if you have a gift, give it

if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it -if you have a gift, give it - if you have a gift, give it

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Joaquin Zihuatanejo

Last year i saw this poet. He did four poems. Yesterday I finally found some footage. A teacher who learns from his students. A man who learned sign language so he could speak to one of the kids in his class through poetry. Wow! He closed that night with a poem called "Final Exam for My Father" I've only heard the words of that one once but, the feeling he left is still ringing. Some people don't get poetry. For others its the only thing they have. I'd say most people like a well told story. 

Johns Poem

Title Unknown

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Breaker Box

I have 11 Basketball Documentaries. I bought them because I want to figure out how to put a spark inside of someone. A game that has taught me about more than winning and losing. More than possessions and shot selection, friendship, mentorship, creation, technique, motion, conversation, skill, stewardship, placement, focus, preparation, one touch pass, jump stop, follow through.

I am still connecting dots. 

A good test is to think of something that you would wake up extremely early for.

There is a breaker box at my work. When the appliances run too hard it can short circuit. So what do you do? Head out to the box and flip the switch that is facing the opposite direction of all the others. # 18. 

Each basketball Documentary i own has within it a story. Without Bias is a tragedy about experimenting with drugs. Kobe Doin' Work demonstrates how to communicate on the court and how to express a deep joy for the game. Winning Time is about elevating oneself in crucial moments. It retells the story of small town and city rivalry. Through the Fire is a High-school superstar understanding his dream and putting together the pieces that make it a reality. Hoop Dreams is about choices... And the list goes on. Each movie is a switch. 

If you love the game of basketball and have not read Scared Hoops i suggest you quit reading this post and speed on down to the closest book store. Screw over night shipping when you could leave NOW! Inside that book Phil Jackson gives his players books to read. His bookshelf is a breaker box. Whether you think you'll actually get something out of Zen Buddhism, Native American, or Military teaching is neither here or there. And how does that relate to basketball again? 

What book could i give you if i wanted to help you work harder at your craft. If I wanted to show you that you are limitless. To step outside of that stat book and find a reason to write a memoir. To get you to move 5 million blocks of limestone in Egypt at your own free will. To hold yourself responsible for insignificant piece of composite leather bouncing off the back of the rim. Rip it down. Collect yourself. Find the One. One dances through the traffic hits Two out in front of him. Two shot fakes dishes to Four cutting for a Layup.  The shot is up and....

When you understand the game you will work harder to get the simplest shot in basketball. The Layup. 

When Phil Jackson gives you a book about the Stock Market and tells you to make a hundred free throws before you leave the gym. Do It. He can see your switch board and has just given you a huge hint on how to make all those little black buttons face the same way. 

With that being said, lets build our libraries so that we may one day hand someone a book or dvd or journal entry that could change their outlook on life forever. What better gift than an assist of revelation. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Night Poem

Sweet talk Sweet walk
Walk your talk
Walk Tall Walk the line walk
Line Dance Put your best foot forward
Footloose Hooves A horse a piece
12 Hands High A bakers cousin
My heart weighs Mountain
Upside down it’s the triangle offence
Are you a teeter totter or a balancing beam queen
Double Dutch your pick up lines
A quick pick me up Aloof
Lost in space cadets
Blowing in the window ceil
Toot your horn rattle snake bite
Today the snow came like a slushy machine
Snowball fight with food coloring
Squash graffiti rain check
Matchstick campfire power outage
Outrage us
Orange Jus not gonna say
Banana Breakfast Pancaked between
The Exercise type face

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Morning Poem

Walk into this room light
Your picturesque knows how to brighten us
We love being brightened by you
We walk away memorizing molecules
How you stung pearls like that
We talked about it to each other
How when reading a book someone could get so much out of it
The bulbs of the eyes glow like volcano hearts
But on the other handle
The excuse of a bad hair day
Or bedbug bombarded your ability
Your clarity caused you to slump chair
Its all signal watching when the windstorm flies
Tangle kites in your headspace
And the birds speak in razorblades
No one wants to be kissed like that
Like they’re holding on for deer in lanterns
They’re is a difference when the kisss causes it
You speak to us with those lips
Untangling what you can with your words
Making us sit a little taller
And hug a little stronger when we can

Friday, October 29, 2010

A New Kind of Classroom Poster

It starts with a journal entry. One with a light bulb.

