LJ Idol Season 11: Week 22 - Write-off Open Topic

In us, the status

In this, the stasis—

the blithely unblemished birthmarks

that conduct rituals in our blind spots,

that weave their mourning hegemony

(their morning testimony

of our sorcery,

of our dereliction,

of our charming fallacies)

into heraldic necklaces—

each bead sewn onto fledgling, puffy breaths

that coil around our tongues

like lovers we never intended to bed,

or lies we never intended to birth,

and that similarly leave us





that similarly leave us

floundering in the only language we comprehend,

the only language

of non-sounds and all sense:

of hearts beating torrents through communal tributaries

of lungs storytelling what lies at the bottom of the flood chambers

in this

thick dense grave vast crisp insurmountable

void of everything

that blankets us

and tucks its signature into the tiny walls

of our humble bronchioles...

that similarly leave us


because they never leave us.

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 22 - Hiraeth


Come here.

Yes, right in the center.

Watch your step.

Don’t get snagged along the walls.

There. Do you feel that?



Oh, take off your flag.

Okay, how about now?

Not yet?

Your tongue—

scrub the language off of it.

No? Still nothing?

Well then, take off your skin.

Yeah, just take it off.

No, it’ll be fine.

I promise.

I promise!


There you are.

Well? Do you feel it now?


Yeah! I told you!

Weird, right?

You’ll get used to it.

I mean, I did.

Well, I grew up here.

Well...I was born here.



Right in the middle.

I guess you could call it my crib.

I’ve been calling it “The Between.”


That side?

That’s one diaspora.

And there?

That’s another.

No, they don’t come together.


they did once.

So here I am.

But since then?

Magnetic poles

attached at a singularity,

mutually repulsed

mutually repelling

and pulling this overlap

into a thinner

and thinner line

as we breathe.

Or try to.

Sorry for the walls.



No, that’s not how it works.

No, we can’t just cross over.

No, we’re not welcome.

No, neither side will.

We weren’t even invited.

I know it’s not great here.

I mean,

it’s too narrow for me too,

but that’s just how it is.


if you’re so uncomfortable,

if you’re so desperate to leave,

then leave.

At least you can.

Really, it’s fine.

I just thought

it would be nice

to share this with someone.

No, I get it.




Don’t forget your things.

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 21 - The Way Back

link to the song: https://photos.app.goo.gl/91XNxtt7sPJqdbETA

Take me way back

Gotta get back

Wanna go back

To when…

To when I was a storm cloud

Take me way back

Gotta get back

Can we go back

To life

Above the burial shroud

Back to times

Of a prime

That I never

Could have

Or see

Or touch

Or taste

Or know

Back to times

When my life

Was mine

To undergo

We go under

So we gotta go back

Talkin’ way back

Try to get back

To when…

To when there was a future

Gotta go back

Thinkin’ way back

Could we get back

To when

All our wounds we could suture

Back to days

Of amazement

I’d chase

Far beyond

My reach

My sight

My world

My dreams

Back to days

When this place

Could be more

Than it seemed

It seems we can’t go back

To times that never were

Longing for a place

I’ll never discover

Nostalgic for the man I’ll never be

Mourning the child buried inside me

In a sense

I just want some innocence

In a word

I just want to grow inward

In some light

I just want sunlight

In a way

It doesn’t matter anyway

Can we get back

Take me way back

Wanna go back

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 20 - Boondoggle

link to the song: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ek94BBbsutPkhh7w6


A red giant lurks past the horizon

The red tape is all we’ve got our eyes on

The void makes all devoid;

What was, is not—won’t be.

This truth that we avoid:


I bang the drums of the doldrums

To dull all the maelstroms

I bear the onus to forswear

What’s shown us by forebears

I’m free

To be purposeless


To be meaningless

I’m free

To be valueless

I’m priceless

I’m not worth my salt

But I’m priceless

I’m not worth my salt

‘Cause I’m priceless

I’m worth less

Than worthless

Less lessors

And purses

Lest lessons

Reverse this

Let’s lessen



But meaning

Means mainly


A means of


The meek motes

we be

Our choices are moot in erasure

Rejoice in the fruit of our nature

We’re free

To be pointless


To be penniless

We’re free

To be profitless

We’re priceless

We’re not worth our salt

But we’re priceless

We’re not worth our salt

‘Cause we’re priceless

We’re nothing but salt

And we’re priceless

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 19 - I Can't Get Calm

link to the song: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Fy9Ln1kr9mGJ8jtN7

Meditation Retreat

The empty soul can fly

So empty your pockets and soar

The wise know how to die

What good is this life for?

Oh, our little Dawn

Let us ask you a koan

Oh, our little Dawn

Let us help you go on

We sit, we breathe, we stop

We face and erase the ego

We float o’er mountaintops

We know that we don’t know

Oh, our little Dawn

Let us ask you a koan

Oh, our little Dawn

Let go until you go on

It’s calm now

Calm down

Down the slide

Slide into nothing

Nothing loves you

Won’t you love it, too?

To live’s a lie

Lie down

Down you go

Go into nothing

Nothing wants you

Won’t you want it, too? 

Oh, our one, our own

Let us take you alone

Oh, our one, our own

Let us help you atone

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 18 - Blood Harmony

Note: If you're reading on your phone, please hold it horizontally.


        my love!                    my

O,                                               life!

         my love!       life!

                        my                                   on

O,                                                                                       pur

                                     my                          ly



are                     you





                                       come!                     come!    

they’ve come!



                                       come!                     come!                       

they’ve come!

                      they’ve                                                                    the  plague!





      stay                                                 a

stay!         with                                                                     stay!


                    me          we’ll stay


will    you





I         wait






The last Kauai ʻōʻō's song:

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 17 - Negative Reverse

ir-reversal film

I fear
my aperture

is in millimeters,

not microns—

it causes more exposure

than I want,

so I shutter away

to a darkroom

to process.

See things in a safelight.

But now,

all of my colors

are complements

to the chef d’état—

an abhorrent borealis

of pestilent pigments,

from acrodynia
to jaundice

to cyanosis

to gangrene.

It’s all too garish.

I’m positive

these are

the negatives—

I’m positive.

I’m positive?

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 16 - The Streisand Effect

link to video of the song: https://photos.app.goo.gl/pnVSk5J1YQnQBA5r6

The Strains and Effects

This is not a test,

nor should a test right now be undergone.

Nothing’s wrong.

Keep calm

and carry on.

This is not a test,

nor would a test tell you that something’s wrong—

which it’s not.

Liberal plot!

Our people are strong.

No, don’t look at the news;

their goal is to confuse.

No, don’t look at the Times;

the things they say are crimes.

No, don’t look to the skies;

the looming clouds are lies.

No, don’t look to the world;

From me, the truth unfurls.

This is not a test—

this is a national emergency.

Two big words.

Now you’ve heard.

It’s all thanks to me.

This is not a test,

because we need some time to make our own.

Theirs don’t work.

America first.

Profits should stay home.

But no, don’t stay at home;

your fears are overblown.

No, you don’t need a mask;

those things don’t do their task.

No, no, we’ve done the best—

much better than the rest.

No, no, impossible—

I’m not responsible.

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 15 - Busman's Holiday

video of the song: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UzTacxmTDfFCqSko7

A Cog Monologue

By my makers I was told    

No, you didn’t break the mold 

You know it’s best to fit in     

Our world works as designed   

Your purpose won’t stay hidden 

You’ll find your place in time  

If the mold I didn’t break

Then there’s a rightful place to take

I know that I can fit in

And I’ll work as designed

My purpose isn’t within

There’s a place and a time

And now it’s

time to work!

Get to work!

Work to live,

live to work!

Things are simple as can be

Beautiful efficiency

I see how I can fit in

This world as it’s designed

A purpose I’ve been given

I’ll serve and do my time

I’m a cog analog

I prosper within the machine

I’m a cog agog

I’ll prove and I’ll polish my sheen

I’m a cog analog

I’m crucial to a higher plan

I’m a cog agog

My labor is love to command

But now it’s

Personal time off

Income tax write off

Mandated vacay

Man, hate to vacate

Guess I’ll relax…

...this isn’t working.

Would rather be working

Can’t work out

How this works out

I don’t work

If I don’t work.

Maybe they miss me at work.

Maybe they’ll call me in.


A cog only knows how to spin

So now my cogs are turning

I thought that I was the linchpin

But I see the machine keeps churning

Without me

Without thought

About me

I’m nothing

I’m a cog analog

Irate, I rage against the machine

I’m a cog demagogue

I plan to supplant the regime

I’m a cog analog

Why make me if I’m inessential

I’m a cog demagogue

Destroy what destroyed my potential

All work and no play

makes Jack a null boy

LJ Idol Season 11: Week 14 - Barn Raising

“It takes a village

to raise a child,”

and Uncle said no child

is left behind,

but Uncle doesn’t speak Kiswahili,

so maybe

he didn’t leave a village behind

for the children.

Les bobos, boujee kids

of the bourgeoisie

play Jacques A Dit,

but Jacques told me

to follow the beat

of La Coumbite,


let the song

of the rake

and the hands

of the throng

break the soil

of the lands

til we till

to our fill,

so our toil

slakes our sake—








But in this place,

freedom rings

with the trill

of the emancipator,

from the till

of the emancipated.

In this place,

freedom echoes

on walls

of barns unbuilt,

on walls

too Red

to raise.

In this place,

freedom bursts

as an Anthemic bomb

in our lungs:

“United we stand.

Divided we fall.

Something, something,

and justice for all.

E pluribus unum.

This land was your land.

This land is my land.

Build that wall.

Build that wall.

E pluribus unum.

One nation,

under God,


for the visible,

or else by 50,

or else by two parties,

or else by 435 electoral constituencies.

Oh say, can you see?

God shed his grace on thee,

and crowned thy good

with otherhood.

United we stand.

Divided we fall.

Something, something,

and justice for all.

E pluribus unum.”

Auntie sings this song

at the gate,

or else

she is known to cry:

“Give me your tired,

your poor,

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

I lift my voice to these wretches and sing:

Pull yourself up by the bootstraps!

Pull yourself up by the bootstraps!”