Dancing Backwards


I met a woman tonight
whose name should be bliss
could be love
will be pain
And I think she wants this dance

This girl
who appeared out of nowhere
that I believed in anymore
this girl
who sees so far past my eyes that
she makes me feel again
this girl
who makes all of
seem so much more than it ever did it before
this girl
who isn’t afraid to know me
to dig around inside of me looking for the pieces
left alone for so long
they had been forgotten
this girl
who tells me “I wished for you.”
not realizing how many times I have done the same
this Woman
who so completely consumes me
in such exquisite pain
who appeared out of nowhere that I believed in

who opened her arms to me
and gave me back my wings
who smiled
and reminded me how brightly I could shine
who kissed me
and lit the fuse to what we both know cannot last.

This woman, Katrina, who I must go see now
Because I know, as short as it will be
I know, with all the pain that it will bring
I know
that I want

this dance.


Because I need to keep believing

I saw a building I hadn’t seen before, though I had walked by it at least a few times a month. I stood on the corner for three lights, while we caught up on lost time.
I heard five people’s voices rise in pitch as they walked by me, saying “puppy!” I looked down at Ruby and thanked her.
I bought a man some food so he could eat, using money a friend loaned me so I could.
And I looked into the eyes of everyone I could, hoping to feel a new friend, or love. Hoping my soul might see her and kind of say “Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you.”
And it would feel like two people finally meeting each other
after a lifetime of not meeting each other.

digging my way out

I try to step away from the constant gnawing distraction, the thoughts that tell me what I should be doing instead of being here, now, writing – but they are insistent, demanding. 

“You need to be working. You’ve saturated the circle of friends, they’ve bought what they wanted, and if you don’t figure out how to let the world know it will all end. You’re broke, hungry, borrowing money from friends just to survive. Your business is falling apart, failing. The fight is going out of you. YOU are failing…”

But I need to be here. This is my medicine, my solace. This is where I come to make sense of the things I need to – to make sense of me. Somewhere long the line I’ve lost who I was and I need to find that person again – that person who shined…

But that’s not correct, is it? I haven’t lost that person anymore than when you bury a body in the ground you’ve lost the body. I’m still here, buried alive, and I need to dig myself out. 

I saw someone I’ve known for a while at a party this last Sunday. I felt a lightness, a peace to her that hadn’t been there before, and I commented on it. Her father had died the month before, but he had been sick, hanging on, a shell of who he had been for the six years prior. When he passed on, she was released from his pain as well. For the first time since I’ve known her, I saw her.

I saw the lesson for me in that. There is something that I am letting corrupt who I am, and I need to find it. Bring it out, name it, and let this weight go. Shake off the dirt.

The other day I happened upon things people had said about me in the past – testimonials I had asked for to liven up a resume or project, and some things written simply because they had a desire to express their love to me. In reading them, I cried for the person I had forgotten – and vowed to bring him back:

“I keep a little picture of you I stole from the interwebs in a frame, and recently she asked about it. 
I said, “this is the man who taught me how important it is to write, and use beautiful words, even for ugly things. He is one of the most amazing, most special people in the world, so that’s why I gave you his name.”
“kSea walks the walk, talks the talk, and is more amazing in ten
seconds than most people are in a lifetime.”
“kSea is what happens when you decide to live your dreams. His unstoppable passion to live is breathtaking.”

For years I’ve been looking at the shape of my life from before I went into hospice. Even before I created the magazine. (culturefluxmagazine.com) I remember the adventure, living in a van & on couches yet still, nearly every day, going to perform on The Wharf. I remember working with The Dresden Dolls & being a mentor & friend to so many beautiful young artists & performers who were just starting out; living on the road, going wherever I was needed then moving on – and I remember how pure my happiness was, how much joy I always felt.

I’ve made the mistake of thinking that my happiness depended on getting back on the road, that it was the mirage outside of me that created the pureness and the shine inside. We all seem to fool ourselves of that – that we need something besides ourselves, whether it be a great job, a house with a fenced yard, a fancy car – or in my case, the adventure of not knowing what would happen, where I would be from day to day. I longed to somehow recreate those times. Then I would be happy again, then I would be me again…

But happiness does not exist in the illusions outside of us – or at least, it’s not found there. The joy we feel or have felt only can come from inside, and if we depend on the world outside of us for it we are sure to forever be disappointed. All over the world there are people who exist on nearly nothing but the barest of essentials, and the honesty in their smiles, the depth of their joy, is something that could never come from possessions or circumstance.

It is now time to look deep into the mirror, scrape the mud mask off of my face, and see the truth – the truth in me. Turn up the lights, look down at the person on the operating table and see that it is myself – and that writing is my scalpel, my medicine, and my bandages.

I’ve had a taste of how beautiful life can be. That is what kept me alive in hospice, and that is what I will again use to heal my soul.

I’ve had a taste, and I want more.

(And now back to work. 😉 ) By the way, if anyone is looking for some beautiful & unique jewelry, come on by my web-store – and please, spread the word! http://chainstore.kseaflux.com



I begin again, again not knowing what the words will say but hoping they find their own path. A trail that might at least lead to a cleansing, if not peace.

I made the mistake of thinking that writing was an option for me, that I could put it off for other things that I misguidedly deemed more important.
I was wrong. They don’t go away, won’t leave me when left to stay in my head. The seethe, grow, scrape at the walls of my psyche, stripping it away piece by piece until I’m fragile and afraid, a terrified child again. They need to be let out, turned into ink and drained onto a page where they can no longer do harm to me. This is what I know now. I don’t have the luxury of choice in this. Not this. I can live with that. I have to.

