Only Up

There are times when the negative space in a portrait becomes the focus of the eye, where the foreground and background merge until an ear becomes ocean and lips are ships in the distance. This is one of those times.

The drive from the south side of Bernal Heights to Cupertino has been the best wake-up call I’ve had. Descending 280 on the cusp of South SF with the glimmer of streetlights against the East Bay range, I let the world right itself again. Thank you daylight savings. Thank you hospital sized satellite dish, parked somewhere between Stanford and the exit for Los Gatos. Dawn is a drug, a red light ladder with rungs of interstellar invitation. Climb.

We must be living gods, inbred to specked confusion. We must be fuck ups. We must be salvageable. We must have access to an electric dream delivery machine.

We do. I do. This is it. If I cut up all my words voiced in ink and filed for later use, I could papier-mâché myself a laser boat strong enough to bear my own weight. I’d just need the mast, the boom, and the sail. The rest is set. But the words have never gone anywhere. And the first hurtle for any writer is to let these words go.

After six months off, I took the stage last week in the Richmond at the Bazaar Cafe, playing songs I’ve written and rewritten over the years. I started off-key, and I landed with a song I rescinded half way through. But it was awesome. Or so I was told. Afterwards I thought about how my father told me flight is easy. He would hand me the yoke, and tell me to pull. It’s the take-off and the landing where we risk the most.

This is an electric delivery machine. Zip.


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