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day 853: equinox

last night I dreamt my grandfather was sitting on a sidewalk bench. it’s dusk, in a city by the water – the sky has an apocalypse glow. I’m rushing off, but I look back to tell him I miss him and find a half empty ghost. I said it more for him than for me but now I’m crying and confused. he looks like a hologram. he looks at me. he’s glazed over and shimmering half focused; mostly empty, but a little scared and patient too.

I get out of bed and put on coffee. open the window – the first day of fall.

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha 

autumn equinox

day 851: bach

I’m tryin to be easy like the light on my wall.
a little further to the right,
the day is pressing.

Bach is a full universe:
memories and promises,
safety nets and secret rooms,
feelings I can handle;
love I can never hold, but always there.

The light doesn’t apologize,
it doesn’t ask permission.
it never waits; it’s never scared.
the push pull soft hard clunky wait no! – breathe
easy like the light on the wall.


Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 850: Stephen (a collection)


it’s autumn light now
it’s something more than yesterday
leaves dying and I’m ready to fly
still ground I can walk on
cloudy horizon, I can see
walk with me to the river line (please)


an old woman at the farm stand smells like showers at my aunt’s house after swimming in the 90s. in the country; I cherished those visits. I wanted to know my mother’s life on the farm. she wanted to forget.

conflict, and hope.


I’ve been captured. I escaped. I’m fucked up and I have something to show for it. that makes me wonder. I’m seeking and I found:

I have questions. I have love. You do too;
and me.


gasping realization;
I think I know what hope means.

there’s light on the walls
light on the water, light leaves on the trees
and it’s time (please)

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 781: a week in brooklyn

every city I’ve lived in, I go out walking in the middle of the night. every city except la;

tonight, it’s midnight. it’s Saturday. I walk down Franklin to eastern parkway to the museum. my people are out. we’re the scattered souls who hide in chaos. we buy groceries while everyone’s sleeping and don’t always know how we’re going to pay our bills. but there’s an old woman who barely speaks English and sits out front all day smiling watching us all go by and she makes me feel that’s ok. we have love. we have kindness. we fight for each other. I wish we’d all just fight for each other.

I get so upset sometimes I feel like I could collapse. I get this from my mother. I get goosebumps when I’m working on music and it starts to feel right. I get flowers and an avocado from Mr. Melon on my midnight stroll. The man smiles and nods at me and I tell him thank you. I mean it.

say yes

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 736: studio after coffee before noon

me: yea like my friend Jeff’s cooking show, did I tell you about that?

Davy: no what’s that?

me: he’s a net artist, he’s been cooking eggs on snapchat.

Davy: like he’s a crazy artist, or he’s an artist who deals with nuts?


me: no, a NET artist…

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 730: teddy’s stop & go records :)

skaters taping at the Brooklyn Museum
sun setting on st marks
this city’s in my blood and I mean it

I’m searching desperately for the conspiracy theorist;
I can’t find him and then I do.
I say hello to the man digging;
he thinks I want something from him but I don’t and he’s surprised. I’m beaming. We’re flipping so easy,
This bubble on 7th Avenue is all charged up and life here is ok. We’re safe here. We listen here; we let it echo through our chest and then we give it up for $10 and pick up again too.

A man with missing teeth walks by and says

Old man: Look at that, Gil Scott-Heron. I got that record when it came out in 1974. That’s a gooood record you got there, I know every song on that record. I got it when it came out in 1974.

The Conspiracy Theorist: Oh yea, 1974? Let’s see… (flips the record over) 1974! You have a good memory there, Sir.

Old man: (to me, cracked smile shining-) Yea yea, what else you got? Oooooh, Ann Peebles! You got Ann Peebles?! Oh and Miss Nina too….

He starts singing To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. He looks me in the eye. He’s smiling. The conspiracy theorist is smiling and bobbing his head. I can’t feel my feet touching the ground. The overcast over head stops time and wraps me up in a fire blanket and all I can do is smile and laugh and say

Me: I’ve got Aretha singin’ it too!

