Tao Te Ching

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I remember being around 20 years old, in the town I grew up in: Visalia, CA.  It's not a very big place.  It's not very small either.  It's between those two things: small enough for rumors to bother you and big enough for it to take 25 minutes to get from one end to the other—I'm sure information was faster than the car there, even before the advent of the internet.

I fell in love for the first time in Visalia.  It was love at first sight for me—but ended up not working out.  I think back on it, and I know all the places where I made errors.  This is important to me, because I feel I have room to learn from my mistakes.  Lauren is happily married now and has children, and I am thrilled for her, deeply and truly.  She is a good person.

What's really painful is making mistakes and realizing you have made them shortly after making them.  This was the case between Lauren and I.  However, we are not defined by another person.  

While we may be defined by our decisions, partially—ultimately, I feel that we just are.  We exist I mean.  Nothing beyond that.  To put it a better way, we all come in and out of each others lives, changing one another, so that we may continue on: all the additional perceptions attached to it, are human notions.  

If we look at ourselves as purely animals, we just exist, accumulating life experience in the form of memories.  We own our past.  It is involuntary in so much as it pertains to it being deposited in the banks of chaos that are our minds.  Beyond that, we can chose to own it as a verb, which is more along the lines of accepting it, and not perceiving it as a burden.  Perhaps like cargo floating on a rive in tandem with us: effortless.

I am fascinated by the thought of how much more malleable I was in my younger years.  I could love, fall out of love, and love again rather quickly.  If I were to be honest with myself, I have become far more guarded with my heart over the years.

19 year-old me fell in and out of love with Lauren, was at the forefront of his love of music, had parents who did not encourage the pursuit of music as a career, so he felt as if he needed to find his own footing and encouragement in other places—even if that was just in the daydreams of his own head.

He worked two jobs: one during the day and one during the night.  He practiced guitar in between.  He kept trying to write songs, but found it extremely difficult to like what he wrote—to genuinely love what was being made by his own creativity.

The first song I ever tried to write was about a young girl who tried to commit suicide off of a freeway overpass.  It was a good song—I couldn't see that though, at the time.  So I hid it away, and never shared it.

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I remember discovering Dave Matthews Band for the first time, and learning all of his songs.  I remember meeting a young girl named Robin that same summer.  We loved each other in a window of time, before she moved away.  In that window of time, I began reading a book that I very much enjoyed called " The Tao of Pooh".  I was 20 years old.

It was a very beautiful interpretation of Taoism, in so far as Winnie the Pooh being a prime example of an individual who lives the Tao.  I gave it to Robin when she moved to San Jose, along with a few Calvin and Hobbs comic strip books.

In hindsight, I was more malleable in those days—which isn't to say that I am not that way now—I'm just beginning to wonder if I was living more "the way" at that time, than I am now.  

Robin was no possession to me.  She enriched my life.  Hopefully, I enriched hers as well.  We keep contact with one another, and I am friends with her whole family.  I love them all dearly.

I continued to play guitar.  I was also very fascinated with Chess.  I played a gentleman named Jason McKaughan at his house in downtown Visalia.  He was an amazing musician himself.  He was also studying philosophy at California State University Fresno.  We would play chess together.  He would introduce me to movies and new music that I had never heard of such as Michael Hedges or Charlie Hunter or "The Matrix" or "Deconstructing Harry"—to be honest they are too numerous to name.  

I began to learn how to play Michael Hedges and became obsessed with him, much as I did Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan before that.  However, I remember showing up to his house to play chess on one day in particular and he had something fun to share with me.

He popped on a song called "Comfortable".  He asked me to name who it was.  I listened.  "Comfortable" displayed amazing songwriting.  The lyrics were incredible.  His voice had a masculine baritone quality that was very beautiful and entrancing to listen to.  I listened the whole way through without saying a word.  

When the song was completed, I said "Jacob Dylan?"  I knew this wasn't the answer, but it was the closest thing I could think of that matched the timber of his voice.  His answer was, "this is Matt Mangano's roommate at Berklee School of Music.  His name is John Mayer."  I was hooked.

Matt Mangano was also a Visalia native who had just moved to Boston to attend Berklee School of Music.  He was there to study recording and sound engineering.  He recorded John in the dorm room they shared together.  The recordings I was listening to, were those recordings.  Matt brought them back with him on summer break and told Jason, this is my roommate John Mayer.  Remember his name.  He's going to be a big star.  Jason was skeptical that this was the case, but there was no denying his talent.

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He shared numerous stories with me regarding Matt and John.  I began to follow John on my parents old AOL dial up computer.  The World Wide Web had just started.  John was present on a website he created at johnmayer.com and posted music he wrote to another website called MP3.com.  He had left Berklee School of Music after one year there, and moved down to Georgia.  I enthusiastically watched and supported his very quick rise to fame.

There were no crowd sourcing platforms at this time.  This was all between the years of 1999-2000.  Jason McKaughan would go and visit Matt and John at their place in Atlanta, Georgia.  John took Jason out to go sight seeing around the South, historical landmarks and so forth.  He brought back stories.  They were fun to listen to.  I shared John's music with people I thought would like it.

When he started to be able to afford to tour, I went out and supported his first tour solo acoustic.  He opened for Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket.  He played a wonderful set over a bunch of people screaming over the top of his music, talking loudly, waiting for Glen to take the stage.  He didn't appear bothered by it, but having been there myself, I'm sure it was no fun to have only a quarter of the room listening to you.

Shortly there after, he was signed to Aware Records, which is what that CD up yonder is.  He went on tour with a band.  I caught him three times during that tour.  Once in San Francisco, once in Los Angeles at The Roxy, and lastly at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano.  He came out after every show and would chat with all of us that attended.  John is a very funny guy, and was always a pleasure to talk to.  I emailed him once to ask him how to play one of his songs, and he was kind enough to provide the info I was after.

I look back on my life, and I see that around the years of 19 to 21 is when I woke up to art and how much I loved it.  I have tried to avidly support local and independent music as I find it.  I suppose John was the first musician to not be spoon fed to me by a major label?  I had never thought of this before in plain terms, but I suppose that is the truth.

