Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve has always been my favorite night of the year. Whether I was a crazy kid partying like it was the last night on earth, or a bit older quietly drinking rum and cokes with a notebook and contemplation, it has always represented the closing of a chapter and start of another. Maybe I’m just a romantic underneath this façade, but I’m a sucker for the symbolism of the closing year. For me, it is a time for self-reflection and evaluation; it is also a time to focus on the coming year.

As 2018 looms, I couldn’t be further away from those carefree nights, and Times Square might as well be a different planet.

I’d love nothing more than to be at home with my wife and a stiff drink, listening to good tunes while the ball drops. Perhaps it is more fitting that I am once again ringing in the new year in this factory where I spend so much of my year. Here in my little lab, with John Coltrane wailing over the hum of machinery, instead of rum I’m drinking bad black coffee in a Styrofoam cup. The years sneak up on you in this place; we usually only measure time here in increments of a twelve-hour shift.

I haven’t been near as prolific as I had hoped I would be this past year. Is it an artistic block or am I simply uninspired? Is it possible for the creative juices to simply dry up without warning? I have done some writing this year, and been published in a handful of places. Likewise, my work with sound has been limited this year as well.

Despite my lack of productivity, it’s been a rejuvenating year. I shifted from being the artist back to being the student. I’ve spent much time reading, listening, studying, and contemplating. After an entire adulthood of artistic output, I felt it beneficial to become a student of life and arts again. I needed the recharge, both mentally and physically. It was time to finally stop and figure out who in the hell I am.

Now as this chapter closes and a new one begins, I feel the creative juices bubbling up again. Will it be a prolific year? I don’t know… I’m not much of a resolutions guy. I do know that however prolific the year is exactly how prolific it needs to be. However, I can guarantee I will never quit. I’ve been doing this my whole life, sometimes I am prolific and sometimes I am not, but the need never leaves me.

I’d like to think I will own 2018 (and will sure as hell try) but it will likely include more emotional highs and lows, money stress, artistic insecurity, and long, cruel factory nights. That’s okay, because it will also include laughs, good times and misadventure with family and friends. There will be bad times, but they will be outnumbered by the good, and if I’m fortunate, I’ll be here writing something terribly similar in 365 days.

Happy New Year!


2 Poems At Rusty Truck

I’m proud to announce that I have two poems, 3am Soundtracks and Thinking About Philip Levine are up over at the always stellar Rusty Truck. Poems about factories are hard to get of your system, when you can’t escape from the system, but misery always makes for a worthy muse.

New Project and Shameless Social Media Plugs!

Blk/Mas collaborator Shawn Blackburn and I have a new ambient/drone project in the works entitled Thieves Of The Bleak Earth. The new year will be here soon bringing recordings and shows, but until then I would like to remind you that there are plenty of sounds over at Awareness Factory Recordings to keep you busy. There you will find Blk/Mas and some solo stuff, along with older projects like Stickfigure and Zilbread. You can stream them free or buy the digital downloads for cheap, which is always appreciated.

I would also like to invite you to check out my YouTube page where you can find live noise performances, glitch art, and more. I plan to update more frequently there as well, and plan to start with some spoken word videos really soon. While you’re hitting up my social media, make sure you follow me on Twitter and Instagram too!


Revisited: Underground Poetry Takes The Wheel

In an effort to be more present on this blog as the new year approaches, in addition to new material, I will be revisiting older pieces of writing that were ‘lost’, under read, or are no longer available elsewhere. This particular piece was published way back in 2009 with Associated Content. I don’t think much has changed since I penned this one, and it seems just as pertinent as ever.

Underground Poetry Takes The Wheel

No matter what scene or subculture you find yourself in there is always the “Us versus Them” mentality. For instance, when I was a young man playing in bands it was always indie vs. mainstream… now years later as a poet it is the seemingly endless battle between the underground and the academics.

Now by all qualifications, I am an underground writer. Most of the writing I read would be considered the same as well but still, I have really tried to stay away from the underground vs. mainstream argument for several reasons.

 For one, good poetry is good poetry regardless if it’s released by a major press or the most underground publisher. It doesn’t matter if it’s penned by the most D.I.Y. street poet or the Poet Laureate.

 Secondly, it would be one thing if the academic poetry community was rolling in money and best-selling books, but they are not. No one is reading their poetry either.

 So I try to keep out of it.


 The question begs to be answered. Why is poetry in the state it is in? When I contemplate the question, that’s when I tend to reluctantly take sides and the finger wagging begins.

