Pictures That Were Songs


My father and I lie down together.
He is dead.

We look up at the stars, the steady sound
Of the wind turning the night like a ceiling fan.
This is our home.

I remember the work in him
Like bitterness in persimmons before a frost.
And I imagine the way he had fear,
The ground turning dark in the rain.

Now he gets up.

And I dream he looks down in my eyes
And watches me die.

Frank Stanford (1948-1978; from What About This: The Collected Poems of Frank Stanford, Copper Canyon Press/Third Man Books, 2015)

The Shivers



You’re my bondage and my freedom,
my flesh burning like a naked summer night,
you’re my country.

Hazel eyes marbled green,
you’re awesome, beautiful, and brave,
you’re my desire always just out of reach.

Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963). From Poems of Nazim Hikmet, translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk, Persea Books, 2002.

(555 Bandcamp page)


555, the solo electronic project of Christopher Farstad, is also a member of the electronic music group Food Pyramid. Playing live at The Business.

Still Life

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

e.e. cummings

(from the poem “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]”)


It Carries Us On and On and On

“Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it. So everybody develops a whole armour of secondary self, the artificially constructed being that deals with the outer world, and the crush of circumstances…. And in fact, that child is the only real thing in them. It’s their humanity, their real individuality, the one that can’t understand why it was born and that knows it will have to die, in no matter how crowded a place, quite on its own. That’s the carrier of all the living qualities. It’s the centre of all the possible magic and revelation….

“And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough.”

[A short excerpt of a letter written in 1986 by Ted Hughes to his beautiful son, Nicholas, who, in 2009, suffering from depression, took his own life. Nicholas was 47 when he died. Don’t waste a minute. Be bold. Be real. Be difficult. Be hard to handle. Use it all up.]