From Cooke to Keawe

microphone check, oh shit, don’t give me heck! no, not my equipment, when the bull shipment’s already been delivered! a cold fills the air, I stop because I shiver, the restless Zombies of Babylon, enclose, surround me, I might quiver…

“snap back to reality, uh, here comes” gravity my conscious escape meets depravity as the elitist scum stand over me with their collective did-dick in hand, trying to shoot out at me, but I’m too much like sand, so quiksilver as I slide off and over to the left, for in the Spirit, Truth, hear it, never let them hit me with their bull shipment either, uh!

now, let us marinate to a beat, uh huh, and if you let me I’ll bring inspiration to the streets, uh huh. which streets? these streets, your streets, my streets, our streets lined with poverty, tent encampments filled with the ‘Homies’ living on the ground on the other side of the boulevard that we see.

a whole group of people! which people? those people, your people, my people, our people, all who lost to the system because the system lost its wisdom and I best go & stop, put down my pen, be zen, for a plan must exist from Aloha ke Akua that we just can’t comprehend. (Echo: comprehend)

microphone check, oh shit, don’t give me heck! no, not my flow, when the bull shipment’s already taken everything else away! a cold fills the air, I’m stopped in my tracks, the Armani Vampires in both Houses, those m*th*rf*ck*s don’t care…

whether its from Cooke to Keawe or from Kalihi to Kaimkui, wherever there’s misfortune that one sees walking through these streets, there still lies Aloha, her essence laced through the seams. you need only take a breath & look around to feel what that means.  the essence of aina’s still alive, we just have to believe.

Solar Dust


Solar Dust
Lunar lust
Empty Vessel

Each Soul’s a comet
Spewing cosmic vomit
As we leave a (wake)

There will be no respite
No, no, not yet! Not tonight
For a trail we have to blaze…

Solar Dust
Lunar trust
Empty Vessel

Each life, a star
Filled w/the Love & Power
Of Nature’s Truth

There will be respite
Some day when we stop the fight
For the blaze, in fact, was sparked

Solar Dust
Lunar must
Empty Vessel


Senseless action

Of the (glass) power reaction

How bout some compassion?

Before you go splashin’

Another gun pops

Collective Heart drops

Another life is lost

Collective love coated in dust

Oh Lord, we must Trust

Nature let us see our Best

Before it’s far too late & we sealed our fate

So much hate

Too much hate

It’s not too late

But it’s far too late

B/c we lost

Yet another life

One far too young a life

Jay said “This can’t be life…”

We all know “This can’t be love…’

Does A Tree Make A Sound

The majority of people out there have probably heard the age-old question:

Does a tree make a sound if it falls in a forest but no one/nothing is there to hear it?  In this day & age with social media & technology finding new ways for us to share, be seen, and heard, does that idea apply to brilliance?

Whether or not someone or a creation is brilliant is relative for beauty lies within and is observed with out but hypothetically speaking, if something were brilliant, moving, amazing, but not seen, heard, or felt by another, does it make any dent in the collective ecosystem of the ether?

In my first book I reflected on the struggle as a writer, to be a writer, and discovered how much I just needed writing period.  As a creative, I openly wonder how some ‘creations’ are “deemed works of art” or “ahead of their time” or why some things go viral and others don’t.

I wonder if what I’m doing, these words that I write, if there is any point to it other than serving my own growth.  A part of me tells the insecure wonderer that should be enough and to some degree I feel satisfied.  My prowess in business is quickly becoming what I’m gaining recognition for.  But the question I grapple with:

Is that fulfilling?

I don’t know.  I gain a certain satisfaction playing what’s fair to say an important role in building back up a company that was once great and over the years, fell off.  In my time here, we’ve increased sales, enhanced the brand, and are reversing negative trends that impacted arts companies throughout the world.

Is that brilliant?

I’m not sure.  If I can’t be honest here on The Simple Voice, then where can I be honest?  So I will share a fear that haunts me.

12 years ago I was told I could choose to be great or mediocre.  The choice was mine.  I had already struggled with the idea of living life fully.  That statement haunts me.  Why would anyone choose mediocrity?  I find my biggest challenge at work these days are whether or not I should be there because we stand at the cusp of taking it even higher or plateauing and I refuse to stay if it plateaus.

