Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It has been awhile since I last wrote, friends. It has been a long journey for me. In some ways I feel like I've grown a lot. In some ways, I've stagnated. This is for certain, I am changed. Older, certainly wiser, more independant, but missing those connections that have been before. There are things of our human condition that make themselves understood as we get older. I turn 30 this Saturday. It's a milestone that makes one introspective. I don't usually use this blog for this stuff, but more as an artistic outlet. Well, here goes.




Rest is peaceful. Rest is amazing. Rest is that thing that your body longs for after a hard day of work, a hard day of play, a hard day of being human and being run down, tired, and plowed over by life. Life is hard. If you're young, I can't really pull that punch for you. It's great, really great. I mean there's so much awesome stuff out there for you as you grow up and grown old, but there's a lot of depth in the human condition that you just have to experience, kid. As I grow older, realize how wise my parents are. Its not that they've changed their tune, its just that I resonate more with what they've said. Life is altogether beautiful, and all the people in it contribute to that beauty.


Rest is warmth. It's my favorite part of sleeping is curling up in the covers and being all warm and comfortable. It's why I enjoy hugs so much. Someone cares about you enough to share their warmth with you. Rest is vulnerability. To rest with someone is to trust them fully. I think in some parts we all enjoy those restful times after a hard day as just a release from the burdens. We throw them all off and drift into sweet slumber without a care. Restlessness, the great enemy, keeping you dreary eyed and worried, blurry and frantic. We are less irritable after a good rest. Grumpy people of the world, get more sleep. I often sit still and take deep breaths, to clear my mind and just calm my spirit. It is rest and contemplation that keep s me sane. Self reflection, the opening of that creaky door to the dark insides where we often don't go, to see what monster lurks within. There is a darkness in each of us, a selfish, muckity black sludge of ugliness that we all deal with. There is also Light. The light of beauty, that which is Good. We choose which we show to the world, and the world responds in kind. So be beautiful, people.

I admit, I have had too much rest. I have rested from my artistry for too long, and have had a yearning for it. I have rested from the Almighty and his people, and had a yearning for it. I like that word, it truly expresses my feelings. Its like when something resonates so closely with your being that you could hardly part from it, and your whole self feels out of tune with everything until you plug it back in. It's an addiction, as you soul shakes and quivers with delight that all is right in the world when two parts of equal need meet to make a whole. I have walked apart from the path, and found the wilderness. It's not all its cracked up to be. But it will make you stronger.

I have held a grudge against the church. Not specifically, just generally. Church is broken, how we do it. When did acceptance and forgiveness not become the words associated with church? When did judgment and hypocrite? I'd say probably about the same time. I've wandered the wilderness with the lost, and acceptance is in abundance. I've been in churchville for a long time, and seen a lot of judgment. Maybe its time for a change. Maybe its just me. I don't have a lot of answers here. I've taken almost a 2 year break from regularly going to church. I'm still resting, too long, I'm sure. From talking to people from all walks of life, spirituality is a thing uncommon, emotionality a thing in spades. People live on fleeting feelings, with no thought of what tomorrow will bring. It's a dangerous thing, my friend, but the here and now is potent because it is at hand, while the past and future are more than a glimpse away.

God is calling me. He talks to me all the time. I purposely choose to ignore it. He says he misses me, misses my song, misses my joy, misses my resonance. He wants me in tune with him and I've jammed the strings out of wack by playing my own selfish tune for a long time. I went to church this sunday, and they talked about forgiveness. Maybe its time I forgive the grudge. Maybe I'll just abandon the church altogether. There's a lot of pain in this world, and I don't want to go back to churchville, doing church stuff, with my church friends in our church way and wonder why we don't know anyone but churchies. I don't know, God. That doesn't seem to resonate as much with me as you do. It seems off. It seems different than a homeless carpenter walking around talking to people and changing lives. At least I can forgive you, church, eventually. You've got a whole lot of making up to do with the other guys in the wilderness. They don't think too kindly of you.

I feel ranty right now. I feel as though that last bit was ugly, a kind of sickening sludge that I hate. I'm sorry, friends. If I'm anything here, I have to be honest. I have to express what is inside in some way. My spirit is generally optimistic, joyful and uplifting, and it hurts so much when I bring out pain. I don't know if as artists we feel deeper, experience more potent, or see more colors; but there is a piece of us in the art we create. I can only hope that my experiences enlighten, encourage, and elate in some way. I wish you all well, and hope that you let your beauty shine, sludge up your ugliness and clean it up, and seek the broken, for they are in sore need of mending.

