Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Month of Couplets - December 2017


December 2017


Wisdom is like the rain--when it comes down
In drips or torrents, ignorance will drown.


There is no faith or truth in corporate crooks--
They'll feed you lies so they can cook the books.


When Democracy's sold to crooks by knaves, 
Freedom dies in plantations of wage slaves.


This world is a place with five fools for each sage
And a book of lies for every truth-filled page.


after Emma Lew 

The snide rich have one rule, and it's not recent:
"We have one life. Why spend it being decent?"


Hate shouts so loudly that none dare dispute it
Except Compassion, whose kiss can refute it.


The road snakes as we walk, winding and narrow.
But when we look back, it's straight as an arrow.


Eyes see joy clearer after tasting tears
Like hearts grow stronger after facing fears.


Love sees the lover through forgiving glasses.
Without them, angels look like stupid asses.


Love is, no matter how harmonious,
A war that has three sides: you, me, and us.


Wisdom and freedom will both meet their doom
When even fools are too smart for the room.


Hypocrites who preach Christ is love will claim
That hatred's good when it's done in His name.


Yesterdays are like ex-loves who don't care:
My heart still tells me that there's something there.


Loneliness is a clingy ghost who haunts me
By telling me that no one worth me wants me.


We all wake up to ancient pain and sorrow
Telling us how to live our lives tomorrow.


Love is a flower, lush and undefiled,
That will not grow true unless it grows wild.


I tell myself the lies I need to live--
But lie to me, and that I can't forgive.


Nothing is promised. Everything is granted.
Life's only guarantee: we all get planted.


Let all the rivers in you overflow.
Even what feels like poison helps you grow.


for Cresta Kruger

Three rules in life to always keep in mind:
Stay curious. Risk heartbreak. And be kind.


Fan-fiction Christ shills for the rich and greedy;
Canon Christ always helps the poor and needy.


Fan-fiction Christ says, "God favors the wealthy!"
Canon Christ says, "All money is unhealthy."


Fan-fiction Christ is hellfire and damnation;
Canon Christ is forgiveness and salvation.


Canon Christ has a loving heart that's huge;
Fan-fiction Christ is Ebenezer Scrooge.


Canon Christ feeds all who come to his table;
Fan-fiction Christ-just those who wear His label.


Fan-fiction Christ sees threats to get rid of;
Canon Christ is the rebel who cries "Love!"


Fan-fiction Christ will kill to be adored;
Canon Christ breeds compassion with Love's sword.


Fan-fiction Christ condemns women and gays;
Canon Christ welcomes all of us always.


The good disciples worship what they've heard;
The bad adore the teacher, not the word.


Two things the birth of tyranny requires:
Mute those who tell the truth and praise the liars.


Life's sneakers love to walk the same old trail
That leads from new and fresh to old and stale.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jingle Belles - The 2017 Xmas Compilation

What a year. We say that at the end of every year, right? But this year? What a year.   

I won't bore you with the details of mine. They will either make you incredibly jealous or incredibly happy, depending on how you view despair, joy, loneliness, creativity, major life changes, foreign customs, and the endless vigilance needed to break old habits. Which, when you get to be my age, are the only habits you have. And while that doesn't necessarily make them old friends, it does make them boone companions. (That's not a typo--that's boone, as in Aaron Fucking.)

And it looks like the one companion we all share this Christmas, the one who's running the show wherever you look, is the grubby little brat whom the Ghost of Christmas Present warned us about: ignorance. His influence is everywhere. The country is being run by venal little Scrooges who will not listen to any ghost who doesn't pay them off, or whom they can't pay off to shut up. The North Pole is becoming a swimming pool. California is starring in an annual remake of The Burning Season. And we're maybe only a couple of years away from a category 6 hurricane. Joy to the world, he said sarcastically. But then he snorted a little harrumph and added, "And that's exactly what we need, joy. That's the best weapon we have. Along with love and laughter. And music."

As I said to a non-blood brother a couple of days ago, I almost didn't do a Xmas music compilation this year, because my heart wasn't in it, because that hard-to-shut-up negative voice in me kept saying "Nobody will care," and because all things come to an end, even traditions. (It's been that kind of year.) But at the end of last week I thought, "Okay, so your heart's not in it; but I bet it will be when you start doing it. And don't be stupid, there are people out there who care about this. And what the hell, why not do a compilation? You've got 15 years of music to choose from, and you've never repeated a track in all that time, so how about something that celebrates that, as well as the holiday?" And two seconds later a voice in my head added: "And given what a hell of a year this has been, make it all female singers."

So here it is. The only male voices show up on a couple of tracks as backup and harmony, or (on the Bonus Track) on the bridge (a traditional male preserve both nautically and musically).

