Rohlfie’s List

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE (try it with headphones)!

WARP SPEED:
It’s 4:00am… the snow begins to fall… a light dusting, at first, but soon accelerating into a swirl of mini cotton puffs. He’s driving home from a distant gig. The joint was packed and the crowd in-synch with the bone-jarring music. After the gig… floating on a reverie of gliding euphoria… he makes his way home. The snow puffs now look like stars flying by a warp-speed galaxy cruiser. Streetlight reflects from rooftops on this breezeless night, and the accumulating snow sets rooftops under a thick twinkling layer of cotton fluff. The faster he drives, the more pronounced the warp-speed illusion… long linear streaks across his car’s windshield. He recalls the image of twisting writhing bodies in front of him just a short time ago. He marveled at his own fingers meandering up and down the neck of his fretboard. The crowd projected an almost desperate energy and his mind traveled back to an earlier time when he and his bandmates dropped purple microdot just before the final set. The drug kicked in earlier than expected. The band was still three songs and an encore away from retreating to the designated party house. Stage lights seemed too low and close and this obscured his ability to see past a line of humanity seething at the lip of the stage. He began to misinterpret visual information seeing the frenzied front row dancers with thick tails protruding through their clothing. It was hard to keep this mirage in check, but luckily, he was able to enter that Zen state of flow… the auto-pilot. By and by he was able to detach his attention from the undulating room. YES… the writhing front row was populated by lizard people, but it didn’t break his flow. He soldiered on through the rest of the gig with a frenzied roller coaster of foot stomping… head banging… rainbow colored… gyrating pods of humanity. He gave no indication that what he saw in front of him would shock a normal person into a full head of gray … hell… for all he knew, the whole room was on the same ride, and god only knew what they saw looking at him.  

STRANGER DANGER:
Half-way around the globe, a Zapatista engineer … stationed at a research base not far from the Mongol autonomous prefecture of Bayingolin made her way around Iron Gate Pass… near the historic Silk Road. She slipped into a quiet state of reverie, driving along the once cosmopolitan global commerce trail. She imagined the days when Mongol Khans enlisted, rather than killed talented members of conquered peoples. And how, once established, cultivated humane, family-focused communities. But now, working on a secret project deep in the Chinese continent, she questioned her life … she’s in constant danger. Under the watchful eye of Beijing’s surveillance state, she must maintain the veneer of loyal expertise. Her courage flags, from time to time, under the pressure of floating rumors. Unsettling stories of experts vanishing, only to return weeks later with memory gaps… days on end. And that 1000-yard stare common among those who’ve “seen too much.” Local leadership routinely turned a blind eye to atrocities perpetrated against those who didn’t, “tow the line.” But now… too many friends/colleagues have disappeared … or worse. She resolved to GTF-Outta Dodge and through much effort and stowaway ingenuity, she did finally make it to the U.S. southern border… unfortunately, the border agents had been defaulting to suspicion… regarding potential refugees as … “not the best” or “Rapists”… or “gang-bangers” or “bad hombres…” Now… the cold room… the handcuffs… the inevitable lonesome flight to Honduras.

ENJOY EVERY GYRO:
Plato believed philosophers were uniquely worthy of leadership. He used the analogy of the “ship of state.” That a captain who understands navigation by the stars, all other things being equal, are the best kind of captains. In part, because they aren’t dependent upon others to accurately pilot the ship. And so it is with leaders who become philosophers or vice versa. Philosophers are best qualified to assess the righteousness of an organization’s trajectory… they are less dependent on others for the knowledge/wisdom that comes part and parcel with the study of philosophy. Though some may write philosophers/navigators off as “useless star(navel)gazers,” like a ship’s navigator, the philosopher is vital. Give them the power of leadership and your organization is in good hands. From where do we draw this resolve? From tradition? From experience? From the value of merciful restraint? Or the necessity of merciless progress? 

BONESAWS & GLITTER:
He remembers the day he realized he had to go under allowing a surgical team reroute some of his plumbing… flash forward to the day he was able to walk to the hospital cafeteria for some orange essence and tea. Then… the day he was able to enjoy a brewed cup from the humble coffee cherry. The sight of his first post-surgery nurse… he remembers it in a foggy cloud. Like … he swears… she was shrouded in shimmering glitter… her voice was the music of kindness and mercy… he’s sure he saw her wings and halo… no shit. At the same time, the grumpy bastard two doors down was yelling at her like she was his servant… his whipping post. Whatever they were paying her… it wasn’t enough. He marveled at her ability to project selfless compassion a mere two minutes after being verbally abused be a grumpy bastard. 

FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE PIT:
Recovering… unable to sleep… he maintain a sense of the moment… lucid and grounded. For some reason it seemed important not to let the mind wander into flights of nostalgia or fanciful dreams of possible futures… no… in the moment… detached but present … the urgent order of business. From time to time, he was instructed to get up and shuffle laps around the ward… a cul-de-sac of rooms occupied by survivors in various stages of healing. The surest way to get discharged was to “do laps.” He wasn’t up and about right out of the gate… but not much longer than a day and a half he was paying attention to lap count, intent on exceeding numbers from a previous session. Two in the morning… three in the afternoon and six in the evening and since he couldn’t actually sleep… two more sessions into the night. Once… after three or four days of this… he was killing all records for continuous walking and took a seat on a bench in the hall around 1:00am. He remembers nodding out a bit. The next thing he knew he was gently awake with a shake. It was one of the shift nurses. She told him he had been sitting, mostly upright, but unmoving for roughly three hours… sound asleep. They didn’t want to wake him because they knew it had been a few sleepless days. He couldn’t get into the bed because he was toting a receptacle draining fluid from his chest. He refused super-effective opioids because he knew how easy it would have been to stumble onto the hoses (2 of them). They were embedded under his skin next to the main incision. They were run up as far as the lower lobe of the lungs. Had he clumsily yanked them out, someone would have to put them back in and he’d be awake for the festivities. Needless to say… he passed on Dilaudid, and passed on Morphine.

FIRESIDE REVERIE:
Another flashback… barreling through the fluffy frozen puffs like a starship in warp drive, his reverie is broken by the realization he had made it. He was flourishing in a world he had imagined as far back as the 3rd grade. All he ever wanted out of this life was to immerse his soul in music and share the experience with others. A wave of Thanksgiving gratitude washed over him as the snow puffs streaked past his windshield. He then found himself snapped back into the present… convalescing at home… still unable to get any sustained sleep, but keenly aware of the fact that violence had been done to him and that violence had most likely saved, and maybe even added a couple decades to his life. On this Thanksgiving… his 2nd-life birthday, he had plenty of time to meditate on these things.

Powered by a refurbished heart, his lungs and pipes sing the music of gratitude for…

ROHLFIE’S (partial) LIST… !!

  • Loving Family
  • Excellent Friends
  • Righteous Workmates
  • Angels dressed as nurses
  • Human Physicians
  • SCIENCE!
  • Oatmeal and blueberries
  • Fuzzy Footwear
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Ice Water
  • Audiobooks
  • Rabble Rousers
  • Long Walks
  • Cool Breezes
  • Twizzlers
  • Lego-free Floors
  • Citrus
  • Warm Blankets
  • Green Tea
  • New Ideas
  • Civilizing Traditions
  • Sourdough Toast
  • Blue Skies
  • Rhythm
  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Lyrical Poetry
  • Resonant Guitars
  • Music…music…music…
  • And another year to enjoy it  all… 🙂

Coolest Place

Misfit in the country… rebel in a deep red sea… sometimes i wonder where we get the outrage energy. Ride the bucking trends… we’re all neighbors and friends… and revel in the human company.

And the coolest place in the world is all i see. Bill Gates and Lady Ga Got nothing on me. I don’t need to work in Hollywood or Nashville Tennessee… i don’t need no Botox… corn row plugs or plastic surgery. I got everything i need and it’s right in front of me.

The coolest place in the world is all i see.

Misfit on the metro… it moves too fast for me… and hard to find kindness in a cold gray concrete sea. But i can play this guitar… and boost this energy… the city on the hill’s luminosity.

And the coolest place in the world will follow me… it’s my urban cowboy philosophy. I don’t mind tilting windmills… strange possibilities… i don’t need proud illusions to boost my self esteem… everything’s in play… what will be will surely be.

The coolest place in the world will follow me.

Misfit in the church… UP the academy. Miracles and myths… inexplicabilities. I don’t need consistent… existential certainties… but every day’s a GIFT… can’t you see?

And the coolest place in the world is where i’ll be. LOVE will win the day… just wait and see. I don’t fear creation… or the void of infinity… i don’t need to cling to memes or things… it’s ALL illusory. I AM the multiverse… the multiverse is me.

The coolest place in the world is all i see…
The coolest place in the world will follow me…
The coolest place in the world is where i’ll be.

Spotify link… HERE

Bee In Her Bonnet

Abandon your solemn post… point your crooked fingers east. See the morph respect => contempt… feeding lives to the beast. And corporations rule… turning fear into gold. Atrocity becomes the norm then we realize we’ve been sold.

Questions after profit!
Questions after profit!
Questions after profit again!

She’s got a bee in her bonnet… a dose of apocalypse… a bee in her bonnet again.

She don’t see the dance… the multi-faced political game… jingo propaganda always cuts in many ways. A Satan great… an evildoer all depends on where you stand. It’s a path… a destination… cooler heads must command.

Sing the gospel truth!
Sing the gospel truth!
Sing the gospel truth again!

