Closer To Dead Is Closer To Free

Closer to dead

Is closer to free

Truth no longer

Hides from me

In the corner of my eye

There I see

Shadows approaching slowly

I do not flee

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Charred Organic Postcards

Books disregard

Limits of time

Space and Censorship

They are

The final charred

Organic postcards

Until the fiery

Complete end

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

The Hill



I haven’t a clue what went down at Calvary

Centuries ago

You can put the things in a giant endless box

That I don’t know

I do know much of narratives

The stories we tell ourselves

There are true things in stories

That we create for ourselves

If you tell me Romans might have feared

What they didn’t understand

If you tell me Judas might have betrayed

Someone he loved and respected as man

If you tell me that 3 men were crucified

On crosses plunged deep into the land

If you tell me those that had love for them cried

As the the blood dripped from their nail struck hands

I’d believe you for the most part

I know these stories to be mostly true

I’d believe you at least in part

Because from experience these thing are true to you

People have ever been sacrificed

People have ever been betrayed

Maybe one was named Jesus Christ

Maybe he died today

No narrative sustains

That isn’t one that compels

No stories remain over centuries

That aren’t written in our cells

I’m somber not from a leap of faith

That is not my road

I’m somber for the parts I know are true

Those lying deep within our code

Sacrifice, love, and loss

Things which are often represented

By a lonely hill once bearing a cross

Which many hold when their sins are repented

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014


Hatred Is Create By Self Narrative

Hatred is created by self narrative

Narrative is human to the core

To find the way to peace

Create stories in your mind no more

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Ecosystem v2

Bryson Creek

There are dragonflies

In my earliest memories

There are no clever thoughts

No grand ambitions

Only their loud hum

In the heat of summer

The taste of sweat

Upon my tongue

The feel of damp

On my neck

The river is near

Giving and taking

Sleeping then waking

Frothy then serene

The mountain is near

Giving not taking

Bending and breaking

Its peak still unseen

There is my mother

Provider of food and love

There is my father

Before me and not above

We are of here

This valley

This land

We are from here

Our family

Our band

All I know

Is nearby

Or at least as

The bird flies

The river knew my name

When I was baptized in it

The mountain knew my name

When I walked upon it

I became of here

In my crib

As the wind blew

Through it

I cannot forget

The hum

Of horseflies

Nor the pain

Of their bite

Nor the pull

Of the river’s current

It’s inhuman might

It all escalates outward

It all internalizes inward

The river takes me elsewhere

The mountain fades from view

When I am motionless

I can hear the dragonflies

Humming there still

When I am motionless

The river carries me there

Once again

The mountain’s peak

Still out of view

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

So Much Of Spring is Faith



So much of spring is faith

A red flower

We were not certain

Would bloom again

Alive once more

It is the unknowns

That winter creates

Which give birth to wonder

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

The Heart Will Beat Till It Don’t v2

Watermelon Heart

The sun will burn till it doesn’t

The heart will beat till it don’t

Worry is a thing I wouldn’t

Do because I won’t

Manage the details and aspects

Of that I cannot control

So I’ll let the world sort through it’s cycles

And ease the burden and toll

Of the weight that builds up sometimes

At the base of my neck and my spine

I’ll listen to the wind, rain, and earth’s hum

And my thoughts will become once again mine

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Evolved Not Granted

Kindness and empathy exist

Without us inventing them

Traits evolved

Not granted

Lessons learned

Over millenniums

Not centuries

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

A Great Forgotten Record of the 1990’s Big Chief – Mack Avenue Skullgame

In 1993 I bought a record called Mack Avenue Skull Game.  It was was a fake soundtrack to a 70’s urban movie that never existed.  For a while I thought it was a real movie and it in the days before the internet it could take a while to find your way to the truth.  The band was never overly famous and never hit it big although they did have somewhat of a following and when I saw them live once it was a full room.  The album itself reminds me of a Tarantino movie.  It is a record made by white people and is a respectful homage to 70’s black music that stands on its own.  I equate it with Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.  I listened to it on Spotify recently see how it held up 20 years later.  The record is still strong.  The music is still gritty and tight and the vocals are occasionally remarkably.  It drives forward with momentum and never dwells too long in one place.  What sounded somewhat out of place in 1991 is much less out of place in 2014 as the world has come full circle and if Big Chief were touring today they be on the summer circuit festival making crowds move in the summer sun.  It is a record that was out of place in 1993, but it did make many people like me find our ways to the original 70’s funk records that inspired it.  On Spotify there is no related artists tab, because Big Chief kind of stood alone for 1993 any related artists would be from a generation before.  Personally I am grateful for the record as a gateway to funk.  I don’t know much about what happened to Big Chief and I don’t know much background information on them.  I kid of like it that way, the album just stands on its own.  I don’t think Big Chief made a record after Mack Avenue Skullgame, but for me it stands as a great record that time forgot.

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

The Who The What You Love

In pain

Or distress

Or in the end

You don’t remember

The cause of them

At the end of it all

You recall

The who

The what

You love

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014