Travel Poems


Chapter 1 . Secret Towns

1 . Gare du Nord
2 . Periscope Forest
3 . Discovery after Dark
4 . Stranded Awake
5 . Majesty of the Minute
6 . Foot of the Carpathians
7 . Up Jakupica
8 . Hamstrung
9 . Wheelhouse of Wonder (Welcome Home)

Chapter 2 . The Night Sea

de Lune Mécanique . 1
Loss . 2
The Storm Heaves in the Distance . 3
Oak Island . 4
Teufelssee Tower . 5
Fine Day to Risk It All . 6
On Old Delancey . 7
Noguchi Beach . 8
Turtle on the Moon . 9


Chapter 3 . There is no path back

1 . Sellwood by Bicycle
2 . Sunrise Market
3 . View from a Llama
4 . Sequel to a Memory
5 . After the Whistle
6 . Honey and Spirits
7 . Bright Macedonia
8 . Ladder of Damascus
9 . Twilight Far

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When the album drops

You’ll hear it first
(and other mysteries)

Watch as bite-sized music haphazardly juxtaposed
with sights & scents crash-lands in your mailbox
making you wonder: great news or greatest news?

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I want to dazzle you baby
peep my smokin’ biography
lists like waterfalls
5 grammies before I was 5 years old
my piano jazz bona fides
unfurled off a long scroll
institutions holy & prestigious
conservatories that admit only
1 student every 26 years
which cats I’ve played with
hope they’re famous enough
names gorgeous etched on zinc
a talisman on my pinky
clinking keys every hit
warding off pesky critics

quick close the door
from the windows we’ll soar
watching sunbeams rain down
we boogie (with the cosmos)
dive in brisk waters blue
eat peanut butter wherever we want

skin tingles
when air dries
so - thereafter - if you
should care for another jump:

that sharp warm breeze on your descent
beds of bubbles
swirling as you surface
sunsets on grapefruit clouds

now it is
here now to stay awhile
a good time to talk music —

We already have a way to put emotions in glass bottles, actually more like packed into cannonballs, sizzling to the touch: I can make one with my soul and launch it directly to your soul, using no words at all, only pure feeling and fire...that is what music does.

These emotions can be of any kind: they can be soothing, they can be painful and cathartic, they can be jubilant. But the moment of creation, the act of communication, the catapult: this movement must always electrify.

Imagine a universe where we are connected by shimmering beams of light, everyone to everyone. One quirk about this universe is that the beams send emotions between us, one million per minute per pair, clearly and effortlessly. Joy is instantly contagious. A hurtful thought toward another is understood with compassion, seen alongside the place of sadness where it arose. Every feeling triggers infinite empathy, therefore boundless acceptance. (The beams send only the stuff of our souls, not our thoughts — so we still have privacy, interesting conversation, and the ability to prank each other silly.)

Now imagine we already live in this universe except, long ago, we somehow forgot where the beams went. But we’ve always kept music with us, because it’s our best way to speak in the old way.

May 2017