My friends who really know me,
The ones who get past the veneer,
Know that within the philosophical poet Cox
There is an inappropriate, immature, and
Highly sarcastic dude.

My friends also know,
That I wear my emotions clearly,
Not hiding disdain or annoyances,
Although, joy sometimes has a hard time
Escaping the serious upper layers.

If I had to describe me,
I might go, Sam Malone, “simple guy, complex world,”
But that doesn’t seem quite right,
For on this morning run,
Chaotic might describe me best.

The run started as they all do,
Cold, dark, idle chit-chat.
There were the normal aches and pains,
Runners know them well,
Non-runners don’t.

We trudged up the hill
And my isolationist tendencies took over.
My pace dropped, nature’s sounds were amplified,
The creek, unseen birds, the aria that is sunrise
Played off in the distance.

That moment was beautiful, peaceful,
Then things went haywire.
Maybe there was a surge of testosterone,
A little manliness to crank up my pace,
Some ego to challenge my solo existence.

The run ended in a blaze of slowness
That is the pace I run,
With sweat pouring and endorphins pumping
The aforementioned “haywiriness” nearly fully percolated,
I stretched, to take care of the running aches.

Balls.

Hard balls on soft mats.
Nut coffee, cream or no cream.
Low hanging fruit.

Balls.

Magic 8-Balls,
Two Magic 8-Balls lifted to the sky,
Boiled peanuts at Hyman’s in Charleston.

Balls.

The whole coffee conversation revolved around balls,
The inappropriateness sort of hidden,
But right there in your face
If you had the range and shallowness to put it there.
Then there were innocent talks of tacos and mailboxes
Each sending me, and a couple of others,
Back to high school, no, probably more like middle school
When this sort of joking was all the rage,
Who am I kidding, without any Freudian psychoanalysis,
It’s still effing funny.

Balls, Balls, Balls,
The hanging and the swaying of the balls,
If Poe had written that it would be a classic
And maybe banana hammocks and Vienna Sausages
Wouldn’t be such blue humor,
But alas, it was time for work,
We all had to go,
For it was

Hump day.

Ahhh haaa, haaa, haaa!

At 4:45 this morning,
Kashmir came on.
It was too dark to be bothered,
So I cranked up the volume,
Leaned back from the steering wheel
And absorbed the heated seat’s warm-up efforts
While the music did its best to wake my tired soul.

Outside, the threats of rain
Sought to sully my workout interest,
Mother Nature could not have known
How I had already cut her out of my morning equation.
Zeppelin had sealed her fate
As I would do battle with the early morning fitness foes
On my terms, not hers.

She cried, letting loose with a torrent,
While I laughed dripping sweat on a rubber floor.
Aching hamstrings and a doubting spirit
Were not to be coddled as the lyric,
“Let me take you there,” kept the swing in my hips
And a swerve in my groove
That took me through to the end.

After coffee and a post workout conversation,
I walked out of the gym and into a cool rain.
With liquid contentment, I loped through the puddles without care.
Back in the truck, wet from sweat and rain,
I turned the key, a random song came on,
But it couldn’t move the needle the way Kashmir had.
The wipers swiped. The day went on.

Sometimes we must remind ourselves
That we are here to get at it,
We are not here to sit around,
To be sedated by the idiot box, or
Get caught in the net.

Sometimes we have to get out there,
Put comfort to the side,
Dare to challenge the limitations we allow
When we don’t accept our role
In whatever is the grand design.

Always, we should always find our potential
In the meaningful ways that we can,
Whether upright, exercising our mechanical advantages, or
While thinking, taking stock of
The mindful magnificence we possess.

Always find a path,
Beit a walk, a run, or a ride in pursuit of what it means to be human.
Lose yourself in thought on the meaning of effort,
The satisfaction of challenges, and the rewards
Of engaging in risk as to know what is possible.

Here goes again, the phone is off this time and I’m trying to write about the meaning of music as a life force, my son, and how a YouTube channel took advantage of my liquored up ways.

First, my son has a belief, as any decent musician might, that music and its rhythms are the truest embodiment of time and it serves as a life-force like no other. I suppose his idea could be debated, but I have little in the way of conflicting evidence, mostly because I just appreciate theories, unless of course, they serve to oppress people. I have no time for that. I’m willing to go along with my son’s idea since at every stressful turn in my life music has been there to comfort my ragged ass.