She’s got a bee in her bonnet… a dose of apocalypse… a bee in her bonnet again.

And yes… they hate… but not abstractions. They hate people mindin’ their business… keepin’ them down… and killin’ their kids!

She’s got no patience for other… riders on her commute… the slow… the lost… the sick… the old… or just takin’ in the view. Humility and common sense out the window when she drives… angry aggression… she won’t wait… she’s just tryin’ to survive.

Not enough time!
Not enough time!
Not enough time again!

She’s got a bee in her bonnet… a dose of apocalypse… a bee in her bonnet again.

Spotify link… HERE

New Direction


 
I used to dwell on all the complications… but now they just don’t stop me any more. Waistin’ my time… with a noodle for a spine and i just couldn’t take it any more.

So i went to think about a new direction… and in the course of my searchin’ i did find… that the writing on the wall was a mess of a scrawl and i just couldn’t stand it any more.

Lord it’s true i’ll have to claw my way out!

Well… i made it… i found my new direction… feelin’ better… much better every day. Not afraid to take a stand… i ain’t worried about no plans cos the end’s gonna reconcile itself… oh YEA YEA YEA…

When i close my eyes i see a better world… and it don’t seem so far to reach…. no no no no… from the bottom of the pit it’s a long way to climb… and the key to the top is in my hands… in my hands…

In MY OWN bloody hands!

Spotify link… HERE

Neon


 
Crisp… winter morning coffee warm in my cup when i first read the letter from my best friend’s hand today.

It’s a holiday card… with a message to you and me… sit down honey… your mommy’s comin’ home.

She said… “I need you to need me… i want you to want me. I pray that you’ll learn to count on me. And i’ll cast my bones on neon for the last time tonight. I’m comin’ home… it’s you that saved my life.”

Well… i know she’s made mistakes… but she left you for me to raise… i’ll always think of you as my own child deep down inside. And now she’s comin’ home… gonna dance with the methadone… i’d always hoped this day would finally come.

She said… “I need you to need me… i want you to want me. I pray that you’ll learn to count on me. And i’ll cast my bones on neon for the last time tonight. I’m comin’ home… it’s you that saved my life.”

Nobody lives in a vacuum… even the island needs a sea. Everyone needs raison d’etre… and for her… it’s down to you and me.

Well… the snow is falling down on the busy sidewalks of our town… your mom won’t go out there… tonight or evermore. So let’s turn that frown around… what was lost once now is found. .. your mom… my best friend’s comin’ home.

She said… “I need you to need me… i want you to want me. I pray that you’ll learn to count on me. And i’ll cast my bones on neon for the last time tonight. I’m comin’ home… it’s you that saved my life.

I’ll cast my bones on neon for the last time tonight…”

Spotify link… HERE

Voter’s Poll

LYRIC (political parody to the melody of Shel Silverstein’s “Freakin’ at the Freaker’s Ball“):

Well… we’re goin’ to a voters’ poll… today… it’s your civic toll. And you know… we’ll be counted… on the roll.

C’mon babies… scream and shout… we got the revolutionary clout… we’re gonna throw the bastards out… we’re goin’ to the voters’ poll.

Blow your whistle… bang a gong… take a breath… and sing along… it feels so good… it can’t be wrong… votin’ at the voters’ poll

All the heads and the reds… are standin’ in together… the scooter trash dressed in all kinds of leather… the greatest of the queens and the bible-thumpers too… screamin’ please bless me… and I’ll bless you.

Grungarati… adrenaline junkies… all the straights… are swingin’ with the funkies. Cross the floor… up the wall… votin’ at the voters’ poll… yo… votin’ at the voters’ poll!

Everybody’s bumpin’ each other… patriarchs and single mothers… smear my biscuits up with butter
And take me to the voters’ poll.

Pass that ballot … ring the chimes… you boot yours … i’ll boot mine… i’m gonna straighten up my spine… votin’ at the voters’ poll.

White ones… black ones… Jose and Yang ones. Green and blue and native red ones… the greatest of the dykes and the bible-thumpers too… screamin’ please bless me… and I’ll bless you!

Everybody’s holdin’ their opinions… flooding polling stations by the millions…we’re gonna clear the air that’s stinkin’… votin’ at the voters’ poll… yo… votin’ at the voters’ poll… na na na naaaa… votin’ at the voters’ poll!

