Just wrote tomorrow’s post,
One ranting against the conservative propaganda
Of the news that is playing on the television.

It’s not my choice,
But hell, everyone likes what they like, right?
It started to get into my head, finding a way towards my soul

So I decided to combat the angry fuel
With some really loud music in my headphones,
Drowning out what I think are divisive voices

With some inspiring music,
The kind that grabs your fingers and lets them type frenetically,
With purpose, with a waving of your body, with integrity.

An old friend stopped by the blog today,
She knew me at my worst, helped me through the hazey periods
And knows what it’s like to find solace in music.

This poem is inspired by the big sounds of “Yell Fire,”
A song I’ve probably heard a thousand times,
A song that had me jumping in the rain twice, TN and NJ

It’s a callout song, a call to action song, it’s unapologetic,
Raucous, meaningful, and so important to me that
I never tire of the energy it gives.

It’s like a three cheese sandwich after a day at an animal rescue,
The sandwich, not fully vegan, not fully humane, but a start, and the
Next couple of hours will be manageable because of this repeating song.

On deck? Wilco…Theologins? Spiders?
In the hole? I barely know her…that was for my friend…sorry mom…
Nope…reading some Jabbar, that’s music enough.


How about these last few weeks,
It’s all a bit maddening,
Too much to believe.

After a day of online meetings,
Juried discussions,
And all around bashing of sanity
Where I couldn’t muster the energy
To run,
To ride, or
Even read a book,

I had to get out.

I grabbed my headphones
And took off for a walk,
No dog,
Just me and my music
Which today was a start to finish listening
Of “Born In the USA,”
For reasons unknown at the time,
But man, what a decision,
And who can really know why in the moment?
Experiences need time to percolate
So later they can resonate
On some other level.

The songs did their trick,
Taking away an edge, letting me get back
To the nightly routine,
A little learning, a little writing, a little Netflix…
Only after the learning, my mental flossing
Still felt incomplete.
The edge was returning
And I wasn’t thinking German detective shows
Would do anything to keep my emotional blade
From sharpening.

“Hit Spotify, dude. Clear things out.”

Gladwell said, “Research, to get off the direction
You THINK you are going.”

At least that’s what I think he said
When I was learning.
And if he didn’t mean that, what happened next
Was just an accident, not the process of
A master’s teaching.

I’ve got an idea struggling to get out,
Something about high school, being a senior,
Born In the USA is out,
A bunch of us go out,
And the idea stalls there.


1984-85…Risky Business…Second run theaters…
Survivor…the music group…I Can’t Hold Back…


YouTube…just as I remembered it…yep…
Trains…North By Northwest…Drama Class…


Your blog, stupid…some Bruce posts…
Music is all over the place…it’s important to you…

And here I am,
Old school, wired headphones plugged in
Jamming to Eric Clapton with concert volume
As I work on the kinks in my brain,
Motherless Children on repeat,
Maybe six or seven replays now
And each time he stretches those strings
I feel like he is wringing out the white matter
In my brain
And bringing me back home.

Now, I can move on in this playlist.

Mental Flossing Therapeutic Protocol (as prescribed by this doctor…)

1 complete listening to “Born In the USA” while walking alone

2 lessons of Malcolm Gladwell’s Masterclass

Writing to the following playlist:

I’m Goin’ Down (Springsteen)
Yell Fire (Franti)
I Can’t Hold Back (Survivor…more on this soon…)
Forever Man (Clapton)
Motherless Children (Clapton…six or seven repeats…flow will hit!)
Good People (Jack Johnson…three repeats)
The Beat Goes On/Soul Bossa Nova (Emilie-Claire Barlow)
Let’s Face the Music and Dance (Diana Krall)


Golden milk,
It’s not really milk,
Just super hot water,
With pepper,
Honey, and tonight,
Which I never spell correctly,
One “n” and two “m’s,”
But it still tastes good.

This day with all of its
High school drama,
Career uncertainty,
Nutritional restrictions,
Napping while leaning on my
Equally zoned out pit bull, two
Crashes on the rollers, and
One boiling shower
As I get used to the new
Hot water settings,
Sure needed a tasty wind-down drink.

Since I’m boycotting alcohol,
Whiskey and beer having become
Things of my past,
At least it seems that way,
Another two months down
After six without,
The holiday parties allowed an indulgence,
Although, I just could have gone without then as well.
Clean living, that’s all it’s about,
More fruits and vegetables,
Less boxed or take out stuff,
Right now, it’s the thing to do,
And that damn pet pig a guy has
Sure put a hurting on my meat cravings.

Which brings me back to the golden milk,
A recipe I saw on YouTube seemed simple enough.
The spices get in my head and soothe my nerves,
The bite on my tongue just enough to stir me up,
But not so forceful as to hurt.
I’m sipping tonight,
Letting the spicy elixir work its magic.
When I’m done, I think I’ll lean to the right and
Use Einstein as a pillow again.
Tomorrow is a big day.

It’s dark in my office,
Dark on the other side
Of the glass wall,
Dark with rain falling on the other side
Of the brick wall,

I’m sitting in a haze,
A metaphorical contact buzz
After teaching a couple of marijuana lessons.
All I want to do is sit here in the dark
Listening to simple songs
Popular on XPN more than a decade ago.

It’s not dark in my head,
Tired, not high, just worn from the routine
Cool air blows from a fan on my left
And I am realizing that my toe is tapping,
My head is bobbing, and
I’m easing into a brighter place.

Maybe it’s the sleep last night,
The kind of knocked out, deep slumber
A body needs from time to time.
Maybe it’s the caffeine from this morning
The darkest roast I can stomach
With the lightest inspiration, it can manifest.

I don’t know,
But sitting here in the dark,
With the fan, the easy tunes,
And the flossing they are all doing on my brain
Is making for a most peaceful thirty minutes.

All rights reserved-Chris Hancock

The traffic is so far away,
That it sounds like waves at high tide,
An occasional roar,
Then nothing for a while.
A large cloud is overhead
Providing a little break
From the 5:39 glare.

I’m dripping having just pulled
My gym teacher tan of a body
Out of the cool tonic
Simply known as, The Quarry.
Only a few families are here,
The famous log is moored to its spot
Allowing nothingness take over
The way it’s supposed to.
The energy here is restorative
Like a cold beer on a scorching day
Or heavy blankets on a frigid night.