My whole life, I have been living the way.  I am sure you can say the same.  That's what "Tao" translates to: "The Way."  We are all living the mystery is what I mean.  Allow me to explain myself a little better—I don't want this to be a Chinese Finger Trap.

I started reading "Change You Thoughts, Change Your Life" by Wayne Dyer.  In a nut shell, it is the "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu, but with his interpretation of each concise chapter of "Tao Te Ching" which often reads a bit like poetry.  I'll give you an example:

第一章

道可道

非常道

名可名

非常名

無名天地之始

有名萬物之母

故常無欲

以觀其妙

常有欲

以觀其徼

此兩者

同出而異名

同謂之玄

玄之又玄

眾妙之門


Pretty interesting, right?  I kid.


Chapter 1

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth

The named is the mother of myriad things

Thus, constantly with

out desire, one observes its essence

Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations

These two emerge together but differ in name

The unity is said to be the mystery

Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders


OR alternately it could be translated to this, as we are working from Chinese characters that are no longer in use.  This alone is fascinating to me as language allows for so many different interpretations, especially when it has been translated from a translation.  This text is nearly 2,500 years old.  As far as I know, these both have been translated directly from the original Chinese characters listed above.


The Tao that can be told

is not the eternal Tao.

The name that can be named

is not the eternal name.


The Tao is both named and nameless.

As nameless it is the origin of all things;

as named it is the mother of 10,000 things.


Ever desire less, one can see the mystery;

ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations.

And the mystery itself is the doorway

to all understanding.


This is paradoxical thinking—and very thick.  It has the viscosity of maple syrup.  Yet, it is also simple.  We just are.  That is Tao, yet by my reducing things in simplicity of those words of explanation to you, another human being, that is not Tao.  But I digress.  This is what I was getting at in the words of Wayne Dyer:

.".. enjoy the mystery."

"Let the world unfold without always trying to figure it all out.  Let relationships just be, for example, since everything is just going to stretch out in Divine Order.  Don't try so hard to make something work—simply allow.  Don't always toil at trying to understand your mate, your children, your parents, your boss, or anyone else, because the Tao is working at all times.  When expectations are shattered, practicing allowing that to be the way it is.  Relax, let go, allow, and recognize that some of your desires are about how you think your world should be, rather than how it is in the moment.  Become an astute observer... judge less and listen more.  Take time to open your mind to the fascinating mystery and uncertainty that we all experience."

"Practice letting go of always naming and labeling."

There are many things to be interpreted from these very concise lines from the first chapter of "Tao Te Ching."  Similarly, there are many things to be interpreted from a lifetime already lived.  Beyond that, is living.  It's the present moment.  

I've enjoyed sharing a bit of my past with you.  I've also enjoyed thinking back to a version of myself that is 20 years old.  I find it fascinating that I have ran along a twenty year cycle, a continuum, in which it has begun with me reading an interpretation of Tao Te Ching (but with Winnie the Pooh bonus round), and led me back to me reading an interpretation once again, and me arriving at my own paradoxical understanding.  In the process of writing that last sentence, I also just realized that putting exclamation points on things can be construed as shouting.  However, most of the time, it just means enthusiasm, nowadays.

What a mystery!

- Mike

Water

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WATER

written by Michael Patrick Vitale


Am I any softer?

Is that why I cry?

Maybe I'm like water

Flowing freely most the time


You may stay at arms length

maybe build a dam

I divert my current

And circumvent demand


You may freely slap my surface

But forceful makes me hard

Or gently touch my epidermis

to penetrate this liquid guard

You may course inside my current

As it is not mine alone

The way as set before us

To places yet unknown

Taoism and Me Just Being Strange in General

I really used to love social media. I don't know what happened to me, or when that attitude flipped—or even if it's just some sort of whinny response I have towards it because of my status on it, my connection with lots of things on there that I have no overbearing interest in, the way it singlehandedly assists me in feeling hurried and has the power to create anxiety in me, its amazing ability to bring things to the forefront of my mind that are hurtful and are normally easily avoidable if I am trying to avoid irritants, the way it breeds negative thoughts in my skull, the propagation of fake happiness and the mask that people wear as if life is always happy and joyful and that they never falter in positivity or self-confidence (I don't believe you), the younger generations proclivity in oversharing...

I took a break from social media, and it was wonderful.

I had absolutely no trouble sleeping.

I felt zero anxiety, even when things got rough—I knew I could handle it.

I read books, and practiced guitar, and produced songs, exercised, changed my diet, had coffee with friends, played gigs for total strangers and enjoyed it because it was fun.

I didn't feel any need to share my happiness with others. I am happy already. Why do I need to share that with someone else?

After about 2 months, people began to reach out to me as if I was sick or depressed. They offered their concern. I assured them that I had never felt better.

In all fairness, I also went through a romantic breakup in the later span of this time, and I avoided going through social media feeds at all because I expected there to be moments of venting from her—I like to call it journaling, where an individual vents about their personal life online on a public forum, albeit without using names or speaking in general terms—as if it were an old mystery novel where Edgar Allen Poe used a capitol letter to protect the identity of the individual by simply saying, M. It could be said that I am doing that right now myself, so aren't I a fucking hypocrite, right?

I've made social media choices that I now construe as mistakes: I once proposed to a girl who broke up with me a few months earlier, on social media—because I loved her. The issue had nothing to do with what I wanted, though. I had many people treat me differently after that fiasco—and I felt like a social leper. An acquaintance of mine told me that I needed to regain the balance between reason and emotion. Maybe he was right.

Social media was the wild west. Now it is full of jargon and social etiquette.

I hopped on Instagram very late last night and went through the stream for the first time in months.

I ran across a girl who just had a loved one pass away in her life. I didn't know what to say. I don't know her that well. I could offer her my condolences. I didn't. She used to follow me on Instagram; she doesn't now. Sometimes those sorts of things bother me. Other times they don't. I wonder if that influenced my decision to not chime in. I can easily overthink everything.

I started to cry uncontrollably as I was going through the feed, pushing little hearts next to pictures. Trying to be supportive.

I noticed that Instagram finally changed the IGTV format to allow horizontal videos to be uploaded. This pleased me. I uploaded my rendition of "If I Only Had a Brain." It makes me cry too. It's such a great song—I don't know that I did it justice, but damn that song can make me cry when I am in this sort of sensitive and empathetic mindset.

When I broke up with a girl I was recently dating, she told me that I was gaslighting her and that I had no empathy. I knew that neither of those things were true, and it hurt immensely that she felt that way of me. I bought a tall IPA beer and drank by myself after she texted me that.

That was the last drink I've had. I want to say that was around August 25th. I've never been much of a drinker—that night I just didn't want to feel anything except numb.

Maybe I started going through the Instagram feed late last night after I posted "If I Only Had a Brain" because I wanted people to be supportive of something that look me a month to learn and perform in front of a camera, live. How selfish? How odd? Am I just hungry for validation? Am I a gymnast seeking a line of judges to put up their signs with 10's written across all of them, so that I may be proud? Am I rich soccer mom trying to bribe major universities so that my children can be accepted into the hearts of highbrow society?

I don't know.

What I do know is that for the first time in months, I had the hardest time falling asleep last night and lied supine in my bed for hours, until roughly 3am—and it was because of Instagram, and its bright little red writing that pops up and says, "Someone cares."

Maybe I'm just strange.

No matter what I say, I am just as susceptible to being hungry for validation. I am a gymnast that has spent hours, days, months, years, over half a lifetime (25 years), working on his routine.

In the forest of trees, perhaps I am the one that doesn't stand up straight and grew in a peculiar way: jagged, jutting in different directions. For this reason, the lumber jacks avoided me.

Maybe, I am a perfectly straight tree, a good specimen, and someone can already picture how I would make the perfect bracing for their home, once they have chopped me down and processed me into 2x4's.

I borrowed this notion from the video above. It saved me last night. I got out of bed, ate three eggs, and listened to this video twice at around 2:30am. I found sleep afterwards, about 5 hours worth, and I feel none the wiser, just 5 hours richer in rest.

I can say in all certainty, that I have an excellent work ethic, patience, and practice. I am intimate with all three of these attributes. Supposedly I also live in a day and age where you can accomplish anything, so long as you kill yourself in the process of accomplishing it.

Perhaps Lao Tzu can help me do more than gain 5 hours of sleep, should I apply myself to understanding and practicing these techniques. Perhaps not. Perhaps I shouldn't be sharing all of this information, and should just keep it to myself? Perhaps all I do is gaslight people and I lack empathy. Perhaps I don't work hard, because I do not post about every little thing I do in a day? Perhaps people just don't perceive me as working hard because I don't post about it every day? Maybe everyone around me is an addict to social media? Maybe I'm the strange one with the weird face like that Twilight Zone episode "Eye of the Beholder".

I don't have any answers. Would my attitude be different if I had millions of people following my every move on social media—or if I just flipped my perspective (another musicians told me to do that once, while he was high on cocaine). Is that what social media is too; a bag of cocaine?

Who am I to judge anyone?

I confided in another musician one day that I don't like being on social media anymore. He told me, in so many words, "then don't": but, social media is the day and age we live in now, whether we like it or not, and if you want to find success, then you need to be on it.

What do I know? Well...

I know in my heart, I am the same 19 year-old kid who would cry alone in his bedroom when a song resonated with him. Everything else is a complete mystery to me—maybe like Quantum entanglement—"spooky action at a distance." Cause and effect, at the same time. I am everywhere, existing as a cloudy wave, until I am perceived. The moon exists whether I am looking at it, or not. Right? I don't know.

What I do know is that I'm stuck in a metaphorical parking structure that someone created, seeking validation, so that I can get home—and that I am a strange duck running on 5 hours of sleep—and that this cup of coffee is delicious. I'm sad that I am out of coffee.

- Mike

The Needle of the Human Race

The Needle of the Human Race by Mike Vitale

The Needle of the Human Race by Mike Vitale

There are days that I wake up thinking what the fuck am I doing music for?  I have no talent.  I am irrelevant—antiquated.  The music I make is not even something that people like, nowadays.  My music is not popular.  

While I am not sure of the validity of those statements (maybe all of it is true)—the reality of the situation is that despite my best efforts, short of paying other people to inflate my numbers (common place among independent musicians who are already poor and spend all of their money on things like getting more Spotify followers or having a personal representative issue press releases for their latest single through their vast networking catalogue)—I am not immensely popular—bottom line, whether it be on social media, or on individual digital streaming services.  I have 200 followers on Spotify.  I am the farthest thing from successful.  I just did my taxes, and I made approximately $40 in total streaming on all platforms.  I made more selling music, then I did streaming it (which continues to get lower every year).

I have spent years trying to teach myself the important lesson that none of this is important.  I think to myself: deep down, I am an artist.  I create, because I have to, and it needs to be independent of any notion involving whether it is lucrative, or not—otherwise, why write? Why share?  To be a star?  For validation from others? No. I should write to feed my soul. Note to reader: if you just found yourself involuntarily rolling your eyes, you definitely are not an artist yourself.

Don't get me wrong, I love to feel love from others, but I also just want any success I have to be a natural byproduct of me having worked hard at my craft.  That’s why there was a rock band called Cream.

All the practice.  All the performing.  All the skills that I have had to learn—some of which—most of which, over the past 10 years, have had absolutely nothing to do with me playing a guitar, singing, producing, practicing, or writing material. In fact, all of the things I am supposed to learn only separate me farther from the very thing that got me started in all of this: playing music.

I just want to share my life, write about life, and try to make this world a better place—even if its just to improve someone's day and have them feel better if he/she is feeling down.  I want to spread positivity and real human experience into the world.

I want to fall in love.  I want to write about that. I don’t want to hurt—but I’ll write about that too—it helps me to feel better and process my struggles—and you know what? Other people from time to time, tell me they relate to it, and it makes me cry when they do… a good kind of cry.

This above, is a single I released last year.  It is called "The Needle of the Human Race."  It's no big deal online, on Earth, or anywhere else.  It has received 148 streams on Spotify and 102 streams on Apple Music.

