Musician Needed!

Just cut these lyrics from my first album. The friend I’m recording with prefers making music from sound (not from lyrics or structure), so these shan’t go on the album. Still, when I shared them lyrics with a friend, she said, “There are some absolutely stunning moments,” so I thought I’d put them out in the open. If you’re musically inclined and curious, would love to hear what you might do with them sonically. (And if you have suggestions of how you’d change elements, please let me know!)

Song #1: You’ll Never Be Home Again

Sittin’ out here 
Drinkin’ a beer,
Sky’s become clear,
My fear nearing,
Endearing
That you’ll never be home again.
Rounding that bend
Ended a friend,
Sending us rended and tender, amended
By a problem we’ll never mend.
But I still miss you
Not to kiss you
Simply to list the missed Sisyphus trysts you
Caressed with your wrists.
Undressing the pissed misty mornings of horny,
The warnings I foreswore.
You get what you want.
And never a thought for what ought to be
Safe or unwavering labor.
Controlling your world.
Squeezing that girl
Into a picture
Perfect
hearseless
first verse
that cursed her.
This sunset on hills
Gives me the chills
Missin’ your thrills and your pills
That still make me ill.
But I still miss you.
In distance I list you
As one of the greatest
sadists
I hated.
But I still miss you.
And pissy, I kissed you
I was a weak and meek
seeker that needed
some closure you own.
So you made me moan
Not with delight but a fright of the bright lights
That’s all you’ve done.
Now that you’ve won.
You ruined the son of my father who bothered
To let his dad die.
I must ask why?
Why do you end those around you, add frowns to…
You unholy beast.
I miss you the least
that I could miss anyone I once loved and still do.
I can’t close doors.
I keep wanting more.

Song #2: Untitled Song for College Grads (still being written, 2 verses to go.)

Graduatin’ mainstreet, aimin’ at fame street.

Someone clue me into those celebrities I can’t meet.

I’m an artist, just got out of school.

Lookin’ for a way to make a splash in the pool.

 

Hey there kiddo, can I borrow your soul?

Cause I can get you into the city of gold.

You said you’re a painter? Musician? A writer?

Work with me a few years, your life’ll be brighter.

 

So I got a workin’, sixteen hours a day

For plenty of perks and boatloats of pay.

Bain, BCG, don’t remember the name.

Coulda been ‘banking.’ Whatever, it’s lame.

 

Don’t sell your soul to the devil, friends—

The trouble and the toil ain’t worth the ends

Do what you love and do it for pay,

You’ll be a better person at the end of the day.

 

Been livin’ in the city and don’t love the rent.

Might as well buy. That’s money well spent.

Started seein’ someone, they just moved in.

Now we’re startin’ talkin’ ‘bout poppin’ out kin.

 

I’ll match your retirement and give parental leave.

Send you trav’ling to hotels. There’s nothing up my sleeve.

Your friends all sip champagne, proudly showing comp’ny pride

Come day-drink on my yacht and I’ll take you for a ride.

 

Don’t sell your soul to the devil, friends—

The trouble and the toil ain’t worth the ends

Do what you love and do it for pay,

You’ll be a better person at the end of the day.

Water your thoughts? My opinions on water in various contexts.

SECTION 0. MY FIRST DISPUTE WITH THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

In 2006, the TSA banned liquids. Being a clever, pedantic, and thirsty child, I arrived to the airport with a bottle of ice.

“You can’t bring that through security,” the agent explained.

I asked why.

She said, “It’s a liquid.” With a shit-eating grin, I replied, “But it’s ice.”

“I know,” she answered. “Ice is a liquid.”

SECTION 1: THE MOUTH

  • Saliva is under-appreciated.
  • Drool is disgusting.
  • Spit should be avoided at all costs.
  • The saliva of a lover requires further research, currently accepting applications.

SECTION 2: COMMON APPLICATIONS OF WATER

  • The water that makes up 80% of my body: Great.
  • 80% of your body: Passable.
  • 80% of Donald Trump’s body: No comment.

 

  • Water-based lube: good.
  • Tears: Bad, unless they’re being used as water-based lube.

 

  • Water is great for fish, camels, and rainforests, necessary for farmers, and hit-and-miss with New Orleans.

 

  • Showers are good, baths are great, and hot tubs are excellent.
    • The four differences between a bath and a hot tub are friends, chlorine, jets, and clothing. Realization: Friends and jets must be fabulous, because chlorine is awful and clothing is the worst.

SECTION 3: LOCATIONS WHERE ONE MIGHT FIND WATER

  • Cup: good.
  • Bottle: fine.
  • Pool: excellent.
  • Syringe: concerning.
  • Computer: oh no.
  • Bed: your fault.
  • My van: bad rust.
  • The statue of liberty: somehow delightful rust.

