Thursday, July 22, 2010

Throwing Stones, Skipping Stones [Pt 2]

This is the second part to my spoken word project.

Last time people found it helpful to understand the poems if I provided what they mean to me, so I'll do that again, in the comments section of this blog post. So be sure that if you want to interpret the poems for yourself, avoid reading the comm
ent section until the end of your listen(s) so as to them for yourself. I don't believe there is any right way to interpret these, not even my own. So I hope some of you really take different things from these.

I hope some of these poems really speak to you guys, provoke your thoughts, make you feel something...make you feel anything. I know they mean the world to me, so I hope they can mean something to someone else too.


Good God, Sunday Morning (I)


Only what you believe.


The idea of knowing exactly what everything you read must mean.


What I do not have to do for you about anything I have ever said.


Must be the size of God in your head.


Must be the size of God in your head.


Must be the size of God in your head.

If everyone who is not you is wicked,
And you are the righteous,
And you are the chosen,
And you understand every word and verse of that 1635 page book
And that book was written by the thing that created the whole universe?
And you think you understand even a fraction of what is written in that 1635 page book?

Then small is the size of god in your head.



My confidence shudders
Like a volcano eruption on an island off the coast of I don’t know where
The rumble of missionaries foot steps, sent to people who can’t even speak their language, but they say “God DOES care”
But these words have their wear.

So poised to reach out,
Don’t you ever wonder what these people would think
When we point at the water and the sky and whisper “You must be saved from a damned fate”

Well then I point at myself for the crusades
I point a finger at myself for all the hate speech against gays that Christians make
I point a finger at myself like the street preacher yelling about the end and “Repent! You sinners, you heathens, it IS too late!”
Well if Jesus Christ had been buried he would be rolling over in His grave
You use your words to speak of a life that none of us can obtain

Diamonds as ears nothing can be chipped
Nothing worth an open mind too hear

Your words are nothing if not empty to these people on the street.
I speak for a thousand strong, but you will never speak for me
I do not speak for Jesus Christ, I speak from what I see.
My life is a representation of grace laden imperfection, and a testimony of everything I believe.


Black Letters

Don't let your compassion leak into waters that can never feel warmth.
Don't condemn off of words of men who simply wrote down their thoughts.

This is not what the world needs
Another finger pointing group of zealots
Like they are the righteous, and you are the wicked.

Pour a cup of water into the Grand Canyon
Let me know how quickly it can become a body of water.
I'll even let you name it!

We are all a portion of empty waiting to be filled.
Bur our cups will never spillith over because we are completely deaf to barking orders.

This is a war of who thinks they have the most spiritual intellect.
Who can twist the black text enough to fit into a baseball into an axe like Jezebel longed to make heads roll?

"Cherem! Cherem! Cherem!"
The modern day prophets and messiahs cry
As my old friends and my same enemies are busy throwing nooses of words at and around both of our necks

I will remind you that I am at the gallows with you
I will remind you that there is so much more than the knives that cut their ropes to keep our feet from dangling above the ground.
So much forgiveness and grace to be found once we loosen the weights at our ankles, once we have the strength to stand on open air and trust we won't fall down.

Once we allow ourselves to have get swept away by His song, and not their sound.


Good God, Sunday Morning (II)

There is an alternative version to this.
There is a different way that we could exist.
I am lost amidst sand storms that bite at my lips and wear away at "that kiss"
Even better than the first time I stood at your door way and I considered the thought of "us", could be more than just a fleeting oasis--my mouth was dry and full of sores from all the deserts I've wandered through before
But as you stood there
As you stand there
With your keys shaking in your hand
You had seen a lot of movies, I referenced one, knowing that you would understand

Do you understand?

I don't just want to have Paris with you.
I am settled to have chance decide when we are looking at the same sky turn red, then blue.

Do you know what I am saying to you?

I don't want to know you in twenty years,
I want to know you in-between that space of now, and then.