I did my normal push for it when I officially released it.  I posted it to all my social media sites when it came out a year ago.  I sent out the newsletter.  The one thing I didn't do is go through my phone and reach out to people individually.  I had a few individuals get upset with me when I did that for the single GONE (fuck ‘em). I also didn’t do one of the most viable and important things I could do when releasing new material: hire a team to promote. This includes PR, paying someone to get it on Spotify playlists, etc.. I simply didn’t have the money to do that as I am far too deep in debt as it is and have millions of other things that take precedence: like making my rent, paying for my absurdly expensive car and its car insurance, my credit—you know the drill. Living in Southern California is expensive.

This is reality.

You know what is also reality?  I was driving to visit my brother on Sunday, and I popped on THE NEEDLE OF THE HUMAN RACE in my car.  I listened to it a few times and thought it was beautiful.  I am so very proud of what we made together, myself and my Patreon backers.  I got chills listening to it because I wrote it and produced it with my heart and soul.  I mean every word that I wrote.  I fought with the mixing guy when he tried to invoke his will on the mix.  I got to play and record a song with my friend Dave Gonzalez (bass player) who died from cancer shortly after we recorded it together.  Dave is a part of this tune.  He used to play in this great cover band called Knyght Ryder (they are an 80's cover band out of Long Beach).

I listen to The Needle of the Human Race, and I hear something that a lot of people will like.  They just don't know about it.  It's lost like a needle in a hay stack, which ironically is the metaphor I use in the song about trying to find the love of your life.  Maybe that is the love of my life: trying to find the people who would relate to this music I make.  I don't know.

What I do know, is that I am proud of this song, regardless of how much attention it has received.  My demographic is my age and older.  Maybe even people in their 30's.  I don't know.  I'm not a marketing person.  I'm a musician, daylighting as a marketing person because he has to.

For what I lack in marketing, I try to make up for with sharing my heart and soul with people.  It is probably meaningless to most, until it is important to most—but such is not my concern.

A Chinese taoist philosopher named Zhuangzi said it best:

“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”

Whatever the case may be, I fly.  You are more than welcome to flutter to the very top of this page, click the album cover above and listen to this song if it pleases you.  There is a link attached to the image to find it on your preferred streaming service, should you desire to do such.  I fly there, like a butterfly, waiting for your arrival, smiling, because I am flying.

Long Beach Show on November 21st 2019 at The Federal Bar

Psst.  I'm playing a show in Long Beach in the year of our Lord, 2019.  This just happened.  You're the first to know (okay, really you were the second—my PATREON backers were first).  I'm excited!

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It'll be free.  We ARE going to ask for donations as my friend Leanna is in town on tour from Bali playing with her new music duo Bullet and Cass; we'll just be passing around a jar—you don't have to contribute if you can't.  

My Long Beach friend and national treasure, Taylor Crawford set up this wonderful event for us at a very cool speak easy type room in The Federal Bar in downtown Long Beach called The Parlour Room.  It will be a listening audience and I would love to have all my Long Beach friends there if ye be willing to attend. 

In addition, I will try to get my compatriot in crime and all things good music, Tom Bremer, to join me on acoustic guitfiddle that night.

The Lineup:

Taylor Crawford - 8pm

Bullet and Cass - 9pm

Mike Vitale - 10pm

Like I bu beba say ba—it's a free show.  Invite some friends.  I promise to speak better English, and play some mediocre music.  Never mind.  I'll speak poorly and play some fucking great music.  Sound good?  I guess we'll find out, together, on November 21st.  As you can see by that last sentence, I just RSVP'd you. Does that mean you’re not coming now? Don’t be mad. I was just foolin’ ‘bout.

A One Dollar Bill

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I acquired a one dollar bill the other day.  Well, sort of.

To be anal retentive (precise—however you want to boil it down)) it was three-quarters of a dollar bill.

What the hell happened to it?  I don't know... but now I have it.

No worries, I have some laundry to do; I"ll just use it to purchase some quarters, and there you go: problem solved.

You see, this is a problem.  How does that work?  Is that three quarters of a dollar bill still worth one dollar?  What's the mysteriously missing one quarter worth?  I mean, if you want to get down to brass tacks, neither is worth a damn thing.  A fresh, unused one dollar bill is worth nothing.  It's a fancy piece of cotton and paper that represents currency backed up by gold.  It's the largest mutual make-believe game that we as adults play on a daily basis.  We make believe money is worth something, with each other... and quite frankly, we really go balls deep when it comes to how much we play this game, and how much we believe in it—so much so, that it is no longer a game.  As a continued thought experiment, how many of you would do this with a large pile of money?

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I wouldn't.

We are born and raised into a society in which we play make believe about a lot of things.  Off the top of my head, land property is another I can think of, but we can save that for another day.  Let's just all agree that money is fictitious.  It is used as a representation of rare natural resource, which because it is rare, is henceforth, valuable.

But we all don't know whether we like to pretend about it.  We just do.

We buy things with it.  I mean, here I am with three-quarters of a dollar bill, at a quarter machine at the laundromat, trying to buy 4 quarters with three quarters of dollar bill—and you know what?  The machine is not fooled.  It won't take the three-quarter dollar bill.  It just keeps spitting it back out at me.  I don't blame the machine.  It has one job, and it does it well.

I realize that I am left with few recourse, and that perhaps I must do what was done before, if I were to continue the journey of this three-quarter dollar bill: I must give it to someone else.  Whether it be used as tender in a transaction, or simply giving it to someone else as a gift.  I mean, I could burn it, but that sounds silly for some reason.

So I do.  I move its journey forward throughout the world.  I am no longer concerned with the ramifications mentioned previously, or all the over-thinking I just did moments ago (as much fun as that is for me—deeply and truly).  Instead, my curiosity lingers on where it will end up next, and where it has been.  All the people it has touched.  How it came to be as it is.  Where it will go.  How it will be used.  Sure, it's not a complete one dollar bill.  Maybe it's the perfect representation of me, or you: a human being.

Incomplete.

Worth something.

Just moving our way through the world the best we can.

Touching as many people as we can.

Trying to be helpful.

Until we are of no further use.

Perhaps we are all three-quarters of a dollar bill.

And our worth?  It's left to our own imagination.


- Mike




Happiness and Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners:  How can you not like them?  They're even spelled in a sexy way.  Two "u"'s! Why?  Who cares?  It's just boss that it has two u's in the name: one for you and one for me.