The world is a dark place in the winter. Light it up whenever you can. Sing out loud as you walk down the street. Smile at a stranger. We're all in the same boat, even the snooty first-class passengers who would let the folks in steerage sink if they can't swim. They'd love to turn that boat into the Titanic; but we'll do our best to make it live up to its real name: the Constitution.

Haddy Grimble, everybody.

Jingle Belles - The 2017 Xmas Compilation

1   2000 Miles   The Pretenders
2   Winter Song     Sara Barielles and Ingrid Michaelson
3   Christmas Day      Dido
4   River            Joni Mitchell
5   Love is Christmas    Sara Barielles
6   Rudy    Be Good Tanyas
7   Ten Tubas    The Professor and Mary Ann
8   The Heartache Can Wait        Brandi Carlile
9   Silver Belles and Sweet Farewells Wendy Colonna
10  (I’m Always Touched by Your) Presents, Dear       Syd Straw
11  Darling (Christmas Is Coming)        Over The Rhine
12  Unwrap Me    Saint Etienne
13  Up On The Housetop    Reba McEntire
14  Rockin’ Little Christmas        Carlene Carter
15  The Christmas Twist     Syd Straw
16  Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)       Darlene Love
17  (Don’t Call Me) Mrs. Christmas         Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler
18  Not Tonight Santa          Girls Aloud
19  Underneath The Tree   Kelly Clarkson
20  I Did It For The Toys    Dance Hall Crashers
21  Because I’m Santa           The Dollyrots
22  Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me    The Love-Me-Nots
23  Baby It’s Christmas         Bananarama
24  Christmas In The City  Elizabeth Chan
25  Christmas Wrapping     The Waitresses
26  Merry Christmas From the Family    Jill Sobule
27  Christmas with Fat Aunt Bette      Andrea Perry
28  Little Drummer Boy     Joan Jett
29  I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus        Amy Winehouse
30  I Saw Mommy Biting Santa Claus.    The Dollyrots
31  Zombie Christmas           Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler
32  Black Christmas   Poly Styrene
33  Maybe This Christmas  Leigh Nash
34  My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)    Regina Spektor
35  Bonus Track

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Month of Couplets - November 2017


November 2017 Couplets


Let's be Republicans!--And hem and haw

Until we overthrow the rule of law!


Loneliness terrifies me because I'm with

Someone I can't stand to spend any time with.


Let's be Republicans!--And smugly blame

What we burn up for triggering the flame!


My bad romances are the children of

A needy dad and moms who feel no love.


Because my heart's an alcoholic souse,

It guzzles love and blacks out playing house.


Let's be Republicans!--And always battle

To make sure men can treat women like cattle!


Just body parts won't start my carnal car--

It's all about whose body parts they are.


Let's be Republicans!--And bravely fight

To make this country bigoted and white!


Between the ignorance and the mendacity

Our leaders put the ass in incapacity.


An ounce of hope lifts despair's ton of pressure

And one kind act's the stone that breaks Hate's thresher.


              Two Ideas Of Love

His heart believed her love could validate him;

His insecurity's what made her hate him.


One kind of love always ends in rejection:

Mistaking affectation for affection.


Never give up--but let surrender be

The way your spirit fights for victory.


Let's be Republicans!--And talk the talk!

And then go backwards every time we walk!


If wanting was enough, I'd be a saint;

But that takes love, self-knowledge, and restraint.


What justifies our political lust?

This motto: In Rich White Male God We Trust.


May my life always be a meal that feeds

Not what my journey wants, but what it needs.


When false friends talk behind my back, why curse?

If they knew ALL my flaws, they'd say much worse.


My lower self looks for a pit to fall in;

My higher self, a prospect to stand tall in.


Everything that we get in life's a loan.

Why cling to things that we can never own?



My country is an uncivilization.


Now is not then and will not ever be.

Let it go--it's one sure way to be free.


My life's been gifts and blessings by the tank-full.

I give thanks that I'm still here to feel thankful.


Joy's flowers are all watered by my tears;

My courage is the daughter of my fears.


Ask me my flaws--I'll tell you ten at once.

Ask me my gifts--I stammer like a dunce.


Bad decisions teach me how not to fail

Like storms at sea help me learn how to sail.


All sins can be forgiven--except one:

Using The Bible like a Gatling gun.


The ego: "Seek revenge for every hurt!"

The heart: "Treat foes like flowers, not like dirt."


The present is a diet of fresh meat

But it's the past's stale leftovers I eat.


Each time I undertake a plan of action

My monkey brain gets dazzled by distraction.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells