Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Last Rites for Those Who Died Laughing

If the best art comes from suffering, then as an artist I am sort of an 'ambassador of suffering'. I get to remind you of the worst day of your life - then sing a song about it. This pleases me immensely. I couldn't think of a better occupation. Ambassador of suffering. Here to dispel crooked wisdom through cynical prose and the vibration of rusty metal strings. The best part is that if I do it really well, you'll cheer for me. You'll cheer for your own battered experiences, bitterness and plague of insecurities. I'll hand you a general admission ticket to your own personal hell and you'll try to get as close to the stage as possible.

Because that means I must be making good art.

And good art comes from suffering.

But you wouldn't know that.

If you weren't suffering.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Ok, so I wrote a poem. Don't laugh.

Have you ever had a guitar?
Have you ever had to string a guitar?
Most guitarists hate it
It's the closest thing to labor
a musician is willing to do
Because just when everything sounds right
Something happens
And you have to start all over again
Kinda like a relationship

You have your guitar
She sounds wonderful
She feels and plays just as you'd want her to
But you get a little lazy
Maybe a little rough
And suddenly that low E
Snaps back at you
Like you insulted its mother

Then you find yourself
Sauntering over to the music store
You don't want to be there
The clerk doesn't want to be there
But you suck it up
And pluck your money on the table
They don't have the exact strings
You had before
Instead you have to settle for pack
That looks the most like
Your old strings

You walk back home
unsure if you made the right purchase
and you begin your new struggle
sliding them up the neck
tightening, loosening and tightening
as it refuses to cooperate
Sometimes you just give up after a while
You walk back down the street
Have a cigarette
and stare at your new blisters
because the damn strings
are still brand new
and feel like barbed wire

You compose yourself
and resume the challenge
after a few weeks
and many hours
the strings settle in
and start to behave themselves
you can bang the guitar around
and it stays in tune
you're pleasantly surprised
you almost forget about
the pair you had before this one

everything snaps and pops
as it should
your friends even mention
how nice it plays
and you actually feel some pride
for those damned strings
because you put the time in
and the love
seems to come back to you
as easy as the next chord

so you get a little lazy
and a few months pass
and those brand new strings
are getting that special mix
of grease and rust
that strings like to do
but you don't mind
that they're starting to sound poor
they're comfortable
and familiar
and already there

but the day comes along
in the middle of a jam
just when you thought
everything was fine
when that low E
or high E,
or maybe the A
whips itself back at you
just like your old pair did
and every mistake you ever made
with a pair of guitar strings
you are instantly reminded of

about how you were too lazy
too selfish
too reckless
too proud
too ignorant to know
what those strings needed
until they broke
right in front of you
right in your hands
and how you knew it would happen
the split second
before it happened

now you find yourself
at the music store
with a clerk
who seems more like a bartender
that doesn't want to hear your story
about how you need
a new pair of strings
that will sound like
your old pair of strings
because no matter
what you come home with
nothing will sound like
your old pair of strings