SECTION 4: LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS

  • SUBSECTION 1: FICTIONAL ETYMOLOGY
    • “Water” derives from the Latin “Wah-tah-ré,” meaning gift of the gods.
  • SUBSECTION 2: SYLLABLES
    • Wat: the Thai word for temple
    • Er: the sound often heard during the search for a hard-to-find word.
  • SUBSECTION 3: CURIOUS INSIGHT
    • Food, air, sun, earth, touch, love, mom, dad. Why is the word “water” two syllables when all other life necessities can be described in one?
  • SUBSECTION 4: WORDPLAY
    • Passable:
      • Water you doing? Water you talking about? Water you looking at?
    • Desirable:
      • Water you want to drink?
    • Too far:
      • Water you want her, the waiter, to wither while we a-waiter to order?

SECTION 5: TRAITS

  • Warm water: good for bathing.
  • Cold water: good for drinking and borscht. Otherwise to be avoided.
  • Hot water: Excellent for cooking.
    • Also means “trouble,” as in the phrase, “While exchanging saliva, Carol and I overheard the deafening footfalls of Principal Jerickson’s rotund personage and knew we were in hot water.”

SECTION 6: ENDING

  • Some say the world will end in fire, others in ice. I say the world already ended in a flood… or at least that’s what the Salt Lake City billboards taught me.

 

Special thanks to Brine Waves, a Salt Lake City writing group that invited me to their gathering this week, themed “water.”

Did you like this piece? Hate it? Throw a comment below so I can know what to write in the future. 

My daily arting requirement this year (from 190521 to 200520)

1. Compose from my place of emotional vulnerability until satisfied.

2. Edit such that I like it sufficiently. (ideally, I would edit until I like it maximally, but 1. One can only do so much in limited time and 2. It’s better to edit something over multiple days than to avoid editing it altogether because I can’t make it maximally satisfactory in one.)

3. If it’s safe for public consumption, share it.

The hills I will die on:

1. Punctuating outside the quotation marks.

E.g.: The man told me, “You ain’t never been to Nashville ’til you been to Graceland”.

I’m still unsure about double-punctuating, e.g. She asked me, “What happened?”. I told her, “Sherol yelled, “Help!”. Open to thoughts.

2. Hyphenating -LY adverb constructions.

E.g.: “The greatly-appreciated man showed the onlookers around his gardens.”

Grammar is for clarity. this exception does not help with clarity.

 

More to come.

 

I hereby complete 45 days.

Since this year began, I have written and published each day. (Some “days” were completed 2 am the next morning, but I pre-determined that to be okay.)

I only once spewed a first draft, tabbed to publish a different writing, and forgot to polish the original spewing. A technical success, but not within the spirit of the law (nor something I’d like to repeat).

Since May 2017, I’ve written every day. (In addition to that half-time, I’ve only forgotten once, wherein I wrote twice the next to compensate). I’ll continue this habit, probably for the next eight years. That would make ten. Hell, I could do this for life.

On Art, pART 2

The more that art affects lives, the better it is. (Assuming it affects lives in a positive way).

This can be broken down into two dimensions:

  1. How many people it affects.
  2. How much it affects them.

You could define “expected impact” as (Total number of people) x (Average amount of impact).

A few methods for creating art with a high expected impact:

  • Create a valuable message
.
  • Make the message easily digestible (more memetic).
  • Create a message that lasts a long time
.
  • Widen the audience it appeals to (target more demographics).
  • Focus your art on the influencers (powerful/social people, good promoters). 
(Creating art that impacts other artists would fall into this category)
  • Make your art have less of a negative impact (be harmful to fewer people/less sizably harmful to those it harms).

 

Other musings:

  1. People often make the art they would want because:
    • It’s relatively easy to do it well (easier than doing market research on an audience)
    • Their own taste is an approximate proxy for “people who are like them”.
  2. If someone had every trait in the world, they’d make the most popular art because it’d be the most relatable (which increases digestibility of messages)
  3. Good art should add value to people’s lives. Value is important to note as distinct from perceived value (which is what money measures).
    1. Children produce great value for a few people. Cat videos produce little value for many people.
  4. Historically, creating evergreen content has been a stronger strategy than creating one-time impact, as that includes future generations in potential audience.
  5. Assuming its impact is good, the art you choose to do should be the one with the greatest expected impact. That is often similar to what you want to do most*, but not always.**
  6. I’m starting my career doing what I want to do most because I currently have the strongest ego (as you get older, your drive decreases) and may end up more on the intellectually-driven side later. (Editor’s note: a conversation earlier today redefined the word “ego” for me. I have more musing to do on this topic.
  7. Another approach is changing what you’re passionate about.
  8. Famous philosopher/author Nick Bostrom wrote a book that convinced many, many people to worry about AI as an existential risk. This prompted many people to start researching friendly AI, which may save the species and therefore have a HUGE impact on the world. (the hugest from here on out, perchance, because it’s necessary for all other future positive impacts.)
    1. This would suggest that a solid course of action for me—if there are any existential threats to humans—is to use art to fight them. (If it’s a thing that I could impact significantly. It’s not the only choice—my talents may be better used elsewhere—but it’s certainly a reasonable choice.)

*: You’ll want to do the thing that matters the most to you, and it mattering a lot to you is a good prediction that it’ll also matter to others. It mattering to others is a good predictor of how much it affects them.

**: That math has two spots of “good predictor”, so it’ll be exponentially removed from truth.