war has lost a lot of lives
while trying to save others
music has saved a lot of lives
but lost a few big ones in the process

war rarely is depicted the same on television
whereas the majority of music videos
are just the band playing their music

people sleep with both soldiers and musicians
for what they do
people say goodbye to their lovers
for months on end
when they leave for the sacrifice of either

war is the ultimate violent protest
music seems to be the ultimate non-violent protest

war and music have shared many beds
coins have been taken from the pockets of both
they both have their working class heroes

war tastes of caster oil shrapnel and young blood
music tastes of honey-sweet honesty and broken thresholds

the gun came first
it wasn’t until later that the guitar mocked it

in both war and music
there is a tumor of fidelity
when the cat is away
the mice will play
but in each
there are still men and women
and they usually speak the loudest

there are lots of folks
in both
that have become lost
Syd Barrett and Ernest Hemingway
we never find them
everyone knows that Paul is dead
but no one can find the body

music replaces the bullet hole left by war
war has been known to start with the rattle of a drum
either way
if you hear a rising sound of percussion
be ready

it feels like it’s easy to get them confused
siamese twins
but i always know
which one is which
when i remember
that one of them got the heart
and the other got the head




was it because you were bullied in
school? were you abused as a child?
did you have a vendetta against society?
did the world just rub you the wrong way?
was it because you could only see sin in us all?
did you have undiagnosed mental issues that should
have gone diagnosed?

were you exposed to violent video games,
violent movies, violent comic books at a young age?
were you plotting this for months?
where were you when you decided to take the terror
inside of your broken rib cage and turn it into the
terror we all feel carving holes in our hands?
was it drugs? was it years and years of pent-up rage
and silence? was it something someone said to you
a long time ago that you could have told someone?
are you godless behind your hidden eyes?
were you broken to begin with? are you proof
that some of us are born with two demons on
our shoulders? that some of us enter through exit
doors in shameful masks to rip down the red curtains?
to pierce the surface of innocent skin and beautiful lives?
did you feel your skin pressing the trigger of the gun?
do you hear any of this in your head? most of us do.
most of us are playing judge, jury and executioner in
our hearts and in our heads. hosting trials
asking ourselves what is right and what is wrong
don’t you dare
be proud of yourself. don’t you dare
think i will remember your name. don’t you dare
say you’re sorry – most of us are questioning the state
of the color red but some of us
aren’t around anymore to do that. twelve of us
are stories that couldn’t be saved. twelve of us
are the names that should be remembered. twelve of us
will never see the end of the movie.

the rest of us
are still here saying prayers at dinner tables with empty
chairs. we are listening instead of hearing. we are speaking
instead of listening. why weren’t you? when did your sun go
down and why in the black night of aurora did you sneak
shadowed into these happy homes and tear apart the very
fabric of our humanity? where are you now? who
are you? i will not remember your name. you are not god.
you are not the devil. you are everything we are not; and
you are unanswered questions that you could have just
asked somebody.



My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those who died early today in the Aurora Theater Shooting. May those lost rest in peace. I can’t imagine what you’re going through and I wish you all the best in this impossibly tough time.