 If poetry has a bad public image would it not be the fault of the ones in charge of what the general public sees?

 Most people have their first brush with poetry in high school where they have some of the biggest load of kings English shoved down their throats. Oh sure, they let you read the occasional safe Whitman poem, but other than that it’s the same old trite crap that it takes an English professor to decipher for you. Poetry so workshopped that it is devoid of any meaning or emotion.

 Is it any wonder why most people don’t read another verse after high school? This is the general public perception of poetry, which really is pretty silly. Can you imagine people being so closed minded about any other form of art? For instance, can you imagine someone who has never heard music before hearing one song of one genre and basing their entire opinion of music in general on this one song of one genre? Someone asks them what they think of new generic radio hit and they say, “Oh, I don’t listen to music. I listened to it once in high school and I just didn’t care for it.” It’s absurd, considering music is a limitless sea of genres where there is virtually something for everyone. Just like poetry.

 We can even go so far as to say a member of the general public decides to attempt poetry later in life and they go to their local bookstore. Unless they sift through the books in the poetry section and stumble upon some of the more adventurous books, they will probably just go to the magazine section and pick up Poetry Magazine or The Paris Review…. and have instant horrible flashbacks of high school.

 Of course, there are always the more subversive types in the know searching out underground poetry, music, etc. But for most the source of information comes directly from the ones in control of public image.

 The ones who represent the public face of poetry are the academics and they have failed at capturing the imagination of the average reader.

 They have failed to relate to the impoverished, the factory worker, the auto mechanic, etc.

 In short, these people are in the driver’s seat. You do not wrest control by tapping on their shoulder and politely asking them to please let you drive for a while. For one reason, they wouldn’t even let you in the car in the first place.

 Are they going to easily let go of the little bit of poetry success there is? Are they going to instantly let go of their college internships and minuscule amount of money that is being made? No, of course not.

 Quite simply, we have to take the driver’s seat. We have to take control of the P.R. machine.

Then the people can begin to see what poetry can be. Poetry can be exciting; it can be rock and roll. Enlightening poetry does not mean hours of study, it can be that instant moment of realization.

 So how do we carjack the poetry machine?

 I don’t know. I’m a factory worker and so called “underground” poet. If I had a clue I would probably not be writing this right now. All I can think is we keep doing what we are doing. We keep writing, we keep publishing, and we keep pushing the hell out of our little shows. We become full time non-stop promoters not just of our poetry, but of poetry its self. We don’t just preach to the choir, we preach to the mob. We write poems for the factory worker to the office worker. We tell the academics to pull over, this is now our car.






A Tribute To Buk

The first print run of Sunny Side Down: A Charles Bukowski Tribute from Patchouli Press has already been released and sold out within a mere few days. However, there will be a second and last pressing, so contact Patchouli Press to reserve your copy now!

My poem “Any Damn Fool Can Go To Work Everyday” was lucky enough to be featured along with work from Rob Plath, Justin Hyde, Joseph Ridgewell, and many others!

Blk/Mas @SPNF 2017

Last night, Blk/Mas took part in the landmark 10th annual St. Pete Noise Fest. I’ve been lucky enough to be included many times in the last ten years, and last nights show was yet another stellar showcase of challenging sounds. This years edition took place at Cage Brewing, an hip little craft brewery in a thriving downtown…. right across from Haslams Bookstore (a huge and highly recommended bookstore that the late Jack Kerouac himself frequented, and some even believe he still haunts). We were lucky enough to check out sets from Vasectomy Party, Hell Garbage, Durastatic, Whitey Alabastard, as well as discover several others new acts.

It’s been a fun decade, here’s to ten more!

Blk/Mas returns to Noise Fest

It’s almost that time of year again! Central Florida’s loudest tradition returns on November 11th when St Pete Noise fest returns for its historic tenth year. Taking the form of a single day onslaught, SPNF will feature a myriad of some of the harshest, weirdest, and eclectic group of sound artists both local and national. The party starts at noon downtown in Williams Park and continues through the evening at Cage Brewing.

I played my first SPNF way back in 2010 with Stickfigure, and have played several since as one-half of Blk/Mas. I am happy to be a part of the milestone tenth anniversary, and to be a small part of the last decade of noise.

If you’re a fan of strange music/sound, or just plain curious I hope you’ll check out SPNF in some capacity. Click here  for the complete line-up of acts.

Come on out and say hi!