Pulp and Ink

    
In the days of two ought and one…
– Pulp & Ink!
In the days of two ought and one…
– Pulp & Ink!
In the days of two ought and one…
…writin’ news is all i done
Hand me down my pulp… my pulp…
…my pulp & ink

In the days of two ought and two…
– Pulp & Ink!
In the days of two ought and two…
– Pulp & Ink!
In the days of two ought and two…
… writin’ news is all i do
Hand me down my pulp… my pulp…
…my pulp & ink

In the days of two ought and three…
– Pulp & Ink!
In the days of two ought and three…
– Pulp & Ink!
In the days of two ought and three…
…writin’s all i cared to be
Hand me down my pulp… my pulp…
…my pulp & ink

In the days of two ought and four…
– Pulp & Ink!
In the days of two ought and four…
– Pulp & Ink!
Since the days of two ought and four…
…don’t write news any more
Throw away my pulp… my pulp…
…my pulp & ink

They invented internet…
– Pulp & Ink!
They invented internet…
– Pulp & Ink!
They invented internet…
…now ANYONE can hypertext
Throw away my pulp… my pulp…
…my pulp & ink

Reach a hundred folks to my one…
– Pulp & Ink!
Reach a thousand folks to my one…
– Pulp & Ink!
Reach ten thousand folks to my one…
…writin’ news it ain’t no fun
Throw away my pulp… my pulp…
…my pulp & ink

Come Ink-Stained Wretch

Harvester’s Crew

     
It’s hard for a woman to light in this world… w
ith men who feel threatened by unafraid girls… who tread a fine balance ‘tween helpless and wise… then fight the hearth battles the rest of their lives. 

I live on the poor side… my extras are few… approached by a boy in the harvester’s crew… he hits me up daily… by night and by day… then they all get loaded and he goes away.

Your folks… they don’t like me because i speak plain…. they say there’s no way we… can weather the strain… i work for my money… i buy my own boots… and if they don’t like me… they can just pass on through.

Your guitar is mellow… come change up your strings… come sit down beside me… and harmony sing… my guitar… it shimmers… it don’t need new strings… and fare you well darling… i can’t wear your ring.

Your truck is near empty… your battery’s dead… come sit down beside me… as long as you can… my truck is warmed up now… my phone’s in my hand… so fare thee well darling… no longer to stand.

LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Visitors bring flowers and spend time at the Columbine Memorial on Monday, April 20, 2015. Today marks the 16th anniversary of the deadly shooting at Columbine High School which left 12 students and one teacher dead. The school was closed for the day, as it has been every year on this day since the shooting occurred in 1999. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post)

Goodbye Stony Creek

 

Sun comes up… another a new day… for the neighbors of Columbine. From Waterton Canyon to Chatfield’s dam… balloons are pepperin’ the sky. And Jim makes off in his khakis and lunch bag… off to his daily tech war. And Bill and Gene are working for Jesus… on the streets of Ward 24.

Goodbye Stony Creek… I’m finally escaping your sorrow… fare thee well till we meet again… don’t you cry… I’ll be fine.

Alec is sick… gonna stay home from school… his momma says she don’t mind. She got three interviews and a schedule to keep… Alec will manage just fine. And Debbie says there’s too much noise… she can’t get no relief. Lay your pretty head down on the pillow dear… maybe you’ll finally sleep.

Goodbye Stony Creek… I’m finally escaping your sorrow… fare thee well till we meet again… don’t you cry… I’ll be fine.

Some of us deal trump to our demons… others are wishin’ we could. And some of us are finding our own way to carry on like legends would. And none of us asked to be here… no no. Many would gladly trade places… to the rock of Coal Mine Avenue… home sweet Stony Creek.

Sun comes up… another a new day… the best of the summer so far. And Carrie’s found some peace on her own… on the hilltops of Clement Park. And as for me… I’m hitting the road… hauling everything to Baltimore. And Bill and Gene have been replaced by some sisters on the streets of Ward 24.

Goodbye Stony Creek… I’m finally escaping your sorrow… fare thee well till we meet again… don’t you cry… I’ll be fine.

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high…
Birds fly over the rainbow why oh why can’t I?

Spotify link… HERE

Dancing Wheel

Step into this big ‘ol house with your hippy braids and innocent smile. Fade like arctic ice… fade like time before the ghosts. Fade the modern world away for a petticoat beauty and her ragamuffin host.

Creeping vines can restrain… and that’ll never do… dreams can help you fly… but please don’t misconstrue… promise for the dream… illusion for the real. Go on … fly away, Renae… turn the dancing wheel.

Oozing old-world charm… sashay down the jaded hall. You gotta face the ghosts… warts and mist… regret and all. You can criticize … but they won’t listen well. And now you’ll never know… what only time can tell.

Creeping vines can restrain… and that’ll never do… dreams can help you fly. But please don’t misconstrue… promise for the dream… illusion for the real. Go on … fly away, Renae… turn the dancing wheel.

And now she’s settled in… finally found a place on the wheel. Made herself a deal… to stop conjuring ghosts. They can criticize… but she never listened anyway. And everything’s ok… for a petticoat lady on the dancing wheel…

Creeping vines can restrain… and that’ll never do… dreams can help you fly. But please don’t misconstrue… promise for the dream… illusion for the real. Go on … fly away, Renae…