Live, Love, Verse.
J. Beatnik

Friday, June 27, 2008





It is easily the greatest time for me in the small hours of the morning. I'm not sure if it is insomnia or creative fever that keeps me up late, but I have always found solace in the absolute silence of the hours I should be asleep. My life radiates with Music, Rhythm, Verse, Chorus. Noise even. Lots of Noise. Lots of distraction from the deep recesses of Who I Am and Where I Belong. I don't like to think about those things. I'd much rather sing a song or distract myself from the gnawing feeling of Worthlessness and Insignificance. It is in these silent times that alone I open up my inside caverns to peek into their dark chambers. By torchlight I spelunk through my past; those painful memories I wish to have forgotten, those wounds that should be forgiven. Those things that eat you alive inside, scratching at their restrictive cages that you have locked away hoping that they will die and be lost to eternity. And yet they never rot.

I think that people are happy, truly happy, sometimes. Some days everything just beats with that Groove and Rhythm that resonate within you, and it is GOOD. Goodness that makes you Laugh, Dance, Sing, Burst forth with energy and enthusiasm, smiles that infect like a virus, and a world that spins on sunshine and lollipops. Some days are rainclouds and lightning bolts. Deep, introspective days; days where you peel the happy face scratch-n-sniff stickers off your bullet holes and reluctantly peer inside to see what damage has been done to you by so called friends or others. Is it frightening to see inside to what a dark, angry, dangerous, or selfish person you are? Or is the truly frightening fact that the same hands are capable of murder and giving life? Same mouth capable of destroying spirit or praise? It is painful to realize that life isn't all sunshine and cookies, however I wish it where.

Is it irony that the best music comes from the greatest pain? That the Artist life must be filled with absolute torture of pain and agony? Or greatest Joy? Perhaps these sorts of people have a greater range of emotions than the throng of humanity. And what is the preoccupation of most of the songs written:


I wish to not write about Love, for Love is the subject of a billion writings, all of which are much better than whatever I'd write about. Music has touched on Finding Love, Yearning for Love, Losing Love, Hating Love, Forgetting Love, and everything in between. Why is Love so important? What inside of us Screams that Love be our Defining Purpose? I'm not sure, but its much easier being the guy with the questions than the guy with the answers. I'll admit that I don't understand Love in the least bit. I've read tons of books on it, heard experts from all kinds of fields talk about it, and its just as confusing as theoretical physics to me. Is it Love that defines us? Does it answer the questions of Who Am I and Where I Belong? Does it make us Feel Good, and that makes it right? Maybe some of us don't want to open up those bullet holes and see what wounds we are numbing by finding or patching them up with this "Love". I know I've been guilty sometimes.

I think I've come to a point in my life where I Don't Care who Loves me, at least in a way that it defines my existence. I think that I've become comfortable with Who I Am. Alone, at least, I can be honest with myself. I'm not sure if the world wants to see. Maybe its pride, maybe its fear, that keeps us from opening those caverns to the Sunlight and letting Happiness in. I would prefer my insides by full of Cookies and Fun. Maybe then I would write a bunch of happy children's songs and play at Disneyland. Maybe that's what Joy is all about.

Here's to Hope.

Live, Love, Verse.

J. Beatnik

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


At the behest of my one fan, I'll try to pick this blogging thing up again. Thank you, Caleb.




I feel rhythms. I don't know if it is something you're born with, or something you are able to learn, but there is a feel to them. I have heard the old verse of "You either have rhythm, or you Don't" plenty of times, and from my observations, I apparently have Rhythm. I'm not sure if I can explain what this magical property is, but I can tell you that, to me, it is marrow. Marrow like your bones have a core inside of them that is essential for life itself, Rhythm is inside of me and its a disease.

A disease? I suppose if I could be frank, it has all the makings of an affliction. When you hear music and you have Rhythm, you begin to itch. You itch to move, to breathe, to heartbeat, to synchronize, to FEEL and BE that Rhythm. Your body screams to the Rhythm to move, to sway and your frail body cannot fight back! You get the shakes and begin with the foot tapping, the hand clapping, the head nodding, the body swaying. It gets in you and there's no going back. Your being is in harmony with beat, with the THUMP THUMP of drums, with Groove, with assimilation of yourself into pure expression. The Rhythm is a terminal disease, there is no end but to Break Out, not in hives or a rash, but in Dance.

