Category Archives: Uncategorized



Since we were both teenagers I’ve been watching Corby Yates perform and developed a friendship with him and his family.  For about 15 years I watched this young man play guitar and develop as a musician into one of the most dynamic acts I’ve ever seen.  In around 2008 he moved up to Northern California and stopped playing a lot of shows.  We were told he was having a hard time but never any details.  He played a hand full of acoustic blues shows but nothing electric for some time.  Finally, on May 1st 2012 he released “Inside Oblivion” and blew us away.  It was manic, syncopated brilliant guitar work and psychedelic to the core.  On September 24th, 2012, he killed himself.  We found out later that he had been battling schizophrenia for years and that it had worsened to the point where he didn’t recognize his own Mother at times and thought people were out to steal his music.  This poem based on a song by Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush called “Buddy”, which is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix.  The first 4 lines are directly from that song.  


“Buddy!  What has happened? Can you hear me friend?

Buddy!  I didn’t see this coming round the bend.

Buddy!  Is this the way your story ends?

Well rest down easy and I’ll carry on singing…”


I got the news through a text message. “Corby died.”

Just like that.


You were supposed to be the one

I grew old with, the one

who would take me on voyages

to times long past.

To Bats in the Belfry and

Fungus Blues and

Ti Na Ni Na Nu.

When all was changed and days

became numbered and

generations before us became Dust

and Memory,

there’d be you

to remind me of it all.




Now you are the memory

little wing.

The generations that should have been

dust by your passing

stand together to mourn

like the rest

with rounded shoulders and

bowed heads.  Hurting Inside.

 Spilling Salty Pain onto

Common Ground.




I can’t sing.  I try anyway

but it’s terrible.

What I can do is write

and I plan to do my part

to write your memory into existence

so the gift you tried

to share with the world

is never forgotten.



I’ll never understand your demons and I’ll never know your pain.  I cried when I listened to “Inside Oblivion” for the first time, when you were still alive and I let myself imagine that this was the album that would set you apart as the greatest talent of our generation.  It was so heavy and insane and raw and brilliant.  I had no idea the pain you were in, the pain and madness that created this catastrophic talent.  I wanted to write to you and tell you I cried and tell you that I hear Marino in all of it and tell you that your Fresno family misses you and tell you that Dad cried too and tell you that if I could see one musician, any musician in the world, perform anywhere, I would choose a live Corby Yates show because there’s nothing better and nothing I want to see more in the music world than you perform this new music live.  Nothing.  But I didn’t write that letter.  I didn’t send that email.  I didn’t make that phone call.  And I know it wouldn’t have mattered.  I know now that by that time you were so consumed by your demons that you sometimes didn’t recognize your own precious Mother so you likely wouldn’t have even known my name but I still wish I would have said it all, so there it is my friend, I hope you hear it.

Rest easy Corby and I’ll carry on singing…

1 Comment

Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fresh Out the Cave


You do it to yourself

You blame your mental health

You blame your family, society

but never look inside to see

the surrealities that lie behind the seen.

The space behind your eyes, it seems

is full of lies, pipe dream and suicidal screams

that hide behind your pride,

and only serve to curse the hand you’re dealt.

You need to scream for help.

The fire that lights the sky

and brings tears to bloodshot eyes

fresh out the cave

can’t stand the brightness

pretend you like this

but in the darkness

your blindness was the standardized test.

You didn’t have to try

just catch the wave and ride it

no need to fight it.

Go with the current.

The lines get blurred then.

I know it sounds absurd

but what you hear can’t be unheard

so when I scream

that I’m an earthling

a mother-fucking Human Being

I wanna know you heard me

I wanna know you heard me

I wanna know you heard me

So I know that you know that I am free

as you are free.


So speak,

and I will choose what to believe.

Img found at

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Hello, little path.
I thought to myself, to steady my nerves.
Darkness lay before me
the path: narrow, dirt and iceplant
all crunch and wet-squeek underfoot.
Above, dark clouds obscured by
dark branches of coastal oak
who lichen shawls brush,
soft as spiders webs
across my face,
invisible in the darkness.

Hello, little bush
in the middle of my path
obscured by night
jabbing defensive branchs
into my ankles.
I dodge your vague shape
on the lookout now
for your siblings.

Hello, dead end.
No shame in turning back.
To have tried the path and failed
to discover a new avenue
through this coastal oak maze.
Though, suddenly overcomb
I decide to sit, in darkness.
This path is so familiar.

This path, this path
this dark and fruitless path
fraught with perilous bushes,
hanging, ghost-finger lichen,
and now,
with eyes in the darkness
eyes on every side
Impossible, luminous, green eyes.
I sit, unmoving.
I breathe steadily, unafraid.
I clap my hands loudly, once
the luminous green lights extinguish.
I rise and walk slowly
Ignoring the caresses of ghosts
avoiding the jabbing of fingers
extinguishing floating green lights
with a clap.

I emerge, right back where I started
And that’s just fine.


This is an entry in the Trifecta Writing Challenge at

Night Walk


Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


I stopped combing my mind so my thoughts could lock
These things take time
So I sit and watch as scattered thoughts
get eaten up and become what you dreaded
My head now full with dreaded thoughts
I use one to tie the others into a knot
of knowledge locked outside tradition
in a way that you could never understand
and wouldn’t even desire the understanding if you attained it

I stand shamelessly naked before you
the doorway to my mind that can only open from the inside
stands agape. My dreads, your dreads, are on full display
but you’re not looking
I have to scream
but at last you turn and seem to see the me
that I have longed so long to show you
I don’t hesitate
I key the lock that cages my smile
and shake loose my dread thoughts
to hang down the sides of my face and frame it
in such a way that you cannot possibly miss that this
is what makes me happy

You cannot possibly miss that this is what makes me happy
yet as I raise my eyes to meet yours
my smile, framed by the reality of who I’ve become
you look away
I wonder if you meet my eyes
when I look in to the camera and smile
in pictures of a time when the dread thoughts in my mind
were just a freeform mess of flyaways
In other words: was I always
this intimidating?