"Inspirational posters are broken at the hips." 

Draw it out and stretch it out. Add Color.

Why are they broken? Because they fail in every way to inspire. I thought that was their purpose? What inspires me? I like looking at a process. I want to understand how it all works. In some roundabout way it helps me understand how i work. I want to be able to design my own. And I also want to show somebody. I think they will teach themselves what it is for. They are sure to see a different purpose and a new beauty. They will then become the new teachers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1st Short Story Published!

Cory Story Inside 

This was a wonderful add on to my trip back home. Glad to hop in at the last minute and be small part of the Oneida Arts Programs 2010 issue of Yukhika-latuhse?. Please track this book down if you are in Oneida and read it aloud! Looking forward to more collaboration in the future. Thank you Oneida for giving me a great place to call home! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Work Ethics 101

Its usually a parting phrase. "Alright. See you later, don't work too hard." My new response is: "Yeah, don't work too soft!"You've figured out what your going to do of course. Now, that you all grown up. Things are starting to run together. Where you work. Who your with. What you do for fun. The people around you are learning helpful ways to support you. They start broadcasting good things to come.  The ideas are pouring out of both of you. You scramble to keep your balance pointing at the horizon. Say to yourself in the voice he said it in "Don't work too hard." It is suggested that the most universal human characteristic is laziness. Visualization is a technique that combines time, effort, and imagination which draw a map to your future. Foresight is unique to the human race. Use your gift if thats all you think it is. You are working your way towards something even if you don't like it or want to admit it. Be as honest as you know how to be with yourself. Finish the job you were put here to do. The small tasks that are building your mosaic. They are easy to identify because they are half done. Your best ideas that slipped way. They are the books that look too thick. The kids that look too tough. The dishes that look too dirty. The phone tag. The unopened box of paints. The rotting food in the fridge or the garbage. The argument you do not want to have. The rain that is stopping your free throws. The envelope you don't want to open or the letter you do not want to write. It will hurt too much to sit down and dig some moments out of your chest with a claw-hammer. This is not a life in which we are evaluated by our pain tolerance. Finish that degree.  Invent that thesis. Stare it down at three thirty in the morning. Wake up to your loved one walking in at an odd hour and greet them. Don't fake sleep it might lead to fake dream. Our job as artists is to convince others that they are also artists. It is kind of like our job as humans which is to remind others that we are human. Lets not be soft about that.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Elevator Music

Often times all I want is everybody or everything to meet up in one place for a short moment. I imagine them all taking the time to look around and make a mental note of the feeling. This is why my mother taught me to collage. So i could fit you in from over here . Hello Bird .

Here is a link to the video i made back in March, trying to keep things in a safe place, thought this might be a better door to get there rather than the youtube search engine :)  Lotni and JuJu - Elevator Music Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Write Bloody

The Knife Kite Revival is amazing! If you get a chance to see it. SEE IT! This is the 3rd Tour of the insightful trio which consists of Buddy Wakefield, Anis Mojgani, and Derrick Brown founder of Write Bloody. The show also features Timmy Straw playing brilliantly behind the poets which is one of the most noticeable improvements since i saw the first tour two years ago. Straw also plays a few of her own songs from her album State Parks. (i've taken with me everywhere i go since got it) This adds another element to the Revival itself with other small comical gestures in between. Handshake Intro, Short Poems, Human vs Hot Dog Strut Offs, Road Trip Games, I hate Anis, Improve,  Light Bulbs and Red Blazers. These guys are the pioneers to this new life of poetry and Hello Bird is on board to help paddle it farther. Performing poetry for a living. If that ain't in the 10 top most dangerous jobs in the world then you probably  have only seen a spitfull of cliche poets. Complainers. Burrowers. Half Empty Pity Parachuteless Pieces of Badly Used Pencil Led. Wake Up. Don't be a dial tone. Words can do so much more for people! The Knife Kite Revival and Write Bloody are here for proof. 

Hello Bird Goal - In three years apply to Write Bloody to be my Publishing Company, which means i will be touring a minimum of 20 times per year if i get accepted. Help integrate spoken word into our current school system (Elementary, Middle, High, College)  as well as establish a curriculum which will entail Artist and Business, Benefits of Creative Process, Creative Writing, and Music Therapy.