Dance is the expression of Rhythm. Its the telling of a million stories, of a tale of woe or wonder, of silent moments of body language that speak more than words ever could. It is your body telling you that you sit too much, talk too much, be still too much, be tame too much, be someone else but yourself...too much. Dance is art. Artistry that is a moment, a performance, a shared communication between the Artist and the Changed. I used change instead of audience, because not everyone in the audience really cares, or really watches Art. Only when Art truly communicates, does it change. I think we as humans do a horrible job of appreciating. We make fun of people for how they dance, for how they feel (or don't feel) The Rhythm. If I could make a wish, I would wish that people could (and would) Dance like they feel, Feel like they Dream, and Dream Big.

Dream Big? What is this, some NBC Saturday Morning Cartoon special where Michael J. Fox comes on and says "Hey kids, don't smoke Pot" *Cue "The More You Know" music*? Yeah, its pretty cheesy, but there is some truth to the Public Service Announcements. If all you want in life is a paycheck and a party; well, have fun leaving the world completely unaware of your existence. There has to be more out there for a person to aspire to. Maybe I'm just an Artist. Maybe I'm some idealistic idiot visionary that the world hasn't stomped flat and pressed into its cookie cutter market demographic mold yet. Make a goal. Make more than one, even. Be an Astronaut, or a Cowboy, or a Fire Truck, if that's what you aspire to. Just DO SOMETHING. Especially if you haven't done it before. Experience LIFE.

You've probably heard this all before. Its what every hack of a motivational speaker says. So I'll keep it simple:


That's right, Dance. Get your lazy butt off the chair, stand up, and wiggle around. Put on your favorite CD, DVD, Tape, or Record and "shake your groove thang". Jump up and down if that's all you can do, wave your hands around, BE SILLY. Go crazy with yourself. Its expression, and it is essential to human life. If someone looks at you funny or makes fun of you, ask them why they don't Dance. Have them read this, sure, why not. I won't make fun of them. But the important lesson is that you did something different. Why not make this a start of something better? Find whatever expression suits you best, be it Music, Visual Art, Graphic Art, Dance, Theater; anything you put your mind to that shows who you are to the World, DO IT. You'll find it infinitely rewarding.

Live, Love, Verse.

J. Beatnik

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tears of Silence




It is dark, quiet and calm late at night. I looked at the stars in the early hours of the morning, after the world has been dreaming, and it is a quiet. I can hear my own breathing, my heartbeat, my heartbreak. Here alone, when no one is watching, I feel free to cry in silence. It is not that I am self conscious about crying in front of people, but there is power in silence. As a musician my life is filled, utterly overflowing with noise. Music, sounds, speaking, grumbling, laughter, loudness, machines humming, working, working, ever working. There is too much working and not enough existing.


God spoke to Moses about his existence. When Moses asked his name, God replied with a simple, "I AM". I AM? What is that supposed to mean? Its boggling and confusing. But its simpler than most of us overly intellectual people would realize. God just laid it down by saying "It is good enough that I merely exist." God doesn't have to BE anything, he doesn't have to BE this label or that boundary or this small box you want to put him in to help understand him.


Maybe that's an offensive statement to theological types. Humans have spent their entire history writing books, debating, rewriting, philosophizing, intellectualizing...trying to push our wee little brains to the limits trying to understand and fit God into our world, when really we should fit OUR world into HIS. When I realized that I'd never understand God, and I just accepted the mystery of my creator, I finally understood. Understood myself, Understood my world, Understood my purpose.

I don't have any answers, and I'm O.K. with that. I'm the kind of guy that reads the book before the movie so that I know what's going to happen. But I've read God's Book, and I know what's going to happen, but that doesn't make the journey any easier. I have some of the darkest days behind me and more ahead of me. I have some of the brightest moments of hope to carry me through. I know who's going to be there with me to shoulder the burdens that life throws on me, and I'm O.K. that I don't really understand the guy that's helping out. I'll learn more as we go on the journey.

So silence is deafening.

Silence is someone crying out for help, screaming right in your face without saying a word. Its their downcast eyes that they hide lest someone see into their soul. Its the perfect mask and lie we live through because we don't want people not to like us because we aren't perfect. Its the trudging along, shouldering our ten ton weights on our own because we just couldn't STAND for someone else to help us. Its tears cried into pillows and shoulders and fists pounded into the ground and fist clenching, teeth grinding, sob wracking, HONESTY that makes us, creates us, molds, shapes and breaks us.

it is prayer.

It is broken hearted, chest on fire, knee burn, stomping, spitting, fist in the air, watery eyed, INSANITY that makes a man sacrifice his life for what? Money? Women? Power? Acceptance?


I am a worthless slab of flesh
A common husk and no more
Simple wood, a common log
To carry the fire of the Lord
If I should think myself the light
And try to light the world aflame
Cast me aside, a burnt match
A smudge upon your name
Please make me God, a simple stick
The lowest of the low
That I may be useful to you
The best your light to show

Live, Love, Verse.

J. Beatnik

Sunday, September 16, 2007





Groove is the blood flow of every band. Every song. Every sound. Groove is a magical land where rhythms meet melodies, instruments meet perfection, and music meets souls. Groove is where the core of your being cries out your individuality, only to be harmonized with by others. This harmony is a soul speaking, heart pumping, deepest chasm of the spirit connection where mind, body, soul, and spirit collide.

Life Groove.

Some people have it all together. They're lives just "click", they have golden fingers and everything they touch turns into success. Their lives hit this Groove and the cylinders pump in full unison, the engine roars to life, and they soar into the skies, spreading their wings as eagles majestically.

Most of us are just Vultures.

We sneer at these people, mocking them, jealous of their success and thwarting them at every turn like a classic comic book villain, we plot their demise in secret, while putting on these pleasant faces like some sick puppet show. We just wait until they fly too close to the sun, and, like Icarus, plummet to the earth where we squeal with joy and peck at the brokenness with sharp claws and beaks.

Why can't we just let them fly?

Is it pride that leads us to lie, to make excuses for our own failures, blaming them on others? When did a man's word become worthless, and every thing of worth had to come with a legal notation? What if we saw the good in people, we looked at our failures, we cheered the success of others, and we lifted people instead of pushing them down? Maybe if we saw people as the hurting, lonely, sick, needy, crying, begging for someone to just smile at them, be real with them, sit and listen to them, encourage them...

Maybe the world could be a better place.

Live, Love, Verse,

J. Beatnik

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Power of Verse




The power of words. To Heal. To Harm. Verse is the word we hang on the essential part of music. The counterpart is Chorus. Verse, the single voice of music. Chorus, the voice of the whole. I am a humble man, at least, I try to be. I don't attempt to think that my opinions or beliefs, or any thought I have would be Chorused by any other. Just Verse. Verse is the all important individuality that God has created each and every one of us with. Verse is our soul crying out, of each and every cell of our being, created by God, to attempt in the slightest to mirror his amazing creation with minuscule and finite minds and bodies.

Verse is the essential part of humanity that screams for individuality, screams out to be noticed, to be loved, to be admired, to be just...smiled at. That I am created by a perfect Creator who loves me is beyond my comprehension. It touches my soul in a way no music ever has. No other person's Verse ever has. It is a personal belief, one I can not help but share. Not that I am pushy or preachy or narrow minded. I have felt a resonance, a perfect octave, a drum beat, a "groove", a perfect square or root, a prime number that is infinitely divisible by my soul.

It is unexplainable.

I only hope that I may live my life in such a way that its a microscopic mirror of Him. That should be enough to change the world. Not in my power, but just the mere reflection of him gives enough light and fire to burn away any human to the core of the soul. When our, your, their Verse joins the Chorus of Him, only then can it bring beautiful music to the world.


Chorus is the whole. Chorus is what you throw back you head, hold out your arms and scream out. Every song. Any song. Chorus is what you know, its what you feel. Its what you sing endlessly when you are so obsessed with a song that your friends roll their eyes after the first 3 words. Chorus is our souls yearning for belonging, of being a part of something greater, of screaming out at the top of your lungs, of finding another person that so wonderfully and completely attaches to your Verse that you close your eyes, hold your heart, and cry. That feeling of love, infatuation, compassion, stomach flopping, heartache, YEARNING...that pales in comparison to reaching out and touching the CREATOR. THE orchestrator, THE composer, THE musician, THE author of Verse and Chorus, THE creator of Love and Life and Soul Thirst. That emptiness inside is created by Him. To be filled by Him.

Why call this blog Unfinished Verse? I don't know. Maybe its because as a musician, no verse is finished, no song is ever completely satisfying. Its just "Good Enough". As a musician, a poet, a writer, a teacher, a preacher, a disciple, a follower...I don't believe I could ever truly finish anything perfectly that will resonate in Man like the resonance of His Chorus.

So Unfinished Verse is a bit about my creations. My unfinished, imperfect songs, poems, writings...unfinished, imperfect life. That I will never have the perfect Verse for my life until he touches it and scrapes all of my imperfect additions off, and just makes those small pen strokes of a master musician editing a friend's song to make it just the most perfect sound to the ears.

So Live, Love, Verse.

J. Beatnik