Every artist, no matter the medium inevitably feels tied to their work. However we all also know the feeling of having a project that for all intensive purposes is finished and at the same time we feel it’s never quite done. I have always felt this way, even if I’m happy with the “finished” product. I feel like there is always the opportunity for expansion, sometimes a part 2 or 3 or just another version or maybe a follow up piece that ultimately winds up becoming a series. In the past I have found this to be true when it comes to both my paintings and poetry. When painting it is easy to visualize the distinctions usually because you have to essentially recreate or reinterpret a piece quite physically. For me this always leads to having a series of paintings all different yet somehow all part of the same story. With poetry or any written work however, whether or not put on stage or film the expansion or evolution can take a more subtle route though the destination may change drastically. For instance I’ve found myself having written something and calling it finished but 3 days, 3 months or maybe even 3 years later, coming back to it and finding that I have something more or maybe even a lot different to say. I think this comes with the creative mind usually also being that of an over thinker.
Most recently I found myself making changes to songs I’ve written and thought were complete. Let’s pause there so I can tell you whats going on with me……. Continue reading
I write quite a bit of sad songs, sad love songs in particular which is not news to anyone that knows my music. However I realized recently that I can’t write a reflectively sad song when I’m in the thick of it. I now see that I have to be somewhat emotionally detached from a subject in order to be able to write about it. I am beginning to understand that when I write (songs exclusively this hasn’t been the case with poetry or prose) I do so with “an outsiders perspective” be it literally or even when I am the subject, in the sense that enough time has passed for me to be able to approach the writing process objectively.
I had an inkling that this was the case in 2010 when I realized I had not written a song about a really bad breakup I had years earlier. In this case I hadn’t even written a poem about it. I recall a conversation with my mom about how I thought I could now see the full picture enough to actually write the song. When I finally wrote it, I had this feeling of satisfaction, like it was everything I had to say and it didn’t even make me tear up. A few months later however I was surprisingly able to write a song when my grandfather died, I cried on every line and blurred lots of ink but I completed it in time for his funeral. I didn’t realize it then and honestly I didn’t realize it until a few days ago, but I wrote the song not about how much I’d miss him nor about my feelings but from the perspective of my mother and grandmother. I know now the only reason I was able to write that song was because I did it from “an outsiders perspective”, though done in the moments of experiencing the loss myself. Continue reading
I really want to share with you all something that I wrote about three years ago. I don’t really know why I never published it, its something that had a bit of a profound effect on me even though seemingly insignificant. I don’t believe in destiny or fate but this is definitely Serendipity.
1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident
I just found out that my grandmother was friends with Huey “Piano” Smith and sung with his band in New Orleans. And that she was also friends with Guitar Slim. Then she starts telling me about this song that she helped Guitar Slim write and the story behind it, about a young girl he was seeing despite the fact he was a married man. So she gave me all the juicy details, but she couldn’t remember the name of the song. So in the meantime, while she was trying to remember the name of the song I went on YouTube to play her some of the Huey “Piano” Smith songs I like. Then she asked if I could play some Guitar Slim songs. So I found him and I picked The Things That I Used To Do, since Stevie Ray Vaughan covered it and it happens to be one of my favorites of his. Continue reading