To My Overachieving Friends, Whom I Love
You Don’t Have Time For Art
I Want You To Like Me
Religion of One
An Ode to Space
The World Is Inside You

To My Overachieving Friends, Whom I Love

When all the websites have been built,
When all the funding has been sought.
When all the companies have been sold,
When all the Teslas have been bought.

When all the charities have been started,
When all the employees have been hired.
When all the dreams have been fulfilled,
When all the people have been inspired.

When all the books have been written,
When all the goals have been achieved.
When all the milestones have been met,
When all the dividends have been received.

When all the kids have grown up,
When all the records have been beat.
When all the kitchens are remodeled,
When all the renovations are complete.

I’ll be walking on the beach,
If you’d like to come stop by,
Or maybe shooting hoops,
Playing music, or getting high.

I do love our ambition,
But it can also be a pain.
Because I can’t help but wonder,
If you there’s any more for us to gain.

Wouldn’t it be ironic,
If the things we’re working for,
Like time with kids and dinner with friends,
Aren’t accomplished by doing more?

Maybe it’s quite simple,
Like the Mexican fisherman said.
And all that’s in our way,
Are the stories in our head.

About what we need,
Or who we should be,
Or what we must do—
Before we feel free.

You Don’t Have Time For Art

You don’t have time for art,
But art has time for you.
She’s like a friend who’s down
For whatever you want to do.

Art is not a contest
There are no judges to be had,
And all your feelings are welcome
Be them happy, angry or sad.

Your job is not perfection,
We’re not so good at that.
Your job is just to clear your mind,
And start from where you’re at.

You say you’re busy?
Well that’s okay.
Paint a picture,
About your busy day.

Feeling blocked?
Can’t write a lyric?
Then write a song
About your inner critic.

Art says yes
To wherever you’re at.
Art says “yeah,
we can work with that”.

Art can’t be stopped
She will always find a way,
So there’s no good reason
You can’t start today.

There’s no need for a masterpiece,
Just start with something true.
You don’t have time for art —
But art has time for you.

I’ve been a singer and musician for most of my life. My biggest influences have always been black singers, and as a white musician who never wanted to sound white, I’ve always struggled with feeling like a phony.

This is a poem I imagine myself speaking to a primarily black audience, because as a performer those are the environments I feel most alive in — but also the environments that are the hardest for me to feel a part of.

This is my attempt to be radically honest and say what’s true for me.

I Want You To Like Me

I want you to like me,
That’s really what’s true.
I’ve tried my whole life,
To be more like you.

I know it sounds silly,
To speak of my plight,
Or lament at the struggle,
Of a straight man who’s white.

Ever since I was younger,
The songs I would play,
Were from Earth Wind and Fire,
Or my man Marvin Gaye.

If you want me to dance,
Or see me get down,
Don’t give me house music,
Just play some James Brown.

My hero is Prince,
Can I get an a-men?
And please don’t ask me
To play Jack Johnson again.

I just want to sang,
Spelled with an a, not an “i”.
But I’m still afraid,
Of being seen as “that guy”.

You know what I mean,
The white guy who acts black.
I secretly judge him,
How ironic is that?

Groucho Marx said it best,
So his words I remember.
“I would never join a club
that would have me as a member.”

Aw shit, that’s some truth,
I guess it’s plain to see
That the people I judge
Are the people like me.

So that’s why I’m here,
To just take a chance.
And make funkier friends,
Who know how to dance.

I want you to like me,
That’s really what’s true.
Cause it means a lot more,
When it’s coming from you.


Religion of One

I am a religious man.

My body is my temple,
My soul is my altar.

My thoughts are my prayers,
My mind is my humble priest.

My intuition is my bible,
My conviction is my faith.

My devotion is my salvation,
My life is my offering.

I am a religion of one.


An Ode to Space

Here’s to all the companies I never led,
Here’s to all the women I never wed.
Here’s to all the kids I didn’t sire,
Here’s to all the coaches I didn’t hire.

Here’s to all the books I didn’t write,
Here’s to all the battles I didn’t fight.
Here’s to all the degrees I never got,
Here’s to all the awards I never sought.

Here’s to all the jobs I didn’t try,
Here’s to all the houses I didn’t buy.
Here’s to all the plans I didn’t conceive,
Here’s to all the religions I didn’t believe.

Here’s to all the people I never met,
Here’s to all the appointments I never set.
Here’s to all the games I never played,
Here’s to all the promises I never made.

Here’s to all the hands I didn’t shake,
Here’s to all the smiles I didn’t fake.
Here’s to all the approval I never sought,
Here’s to all the bullshit I never bought.

Here’s to all the websites I never started,
Here’s to all the relationships that I departed.
Here’s to all the money I didn’t save,
Here’s to all the fucks I never gave.

Here’s to the courage it takes to stay true,
To the things that you want, that are only for you.
For there’s nothing more painful, or hard to let go,
Than the times you said yes, when you really meant — no.

The World Is Inside You

The world is inside you,
And I hope that’s good news.
Not just joy and beauty,
Or the things that you choose.

There’s nothing in others
That you don’t possess,
Although there are times
You may not confess.

Every emotion,
Every kind of thought,
Every part of nature,
There’s nothing you’re not.

So if you meet someone
You don’t want to be,
Remember it’s you,
You don’t want to see.

So gather my friends,
As I honor thee,
For loving more of you,
Means loving more of me.