Blue black bruises mar my intellect
battered and abused by broken minds and
convoluted thoughts spoken as though true
time after time
You’re not an intellectual you just watch a lot of news
you’re just a fool like all the other fools
debating who’s more foolish
though, I should stress, never proving who is less
This is depressing
My thoughts are getting messy again
so I grab a pin and start expressing

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
I’m chanting a mental mantra to the god of Consciousness
Meditation is the tool for forming dread thoughts
while walking on the water of fools
You stay above it
But not getting your feet wet is the trick
So I chant again
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Count to 10
You don’t have to stoop to their level to win an argument
Just let it go
1, 2, 3, 4,

Fuck it, Imma troll this mutha fuckers world
make him wish he’d never hurled that first stone
at me.
Who the fuck you think you are tryin’a come at me
I know you
Your life’s a fucking travesty
I’ll own you in whatever you can choose under the clear blue
You are the reason that conversation is meaningless
You are the representation of the ignorance of obedience
You are the reason I read and the reason I believe in its power
I will devour your intellect as an appetizer
You make me hungrier

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
This walking on water thing is hard and
sometimes I fall in
but I’m learning
and in my heart I’m still yearning
for awareness through self-reflection

I’ve learned my lesson
Awareness isn’t a brightly wrapped package
held carefully in the hands of a lover on bended knee
No, awareness is more like a child laid over bended knee
A discipline in every sense of the word
Including painful
But in the end I guess you could say
It was for our own good

I feel another dread thought forming
I’m sorry for not conforming to what you see as reality
but really all I want is for you to notice my mind
and though my crazy hair and tattoos might make you think otherwise
I’m really just a normal guy who tries
to think about thing a little bit differently than you might
So as the dreaded thoughts inside my mind begin to unite
into one powerful indestructible conga before your eyes
take a good look

Because after this I’m closing the door to this mind
that could have been yours if you’d found the time
or let go of your foolish pride
I’ll keep climbing
My destination is the sky
and I won’t stop untill I fly or I die
But nobody will be able to say that I didn’t try.


Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m Baaaaaack!

Hey all,

So, this is not a creative piece or anything, just a blog entry to tell you that I’ve been away from my computer and from my normal life for a quick visit home before the Spring semester started up again.  I got back in to Monterey on Sunday night.  My semester started today and it’s off to a wonderful start.  I’m taking 2 Ethics classes, a social action writing class, and yoga.  🙂

I’ll be back to a daily creative piece starting tomorrow…or maybe tonight, cause I’m planning on doing a little writing tonight. 

Till then,


Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


The Plateau – Nothing left to offer.

This post is a response to another writing challenge I’m involved with at  This weeks prompt included a picture of hot air balloons and the song “Plateau” from the MTV Unplugged set by Nirvana.  It took me some time to find a direction with these two pieces of inspiration, but ultimately I came out with a dialogue which is a nightmare about my future.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

“You have access, my dear, to all I have to offer.  Please, make yourself at home.”

“I grant you this, it isn’t all you’ve wished for, but it’s everything I have and you are welcome to it.”

“You’re not smiling, my dear.  Your eyes, they look so sad.  Why, are you crying?”

“I understand.  It’s not enough.  I was afraid, but oh so hopeful.  Look here, a wonderful spot.  You can see right through the trees to the stars.  Isn’t it marvelous?   I often sit here on this big couch and read.  Would you like to sit and read with me?  I have so many wonderful books!  I can offer that, at least.”

“Oh! And on Sunday mornings you can sit here on this couch and watch men and women fly in giant balloons right past this window!  The colors are just wonderful, like something from a story!”

“Please, won’t you share at least one thought, for I know your mind is not as silent as your tongue.”

“Won’t you please just call Mom.”

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

I have a long distance relationship with my wonderful 5 year old daughter.  She is the love of my life and our relationship right now is beautiful, but I fear that as she gets older I will have less and less to offer her, as I have very little to offer even myself.  I live a very minimal life that most aren’t accustomed to.  I sit and read more often than not, or go on hikes, usually alone.  This is a literal nightmare from my not so distant future.  I hope it’s never actually the case.  I hope that my love will always be enough for her.

A little heavy for my first Write At The Merge submission, but there it is anyway.  Next time hopefully I’ll lighten it up a bit. 

Peace and One Love,



Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Intentionally F.T. (Trifecta Writing Challenge)

This is a response to this weeks prompt at:
As you all can see, my name is Intentionally F.T. and this weeks word for the challenge was Intention!  I am not sure why, but the first thing that popped into my head was an old school style hip hop verse and I started writing.  I like what I eventually got out of it enough that I’m gonna submit it for the challenge! 

*Disclaimer* I am not a rapper.  But I have been know to rock a rhyme that’s right on time, if you know what I mean.  🙂  This was fun.  I hope you enjoy.  It’s mercifully short.


Intentionally F.T. and I intend to be
the greatest Emcee in this community
I rhyme so nice
I rhyme so tight
You can question my intention but you know I’m right.

I step in the game to prove
I’m a human
I deal with the shame of truth
I’m a human
This is what I came to do
it’s all good then
Cause the time is nigh when it’ll be too late to fly.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

Like I said, it was just a silly little rhyme, but all in all I think it does show my intentions pretty well.  Peace and love, Trifectans!   

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –


Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , ,