Existence is a Hadron collider of fact v fiction

Everyone now a degenerate gambler
Waiting for the next small-pot payout
Perseverance and resilience sell products and services



I've been here coming up on twenty years

I'm now ready to move on




One Year On

Last night I dreamed of drinking wine with Marnie.

One year ago today I was in Los Angeles to do some work for an organization that funded most of my travel expenses. I was flying in the first class upgrade tier, staying at nice hotels, and driving fun rentals. It was my eighth or ninth trip to LA in a year (thus first class upgrade tier) and I was thoroughly enjoying my life.

Part of the joy of travel was visiting places where I had friends. And as an LA homer, I had a couple of friends in California. Serendipitously, Christine and Rich had flown from he bay area to San Diego to, in part, hang out with Marnie and Mark. These are top four friends and I was just a two-hour drive away. But I was busy and they were busy. And there were plenty of times in my lazy, selfish life where I would have just passed on a visit shorter than the drive because I would have just found something else to distract me and I would have obviously seen them all in the near future anyway. But after a little backing and forthing, we settled on a very short window of opportunity.

I would drive down after working, have dinner with them, a drink, spend the night at, drive back to LA in the morning. And that is exactly what I did, in afternoon traffic. I arrived pretty late for dinner but they hung out and had food waiting for me (stuff friends do). After authentic Mexican dinner we all went to a piano bar for cocktails and convo. I don’t think we even broached coronavirus during this very short visit. Rich and I went for one of our famous middlespace walks and we just went to bed. I woke early, kissed them goodbye and drove back. That's it.


And I will forever be grateful I did. It’s been a full year since I've been back or seen these folks.

Before that trip to LA, there was some talk about a coming virus. But we’d all heard it before; a foreign virus was going to not only disrupt our lives, but was going to slaughter hundreds of thousands in the US. None of us were buying the hype. I do remember joking with a colleague that we’d have to work in hazmat suits in LA.

There were hints of things to come. The two people in Whole Foods with masks but that’s not unusual in Los Angeles. There was the one local staffer at the place I was working with a mask. We crowed around the bar and ignored news of the coming virus. And there was the one woman two rows in front of me scrubbing the hell out of her seat with disinfectant wipes but I just sorted her into my cognitive crazy bin.

I could go on and on. March 2, 2020 was the last time I flew anywhere. I really miss travel. But most of all I miss my friends. I don’t have a lot of ‘em.

One year ago: