So, is it hotter in Houston,
or in the summertime?

Yo, I write books, plays, ballets, essays, IMPROVs, and poems. I’m a high functioning, brain injured son of a fingerpickin’fool. And I’m looking for shit to get into all the time. If I can see it then I can say it, and I’m blessed with an imagination. I can write in a hurricane. But, sometimes I wanna part my hair on the other side. So I’m at it to find the viewpoint, the way of putting it down that will best tell how I see it. 

Flat out carte blanche for a writer. The sky is the limit. You can talk about anything you can imagine, otherwise it depends on what you can pull off with a six string around your neck. If it’s a song, when the words and the music say the same thing you’re done. If it’s an essay, or an IMPROV the edits can go on for a lifetime. Sometimes when you wake up to one of your older pieces, you’re a better writer, sometimes you don’t have the foggiest what you might have been talking about. When I write them only God and Vince Bell know what I mean. Sometimes when I revisit them only God knows.

I read some. But the music in my ear is intoxicating. Pairing verse with music is powerfully brief. Its impression has the impact of a hammer. Then, it’s over in a heartbeat. And if you have no fear you can take a chord exercise from a rehearsal and turn it into the hook of a great recording.

Anyway, back to the pros. When I write ’em, I tell the tales coming at them from different angles. Therefore, how I write a theme is as challenging as the theme itself. That way the telling is novel, fresh, alive. And a lot of the time experimental. But, not often the same way twice. Perspective is everything.

Home is where the 
word processor is.

So it takes more than just putting some words down on a page. Then you have to get off your ass and show it to the bad old world. Maybe more than once in more than one decade. It takes this effort to muscle your way into the main of words and music, and show yourself you have arrived. It’s a waste of your good time to worry about what others may think of your hard work, they’re working hard themselves. And maybe they’re just not as lucky as you.

People are not so complicated. If they’re comfortable with the presentation, they’ll like what they hear. But on the other hand, the world is self conscious, the world is insecure. The world is downright mean. So the world won’t give you credit, or let on honestly about anything, much less your latest. And the world will condemn you for your opinion. So don’t belittle your efforts, some hard working people are paid to do that, too. Maybe you’ll just have to keep writing with your head down, oh yeah.

Close friends live 600 miles away. No off daze, no breaks, no time for anything else. I don’t leave the house without a notepad of some kind. Imagery always strikes when you’re busily involved like a fire. But you’re a juggler. The word is a smiling genie like a mirage winging through your head. I’m never coming down out of that tree.

The queen sits where she will, the king sits where he may. And the king has no clothes if he doesn’t write it down.  No clocks, no time limit, no way outta here, no better place to be. No interest in anything other than catching the wind by the tail. I type with my thumbs, I make a lot of mistakes, but I make a zillion corrections. I play guitar to a courtyard of mountain birds, I live by my wits. I have an authorship everyday. I have the music. I perform the prose like poetry I wrote yesterday. And I write. 

After putting one word after another for damn well fifty years, the best word of them all is the next one. Putting talk, and images together is like riding on a carousel. The whirling momentum is the magic. Somewhere in this midway without end I have written some of that down. Bravo. When I was young I lived to grow up, and I wrote in my spare time.  Now I’m looking for shit to get into all the time. Can’t help but notice, you don’t smile because you’re happy, you’re happy because you smile.

You play like you practice.
It’s not how long, it’s how often.
One song teaches another.
So, it’s not when you get it…
It’s that you get it. Get it?


3 is lucky, 3 is like triangles, 3 is points for shots you sink in basketball.  3 is suspicious. 3 is mis-understood. 3 is odd. 3 of anything just never did fit. 3 of anything is several in synonym speak. 3 is fashionable, 3 is sexy, 3 is bargain basement incentive. 

3 is better than two by one. One, and one, and one is 3. 3 is counted. 3 is bought. 3 is thrown like newspapers. Good toss. 3 will leave you hauling an extra if you only need two, but 3 just won’t get it if you need four. 3 for the price of one. 

3 is the number of pumpkins on a fence. 3 is the bevy of biscuits on your plate. 3 is more enchiladas than you can eat, or not. 3 is tacos from the drive-in restaurant. 3 is donuts for you, and the boys. 3 is scoops of ice cream in a bowl. 3 is the number of meatballs in a spaghetti. 3 is the number of Matzos in a soup. 

The 3 of a writer is, you tell ’em, you tell ’em, and you tell ’em again. 3 is not equal, 3 is not bilateral, 3 is the number of gloved fingers on a cartoon character mouse. 3 is not opposable like thumbs. 3 is a preponderance of ones. 3 is a collection of t-shirts, or underwear, or socks. You won’t often find 3 in ski poles, or contact lenses, or tires for the wheels of yer car. You won’t find 3 of much of anything on the wings of a jet airplane. You won’t find 3 on the tracks of a coal train. You won’t find 3 on the turn signals of yer car. 

3 is the number of eyes on a spider.  3 makes a phalanx of birds in the sky. 3 is an extra. 3 is a bonus. 3 isn’t everything, but it’s more than two. 3s isn’t better, it’s just greater than two. 3 is the number of legs on an alien. 3 is the number of eyeballs on a monster from outta town. 3 is the number of teeth in a boxer’s mouth. 3 is the number of strikes, and yer…out!


Showpiece, show up, show well, show low, show biz, show and tell. Show the way, show me the way, don’t let it show, don’t let yer slip show, show a little skirt. Show them how to do it, show as you go, show them off, sheaunuff. Show down, show yer stuff, show ‘em, show ‘em how it’s done, show ‘em the real deal, the show must go on.

Stop the show, start the show, show what you know, show everything, show the beginning, show the end, the funny show, the serious show, a drama, the crux of the show, the whole show, the point of the show, the intent of the show, the failing of the show. Shortsighted show, the same old show, the forgettable show, short the show, the long winded show, the bore of a show, the show was boring, the show was over before we got there.

Shogun, show, but don’t tell, the showing, show stopper, show me state, show me how, show them, show others, show ‘em whether they wanna know, or not. The appearance of a show, the kind of show, the fanfare of the show, the pageantry of the show, showboat, show town. Show me to my room, let me show you what I mean, show me, the experiment showed, the thermometer showed, show the house, show yer feelings, show mercy.

A theatrical production is a show, a performance is a show, a radio, or television program is a show, a motion picture is a show, third place is a show, a spectacle is a show. The parade was designed to show off all the latest, make the show, steal the show, run the show, out shown, pre show, re show, super show, my show, show again, show at all, show up, show off.

The exposition was a show, the fanfare of a show, the pomp of the show, a burlesque show, a carnival is a show, a comedy is a show. White shows up well on a background of blue. The air of the show, the impact of a show, the effect of the show, a show of make believe, a show of hands, a show to remember, a show to forget, the show was a pretense, the show was a tale, the show was a sham, the show wasn’t what it was cracked up to be, the show stops here.

The show was in Hollywood, the show was in Santa Monica, the show was in trouble, the show was late, the show was early, the early show, the late show, the show after City Limits. The show after the farm report, six o’clock Sunday morning. The only show that would have you, the only show in town, the Orange show, the show out the Gulf Freeway.

The flimflam was for show, her smile was for show, she was the show, showtime, the house was unshowable, no show, showing him what to do was difficult. Win, place, or show, horror show, comedy show, the star of the show, the butt of the conversation, a music show, a tired old show. A show Shakespeare wrote, I memorized the show, he took over the show, she was the show, wasn’t a show without her, to be part of the show, write that kind of a show, the standard show, the show you’ve seen a thousand times, the show you only saw once. I couldn’t stand the show, I couldn’t hear the show, I couldn’t understand the show, we couldn’t stop the show.

Showtown, showbill, showcase, show cause, showed up, but the show must go on, don’t tell me, it was all for show. Show how you feel, show how you get on, show how you get off, show your love, show your appreciation. Show your disgust, show your hand, don’t show your hand, make up your mind, have more than you show. Show more, show all, showing all you have might not be enough, the show stops here, at the end of the show, as the show begins, as the show developers, when the show was over.

When the show was worth listening to, when the show becomes part of your life, when the show becomes part of your soul, when the show means everything, when the show means a lot, if the show ever comes back I’m gonna be there. I saw the show last year, I saw the show again, maybe the show is too deep for you, maybe the show left you far behind.

Life is a show, tickets to the show, seats to the show, the drive to the show, the walk to the show, the cover charge to the show. Show’s over, show’s on, show’s on its way out the door, show’s for folks like you, the show’s over their heads, the show is beyond reach. The show won’t quit, the show will never be over, the show won’t wait for you to get it together, the show is a drug and you can’t get enough of it.

A good show, you can do a show in the shower, you can do a show on a stage, you can do a show at your job when the boss ain’t looking, yer show can be a job and the boss can go to hell. You can do a show in your sleep, you can write a show when you are driving across Texas because a show is a desire. A show is a complication, a show is an ability, and there’s just nothing better than when the show is over and you’re off stage.

The same old show, the same old show with a different title, pay the writers more. It’s showtime in showville, where show people make show zounds for the showtypes that wait in showlines for the first seats in the house. It’s all for show, lemme show you what I mean, the show begins when you are young and ambitious, though the show is better the more time you put into the show.

So like I said, the show never ends, you’ll grow old writing the ongoing show. If the show stops write another one, and the ride never stops. But you can forget shows, and you can find shows under your hat. The show is an obsession, the show is revealing, the show says a lot about the person, or persons that write it. The show tells a tale, the show gives you a feel, the show can be full of moralisms, the show can be full of truth, the show can be full of nonsense, the show can be full of innocence, the show can make no sense, but that never stopped anyone from writing a show. Anyway if it doesn’t make any sense, who cares?

You don’t write a show with an audience in mind, everyone outside my door is an audience if they don’t have a part in the show. Victims of the show, you write a show to tell it like it is, or could be, or will never be. A show is an illumination, a show is novel, a show is the best of your thoughts with the best of the tools you have taught yourself to use. A show might surprise, a show might entertain, a show might change your mind. You will pursue a show till its eventual end, you will sweat the show till you love the show, but you can’t expect it will affect anyone else.

One man’s show is another man’s waste of time. The show says nothing, the show is a signpost, the show is a way to get out of doing that shit eating job. The show won’t, but the show will, the show doesn’t, but the show does, a good show will make you famous, a bad show will make you famous, what price fame, what’s the diff?

The show at the theatre, the show at the concert hall, the show at the club, the show on the corner. The show under the lights, the show under the rug, the show at the joint, the sideshow at the show. Don’t tell me what you mean, show me what you mean. The acoustic show, the awful show, the show without a headliner, the show without a band.

The only show, the big show beneath the big top, a three ring circus, the car show, the stand up show. The right show, the wrong show, the show on top of the mountain, the show under the sea, the show you can’t believe, the show you can’t remember. The library show, the show before the sun goes down, the first set, Uhhh!

The show I couldn’t get a booking for, the show you’d like to play, the popular show, the variety show. I couldn’t watch the show, I couldn’t stand the show. The elephant in the show, the midget in the show, the show stops here, the only show I could afford, so show me, so show me how, so show me everything, show me what matters.

A show is not a show unless there is a maiden that needs rescuing, a show is not a show unless there is a sugar daddy that pays for the whole enchilada, a show is not a show unless there is a villain that makes trouble for the good guys, a show is not a show unless there is a comedian that gets away.

A show is a trick of the light, a show is a bravado, a show is a lucky break, a show is a put on, a show is an approximation, a show is a folly, a show is a hairstyle, a show is a room full of mirrors, a show is a coven of cocker spaniels licking their rears. A show is a collaboration, a show is an authorship, a show is a wardrobe, a show is a shot in the dark, a show is a scheme, a show is luck, a show only happens when the sugar daddy says it will.

You can round up cattle and call it a show, you can fire up the tractor and call it a show, you can pour on the coal and call it a show, you can just do your job and call it a show, you can quit your job and call it a show. Show me the light, show me the money, show me the way outta here, show me the way into your heart, show me where it hurts, it’s killing me. Show me what to do, show me if I can help, show me, show me before you show someone else, the popular show, the late night show, a three alarm show, fire is a show. There’s no time wasted watching a fire.


Things that bug you, the things that annoy you. The things that you left on the table. The thing about it is, the thing I just can’t get across. The thing that made a difference, the things that make a difference. If things were equal, if things were the same. This thing, that thing, those things, things that make you smile, things that make you happy, things that piss you off, things that pass you by.

Things could be better, though things are just fine. Things change, the constant of the universe, things don’t stay the same. Things make it difficult to do other things. The thing I can’t figure, the thing we all took for granted. When things are the same, when things are only, when things are across town from you, when things are working against you, when things don’t go your way, when things are running away from you, when things are off the wall, when things are out of control. If things escape you find another way. If things don’t do what you want. Live with it till you can make a change, things don’t run your life, you do.

Things don’t hold sway over you, things can’t keep you down, things are what bother other people. Things can get dicey, things can get out of hand, things can get away from you, things are just that, things. The only thing stopping me from punching you in the mouth. The thing that makes it so real, the thing I wanna say. What is that thing? Good at making things.

Avoid fatty things like donuts and potato chips, respect living things, a miraculous thing. It was the worst thing that could happen. The common thing to do, the best thing to do, the only thing to do. I wasn’t thinking of a thing, I wouldn’t know a thing, don’t make a thing out of it, it was nothing, but they said it was something, so I gave it my everything. I gave it my all. Anything would do, anything would get it, anything you could do would be appreciated, anything you could say would help us out, any one thing, anything at all, what is that thing on the floor?

A miraculous thing, a dumb thing, the most beautiful thing, the whole thing, are your things packed? Such a thing, this sort of thing, a thing, or two, you did the right thing, grab your things I’ve come to take you home. Check every little thing, things are improving, a terrible thing, the only thing, expect great things, not a thing to wear, not a thing to depend on, not a thing, get that thing away from me.

What a thing to say, what a thing to think about, bring that thing over here. The one thing is, the one thing I hate is being lied to, and another thing is, get back up on that damned thing. Anything but, anything goes, anything I say. Anything he says is good for me, plaything, that thing, that thingamabob, that thing that nobody mentions, that thing that got put away, those things, things that resonate, things that go bump in the night.

Wild thing you make my heart sing. Things around the ranch, the things that matter, the things that won’t make a difference, the things that will make a difference. Things no one knew were there, this sort of thing, that sort of thing, may even be a good thing, a powerful thing, a standard thing, that thing has no handles. The thing that came out of the sky, the monster from out of town.

A thing, or two, the first thing that pops into you mind. How do you work this thing? Expect great things, every little thing, just the thing, not a thing, nothing at all, music is my thing, words are my thing, how do I use that thing? Many things, the thing about it is, build things, the thing, do their own thing, the thing is to get well, the writer’s thing. Check everything, couldn’t get a thing out of him, that thing was impossible, that thing was far and away. All things being equal, this kind of thing happens all the time.

The first thing I bought, a precious thing, hide things, among the things, the most important thing, things I have to do, a lot of things, this kind of thing. Rest assured, you won’t feel a thing. Do such a thing, done such a thing, the same thing, the same old thing, the stupid things? Finally seeing things, the one thing, there are some things, things that don’t matter, things that won’t make a difference.

Worrying about things, better things to do, better things to say. Such a thing, one, or two other things, use these things, kind of things, it is one thing to make a plan and quite another to carry it out. One thing I’ve always wanted, taking all things into consideration. The last thing I need right now is something else to worry about. Things change from time to time, the kind of person who says one thing but does another. Try to explain things, patch things up. Among other things, getting the hang of things, one less thing, the number of things, things like this wouldn’t happen. To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.

Atrocious things, many things. He often shuts himself up in the study and writes things like this. Awful things, so many things, the same things, interesting things, interested in the same things. Learning to ignore things, one thing, and then another, the hardest thing, the right thing, the first thing, the important thing, the only thing, keep doing things, a wonderful thing. Get things done, worry about things, keep doing things, even things up, several things, about things like that, take things down in longhand, all things considered.

Know a lot of things, stupid thing to do. I can do things that I’ve never even thought of doing. The things that he had seen during his trip. Try to explain things, got better things to do, hand things over, saw a lot of things I never noticed before. thought things would get better. She often leaves things behind. Remember things that never happened. Certain things about Mary.

Didn’t say a thing. Rushing things will cost you more time in the end. So many things seem strange, the kind of thing you can laugh off, two separate things. Every person views things differently. Things that can’t be changed, forgotten all the things one has learned, says the weirdest things. First thing in the morning, most essential thing, the hang of things, getting things done right, getting things together. Some things are better left unsaid, minor thing, major thing, unnecessary things, everyday things, some of my old things, insists on things being right, sold things at cheaper prices, every living thing.

D’jouevernotice? The new things, and new ways are as funky as the old things and old ways. New things are just as much a ripoff as the old things. I mean what’s the difference if you’re getting the shaft from one, or more of the drug companies, or Facebook? Hostage syndrome. Once they’ve taught you the drill the view never changes.

The thing about things is that nothing much has changed. The ceiling fan still comes with the wrong screws. The remote control still comes without the batteries. A computer the size of your hand is impossible to operate without a 90 dollar an hour computer guru. Finding things in the library is still a mystery. Who goes to the library? Finding water, and a pressure gauge at a filling station is lucky. Software things are a can of worms because that can of worms won’t be updated further, or isn’t compatible with the system you are using. If things were different, if things were another way. If things you depended on deserved your dependance it just wouldn’t be the same old can of worms. Now, would it?


Standing around minding my own business. Stand at ease, woah! big fella. Stand by your guns. Stand a chance. Stand by your man. Standing on the corner, stand on the moon, standing on a postage stamp, standing on a corner of the rug, standing in the swimming pool, standing, ever standing, standoffish. I can’t stand it, You couldn’t stand the thought, neither could I. If you can’t stand the heat get the hell out of the kitchen. Stand on top of the mountain, you’ll deserve the view. Stand for it, stand, because you should. Stand up, be counted, stand up guy, stand up woman, I could stand for that. Stand aside, in the standings, in the stands, in the grandstands. I could barely stand the noise.

But I can stand a little rain, I can stand a little disappointment, I can stand most anything, I can eat fifty eggs. I stand corrected. Stand tall, stand still. Stand back, the stand of trees, stand alone, stand by, the stand of theives were different from the stand of good guys, the stand of flowers, a stand of forest in the middle of the field by the side of the road. The stand of reeds by the river. Stand up comedy.

Stand on principle, stand on conscience, stand on a boat, stand on the bridge like Spock. Stand down, stand fast. Stand in, stand in awe. Stand for…something. Stand guard. Stand off. Stand the sight, stand alone, stand to reason. Stand in good stead. Stand on your head, stand on one leg. Stand off. Stand on ceremony, stand on that brake. Live with a higher standard, take a stand, make a stand, guitar stand, stand your ground, don’t sacrifice your standards, don’t think your standards would look good on someone else. Standard bearer. Standard of living. Standards. Everybody lives by a different standard, it’s what makes it worth it, that’s what makes it interesting. Welcome to Earth.

Stand down, but, don’t stand for such treatment. Stand out, stand pat. Don’t stand it, pass it by. Don’t worry about standing it, go the other way. Don’t stand it for a minute. If you can stand this, then…stand that cocker spaniel off.

Stand for being the best, stand for it even if you’re not. I could stand here all night long, I just might. She was a fan of my stance, so to speak. Standing on top of the world, standing for something worthy, standing for something. Standing for those that cannot stand, standing for those that got tired and had to sit down.

You can stand it, you can handle whatever comes your way, anyway that’s the rumor. Stand tough, stand proud, stand for what you believe, stand for good. Stand sometimes, sit down every once in a while yourself. I hear they’re saving a seat for me. No thanx, I’ll stand. Standing would make you uncomfortable, standing made me uncomfortable, but just not bad enough. I stood when others sat, I stood when I got the call, I stood for one, and another, I stood for you, too. I stood beside you just like I said I would. These are some of the things worth living for.


Never say never. Never you mind, never is a long time, never rolls off your tongue, never is bravado, never is an end point but hard to draw with a ball point pen. Never welcome in my house again. now, that’s not hard to understand, is it? Never is an opinion, never is a conviction, never is a principle, never is a rule harder to keep than you might think. Never is a fancy, never is a brag, never is big talk, never is advice, never is a dream, never is a location you may never get to despite your best efforts. Never is a whole lot longer than forever.

Never mind, never tell, never want for anything, never get paid, never get happy, never get along with anyone. Never stop, or never go. Never stand for anything. Never be, never see, never once, never again, never make, never made, never belong, maybe better than to ever belong. Never there, never go, never believe, but it could be worse. Never ending, never taken for granted, never stand in the way, never get something for nothing, never get the chance. Make your own chances, look elsewhere.

Never-never, never more, never-never land, Michael Jackson. Never walk under a ladder. Never stop to take a photo in the middle of an intersection. Never smile, never care, never wish something bad on anyone that doesn’t deserve it. Never be bad, never come to grips, never give up. Never sit. Never hold anything against anyone, what a bore. Never put your friend at risk. Never put yourself at risk anymore than you must.

Never sell yourself short. Never pretend you’re anything you’re not. Never give somebody a hard time unless they ought to get a hard time from you. Nevertheless, never have the problem again. Never let them walk. But, never cause grief, never think you’re above it all. Never want to do that again.

Never put anything else in the gas tank. Never put 30weight in the wiper fluid, or the radiator. Never tell the road manager you don’t know where the gig is. Never go down that road. Never play that club. Never let the bass player’s girl go along, unless she drives, and carries his rig into sound check. Never put your strings on just before a set. Never spit on the front row, sing into the microphone. Never be late for a gig. That kind of never makes a good impression even if you do sound like shit. Never take checks for the gig. Peace in the band depends on it.

Never drink, and you’ll be like the cocker spaniels at the AA meeting. Wouldn’t trust a man that never took a drink, every once in a while. Never spend money you don’t have. Never lust, take what you will, take what you can and be happy with what you get. Never grin and bear it, much harder said than done. Never stand on your accomplishments because the world just might pass you by. Keep pushing.

Never think, because if you start thinking, then Geoff will start thinking. And if Geoff starts thinking then David will start thinking. And if David starts thinking…well, David is a professional. Never thought it mattered, oh well. Never could remember, never will forget. Never buy a lemon, but how can you tell. Never had anything like that, never been treated that way, never be treated that way again.

Never went so far before. Never stood on the moon. Never been in Africa, never took the space shuttle anywhere. Never gone down that road, never had it to worry about. Never asked anyone for anything. Never want when you could have what you will. Never seemed like it would ever happen to me. Never try, just do. I was never so embarrassed. I was never so mad, I was never as livid as I was when that pencil dick kept pestering my wife. So I never went there again.

So I never even thought about it, so I never gave it the slightest, so it never bothered me at all, it never came across my desk again. So I never told her, so she never came around, harrumph. He’ll never pay me what he owes me, she’ll never give it a thought, so never worry about it, never give it another thought. Never again. Never tell what you don’t want to have to deal with down the line. Never is harder to do than you think it would be. Never is a lot of things but sometimes never doesn’t cover it. I never leave the neighborhood. I never put my wishes ahead of others, but that’s what my mother always said.

Never be the last in line, if you can help it. Never forget to say you’re sorry. Never forget to say something good, or say nothing at all, my mother was all over this stuff. Never stop counting. Never quit. Never thought you would. Never had it in me. Never the same. Never anything more. Never was not my intention, never was not my style, never wanted that to happen. Never would believe, never would recommend. Never would’ve said that. Never saw such bullshit in my life.

Never can tell. Never was so heartless as that lotus bitch. Never challenge that creep, stay out of the deep water. Never come up for air. Swim on. Never stand in the way of progress. Never had the intelligence goodness gave a cricket. Never drink Coke, never drink Pepsi, never start a cross country trip without a diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of M&Ms.

Never been to the Grande Canyon, never been west. Never going again without water, but you can never go home, you can never see that far. You can never make it up to her. So never be obnoxious, never be cute. Never be the person that never says hello, elevator talk to elevator types. Never be left behind. Never quit when you’re ahead. Never liked you in the first place. Never could rely on her, but I did.

Never stand for it. Never come down out of that tree. Never stand alone. You are your own best friend. Never came back. Never come back. Never thought to look. Never had any idea, never thought it would make any difference. Never will. If you never try you’ll never know. If it never could, if it never would. What if you never gave it a chance? What if you never gave it a second thought? It might never come to pass.

Never is a solution, never is an ultimatum. And never is an answer, and never is an excuse. Never only comes around every once in a while, so you won’t run into never on the bus, unless you stand in front of the line. You’ll never get away with that. You’ll never get away with speeding through stoplights in the city, for long. Never is a belief that nothing can go wrong till that wheel comes off your wagon. Trust me, that never happens.

Never is a promise. Never is a hoodwink. Never is a boast, never is a lie, though never just about covers it. Never be the only one complaining. Never be the only chicken in the yard. I never did get it. I never would’ve told you. I never thought it was worth the cover charge. Never go away. Never wear out you’re welcome. And never stop for gas at the corner of Kirby and the southwest freeway. And if you just got the job, never be the last fellow to a meeting. Never can tell.

“I neva’ wea underwea,” she drawled between sips of her gin and tonic. Just about closing time I asked this belle of the bar if she was free. She rolled her eyes, and groaned dismissively in my face, “neva’, sonny… lest I seem unkind, lemme rephrase that. When HELL freezes ova’.”


Words are like photos
Words are like a code
Words are off the cuff
Words are off the beat
Words are like a joke
Words are like straight dope
Words are like sharp notes
Words are whispered in your ear

Words are like a sign
Words are like a cry
Words escape notice
Words betray the lie
Words enhance your aim
Words are on the wire
Words come with dispatch
Words are information

I’m never coming down out of that tree

Do you get the clue?
Do you hear the truth?
Words are far apart, but
Words are to the point
Words were all we had
Words were big magic
Then the words were mine
But the words meant everything


If you have character you have the world by the tail, just doesn’t get better than that. Character is reputation, reputation is character, the kind of reputation you would like to have. Character leads the pack, character is going where the pack only dreams of going. Character is an end game, character is a desire, character is a vision, character is a wish, character is coveted, character is like a new pair of shoes, just feels good having them on your feet.

Just feels good having character in the way you live. You’re never alone when you have character to rely on. Character is a direction, eventually forward and onward. So character is a companion, character is a destination, character is a logic, character is a place. Character is not for the faint of heart, but character is a signpost in the middle of nowhere, maybe the only signpost. Character shows up when you least expect it, character shows up big when you’re losing. Character is under a microscope when you win.

Character won’t lead you astray, but character might just lead you out of the woods. Character won’t cut and run, character won’t leave you flat, character won’t forget your name. Character can’t be lost behind the fridge, or in the garage. Or left in a cab. You can wear your character on your sleeve, you can wear character like a hat. You can wear character with any kind of clothes, you can wear character anywhere you damn well please. Because character, as free as it is, is not common.

So character truth be told is, actually, not free. But character is worth whatever price you have to pay for it. You work for character, you strive for character. You think you are charactered like no one else, but you might be surprised to find character is shared among more than you ever might suppose. Character makes the world a better place, character makes the world go ‘round. Character is a prerequisite to respect, the character comes first, the benefits come later. The character goodness gave a cricket, crickets with character are righteous bugs. The character of a people, the character of a place, the character of a kind. The character that she left in the dressing room, he was some kind of character. Whatever it was it probably was worth it, because character is sublime, and character is golden.

When you need character, character is a breath of fresh air when there is no character to be found. But there is no limit to character, there is no amount of character, you either have it or you don’t. Character is black and white, so there is no quality of character, only confidence of character and that makes you a little taller that day. Character is a sidekick, character is a buddy when you’re lonely, character is a way out of the deepest voodoo. Like a life jacket, like a flotation, like something that will help you keep your head above the water line, so to speak.

Character is essential to a goal of most any kind. Character will help you do another lap, character will help you go the extra mile, character will help you finish the race. Character will help you do the deed, character will make short work of the worst job. Character will stand you when nothing else will, when the shit hits the fan. Character will make you a better leader, character will help you keep that lead. Character will make you a better follower. It takes character if you finish first, or last. Sometimes it takes more character to deal with a loss than a win.

Character might tell you when to quit, character might tell you when to step aside to let another character as worthy as yours take things to another level. Character is a piece of mind, a little character is like a lot of character because any character at all is enough, character times character equals character. If you have character it shows, if you don’t have character it shows.

Character doesn’t stop at the property line, character doesn’t stop at the city limit. Character is what makes it worth a flip, character is a goal to be pursued. Character is not a surprise, character is a surety. If you enjoy character, you enjoy seeing your character work to help, somewhere, anywhere. Character keeps the wheels turning, and the boat floating, the clockwork ticking, and the world turning.

Character will keep you from worrying about character at all. People with the most character talk about it the least. Character is a comfort, character is a confidence, character is an advantage, character is the best advantage out there. Character is subconscious. So it works anywhere, even when your battery is low. Character will help you from regarding character too seriously. You can try too hard to show your character. You can profess to have more character than you really have, even though any is more than enough. And while I’m at it, character beats talent every time. My mother gave me my character, my father tested it.


Better later than to have never loved, better later than to have never tried, better love on that girl, better get off your duff, better stop, better start somewhere. Better quit, better my ass, better be good, better not, you’re better if you’re bad. Better if you don’t sing, better if you don’t say, better if you don’t stay. Better when your done, all the better, better get on out of here, better than the rest, better than none, better because you say so, better if you’re there.

The crust is better than the pie. Better if you have a cat, better if you have a car, better not wiggle, better not cry, better not breathe, better not leave, better if you tag along. Better if you take the lead, better if you settle down, better if you get along, it sounds better, because it is better. Better to bed, better to rise, better to take my hand, better than that, better than the Joneses, better than the rest, better in the warmer time of year. Think better, live better, love better, think better of me, think better of myself, feel better.

Better not shout, better and better, better than not, better than some, worse than others. You better go now, better with a beer, better on toast, better on principle. Better be better, better not pout, better be good, better quit being jealous, better not let them know who you are. Better than, better off, better said, if it’s better, wish it would be better, but that it was better. Better when, better if, better not tell, better and better. It’s just better, for want of a better solution, better seen and not heard, because it better be good, better, or worse, better is better, the original is better, but I’ll never tell.

Better to be on the road, better to be out of range, better to be on top of it, better stay out ahead of it. Better guitar, better piano, it’s better if you think it is, all you have to do is think better of it. Quit fucking around do it better, better stand your ground, better think better thoughts, better stay out of jail, better do something about it, better jump on it. Better in the morning, better when the sun shines, better late at night, better at sundown.

More expensive is not necessarily better, love is not better, or worse, it’s just better, so don’t miss it, feel better, look better, sing better, be a better person, be a better husband, be a better wife, be a better companion. Come on down when you feel better, if you do what I say you’ll feel better, if you do what I want I’ll feel better, maybe. Better hat, better shoes, better than last year, better than you’ve ever heard, better on the face of it.

Feel better inside, I hope your foot feels better, better them than me, better is a feeling, better is a placebo, perhaps. Better get out of the way, better not stand on tradition, better get to moving, mo’ better, better is better, better than that, better than you think, better than you might want, better than you could handle. Think better, live better, say better things about one another, feel better, better than beans, there is nothing better than beans. Better than anything I’ve ever had before, better on the run, better at home, better than you think, better than you know, better for you, better and better again.

Better when you smile, better when you laugh, you feel better when you give it to somebody that could use it. Don’t let it get the better of you, those were better times, these are better times, keep at it and it’ll get better. If you thought you could make it better I’m sure you would, or would you? If you tell me I can make it better, don’t you wanna feel better?

Better hold on to what you got, better make a change in your attitude, better if you try, better things await you. It will just be better, better isn’t necessarily better, if it’s not any better, it won’t get better, he doesn’t think it will get better, but what does he know? Better not miss the boat, better get your reservation early, better show up early, better not be late, though it’s better that you are on time. See you when you’re better, I’d like to go when I’m better, or when you’re in a better mood.

