why the whys

Why the whys
Tie the ties
Live in peace (and)
Win the prize

Is the Question
think about
a keen sugGestion

this Goes to that
i Wear a hat
it’s How i am
i Am a cat

Live a life
not Filled with lies
Ask the asks (and)
Why the whys




I have been asked to reflect on feedback. That is, what it is I feel and how it is I react to comments and critiques of me and my work, and why it is I feel and react the way I do.

Those closest to me know well that I will deflect positive comments like a Serena Williams backhand. Tell me you like a photo and I’ll tell you how, “I just pointed a thing and pushed a button.” Tell me you liked a song and I’ll tell you how, “…it’s all contrived make believe sounds that you don’t understand anyway; the same notes over and over in some order.” Tell me something tasted good and I’ll explain that, “I’m just a guy who added heat to someone else’s cooking notes.” I’ve had work in gallery exhibits that never told anyone about or attended even for cheeses and wine.

The same people also know negative comments are my reason to exist. I will fixate on the slightest sleight; for days, sometimes years, maybe even for the rest of my life. And by sleight, it could be something not even directed at me or even an awkward compliment. I’ve invented stuff to be pissed about. Critiques move me forward.

Education and employment feedback has all centered on how bright I am but how I wasn’t living up to my potential. Maybe I wasn’t living up to what you thought was some fake ass potential but who are you? I always felt that teachers, professors, and work supervisors were focusing on the wrong stuff, measures like numbers or profit or how to make themselves look best.

To be honest, there have also been people in my life who totally got it but thought they could trickily capitalize through labor or idea exploitation. But I have always been fairly exploitation immune. I think this is a genetic thing; a slave descendant black American trait passed from that side of the chromosome lottery.

And worse, if I don’t live up to my own impossible standards I will beat myself like I owe myself mafia money. You would think I’m keeping score (I am) or am in sort of competition (I am).

Why? I don’t really know. I don’t know the origin of my reactions. I’ve been told I’m good or I’ve done something well since I was in high school. So, for over 40 years I have received positive feedback far out of proportion with negative. But I’ve never fully trusted it. What do people want by telling me good things? Why are people even having opinions on me or my output? What if I actually believed I was good or done at something or valuable to someone? That seems so absolute and nothing is absolute.

I have been working on appearing thankful and humble when offered praise. Not that I’m not humble or grateful but I’ve found better words. I typically now grind out, “Thank-you-I-work-hard-to-do-a-good-job.” That curated and practiced retort covers just about every scenario. It beats what I said for a while, “I know.”

I do believe I have performed at a high level for a good long time. Maybe my baseline is better than a lot of people’s best. I have no way of knowing that. Or, better stated, instead of assuring that I am perceived of doing a good job I just do a good job; or, do the job the best I can and move on. When I’m working, I try to work quickly, efficiently, and quietly.

There have been positive comments I have taken to heart and held closely. And these are the words and sentiments that have shaped my life and form the basis of who I am.

I still don’t know what I’m supposed to say here. I’m a lazy slob. Half con, half fraud.



15:01 para auriculares y cacao

 tyhardaway dot com 

The Black Beatles


That was an era, right? In early 2009 we were just about to launch The Black Beatles; four kooks from North America. I mean, look at that dope image. This was back when a sliver of hope remained for the world wide. Then my brain broke and simultaneously, and completely unrelated, the internet died. At least a robust, intelligent, and organically creative internet. A social media. When Social Media came it murdered all hope. Clicks and likes and influencers and emoji and AI and ads. I was wrong. I would've lost my shorts on the bet. I was so wrong. So wrong. The project never really launched.