Steps along the way include: Establishing self in High School Classroom as well as Poetry Community. I welcome this opportunity and hopefully this small Hello Bird project will burn a pathway for future artists.

Knife Kite,
Good Luck with the tour.
See you again at Western in November!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I am morphing a platform for my art. This idea scares the light out of me. It is overwhelming. Do you know the feeling being outside of something and not in it. The trick is: Change the story. Be inside of what you want to do.  I am looking into my mind into where i want to be in the future and it feels far away. Im five years old picturing myself at forty. Between the years wonderful things are happening. I tell myself keep going. Finding the right people and doing the things you want to do is not a paradox. In fact people never cease to amaze me in how much they can overcome at one time. Rise to the occasion. Spend a night on a plateau. Come down to greet someone as they approach. Talk them into cracking  a smile. If need be point them in a small direction. And after an exchange of how far we've come along as being human being watch them walk away waving a hand.

When they are well on their way and out of sight paint a picture or draw a map.

Leaning: Automatic Payment Plan to pay for Cost of Living while saving for Hello Bird
Practice: CAGED Music Theory - Fretboard Logic Workbook
Writing: Black hard bound Journal full of list, ideas, songs. (Vol 2. for bookshelf) Journal Supplier Dakota Arts
Paint: Trees, while listening do different tempos Alexie Murdoch, White Stripes
Reading: Slow Money, intention answering the question, where and what do i want to spend on? And How can we build a better community?
Filling out: ShipIt Workbook By Seth Godin
Future Plan: Website hosting Book and Artwork with Hello Bird Blog
Performance: last on the timeline - Music/Poem + Curriculum, Audience Unknown

Monday, September 13, 2010

Trees Session Numero Uno

Inside five trees live four Mountain Goats
Inside four Goats live Three Hearts
How many Wild horses does it take to resurrect a genius? Two. It takes two lovers to make the right kind of love. What if in an old story apples could be eaten one by one or two by two. Carry them circus juggler style in between each finger. Throw them high and ovaltine to into the air so that more can be carried at one time. Toss one to you sister. four to your brothers. six to your parents. Keep some in the antlers. Balance a few on the banister lookout. I can feed you from inside of a whale. Swallow the salt water reverse osmosis spit out the great lakes. One, two, three, four, five fingers on a branch can hold two leaves an entire winter just fine. When the snow comes to slow us down and the sun stokes his wood stove. In longhand Curly Q lettering write a slow and bright poem to match the season of changing colors.

Tree Pantings

Acrylic and Fabric Paint
Above Right: 20x16
Below Right: 18x14

Titled Saturday and Sunday
You choose which is which :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Xtreme Bean

Dear Xtreme Bean,

We made it little guy. Can't believe your almost walking and using your words like "Extra Hot Carmel Toasted Marshmallow Latte" or "Blended Mocha with Chocolate on the cup." Remember that time the kids had an open mic for the food bank and the place was so packed you couldn't move. Or that time those two farmers came to meet for coffee. They each drove a big tractor and parked side by side and took up half the parking lot. Man, do we got the best customers! Its fun to serve our community because we are all looking for similar things: a good place to raise our families with a good school, Friendly people around us, Hard workers that care about what they do, A City with movement that is close but not too big and overwhelming. A sense of safety. I don't think that's being too picky do you?...  And look what we're surrounded by Ocean, Mountains, Glaciers, Rivers,  Moss, Trees, Rain. Yep we even love the rain. It makes a good hot cup of coffee that much more enjoyable. We know what we got around here and we are happy because we are thankful for it. We appreciate you for giving us a place to grow, share, and learn. I am excited to spend another adventurous year with you Mr. bean.  


Friday, September 10, 2010

Side Project

Do you have a side project?

I saw a home documentary once about improvisational music. Loud, sporadic, awful, out-there kind of sound. That was the sound. The musicians - an old man, his family, and a few close friends. Simply Beautiful. At a live show i could imagine people being on one side of the rope or the other. You were either listening to them and asking yourself what in the world are they doing? Or your watching them and telling yourself that you want to do something with the people you love Right Now! and you don't care what it is.

