This lost person I loved. Loved for a hundred years.
When I find her. Find her in a forest. In a cabin
under smoke and clouds shaped like smoke. When I find her
and call her name (nothing) and knock (nothing)
and build a machine that believes it’s God and the machine
calls her name (nothing) and knocks (nothing).
When I tear the machine down and she runs from the cabin
pointing a gun at my memories and telling me
to leave, stranger, leave, man of hammers.
When I can’t finish that story. When I get to the gun
pointed at my head. When I want it to go off.
When everything I say to anyone all day long
is bang. That would be today. When I can’t use her name.
All day long. Soft as cotton, tender as kiss. Bang.
—Bob Hicok, from Elegy Owed
Does it matter that what you’ve achieved, with your online special and your tour can’t be replicated by other performers who don’t have the visibility or fan base that you do?
Why do you think those people don’t have the same resources that I have, the same visibility or relationship? What’s different between me and them?
You have the platform. You have the level of recognition.
So why do I have the platform and the recognition?
At this point you’ve put in the time.
There you go. There’s no way around that. There’s people that say: “It’s not fair. You have all that stuff.” I wasn’t born with it. It was a horrible process to get to this. It took me my whole life. If you’re new at this — and by “new at it,” I mean 15 years in, or even 20 — you’re just starting to get traction. Young musicians believe they should be able to throw a band together and be famous, and anything that’s in their way is unfair and evil. What are you, in your 20s, you picked up a guitar? Give it a minute.
I’ve seen a group of farm kids
hypnotize a rabbit
by pinning it on its back
then stroking its neck.
This is what I think of
when I see you in the night—
not the trick,
but the distress call
we manage to send out
while we are pinned
to our stillness.
—Michael McGriff, from Home Burial
It’s a wonder why or how we’re ever even a little hard on ourselves or each other when it’s glaringly obvious that NO ONE knows what they’re doing at any point in their lives. There are no universal guidelines. The Bible is a book with words on a page, just like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six. Yoga is just moving your body until it can pretzel. Alcohol is just fun poison. Drugs are just scientists trying to make your brian and body do things they wouldn’t normally do. Pizza is just saucy cheese bread.
Someone at the IRS loves me. I say this because it’s the only logical explanation for the letter I got yesterday telling...
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I think people think
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