Insert: Hornsby, Neko Case, Wilco, Clapton, you see what I mean…

Truth is, I turn to music as therapy. Once, I tried to “make” music, but I quickly found that my understanding of the whole thing is not even on a scale of whatever it takes to make music. I would rather be inspired by the sounds that others make, taking their energy to my heart, to my soul, to my limbic brains, and doing with their output whatever the vibe provides.

I think that is my natural way.

After spending a morning with my son and debating whether music is life, I played devil’s advocate and claimed exercise (and physicality) as the true expression of who we are, I happened upon magic elixirs from Kentucky and Mexico. The spinning effects of hydration brought me to Flowstate just after my first time with “Playing for Change” on YouTube. It was crazy.

I’m a big Keb Mo’ fan and the sight of him playing in a video with a bunch of international musicians took me to another place. I was lost in the recuperation from marital discord and the more than balancing reverberation that was finding true love. I thought of all those nights when “Muddy Water” would allow me to sleep soundly in a downtrodden apartment wondering WTF was happening to my life only to awake to STP and the hope that I would get back to a “Wicked Garden” before I became the old guy at the bar.

I did!

Now, as I sit under the influence and free of the trappings of responsibility listening to a new artist, Twanguero, I am again feeling the weight of life. This time it is not heavy. It is content in a way that is motivational, emotional, and enriching. Seeing Keb and all those others singing “standards” took me somewhere I have not been in a long time.

To a rawness…
To vulnerability…
Just out there.

And it felt good. It’s so important to let go, to let the guard down, to just be. This day, with its heavy thinking, its distracting hydration, and its infusion of the life-force that music may or may not provide (running does the same thing, Kyle…) has been a welcome influence on this soul.

Enjoy!

Just Go Along for the Ride

Writing between the lines is tough
When equilibrium is taken away in a rye way.
At the risk of being overly enamored with myself,
I am proclaiming this to be an all-out rip off of Bukowski.
Not because of some pent up emotion,
But because in my current state,
I make about as much sense as him.

It’s a Saturday,
Nice, gray skies with cool temperatures,
My overly analytical sensibilities
Have been working overdrive today
As I counseled my son through breakfast,
His understanding of the abstract
And beliefs in them that they are concrete is
Driving me crazy because he forgets it’s practicality
That pays the bills.
After putting together a fine batch of patio furniture,
I’m finally enjoying my deck,
With the aforementioned rye, plus a little agave,
And a baked potato that was slow cooked to a perfect consistency.
In between, I explained the facts of my son’s life to his mother,
Probably received by her blind eyes as the messages were only texts,
Then with the skilled oration of
A one-time loser never made it with the ladies man,
I tried to explain the facts of my son’s life to his stepmother.

More rye, please…

It’s not even 4:00 on this Saturday,
There is bound to be more
As this evening’s social introductions get made
Between us and them,
Adversaries only in a theoretical sense…
Present and ex introducing ex to present,
Yeah, it’s healthy to make friends and there’s
Me taking it all in,
Recognizing this invasion of Saturday night fodder is good for the blogger
And hoping there might be some crazy shit going down
Without me being directly involved.
Local haunts might be called upon, specifically, the
One sharing the same name as my Italian uncle,
Who once sliced me with a weed whacker and made Jaws jokes
Before we headed to the beach,
I miss that guy,
His drunken reverie, his overdeveloped sense of masculinity,
Although, it would have been better had he toned it all down.

More agave, please…

You see, this is how it is,
Everywhere is a cluster Fox,
Unless, of course, it’s good for something,
And who am I to say,
Anything is not worthwhile?
Seriously, the sort of drunken ramblings of a WordPress wizard
Are not nearly as important as whatever the sober set have going on.(Ha!)
Old Charles B put his life out there for all of us,
One long drunken rant of insanity and wretchedness.
Maybe I could have gone that way,
Exposing the hypocrisy of all I encountered today,
But that would serve no purpose,
Making me less than a Cox and truly a dick.
All I can really say, is that this is a fine day,
The new furniture, absolutely worth the cost,
My beverage distorted perception being appropriate for my deck.
I’ll add, the baked potato I just ate, well worth the wait,
Fluffy, buttery, and full of the flavor Idaho can bring.
I’m glad the heavy conversations are over
And now for the introductions…

More rye and agave, please. Is Tito around?