My favorite part about Rockumentaries have to be the behind scenes interviews. Not the bullet point press interviews where they guy kind of brushes you off with some weak small talkie type responses. The ones i like there is guy sitting in a lawn chair, telling you a story about the time him and his friends stole their grandmothers truck so they could carry the amps. 15miles in next to a field  they run out of gas. She's the only person they know; they call her up. "Grandma can you please find someone to come get us? and uhhh... we kinda got your truck"  Grandma rescues her grandson plus the band and decides shes up and out of bed she might as well come to the show! There's nothing like playing for your family. Someone will tell a story about how they prepare or what its like to spend three weeks in a car making up small games. Games about town signs. The way to eat food with only your left hand. And of course all the interestingly speaking/dressed people who are constantly moving in and out of sight... Then he gets up out of the lawn chair and takes you to a wall of cd's and goes right to a particular one. He opens it up. Puts on something you wouldn't expect. Don Mclain, Son House, Link Wray, Woody Guthrie. What he's hearing is more than any sound, more than music, his heart is in total agreement. The song takes him and all along the way his mind quietly studies. He is time traveling. Suddenly he snaps out of it, nods his head "yup thats it right there."

The interview i saw on the improvisational doc was guy who wanted to play as much as he could. He worked at a restaurant as a cook. It could of been a laundry mat or a convenience store didn't make a difference as long as it was a job that didn't require him to do anything extraordinary.  But in fact how he approached it was the extraordinary part. He showed up to pay his bills so he could play music. Work+Bills=more music. He was finical set to do what he wanted to do. And his bosses loved him. He didn't complain, came to work on time, made some delicious food and made the playlist in the kitchen. Went home picked up the guitar, end of story. His side project which, was initially music became his work, and the restaurant became more like a side project. A co-pilot.  So i ask you again. Do you have a side project?

My side project timeline:

work: landscaping/ print shop -> side project: autobiography through poetry and short stories
work: landscaping/print shop -> Side Project: Performing/Distributing/Marketing my first book
work: landscaping/print shop -> side project: Xtreme Bean Espresso
work: Xtreme Bean Espresso -> side project: Music CD/ Painting/ Hello Bird

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Club: Slow Money

inquiries into the nature of Slow Money - investing as if food, farms, and fertility mattered. 

We are not far enough along to give a insightful book report but it doesn't mean i haven't had about a dozen chats on the subject which could stretch all the way to Port Townsend and back. By "we" i mean me and two of my favorite people in Bellingham have started an informal book club. Meaning it may only last one month until the school season starts. The goal phrases for the club were: lets read something that involves economics because your an economic major. And it should be about business because that's what you've been reading and you own a business. Im inviting isabel :) do it! How bout something with a positive spin or a slant on making a difference. Hey have you noticed how every lawn in bellingham is turning into a garden? Yeah thats what I'm talking about going back to the old ways. - No, its not old. we are...  progressing. Into something new. 

This was sent to me last night i'd like to pass it on:  Grist a beacon in the smog

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rhode Trip Road Island

Photo: Washington USA

I like this world because out of curiosity it is very likely that we may never know where we might end up. Or what part of ourselves we must face in order to get there.  Our shear movement and adjustments force those close to us to help in ways in which can only be done by them facing themselves. Like finding the right words to say when your trying to make a fleeing moment last forever. Or a phone call of support from five to seven states away depending on direction.
Today my brother arrived in Rhode Island for his new school. That makes two of us in Washington, three in Wisconsin and one in Rhode Island. Brothers and sister that is; including me. Some families never get a chance to live under one roof. But they spread like wild fire and can become torch carriers. I love anything unconventional that still works. Its not that it works better but i'd say we get different things out of our structure. We start to say things like this:  "Hey guys is it true that if you move away and not run away. And your family stays where you moved from. And you visit on one or two occasions or a summer even every year until your twenty something or thirty something or eighty something. That you can simultaneously grow and grow up in two ridiculously awesome places at once with out anybody noticing you are gone? :)"  I did not make that shit up. So with that being said - Good Luck Sage!

Gift Idea: Blanket

If you truly want to thank someone, wish them well, let them know that your always with them. Give them a blanket. A gift that means warmth and shelter. What two better things are out there for a traveler, friend, or loved one.

At the seed...

And so it is
Just like you said it would be