TCT, surprised: Look at that!

Old man: Aretha!? Well ain’t that somethin’. Miss Nina wrote it though. You always gotta look at the writers. Look at this Ann: W. Mitchell. That must be Willy, that must be Willy Mitchell…

The conspiracy theorist is checking out my stack and says I lucked out with the Bolshevik Revolution; it just came in and he missed it and I’ll have to tell him how it is. Another man sees my Keats and says, “You’re a friend.” I didn’t need the record to know; but I’m glad he said it anyway.

I saw Devin today too. I can talk to him about God and I’m not shy or uncertain; I know that he knows what I mean. He and my Mother might be the only ones. We’re broken and almost cry but we don’t. I don’t know why he doesn’t; I don’t know why I don’t. Maybe we’re stronger now, and more thankful.

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 724: family trees (now too)

It’s April and magnolias are budding. It’s Sunday and I don’t need a coat. By Tuesday in Brooklyn they’re full bloom.

When my father was 12 years old his family moved into a house by th eocean and planted a magnolia tree for Mother’s Day. He still lives there, and my mother parks her car under the tree.

When he was born they lived in the country. His family owned the bakery in town and built their own houses. The family had come over from England; his mother’s too, but they weren’t bakers they were importers living in New York City. They lived on pacific street and went to the mayor’s house for parties. I live on pacific street now too; my heart’s home stays there even when I’m gone.

My grandfather built planes for the government at Lakehurst. He was just a boy working at the bakery when the Hindenburg crashed and he collected little pieces of the wreckage from the airfield. They sit in my father’s office now, on a shelf by the window. My grandfather died 4 years ago. Before they moved to the shore he taught Sunday school and my grandmother baked cookies for boy scouts and they played the piano. I never went in the old house. We drove by once, but I think when happy times are lost it can be hard to look back and that’s ok; we can look forward instead.

It’s May and my feet are dirty from walking around the city in flip flops. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I miss her. When my father moved to the ocean all that time ago he lost his mom in a fire that took 30 years to burn down. It extinguished in the kitchen just after I was born. That’s our kitchen now too. I can feel my father’s pain and it cripples me. I can feel my father’s strength and it picks me up when I fall. His love is a lighthouse; I’m learning how to keep the light on now too.

I texted Mom and asked her to send a picture of the magnolia tree; she said she’s so sorry, I’m a week too late. But a few blossoms left on the cherry trees.

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

day 684: first light, late nights


I don’t know who remembers me from Boston, but I had dreds and started smoking pot really for the first time. These two things were not related. I had my notebooks and scribbled frantic realizations. I didn’t know what it meant then or why it was important. But I know now. I was learning what love is. It started with Kind of Blue. I think a lot of things started that way.

I’d drink coffee and listen to Joni Mitchell in the morning. I’d dream about California and ask a friend walking to the T, “It’s not gonna suck, right?” Which of course it didn’t, and not for of a lack of anything shitty but because of the presence of lessons and love. I’d sit on that roof in Boston when the sun was going down and write until I lost the light. I’d gaze out at the city as her backdrop darkened and buildings became bright stars in the sky. The Pru.

We painted graffiti on that roof.
We broke up on that roof.
We laughed and sang and made great plans on that roof.
We did a lot of things up there;
but maybe the stairwell is where it really went down.

I’m thinking about authenticity and mortality; purpose and meaning; ego and surrender and letting things go. Knowing when to fight and how to fight for love. Knowing how to let things die and how to let things live. Knowing how to hold the hands of people we love when they push us away.

I’d rather spend my life loving
than avoiding death.
I’d rather spend my life loving
than collecting breath.
I’d rather spend my life loving
knowing only that we’re blessed.

It doesn’t matter how mangled a plant has become, give it light and water it will grow. As long as it’s living, give it love it lifts towards the sun. Every time we let love we lift our hearts to become

Om Gum Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha


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