Once upon a time, there was a thing called The American Dream. If you grew up in the United States you were told all you had to do was work hard and you’d attain a level of affluence, comfort and prestige unavailable anywhere else. If you emigrated to the United States, it was likely because the carrot of the American Dream was held in front of you. There are countless stories of people doing just that – putting on their “hard hat”, scraping a path through the workaday muck, fighting against difficult economic and social odds, and reaching a level of comfort that would have been otherwise unknown. For the most part, unknown anywhere else. Something we call “middle class” – the buffer between those who had “nothing” and those who had “a whole lot”.

The Dream still exists, but it’s merely word play these days. Now, hard work at multiple jobs may be all that keeps an individual, a family, or an ethnically tied group from sliding into abject poverty. It takes a long time for that to be understood by the world’s masses that emigrate in hopes of finding a better life. The lines seeking admittance into the United States are still very long, and growing numbers of those already here who are struggling for existence – who choose to forget that their families all began their history here as immigrants – don’t want any more following them. It is not a pretty situation.

The Dream still exists because politicians and would-be demigods (usually “working” in mass-media), and their controlling puppet masters proclaim that it does. Less than 1 percent of the citizenry in the United States controls the country’s wealth. The American Dream has become the American Nightmare – well on its way to the American Horror.

For tens of millions of people in this country, that Horror is already here.

Posted in economics, politics, society, trauma | Comments Off on Dreamtime

Hell Jar

The music is “old” (released on “Odds-n-Ends” 2018) but the video is bran’ spankin’ new (five days ago as I type).

on YouTube

Caution in the initial step –
dragging shadows past their usefulness.
Beloved believing in their grieving
remainders are reminders of a shallow past.

Cold are the thoughts intruding on desire
(weighted threats enclose the hollow throne).
Vanquished reluctantly, kneeling over mind –
spirits impaled upon the pyre.

Lost traction again –
spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning away.
That empty frame lying naked in the hall
determines all, the more I couldn’t say.

Aberrations on the trail lay waste to endless peace,
marking passage built on wanderlust in pain.
Rain falls again, washing clean the tainted grief,
leaving shadows in restraint along the way.

Cried for help, but the damage was done –
turning, turning, turning, turning away.
Reasons relinquished were second to none
(dead heart relieved to be a soldier).

Crossways in the wrong time, head lost in the roar –
the wrong way reveals a malice grin.
Nine locks upon the door, feet nailed to the floor,
turning, turning, turning, turning within.

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“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

George Orwell

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Circle of Fits

from “IF WE HAD KNOWN” (Sara Ayers and Jeff Sampson)

Oh terror, what is the cause?
How did I lose my peace and accord?
My last wish was different than the ones before,
how did I get myself so turned around?

Perhaps it’s a matter of perception,
perhaps someone wants to walk me home.
I couldn’t live there anymore,
my likeness was standing in a panic –
my shadow, fleeting and anaemic.
The streets were flowing red –
so many faces I knew washing by.

I’m a toy – pull my chain, I’ll laugh for you.
Cut my hair – change my shoes, it’s pointless.
There’s nothing permanent about the way you make me lie.

A shrug for the scowls I perceive.
What is the reason behind you wanting me to believe?
I’ll never play those stupid games again.

I’m a volunteer, I’m only here because I want to be.
What is the point of ignoring me?
Should it be me who turns his back to walk away?

Calmer winds overrule.
Calmer thoughts may see me through.
A younger me might start it all again,
but there doesn’t seem to be a point to any type of plan.

I haven’t been around the world
but I have been several kinds of fool
and I don’t want that again.
Offer me your hand,
your strength will calm me.
Is there any other way?

Memory – tearing me.
Memory – haunting me.

Jeff Sampson (2008)

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No Change

“It wasn’t that we were on the wrong side. We were the wrong side.”

Daniel Ellsberg (talking about the Vietnam War)

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‘Bout time I caught up with this.

newest audio releases

San Ren Sei: Potion of Hour

Often Coiled: Slowercase

Jeff Sampson: 20/20 Hindsight (Subtle Misses)

newest videos

Jeff Sampson: Dharma Darkling

Jeff Sampson: Spirits in the Dry Land

Jeff Sampson: Bay of Mystery

Sara Ayers and Jeff Sampson: Elegy for a Drowning World

Sampson – Carroll: Continuous Ko

Jeff Sampson: Ghosts of Crimea

Sampson – Carroll: Curtain Off the Scene

Posted in catalog releases, new music, Often Coiled, Sampson - Carroll, Sara Ayers, solo, Soundcloud, video | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Recent-ish

Star Sign

Music with No Boundaries and Moon in Experimental

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Philosophy Now

For any future being to like the past, the present must sit unencumbered.

Nonetheless, a perfect partaking of said present will only be acknowledged in the future as the past.

Surely, a future without a reliable past can only come undone upon reaching its time.

Mystical discoveries will only confuse; was that a saint or the equivalent of an orange orchard on steroids?

Horses in waiting will acknowledge few masters without an outside incentive.

A grove in the desert will wait for as long as it takes as it is always in the present.

Yet, an army on the march cannot abide the lack of war.

Without a future, there will be no one. and nothing, to cherish the past.

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Dressed for the Weather

While mountains are crawling inward
I’m drawn to the sound and the smell.
Carefully climbing backward,
I couldn’t wait for you
to tell if the method in the madness
brought about by shadows tossed
proved strength in determination –
could move the future from the past.

Launching hopeful through the night scree,
waving torch-encrusted wings,
pouring forth with dour energy –
lending substance to the shallow things.
With movement born from a reckless past
I devour what daylight brings.
The totaled moments move at last
and the spirit in me sings.

With the freedom of creation,
and my last cast to the droning hum –
growing flush in celebration,
I embrace what I’ve become.

Posted in words | Comments Off on Dressed for the Weather

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are wonderful. They’re a multi-win. Paying pennies on the dollar for something that’s lightly used; stuff gets re-used instead of finding a new home in a trash dump; the stores are able to employ people who might otherwise have trouble finding meaningful work.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend over the past few years though. People are “donating” broken electronics – stuff that’s truly unusable. Instead of disposing of the broken stuff in an ethical manner, they’re dumping their trash on thrift stores (none of which have the personnel or facilities to be testing every piece of electronics that comes their way). So, the store employees waste their (and the store’s) time stocking junk. Customers waste their time buying something that doesn’t work, or doesn’t work well. The fact that the broken stuff is returnable is hardly a positive, as it means more time wasted for the customer. And now the thrift store has to deal with disposal. All because some (quickly becoming far, far too many) people can’t be bothered to do the right thing in the first place.

Now, take that last sentence and expand it over everything those people do. It isn’t hard to see that a dishonest attitude about broken stuff walks hand-in-hand with their attitudes about the rest of their lives.

Posted in thrift | Comments Off on Thrift Stores