So maybe the sunflowers will stop blooming
And maybe we'll move far on and forget all our songs
But--tiny, clumsy, dancing girl, this skinny love will only last as long as you want it to carry on

So pick yourself up,
Tell me how much you care.
Meet me at the airport, I'll say goodbye to you there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Throwing Stones, Skipping Stones [Pt 1]

This is the first part of (possibly) many parts of this spoken word project.

I am not sure what people are going to think of Throwing Stones, Skipping Stones, but it is my hope that at least a few of you can appreciate these poems for something or another. I was considering explaining what these poems meant, but then I realized that what I would really be saying is what these poems meant to me, which is entirely unimportant. I really hope that you can find meaning, find yourself being moved, and find yourself thinking and some of my mess of words and voice.

To the Man that Sent His Son to War

If this is just a thought

Don’t mean it, do not take another breath

This is your son’s war in a situation that you unabashfully created

He will follow the path of (you) the phantom for his whole life

This is your son’s battle cry in this war that you volunteered him for

No one in their right mind knowingly wants to run head first into a firing squad

But you cannot navigate in an ocean with a thousand starless nights

So, from land to water to land and back again until the barrels are empty and the rashins gone

If this mutiny is just a thought

Do not touch her.

Do not take another breath.

Do not try to pry the captain’s hands from this ship.


To the Reckless

Safety was not his first thought

“This shell is uncomfortable, I will break through to get what I want from you”

God forbid you disappoint him

“It isn’t the same with this plastic cocoon”

“I know what you want baby, and I respect it too, but I need you to do this for me to know that I want you. I love you.”

Word vomit, letters that do not make sense

But the phrasing and pacing of assurance…so much so that it doesn’t even make Peter sink.

(He does not care)

And this will be his seventh Grammy alone this year.

Congratulations are the wedding dresses to a consolation prize in her eyes of an action like a black man in the 1960’s- free and dreaming and alive.

She used to not believe in hand outs but the public health services prove to be more than useless gifts

As the needles broke her skin and blood vials spin and she sits in the waiting room alone as the sweating begins

The thoughts are loud enough to be an Imax theatre. 3-d. In high-definition. Everyone wondering what was on whose lips they exchanged a bit more than they probably should have gave.

So cut the set belts out of your automobiles and do anything and everything to make you feel the best, clog the holes in drowning ships with bundles of sticks

Sunroofs are useless in a steady rain; recklessness is best kept as a saline drip.


To the Man that is a father, who is not a Father

I am her father.

I am a ghost…

I am the spirit in her house

I am the creek in her bed that grows louder as she fails to get prouder

And the boys that are in step with the noise grow older and so much border

What actions this sort of prince charming courage employs,

Is the exact same selfish flame that gave me what I need to leave her frozen in place

I am her father.

I am the walking dead.

I am a ghost.

As always, I would love to hear peoples opinions on either the poems or my performance of them. Please be a little gentle this go'round though, it is my first time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

christianity done gone stupidly

So my friend handed me a fake million dollar bill that someone at her work had been handed by a costumer. I turned it over and read this:

The million dollar question: will you go to heaven when you die? Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a women to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on judgement day? If you have done those things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in hell. that's not God's will. He sent his son to suffer and die on the cross for you. You broke God's law, but Jesus paid your fine. That means He can legally dismiss your case. He can commute your death sentence. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Then he rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn away from sin) today and trust alone in Jesus, and God will grant you the gift of everlasting life, then read your Bible daily and obey it.

The ice cream employee had been handed an infamous tract, most likely by an extremely right-winged Christian who said something witty when he/she had handed it to the girl. Most likely to the affect of "Here's a million dollars to save your life" or maybe "Here, keep the tip. God bless you."

I read yesterday in the New York Times that archeologists found what was believed to be another chapter in the book of Matthew 2 years ago, and finally have been able to translate a few sentences of it:

And Jesus said unto them, "Don't you dare give people little pieces of paper that try to convince them to be saved by me. I mean...seriously. How stupid do you have to be to do that? Trying to explain Christianity in a little booklet is like trying to explain the biological functions of a bear in one sentence, or trying to explain how to make a MACBOOK PRO out of two sticks and a raccoon hat."

