Best Songs of 2016

This is my annual round up of favorite songs from the calendar year. I didn’t have nearly the time to find new music this year as it has been for me chaotic and exhausting much of the time. However, here are the five that blared from my speakers the most.

“Running with the Wild Things” · Against the Current
A hard driving pop-punk tune with new-wavey overtones. I love the mix of heaviness and buoyancy in this song.

“Hungry” · White Lungs
Another great mix of melody and discordance. And the most intriguing composition lyric-wise on this list.

“Born for Me” · The I Don’t Cares
Paul Westerberg remade this song from an earlier solo album with another indie rock veteran, Juliana Hatfield. The result is sublime rock and roll.

“The Last Thing on my Mind” · The Joy Formidable
TJF make some of the most epic sounding music without ever resorting to theatrics or overwrought arrangements. This one never fails to move me.

“Adore” · Savages
Brutally subdued is the phrase that best describes this song. Awesome.


“I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky — seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.”
–Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
The stars are spurious,
Lights out of sync with the hours
That slip through my momentous hands:

The darkness.
Perfect moments hide their ambitions,
wipe away the connections
between breath and life;

taken from me . . .
I decided, only, to walk this valley
Enfolded within these dawning ruminations
Without seeing . . .

“That sliver of moon broke through.”
Hope smiles out from imperfect guises.
I recall now

ripple of fate.

A Rant: Poetry

The critique of poetry I’ve heard most often in my nine years of blogging can be paraphrased thusly: “If you have something to say, why don’t you just say it?” I presume this refers to the metaphorical and discursive qualities of freeform writing. My response to this is simple enough:

“I am saying it.”

Beyond the artistic possibilities of poetry, I am mainly attracted to it for the opportunity to express the world as I truly see it, without the imposition of the strictures of grammar and proper phrasing that prose implies. Am I heavy on abstractions in my writing? Yes. Yes. And yes.

Because that is how I see the world.

Perhaps that makes my mind an obscure entity and communication to the average person a near impossible task. However, it is not a failing on my part. Someday we may all meet in the muddled middle and find a deeper understanding of one another. Until then, we all need spaces in life just to be ourselves, and to find comfort from others amidst the confusion of navigating this strange universe.

Poetry is home.