But I’m not married.  I’m not a parent.  My priorities and thought processes are different as a result.  Yes, I have a serious relationship and together, she & I, have a cat.  They are both important and are my ‘family’ but at the end of the day, that’s alot different than having children and owning a home. She just told me she doesn’t know if she wants to get married.  A part of me cheered, a part of me was void.

Why? Well, I hate planning and caving to social expectation.  Why do I feel that way?  Well that’s probably some students dissertation.

Kid Cudi rhymed “I’m living my life as if I’ve got powers.” so if I’ve got powers than why plan and why not just roll with the flow of Life?  That’s my PSA about planning brought to you by the ether.

So without the recognition of brilliance in creation or planning, what creates a great anything?  How does that differ from mediocrity?

The answers I find range from “It depends,” to “It’s different for everybody,” & “It’s all an experience,” along with my favorite:

“It’s all perspective.”

Cudi follows the earlier line with “Tonight, I feel immortal.”  I don’t feel immortal but anything I create, especially in this day & age, can live far beyond me so maybe one day someone or many will think it’s great.  Or maybe no one will care.  Though my disdain for planning is mostly within the personal sphere (and truthfully because at the core of it I don’t want an expectation to lead to disappoint), I’m planning the day, week, months, and year out for work.

In the end, I am amused by my work, creatively & professionally, and that’s all that matters.  I enjoy the wordplay, the development of ideas, and the dance of these endeavors teach me.



A Comedy of Errors

At times my life has felt like a series of errors and mistakes, all happening one after the next.

As a small child, I’m told that I somehow fell backwards all of a sudden out of my chair while at the Burger King in Kaneohe with my Dad.  Not once, but twice.

During my teen years, I once jumped a fence to get to the basketball courts quicker and sliced open my finger.  In college, I tried to help out a friend who was pulling a handtruck that got stuck in a dip.  Unbeknownst to me, she hadn’t put the locking pin in so when I pulled it up, the handle crashed into my lower lip, creating cuts both inside & outside of my mouth, leaving a fun little scar that for years I grew facial hair over to cover.

Most recently, I coughed while brushing my teeth and my back went out.  Now there’s all sorts of other details went go into all of these save for the bit as a kid because I don’t remember and for all I know, it was a random spirit having a good time at my expense (yeah, I’m looking at you imaginary or are you creature in the ether).

But why should life ever be a series of errors? Yet there all those gems are strewn throughout my life history.  There are also a bunch of lumps of cool littered along the Journey as well but rather than dwell, let’s recall some other accidental happenstances:

~ The time my teammate in basketball and I both went up for a rebound and his elbow crashed into my forehead, leaving a golf-ball sized welt.

~ When I chipped my front tooth on an open locker while talking to a friend (I later had a tooth chip while eating a french fry, albeit a rock hard french fry but still)…

~ Walking into a pole outside of school… twice.

While we are all subject of making mistakes, are we really accident prone, or is it perhaps something else?  In my case, I don’t think I was always present.  With that last example, I was looking down and that’s probably the biggest reason why my life has at times felt like a series of errors.

During a conversation about the emotion of anger and how it’s processed, I recently shared “I still hate myself.  I just also have learned to really enjoy myself.  I also allow myself to tune into that vibe more.”

I don’t want to hate anyone or anything.  I can recall at times sharing an extreme dislike because I felt so bad to just say the word hate.  Somewhere along the lines between living life with valid experiences mixed with the reality that there are some challenging people out there, I culled what I viewed as weakness (confidence, feeling good) and cultivated its opposite (low self-worth, feeling bad).

Life’s obviously not simple.  And that’s all good & well.  It really is.  We are all subject to different feelings, the key is not getting stuck in any one feeling.  I’m not always present and I may never be until I leave this vessel.  But so long as the breath keeps rising and falling, I realize I’ve a choice to make, to let my life be this tragedy of misfortune or a comedy of fullness and laugh, live, love the process because I’m learning so damn much every single day.