People that evangelize wonder why some people get so offended when they go out and tell people that "Jesus loves you and he died on the cross for your sins, did you know that?". I propose that asking someone that is like asking someone if they knew the sky was blue, or if they knew the story of "The 3 Little Pigs".

The I feel that the majority of people (I'm talking about in America) know the story of Christianity. In fact, they know a lot about different religions. A lot of people know that if you're Muslim you get 40 virgins if you go to paradise, if you're a Catholic you believe that the Virgin Mary is really important, if you're Jewish you aren't supposed to eat certain things, that there's Allah and God, and Mohammed and Jesus, etc.etc. The point is: a lot of people know the story of Christianity, just as they do with a lot of other religions. The tough part of religion is not knowing the stories of each one, but believing the concepts, stories, and teachings of them.

Pyschology 101

Question: Can you get someone (you don't even know) to add to/change/rearrange their belief system and their lifestyle based on any sort of paper handout?

Answer: Of course not you idiot, don't you have any sort of common sense?

If you give someone on the street a Harry Potter book, they might like the story, but they definitely won't believe in wizards based off the book.
If you give someone on the street a tract about Christianity, they might like the story, but they definitely won't believe the message based off the tract.

But if someone saw a wizard in action; making things fly, casting spells that make food appear, making potions that make you look like someone else, then they would be much more likely to believe in magic and wizards.
If someone saw a Christian in action; living selflessly, loving everyone without any sort of catch, trying to better themselves as a person before trying to "fix" other people, showing integrity, living concepts of Jesus Christ, being honest about their life--then they would be much more likely to believe that there is a God that loves them, a Christ that died for them, and salvation to be found.

To my brothers and sisters who are not Christian: I deeply and sincerely apologize for all the ignorant Christians that you have and will encounter that try to sell their religion to you as if it's something that can be marketed. These people are very far away from what (I believe) it means to be a Christian. But, they are stuck in their tradition, in their living life with the blinders on--refusing to think of the consequences of their actions by being so narrow minded and stupid.

To my brothers and sisters who are Christian: I deeply and sincerely ask you to stop handing out tracts to people. If you believe that your God, your Christ, your salvation...can be explained in anything short of a life lived, than you have not even begun to grasp your religion. People should know you by your good works, not by your loud and abrasive words and your small print booklets. You can't "win one over for God" (which by the way, is STILL, TOTALLY, and UTTERLY missing the point) through being door to door sales representatives. Be it at your school, your work, your campus, your friends... no one wants to be gently coerced into buying things. But when you actually talk with someone. Actually get to know someone, actually care (and NOT caring because you have intention of sharing your religion, but care because you truly appreciate them as a person), you would be surprised how open people are. But it takes genuinely caring about them first. This means caring about them without hiding the Bible behind your back, like on some sort of secret mission.

We all want to choose for ourselves, not be bullied or persuaded into being this that or the other. The sooner Christians can understand this, the better it will be.

Oh, be joyful.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My statement regarding The Kaleidoscope, Brighter

This summer has been pretty up and down in The Kaleidoscope, Brighter camp.

I have finally come to the extremely tough decision that I will be leaving the band. There is no dramatic story to this; I have been with the band for 2 years, since it started. I have seen 4 friends come and go from this band, some because of personal differences, and other because of different life directions. Now finally it is my time to leave too. This is not personal differences between myself and the band, but a different vision.

I am hoping that I will be able to play a farewell show with the band in Bowling Green, OH in the late summer/early fall, but I'll keep you updated about it.

The next step for myself is simply this: make music. I will not be starting a new band, I will not be starting a "solo project" that plays shows, no myspace, no facebook musician page, etc. I will be, plain and simple, making music. So be on the lookout for some new songs from me in the late fall, and some spoken word pieces by the end of the summer, both of which I am super stoked about.

Thank you for supporting me and all of my creative endeavors. Please continue to support The Kaleidoscope, Brighter also as they continue making music.