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I'll tell you what, I like them even more once I got a cat.  Aside from waking me up at 6am in the morning for no good reason (playing with my face)—her second favorite thing to do is litter my floor, furniture, curtains, ceiling (not sure how that works), couch, studio desk, with her hair.  

Yes, I brush her.  It doesn't help. 

I am as excited about this vacuum cleaner, as I was about receiving Optimus Prime for Christmas from my parents when I was seven years old.  It's even red like Optimums Prime.  Can't you see the resemblance?  It's uncanny (use you imagination; the picture is in black white, people).

For what Optimus Prime lacks in suck, this vacuum cleaner makes up for.  It's a Dirt Devil.  It's got Reach, and not just by manufacturer name.  It could play pro ball, but doesn't want to because it's an inanimate object—that is unless I'm pushing it around, ridding my floor of the bane of my existence: cat hair.  It reaches under my couch (sort of).

It has attachments.

51mh-5Nfx7L.jpg

It has wheels, just like Optimus.  It's fucking cool.  That's what I'm trying to say.

Okay, yeah I know.  I'm officially old.  I am excited about a vacuum cleaner.  More to the point, I'm excited that my socks are not riddled with feline reminders of her hard work and effort spreading herself about the house.  It's a full-time job for my cat.

My other option was to shave my cat, but that would be ridiculous... or would it?

Stay tuned.

- Mike

Re-Uploading "Latchkey Kid" for NPR's TINY DESK CONCERT SERIES

Hey Everyone,

So, quickly: I had to resubmit my video for the Tiny Desk Concert Series because I upload it a few days before the March 12th start date, and they said that would disqualify the video.  

At any rate, if you could give the video some love, that would be greatly appreciated.  I had 31 likes on the last upload and a lot of comments and that was really neat, but I lost all that positivity because I have re-upload the video.  Here is what NPR wrote me today.  It was very nice of them to do this, and to not just disqualify the video I submitted:

Hi there,

My name is Marissa, and I work on the Tiny Desk Contest. I wanted to get in touch about a small problem we had with your Tiny Desk Contest entry.

While your video did follow most of our Official Rules – being under 10 minutes, showing an original song, featuring a desk (thanks!) – it looks like it didn’t meet one requirement for eligibility: being uploaded to YouTube after March 12, 2019.

The reason we have this “After March 12” rule is to make sure that people are sending us videos that are made specifically for this Contest – to ensure that, we check that videos were uploaded after we announced this year’s Contest.

However, I know that we hinted at the Contest coming back for 2019 a couple times on our site, in our newsletter and on social media over the past few months – and I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and imagine that you filmed and uploaded your video in anticipation of the official announcement. If that’s the case, and you’d still like your video to be considered for the 2019 Contest, please consider re-uploading your video and resubmitting. Otherwise, we’ll have to consider your entry ineligible. Please note that we don’t usually allow this kind of resubmission – but this feels like a special situation.

Let me know if you have any questions or any problems with submitting.

Best, Marissa & the Tiny Desk Contest team

At any rate, that link above is for the brand new upload I just did.  I would be honored to have you show it some love if you have the inclination of the time!  It would mean a lot to me. 

Hope you all are having a great day!

Mike

MVPPP Foundation

Okay everyone...  in my own opinion, I think that I have a pretty brutal sense of humor.  I still do.  I just don't share it as much as I used to (it can offend)—especially in so far as it pertains to poking fun at other people.  

I have had a blog for several years of my life, and this was a blog that I posted while I was out on my second or third tour up the west coast.  I think at some point, I erased it from my blog because I thought that it was in poor taste—what I did below.  What can I say?  I like to laugh, and laughed so fucking hard when I wrote this.  Really hard.  I'm a horrible person.  Right?

You tell me.  Let's discuss.

If you don't get the gist of the joke below, I too enjoy smoking weed (I just made myself laugh).  I just don't do it that often.  I ain't judgin' no one.  Marijuana is so much fun—and in all seriousness, my best friend nearly tore his arm off in a motorcycle accident, and now has a fully functional arm because of marijuana (he used no opiates during his very painful recovery).  Don't believe me?  Ask him all about it.  However, I digress (I'm just saying I believe in weed).

Hi Everyone,

I would like to introduce you to an acquaintance of mine from San Francisco, California.  This is Steve:

CIMG1166-2.JPG

Steve is a “Pot-less Pothead”.  While walking the streets of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, you might run across SEVERAL, if not a DOZEN of these deprived and destitute folk just like Steve, starving for their next bong rip.  The sadness that pervades from his story is all too grim; Steve simply doesn’t have the funds to pack another bowl.  His THC starvation could inevitably lead to a day of sobriety or perhaps, even worse, to a local book store for a cup of coffee or a good read in order to pass his time.

However, you can help!  Make a small donation to the Mike Vitale Pot for Pot-less Potheads Foundation (MVPPP Foundation).

The MVPPP Foundation has already helped several people just like Steve to maintain their daily habits in order to continue their useless and meaningless existence in the face of mankind!  A few dollars a day can help people just like Steve to successfully blind fold themselves with a small piece of dental floss, play video games, eat vast amounts of junk food, watch infomercials, and laugh at jokes that really aren’t that funny or clever, all while enjoying their Scoobie Snacks.  With your small charitable donation, we can keep people just like Steve as high as a kite with absolutely no clue what to do with their lives!

Charitable donations can be made with, well—weed. Please make all donations payable to:

The Mike Vitale Pot for Pot-less Potheads Foundation

P.O. Box 3064

Fullerton, CA 92834

Make a difference.  Join the Mike Vitale Pot for Pot-less Potheads Foundation today!  End the hunger.

~ Mike

PS

Greetings from San Francisco - More blogs from the road to come so stay tuned!

Running Away From Home

I think I wrote this song in 2015 or so. It’s a story about running away from home in second grade because I wanted to be a werewolf after watching Teen Wolf starring Michael J Fox. I invited my friend Brandon Kite to join me at 4am in the morning. We made it all the way to the outskirts of Visalia before we were picked up a by a Police officer. I was trying to head to Sequoia National Park because I was under the impression there were wolves there, and if I were to drink the water from a wolves’ footprint, it would turn me into a werewolf (that was info from a Scholastic Magazine).

