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Wow, I published this without a title. If forgetfulness was the goal, I’d probably be quite successful.
As stated in a previous post, my upcoming memoir and my upcoming collection of song lyrics and poetry is now an upcoming work of the two as one.
So, in this post I’ve included both a song lyric and a poem:
The lyric is full of the gloom of winter. It has a pretty and melancholy little finger picking melody which carries it along I think. I hope readers will be able to appreciate it standing alone here.
Yet it doesn’t entirely stand alone, as the poem is a hopeful one of a spiritual Springtime.
As always, I really appreciate your coming by to read. Please leave a comment if your so inclined. Namaste, jesse
p.s. The photo is from Seattle in my street musician days, back in the 70’s.
(a song lyric)
Every day I have to come back
Every day I have to bring myself back
from this love or some other
from my cold-hearted brother
the untrue friend
We spend these years together
We search for God and then He finds us
Yet now you write and call me never
You fill the empty miles on this crowded bus
with all this nothing to discuss
fair weather, fair weather
Every day I have to wake up
Every day I have to shake myself up
from this love or the last
from all daydreams of the past
the faithless lover
With the innocence of the intimate
in the spring we planted a child
In expectation of the benefit
we believe that nature has smiled
but your heart is never reconciled
and that will mean the end of it.
Every day I have to come clean
Every day I must admit what I’ve seen
of this love and all the rest
No love can pass the test
the false God
creates the hope that lasts so long
as we dance by the midnight oil
as we sing the traveler’s song
where in the garden of love we toil
where we grow like dreams in the fertile soil
until the winter comes along
Every day I have to write a verse
Every day I have to fight the curse
of this lie and every one
for the truth that must begun
for the only one
Only the hopeless have reason to hope
Only the lost can be found
When finally we come to the end of our rope
at the end of the world there is a sound
something to stand on when feet leave the ground
some light in the darkest… where we grope.
Love Like the Spring
Maybe now Spring will come, now that news of You has preceded
Winter has been left with all the burden
he was given no choice
he could give but little comfort, yet he gave what was needed
We’ve dreamt of you in colors white and true and pure
We’ve imagined You—we didn’t know who You were
when we would go to bed crying from the cold
when we’d wake up, still dying from growing old
Are these the days of old, or is the world yet young?
For all we know, we’re in the dark
just primitives around the fire
all simulation, full of wow and flutter
ending lonely, homeless, reduced to mutter
while the world races along on fuel and spark
When my Master left, I had not yet begun
I stood alone on the hot sand beneath the burning sun
I turned stupidly, confused, and in all directions
not another living soul to understand my objections
When Winter came, it was good to be buried
under the snow so deep, under the frozen grass
until the longing could stir again
But as a seeker I have no skills
I go this way and that; so vulnerable against strong wills
But could my weakness prove to be Your strength at last?
You begged Him to accept that man on the end
who had consumed alcohol and meat, so then
Maybe, for me too, You could put such a request
that could soften His heart—since I can’t pass the test
since I’ve never become strong like the rest
since all my failures, I’ve confessed
Maybe You will appear like the Spring
bringing the sun and the rain in contrast
over the windswept hills of this time
Maybe love will have no choice
but to sing of my pain and loss with Your voice
but to answer with the future and to leave behind the past
I finished Jen Knox’s Musical Chairs, published by All Things That Matter Press, this last Sunday while on vacation, and visiting my wife’s daughter in Kettle Falls, Washington. The book about her young life, mostly in the tough neighborhoods of inner city Columbus was a bold contrast to my location in the middle of a rather serene and beautiful setting on an organic vegetable farm and fruit orchard at the end of a quiet rural neighborhood street. I enjoyed it very much.
The following is the review i wrote for goodreads.com
Jen Knox’s memoir of her youth and coming of age is a fine study of a restless young lady scrambling to find her way in an urban culture that is at a loss to find its way. Like a virtual world in a place where all the characters are displaced and the object of the game is unknown, the story of Jen’s world opens up to us, consistent in its honesty – sometimes brutal in the telling.
How is she able to tell these stories, these anecdotes about her family, her friends so openly? That was my thought process as I read. As she struggles to come to terms with herself, will she not further alienate others by this process of tell all? It seems not. Amazing what a clearing of the air can accomplish, especially when the one doing the clearing takes the greatest share of responsibility for her own self-destructive behavior.
Musical Chairs is entertaining, no doubt and that’s an accomplishment in itself for a young author and a first book. But there’s more. There are lessons in facing one’s fears and in telling one’s story straight up without resorting to glitz and glamour. However, I think the strong suit of the book, the most obvious strength of the writer in this gritty self-portrait, is the portrayal of determination, the will to improve her lot.
So, best wishes to you Jen. May you continue to use your pen, your computer, your voice and your wits to tell your stories. Because I don’t think they will be your stories alone.
Jen Knox is one of my fellow authors at All Things That Matter Press. This post is the first one of our exclusive ATTMP Blog Tour. Each week we will present the work of a different author. Hope you will enjoy this exposure to some very creative reading alternatives.
Musical Chairs explores one family’s history of mental health diagnoses and searches to define the cusp between a ’90s working-class childhood and the trouble of adapting to a comfortable life in the suburbs. In order to understand her restlessness, Jennifer reflects on years of strip-dancing, alcoholism, and estrangement. Inspired by the least likely source, the family she left behind, Jennifer struggles towards reconciliation. This story is about identity, class, family ties, and the elusive nature of mental illness.
Throughout the summer of 2003 I repeatedly underwent what psychologists have since diagnosed as post-traumatic stress and panic disorder. A spiritually-inclined friend refers to the same summer as my rebirthing period. Still others, who claim to have had similar experiences, tell me that such episodes were probably a warning, my body’s way of telling me to adopt healthier eating habits, exercise more or quit smoking. At the time, all I knew was that the onset was swift.
Review: Alvah’s Book Reviews (to read the entire review, click here).
“[Musical Chairs is] well-written, which means Jen Knox knows how to string words together into comprehensible sentences. And her ‘voice’ is honest, unapologetic and – vital! – likeable. In other words, she’s like the Apostle Peter in the Bible. She’s a weak, frail, vulnerable human being, who makes lots of mistakes. Which means – thank God – that she is human. Which means that despite all her flaws and failures, she is not a fraud or a charlatan. She’s not pretending to be someone who has their ‘shit’ together.
Jen and most of her family are gloriously dysfunctional – just like most families. And they have a tendency toward mental illness. And – shockingly – she talks about it. Which is what makes her story and her book so wonderful. It’s downright refreshing to read a book that acknowledges what most people know is true, but are afraid to confess: Most people are one brick short of a load. Which is what makes them and life so interesting.”
To watch the Musical Chairs Trailer, go to Knoxworx Multimedia.