Skip to content →

Category: Ukulele

SONG: “At The Circle K”

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=1758795542 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

An ode to life in a red state.

Leave a Comment

Owen & Jason play “Honeybee” by Steam Powered Giraffe

Let me tell you a thing. I think I first had a girlfriend when I was 14 or 15. I’m 42 now, which means I’ve been dating people for 27 or 28 years. For all of that time, I’ve wanted to play music with someone I dated. Today, for the first time, it happened. I really can’t explain how happy this makes me, so I’ll just show you this video of us playing together. Every day I find new things to love about Owen.

Leave a Comment

POEM: rooftop haiku

feet hanging off a dirty rooftop
strumming a blues as the rain starts
thinking of you

4 October 2013
Oak Street

Leave a Comment

POEM: we can be like this (for Jo Wallfisch)

we can be like this
for Jo Wallfisch

tarting with an amazons trapeze he said
no she said i am flying and singing and
wasting your time in the air he said
making beauty is a revolutionary act she said
what is beautiful about a ukulele he said
all the beauty in the world she said is in this moment
you sound like a goddamned hippie he said
she said you should come up here with me
you’re out of your nut he said i would never
just try it she said and see what i mean
if i try it will you come down from there he said
if you want me to i will she said
ok i’ll come up there he said just for a minute
hang here next to me upside down she said
he said this is crazy i can’t believe i’m
don’t talk she said just be here just be

he said i’ve never seen the world this way
there are so many ways to see the world she said
i’ve wanted to do this since I was a child he said
here she said take this ukulele and play
let’s stay here forever he said and never go down
we can be like this even on the ground she said

13 March 2013
Auburn, AL

/ / /

The singer Jo Wallfisch posted a video of herself today hanging upside-down on a trapeze and playing the ukulele. Her phone autocorrected her caption and that became the first line of this poem.


My newly decorated ukulele

I’m a big fan of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger as people, as musicians, as activists, and as decorators of instruments. Woody had this on his guitar:


And Pete has this on his banjo:

"This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender."

I thought for quite a while about what to write on mine. I decided to use a phrase from Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh on the front, and then drew a lotus on the back. You can click to see larger images:



Leave a Comment

SONG: “Sunset Park”

This is the first song I’ve written in years. I’m really enjoying the new outlet the ukulele is providing me. It’s an entirely different way to think about putting words together, and a distinct change from poetry.

As for the song itself, I didn’t expect to write about this person again, given that I just wrote an entire book about this relationship. But here it is.

Leave a Comment

POEM: ode to a ukulele


ode to a ukulele

a parakeet’s weight
with a harp’s song

ringing from strings
on warm koa wood

birthed in the minds
of Portuguese carpenters

who couldn’t make money
selling cabinets to Hawaiians

they sold harmonies
and rhythms instead

giving a new sound
to this island nation

and to countless others
who followed, strumming

16 February 2013
Auburn, AL

Leave a Comment