For the record, I tried drinking the water from a dog’s footprint, first: didn’t work. At any rate, this was my Christmas gift to my mom and dad, because I never bothered explaining this story to them, when I was brought back home by the police. Not their fault. Some kids want red fire trucks. I wanted to be a werewolf (or an astronaut... or a park ranger); what can I say? This is available to watch in my IGTV and you can find on Youtube as well. There is a link in my profile for the song with my friends Frank, Tom, and Brad playing on it. I used this song to raise a little bit of money for the Michael J Fox Parkinson’s research foundation.

Running Away From Home 
Words and Music: Mike Vitale 

watching the movie Teen Wolf put the notion in my head 
that being human's boring and I'd rather be a werewolf instead 
but knowing getting bit by one could be a difficult proposition 
I reckoned that the wilderness would improve this disposition 

so we lit out at dawn for the mountains in the distance 
my best friend Brandon along in tow no doubt from my insistence 
1985 was the year of our independence 
two empty seats in a second grade class while the teachers calling attendance 

but there's no need to worry 
I've got everything I need 
a sandwich and a blanket 
and the will to succeed 
I'm heading towards the hills 
where all the lone wolves roam 
so long momma, I'm running away from home 

in order to ensure a proper werewolf transformation 
my days before departure were spent researching Scholastic publication 
and according to my sources folklore lent it several options 
all of which I applied myself to their immediate adoption 

one of which involved drinking water from a werewolf footprint 
but since that wasn't handy I felt a dog's would be sufficient 
and when the full-moon changing never came I was left with one volition 
to pursue a pack of wolves to bring my dreams into fruition 

but there's no need to worry 
I've got everything I need 
I would have asked for your approval 
but I knew you'd never agree 
I'm heading towards the hills 
where all the lone wolves roam 
so long momma, I'm running away from home 

and getting to the foothills would be a days worth of travel 
but getting spotted by adults would make my well-laid plans unravel 
and knowing we wouldn't make it far walking streets in broad daylight
we walked the inner parts of canals to keep us out of sight 

the sun was near to setting and my plan was sitting pretty 
Brandon and I had one street left to reach the outskirts of the city 
yet one small problem remained and left Brandon and I debating 
the portal that would lead us beneath the street was covered by metal grating 

but there's no need to worry 
we've got everything we need 
we can climb this chainlink fence 
and then you and I will be home free 
we're heading towards the hills 
where all the lone wolves roam 
so long momma, I'm running away from home 

and just as we reached the top of the fence a squad car changed the setting 
the officer rolled down his window and asked where we were heading 
we pointed towards the mountains and he got a twinkle in his eye 
he said, "man, that's a long ways away boys, hop in, I'll give you a ride." 

but there's no need to worry 
I've got everything I need 
a sandwich and a blanket 
and the will to succeed 
I'm heading towards the hills 
where all the lone wolves roam 
so long momma, I'm running away from home

Latchkey Kid (Live at Studio 333) PREVIEW and RELEASE SHOW TOMORROW!

I’m very excited to be releasing a new live video next week on all my social media: Youtube, Facebook, and so forth. Here is a sample of it. It’s a song off of my self titled EP from 2014, called “Latchkey Kid.” We tracked this song live at Studio 333 in Cerritos, CA on January 17th 2019. It features Frank Reina on drums, Tom Bremer on guitar, and Paul Jones on bass. We are going to be celebrating the release of this video tomorrow night (FEB 27th 2019) in Long Beach at The Wine Bar on Ocean Ave. if you feel like coming out to support; music starts at 7pm. There is no cover; it’s a free show. I’m honored to have my friends Alyssandra Nighswonger, Honest Horse and Taylor Crawford joining me to share their beautiful music. We would be stoked to have you there, and I would adore the opportunity to see some friends in the area if it’s in the cards. Thank you to Monika Lightstone for making this video with me. You are amazing and I am thankful to have you as a friend. Thanks to Ryan Lipman for the lovely mix.

Upcoming February Shows in Southern California

Lot1Cafe.png

I do graphic design—very poorly. Here are two flyers I made, advertising two shows I am playing this month.

This one is for a show in Los Angeles next week on Thursday February 21st 2019 on the western hemisphere of Earth.

This is the part of this post where I continue to regurgitate information off of this flyer.

Show starts at 8pm. No cover.

Lot 1 Cafe

1533 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles CA

Playing some muzak I wrote with Marcus Von Rittberg and Daniel Blake. Coincidentally, they will be doing the exact same thing

thewinebarFeb27th2019.jpg

And then there’s this show on Wednesday February 27th 2019. This one I am playing with a band. A really great band. Frank Reina on drums. Tom Bremer on guitar. Paul Jones on bass.

It’s going to be in Long Beach, which just so happens to be in the same hemisphere as Los Angeles, on planet Earth.

We’ll be playing at The Wine Bar. It’s a bar. They serve wine there. They also host a lot of original music. It’s a great hang. You should swing by if you feel obliged to. No cover.

I’ll be joined by Honest Horse, Alyssandra Nighswonger, and Taylor Crawford, who are all so lovely and so talented, and I’m very thankful to have them playing.

We would be stoked to have you. Music starts at 7pm. The band and I go on at 9pm.

Honesty

Honesty: now that is an interesting subject. I have a line in a song I wrote that says this: "Truth be told, everyone tells a lie—and honesty can be delicately laid"—and I do believe that.

two-colleagues-playing-table-tennis-in-office-break-room-673117017-592611993df78cbe7e959740.jpg

Whether I like it or not, I am an extremely honest person when it comes to how I display my feelings. I had a girlfriend once who told me that I wear my emotions on my sleeve—and I think she's right; I don't hide my feelings well. However, I have learned over the years that people respond to honesty in a variety of ways, most of which, are not always favorable. It's like ping pong. Let me explain.

I've spent a fair amount of time volleying honesty in a game of table tennis with friends, family, and acquaintances. I would try lobbing the ball over the net in order to give them the opportunity to play nicely as well, only to be returned with a hit to the chest from the thrust of a one thousand pound gorilla.