Better is a quality, better is something to strive for, better is how you should think of yourself, better is how you should think of others, and in so doing make the world a better place. So glad to hear that you’re doing better, let’s work together to make it better, because we’re a team it just makes it better, better is a belief, better is a faith, do it even if it doesn’t look like it will make it better, it might just make it right.


Work the program, find work in the city, work it out, work on it, work it down into something manageable. The work was the reason, the work became the reason only after a lotta work. Work place, got it working again, make it work again, make it work one time. It worked like a clock, it worked like a charm.

It only worked, it might have worked, it wouldn’t work unless you did it the right way, lemme show you. Don’t work, didn’t work, stopped working just when…should work. If it doesn’t work send it back. I thought it was supposed to work, that only applies if it works, they got warranties for that kind of nonsense.

The workings of a clock, the workings of the machine, iron works, cement works, rock works, bring a friend to help you get it in the car. If I could find work, work’s not hard to find, doing work is the hard part. If you think about it, it’s more like a fear of labor than the labor itself, funny planet. Work will save you money because you can’t often find time to buy things when you’re at work. At least something works.

Complete Works, Selected Works. Recent Works, abysmal works, required works, test on Tuesday. Work will keep you alive. Work will keep you awake, work will keep you busy, work will keep you involved, work will keep you engaged. Work will pay you for doing the damn work in the first place, eggcellent. Work is expected, work is daily, work is on the books, work is on the way, work is a good time, work is shit, work is on time sometimes.

Work is a drag, work is a pit, work is a dream, work is a daydream, work is a bore, work is a trade off, work is a bargain, work is vacation if you do it right. Work is a job, work is a fire truck, work is hanging on the side of a building cleaning the windows.

Work is building a dam, work is fixing the dam. Work is, work time, work for, it works, but the second hand is off. Worked for a few years, only worked when I thought about it, and that was all the time. It was working so we left it alone, if it ain’t broke.

So I wrote a show of spoken word and musical improvisation in Santa Fe, NM and played it with three other musicians in New York City. Just wrote another one. It’s all over except for the work. Even though it might not work, shit work, funky work. Work that doesn’t pay, work that passes you by, work that someone else does. I probably wouldn’t do that work. But, work is heroic, work is admired, work is for the working stiff, working is the best part sometimes.

Work makes you feel good, work makes you feel wanted, work gives you something to do. Work takes up the time you’d rather spend somewhere else. A little work won’t ruin your life. A lack of work is good work for no one. So honor work, look for work, stand work, do away with work altogether, and the beer is free. Strike work, good work, yeah, do it again. I only hope my work is as good as yours.

Work with your head down, work with your heart, work with what you got, work with determination. Work on your stamina, work on your game, work on that backhand, get back to work, get a better job. A lotta work, a little work. Don’t think this through, just do the work. It’ll take a lot less time.

No work, hospital work, something works, maybe, work both sides of the street. Work both ways, work ethic, work force, work in progress, work into the ground, work like a beaver, work like a charm, work load, work of art, work off, work on. Work yer fingers to the bone. Work yer nerves, work your tail off. Work order, we can work it out, work over, work down, work someone over, work someone out of he picture, now that’s art.

This just won’t get it, but we can probably work something out. But don’t count on it. Work station, work stoppage, work till the end of the set, then you might be looking for work. Looking back at your work, looking forward to work, send the kids back to school. The glory is the work, especially when you do it again, to be able to do it again. Coffee before work, ride with you to work, working at work, imagine that.

Work through it, work it up, play it at your next gig. The work was magic, the work blew me away, the work blew me through the wall. My work, your work, our work, great work, do it again. Do it for as long as you like, do it for as long as you can, same diff. Known for your work, your work precedes you, noted for your work, adored for your work, forgotten works, sloppy work, tired work, slow work, shop work, poor work, top work…stop work.

The most important thing in an artist’s life is the work. The closest thing in an artists life is the work. The most time spent in an artist’s life is the work, the most mysterious thing in an artist’s life is the work. The worst thing in an artists life is the work, the hardest thing in an artist’s life is the work, but the most rewarding thing in an artist’s life is the work. The only enduring thing in an artist’s life is the work. So, work your life away, bravo. Work before play, work before love, work. Work before you eat, work before you put your clothes on, work when you’re trying to sleep. Work before you leap. Work before anyone knows your work. Work if you never find work at all. Anyway, I hope this works.

And unless you’ve forgotten how to do a little work, even if it doesn’t sell your novel, work might still end up in a worthy place like an archive at a University.