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ISSUES

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WELCOME, PLEASE PLACE YOUR BETS

From the instant our little spirit decides

“Fuck it” and bolts for the womb’s door

And ole sawbones welcomes us to this World with a smack on the ass

We suck in all it’s pain and glory

Burning our tiny lungs

Earth’s oxygen

For the very first time

 

Beginning here

It’s all one magnificent gamble

A dizzying, ever-expanding, incomprehensible Roulette Wheel

 

But why we so fret a game played on the house’s money

Is beyond me

 

 
~Stephen Simmons

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ALL THESE REUSABLE THINGS

People’s lives are lived here
On these floors
Between these walls
Different sheets of wallpaper
With different coats of paint

But the same joists
The same plywood
Same old wiring
Decaying
The same species of rats
Chewing on their connections
Behind the moldy sheet rock

Rolling on these same rugs
On these same box springs
Different mattresses
Different sheets
Different lovers
Different dreams

The same cries
The same moans
Same release
I love You
Baby
Honey
Please don’t leave
Good Morning

And the same stoves
A diner cooked between two young lovers
A warmed up meal
For a late working spouse
A lonely bachelor
A beer and a T.V. Diner
A house full of kids
Screaming for their mac and cheese
Spaghetti
And a dirty apron on a tired Mother

The same glasses
Celebrating an anniversary
Sipping cheap wine
A man with a woman who isn’t his wife
Glasses go in a thrift store
Different people drink
Feeling and toasting different things

But it’s not up to the glasses
Not up to the floor
Not up to the record player
Or the store, the walls, the carpet or the paint
Life goes on
None of these things can move or crawl
As the human drama continues to unfold
Act by act
Until the day it can all be given back to the cockroaches

Stephen Simmons

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The Entitlement State

Conservatives have long had a valid point about personal responsibility and taking ownership of one’s life.  But in Capitalism there are winners and losers.  There are many people who are victims of this system.  And I feel it’s our duty to help lift these people to give them access to the advantages our great Country has.  Having said that, I do realize there will always be a small percentage of people who unjustly buy into the victim hood mentality.  While this might be human nature and something we have to tolerate within the system….it shouldn’t impede our desire to be compassionate to those who truly are victims.

 But many modern conservatives;  both Layman and politicos, seem to have a rather different type of entitlement in their minds.  The politico hides behind deficits that they helped bring about and the everyday layman seems to confuse being patriotic with some sort of shallow slogan of entitlement; of living in the greatest country on Earth.  In other words;  America is the greatest country in the world. If you question it you are unpatriotic.  If  you don’t support the War,  you don’t support the troops.
We are not entitled to be the greatest country on the planet we have to go earn it every day. You have to go be a better citizen every single day.  You don’t just wear a T-shirt that says you are, and therefore you are entitled to it.  None of us are entitled to anything.  Remember?
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Ten Years Ago Today…

Ten years ago today, on my 30th birthday,  I walked into my bosses office and told him I was quitting.  I had been thinking about it for a long time.  I had been saving, planning, and thinking it to death for what had become too long.  And I didn’t really want to do it that day, but felt like something was forcing me.

The week before I’d started recording what would become my debut studio album; LAST CALL with Producer/Engineer Eric Fritsch over at his studio in East Nashville.  I knew the first day we started working together It was going to be perfect to make the album I’d always wanted to make.  I had spent years writing and pitching songs and playing gigs, often till 3am and then being back at work at 7:30am every day, sending off demos, making meetings, and generally spending almost every hour away from my day job either writing/recording/gigging or trying to figure out how to “safely” transition from a day job to making a living playing and writing music.  I had hoped for a record deal, a publishing deal, any deal that give me the proper excuse to jump off that ledge.  What I ultimately learned was that we don’t need an excuse or anyone’s permission to pursue our passion.  “Leap and the net will appear” as the old saying goes.  Or as Guy Clark put it, “Spread your arms, hold your breath and always trust your cape”.

By the time my 30th birthday rolled around that morning I already had made up my mind it was time to leave my job.  All morning at my desk as people wished me happy birthday and kidded me about getting older and hitting the “big 30”, I had a fluttering in my belly that was unsettling.  The notion kept popping in my head, as clear as a cartoon character with a  “thought bubble” hovering over him;  “I need to tell my boss I’m quitting today”.  I tried to suppress it, but it was a pesky and stubborn little thought that would not leave.

 I told that little voice in my head that once I finished the task I was working on, if my boss was still in the office I’d sit down and talk to him.  Then the power went off in the entire building.  I rolled my eyes at God.  This went on for several minutes and considering we were an Electric Power Cooperative it was quite odd.  I relented, “Ok, I’ll go talk to him”.  The lights came back on.  “Phyche!” I thought.   I had been given a reprieve.  Silly notion really, like some higher power would use the actual “power” to move my ass to action.  I once again told the little voice “maybe later when I finish this task IF he’s still in his office”  BAM!  Out go the lights again.  Rolling my eyes once again towards the Heavens, “Okaaaaaaayyyyy…I’ll do it already”.  Once the lights came back on I grabbed my Boss and told him I needed a word and we grabbed an empty conference room.  We sat down and he already knew what I was going to tell him.  We were very good friends and he’d trained me and had my back the entire time I’d been there.  I kept my music career aspirations mostly secret from everyone, but he sensed what had been coming.

 That was ten years ago today, and I’ve hit another milestone; becoming a Quadragenarian, and It makes my little head spin to try to recall where my life’s taken me since then.  Pursuing my passion has taken me literally all over the World.  I have been able to perform those songs I was writing every night years ago (not to mention all the ones I’ve written since then) from stages in amazing cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, New York, San Francisco, Berlin, London, Paris and Oslo to tiny villages in Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Norway and hundreds of little towns across the USA.  I have met so many amazing and interesting people along the way and have had experiences that I value more than any sum of money in the world.  I would be lying to say it’s been easy at all.  Writing songs and singing them on stage remains the only “easy” thing about my life.  Everything else is work.  Work like I’ve never known in my life.  But work that’s been so rewarding that it’s been life reaffirming.  And those moments when that fleeting thought comes around that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, I am at peace.

 Today, July 28th 2013, I just released my new album, Hearsay, it’s my 7th studio album since that day ten years ago.  It’s available everywhere, Good Lord willing and the lights stay on.  In a way I’m amazed I’m still here doing this and in another way, I knew I would be.  Anyway, thanks to all of you who’ve been with me on this ride the past ten years.  I’ll see you when I see you, as long as this cape still fits.


~Stephen

SuperSS