I've also had people key into my extension of goodwill, and return the ball with an equal amount of intensity in order to keep the conversation moving. There have been times when I have been the show-off, serving like an Olympic competitor, only to be remember afterwards that the person on the other side of the table is a little boy or girl who is barely learning to hold the mallet (let us not be mistaken though, little ones can still thrust a mean serve with little to no effort exerted).

And on and on and on I go through the various permutations of opportunities, successes, and losses at the hands of how either I or the other person at the end of the net, start the game.

Most often, I push the ping pong table against the wall and try to play. Regardless of how hard I serve, or how softly I nudge the ball forward to start the game, it rarely makes it back over the net, because invariably, I am keeping my honesty to myself—and there is no forward momentum to life and learning under those circumstances.

However, what I have had a great deal of success with is removing the net, folding the ping pong table in half to create a 90 degree angle, and playing at whatever intensity I feel fit: after all, being honest with yourself makes all the difference in the world.

The Incredible Shrinking Brain (Acoustic)

This song has been proven popular amongst strangers. Maybe you’ll like it? Are you a stranger? I don’t want your candy. No, I’m not going to hop in your car with you. This is called The Incredible Shrinking Brain:

Support and Join the Record Label:  http://bit.ly/2nigMwU
Learn More About Me Here:  http://mikevitalemusic.com
Upcoming Shows:  https://www.bandsintown.com/mikevitale/
Subscribe:  http://bit.ly/2niho5G

Connect with me online and say hi:
Twitter  http://twitter.com/mikevitalemusic
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Listen to Me Here:
Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/mikevitalemusic
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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BRAIN
words and music by Mike Vitale

I feel like a mime with a painted on sad face touching an invisible wall
And it’s a crime I can’t see this behind my shit talk fueled by jealousy and alcohol
Sure, I’m overly critical, but by now I should know better
Maybe I’m just too hard on myself and it doesn't really matter

The longer I live the less I know for sure
When I was a younger man my certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations I could conjure up in vain
But I’m the man with the incredible shrinking brain

Do you feel like an actor dressed up in black face? 
We’re really just canaries in a coal mine
Carried out the shaft like a suitcase, soot trace, smeared across our face and brow
War on race, preference, sex, and creed are indelible 
and noxious as the fumes
And right before we lose our consciousness 
collective conscience looms

The longer we live the less we know for sure
When we were a younger brood our certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations I could conjure up in vain
But we’re people with incredible shrinking brains

Create the fertile furrows from a farmer’s plough
Two fathoms deep shouted across the bow
"Anger and hatred are caustic to the vessel in which its stored,
Far more than to anything on which its poured."

The longer we live the less we know for sure
When we were a younger brood our certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations we could conjure up in vain
But we’re people with incredible shrinking brains

Fool For You (Live at Hotel Cafe)

Here is me performing a song I wrote live at Hotel Cafe in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. My friend Monika Lightstone found this on her hard drive the other day, and shared—I thought I would follow suit.

Support and Join the Record Label:  http://bit.ly/2nigMwU
Learn More About Me Here:  http://mikevitalemusic.com
Upcoming Shows:  https://www.bandsintown.com/mikevitale/
Subscribe:  http://bit.ly/2niho5G

Connect with me online and say hi:
Twitter  http://twitter.com/mikevitalemusic
Facebook  http://facebook.com/mikevitalemusic
Instagram  http://instagram.com/mikevitalemusic

Listen to Me Here:
Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/mikevitalemusic
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WvkxAen388KiPMSxh6joB…
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369
Purchase Music:
Bandcamp:  https://mikevitalemusic.bandcamp.com
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369

FOOL FOR YOU

words and music by Mike Vitale

the touch of your skin against mine 
was flawless and supine 
as I read your story in braille 

my resolve was as frail 
as that tall tale that lingered from my tongue 
now I'm all twisted up 
like a towel that's been wrung 

maybe it's the conversation we had in bed 
maybe i just want to see your eyes roll back in your head 
maybe you're a drag from a stranger's cigarette 
but once i've got you on my lips 
you're hard to forget 

and now that you've got me where you want 
you're moving from hot to cool 
and now that you've got me where you want 
woman, i'm a fool for you 

feeling your chest heave 
as you're lying there asleep 
now I'm bating every breath 
so that the moment isn't cheap 

are you resolved to entail 
a large sail to guide me away 
on some nautical course 
that perhaps I'd rather stay 

maybe you're just playing hard to get 
or perhaps you just want me to forget 
maybe I'm a marionette on strings 
trying to measure your depth beyond anatomy 

and now that you've got me where you want 
you're moving from hot to cool 
and now that you've got me where you want 
woman, i'm a fool for you 

and now that you've got me where you want 
you're moving from hot to cool 
and now that you've got me where you want 
woman, i'm a fool for you

Fred Smoot

In all honesty, today has been a bit of a rough day for me. I just got done playing a memorial service for this man.

Fred Smoot

Fred Smoot

His name is Fred Smoot.

He was a standup comedian and a photographer. He was part of the associated press that took many of the photos you may have seen regarding Vietnam, specifically the Tet Offensive.

However, Fred would have preferred to have been remembered as a standup comedian—and that he was. He was a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson seven times; this was a drop in the bucket compared to all the other notable appearances he made as an entertainer on numerour late night and daytime television programs in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He shared the stage with many, including: Johnny Carson, Neil Diamond, Merv Griffin, Steve Allen, The Everly Brothers, Count Basie, Paul McCartney's WINGS, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Olivia Newton John, Ella Fitzgerald, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Gordon Lightfoot, 5th Dimension, Count Basie and his Band, Mamas & the Papas, Mac Davis, Bobby Darin, and Trini Lopez.

I listened to all of his friends recounting stories regarding his life and all the joy and laughter he brought to them; it was palpable—if not contagious. We can all be so lucky, to be remembered so fondly, and to be the one bringing the joy and smiles to others.

One of his friends stated that there is a star in the sky that she chose for him. She has named the star after him. Ironically, that star is in the Canis Minor Constellation (this was not a conscious decision). It’s a small constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere, and it’s name means the lesser dog, or the more specific title, the underdog.

Fred died as a rich and wealthy man. While he was not someone who possessed a large monetary fortune—I mean, he lived in spare bedrooms from the kindness of others, he ate the food that friends provided to him, and lived in his car with no possessions—he was a billionaire in terms of the friendships and laughter he brought to everyone in that room today. I could feel it, and I cried—and I have never met him in person.

Fred had dementia. Quite literally, he was a man with a shrinking brain. For those of you that may wonder, yes, “The Incredible Shrinking Brain” was partially inspired by Fred—however he deserves his own song—I’m working on it.

In the meanwhile, Fred, this poem is for you. It is by one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost:

Canis Major

The great Overdog 
That heavenly beast 
With a star in one eye 
Gives a leap in the east. 

He dances upright 
All the way to the west 
And never once drops 
On his forefeet to rest. 

I'm a poor underdog, 
But to-night I will bark 
With the great Overdog 
That romps through the dark.

You brought everyone in your life so much joy and laughter, Fred—and to me, you brought tears, and for this, I thank you. God bless you. You are loved.

No Vacancy (Live at Monika Lightstone Studios)

Here is the second of a series of videos made with the sole purpose of people watching them (go figure). We shall call this series, “Capture and Release.” Monika and I are big game hunters, who will never pull the trigger, except when it comes to releasing music.

This is a song I wrote called No Vacancy. If you happen to like this song, you can listen to the full band arrangement on your favorite streaming service of choice, by clicking this right heya: http://smarturl.it/tx0xoc

Support and Join the Record Label:  http://bit.ly/2nigMwU
Learn More About Me Here:  http://mikevitalemusic.com
Upcoming Shows:  https://www.bandsintown.com/mikevitale/
Subscribe:  http://bit.ly/2niho5G

Connect with me online and say hi:
Twitter  http://twitter.com/mikevitalemusic
Facebook  http://facebook.com/mikevitalemusic
Instagram  http://instagram.com/mikevitalemusic

Listen to Me Here:
Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/mikevitalemusic
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WvkxAen388KiPMSxh6joB…
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369
Purchase Music:
Bandcamp:  https://mikevitalemusic.bandcamp.com
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369

NO VACANCY

words and music by me

Dancing with a lover on a dead-end street 
Stepping on toes with my two left feet 
I fell asleep under a vacancy sign 
The no was burned out but then she changed the lights 

A foggy walk alone on a new moon night 
She disappeared altogether when I closed my eyes 
The street lights flicker on and off, on and off, on and off like her emotion 
Until I find I'm off the deep end of an abstract notion 

I forgot the melody a caged bird sings 
The door's wide open but I've got clipped wings 
The seed went sour in the dying light 
So I'll sing for my supper 'til the water runs dry 

The quick hide hid under a broken nail 
The Essex split in two over an angry whale 
There were rumors of cannibals living on the island nearby 
So the survivors took the opposite course and ate each other when the truth was in short supply 

I forgot the melody a caged bird sings 
The door's wide open but I've got clipped wings 
The seed went sour in the dying light 
So I'll sing for my supper 'til the water runs dry 

Parallel lines in the wilderness 
Train tracks broken by a small recess 
And as the casualties are listed by a talking head 
She limits the emotion behind words she read 

I forgot the melody a caged bird sings 
The door's wide open but I've got clipped wings 
The seed went sour in the dying light 
So I'll sing for my supper 'til the water runs dry 

I forgot the melody a caged bird sings 
The door's wide open but I've got clipped wings 
The seed went sour in the dying light 
So I'll sing for my supper 'til the water runs dry

Time Machine (Live at Monika Lightstone Studios)

This is a song that I wrote about how human beings are all organic time machines, whether in regards to our ever diminishing cell division as we age, our ability to reference memories and experience them again at will, or a vivid imagination that allows us to think into the future—and write songs that make reference to all my favorite science fictions, growing up. This is also about my family, and growing up in Visalia, CA. Lyrics are listed below if you like words. I like words.

Video and Audio captured and then released back into the wild by Monika Lightstone.

Audio Mix by Mike Vitale.

You can also watch the 4K version on my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfr9HgtrRDc

Support and Join the Record Label:  http://bit.ly/2nigMwU
Learn More About Me Here:  http://mikevitalemusic.com
Upcoming Shows:  https://www.bandsintown.com/mikevitale/
Subscribe:  http://bit.ly/2niho5G

Connect with me online and say hi:
Twitter  http://twitter.com/mikevitalemusic
Facebook  http://facebook.com/mikevitalemusic
Instagram  http://instagram.com/mikevitalemusic

Listen to Me Here:
Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/mikevitalemusic
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WvkxAen388KiPMSxh6joB…
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369
Purchase Music:
Bandcamp:  https://mikevitalemusic.bandcamp.com
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369

TIME MACHINE 
words and music by Mike Vitale 

cogs and wheels that spin and spark 
driving alone on a highway in the dark 
steampunk brain, this lone machine 
behind my random access memory 

I've got Legos sprawled all across my floor 
My brothers and I are going to war 
force fields furnish the perfect protection 
for a space ship powered by our predilection 

I'm a time machine 
I am senescence 
a dinosaur book 
adolescence 
A onesie sleep 
on my parents couch 
loving me to bed 
with caring slouch 

cogs and wheels connect with the power train 
playing with my r/c car in the rain 
I'm behind the wheel of my own creation 
an 88 mile an hour rumination 

I'm a time machine 
I am senescence 
a dinosaur book 
adolescence 
A onesie sleep 
on my parents couch 
loving me to bed 
with caring slouch 

I jump like Indiana Jones down a flight of stairs 
Avoided hot lava on the kitchen chairs 
I saved the whole world from a fierce invasion 
I'm an observer in a widening age dilation 

I'm a time machine 
I am senescence 
a dinosaur book 
adolescence 
A onesie sleep 
on my parents couch 
loving me to bed 
with caring slouch 

I'm a time machine 
I am senescence 
a dinosaur book 
adolescence 
A onesie sleep 
on my parents couch 
loving me to bed 
with caring slouch

Thank you to everyone supporting on Patreon. Special thanks to Fernando Gallegos and Amy Armitage.