They’re all I have that I trust will never go away – as long as I don’t leave them again.

Words in a wishing well (scattered thoughts)

The beginning and end of these recent days bring the same thoughts, without answers, without release. I try to be strong, I search pages and my Self for some vague semblance of peace, and occasionally, for a short amount of time here & there, am able to fight it, though all I feel I’m doing is coating the bitter taste inside with a sweetness that quickly fades as my acidic reality eats through the superficial shine.

Everything changed with one decision I made, choosing to fight instead of fade away, but now in this loneliness it’s so hard to find another reason. I want to be a better man, have a purpose, someone to make proud – but it’s been years, and I don’t remember how not to be alone, and love is only a memory – so now, again, I throw words into the well, wishing I might come true.

I know with all I’ve been through I can get past this as well, in time – and maybe then love might come my way again. For now, however, I need to keep writing – it’s the only thing that’s always been there for me, the only friend that’s never gone away – and again I’ll use them to strip the darkness in my heart clean.

And show myself & the world, again, why I decided to live.

And who I am.

The Search for Fun

A warm, grey morning, early Spring in San Francisco. Oddly quiet for the Tenderloin, with only the lonely cry of the occasional seagull and an uncommonly rare Doppler siren of a police car speeding by a couple streets over.

I sit in bed & plan the day in my head, thinking of what the day holds & what I want to make it. As always these days, my thoughts circle around to how to grow my business. It’s been frighteningly slow these days, and as a result has been chipping away at the fun that this once brought me. When I sit down to make new pieces there’s a shadow that darkens my creativity, incessantly trying to figure out how to make my business grow. How to keep doing what I love. How to survive.

I suppose I should get my ass in gear, get what I need to get done here then get out, do a few things I’ve promised to do to help a friend, check in on the store that’s stocking my work, and if I get enough done before I leave for the day, try to get more wholesale accounts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Like everyone, I just want to be able to do what I love and have it support me – create, and make people happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s chainmaille, a magazine, performing or any of the other options out there – but in order to do that, in order for this to be an actual business that lets me live the life I want, I need to put a LOT of work into the business part of it – and I’ll be the first to admit, that’s one of my weaknesses, and a big one.

So how do I turn what I don’t like – the business part of this, into something I love? I’ve already figured out why I don’t like it, which is simple. I’m not good at it – or at least I don’t think I am – and I’ve got a feeling that I’m not alone in this. How many incredibly talented people out there are creating amazing things that no one knows about because they’re just as fearful of doing the legwork to get known as I am?

Maybe I can turn this into something I love, and grow at the same time. Maybe I will create a blog, talking about my struggles & triumphs, and in sharing them, help others to find that they can turn what *they* love to do into something that supports them. I need to think about this…

But even more, I need to get my ass to work right now. It’s a beautiful, warm, grey day – and it’s time to make it count.



look again
to the artificial peace
look again
to where words don’t matter
look again
to erase it all for a time
to try and find an absence
of meaning
an absence of emotion
an absence of hope
an absence of tomorrow
look again to a full bottle
and the empty bodies
try to ease this mind
this desire for understanding
in the din
of vacant noise
and blank faces
and blank minds
to go beyond feeling.

Erase any thoughts of what’s to come
look to the emptiness
of now.

A shot of Jack
a shot of Cuervo
a couple of beers…

searching for the pen
to take control of my hand
searching for so much disgust
searching to bring the pain
and as I go through
enough shit of my own
why is it that I need the pain
why is it that I can’t find in myself
right now
the emotions that are so new
the torment that I want to feel
so that I might make these words wax
poetic –
I could write about the mother
That I’ve never known
I could write about nothing
And I’m drunk in the want
Of the self pity that I’m so familiar with

The alcohol releases the pain
brings it out
so I drink hard
and I know my mistake
because in the search for the erase
I fool myself, willingly
and I find that
in a strange way
this is where I want to be.

This pain is my comfort
this pain is what I’ve always known
this pain is what I don’t want
to let go

It makes me feel so alive
in my façade
in my imitation of what
I could be.
And the alcohol doesn’t work
I pretend to try to escape in it
but I know myself better.
I know that when I am this way
that it will only bring the pen to my hand
in such profound a need
to release
and I feel such an important part
is missing.

the child.
My child,
coiled around my soul.

I would call it dead
but the pain that it brings
is the only thing at times
that reminds me that I’m alive.

This pen, this paper right now
the only sanity that I have.


I look out at the grey sky, same as it is inside. I watch the rain as it runs down the windows and wish I could enjoy it, but only find a mirror as I again wipe what was once hope off of my face, taste the poison in this loneliness, the loss of what could have been.

I ask myself, try to find who I am anymore and wonder why I am. The messages left for my birth-mother have been returned in silence from her for over a year now, and I remember when I had nothing to remember, to feel ashamed of, to wonder why the person who gave me my life won’t be a part of it.
We began well, she smiled every time she saw my face – the only one if her children that looks so glaringly and perfectly like her…

What have I done wrong? Is it my honesty? Is it because in my desperation I choose not to hide what I feel? Are the questions too much? Does she feel pain for being forced to let me go the first time?

When I was younger – 22 – 24, I would stand at the door of my local bar in NYC and, at times, if I was especially horny that night, I would stand at the door at last call and, if I hadn’t already found a beautiful woman to take home, would call “Who want’s to fuck me tonight??!”

In the summer, in the ’90’s, in New York City, many people said I looked like Axl Rose. And that idiocy worked over half the time. The walls I had build around my heart were meticulous, and served their purpose. I heard rumors that I was a great fuck Inside – I pas perfectly empty. It was like trying to close your hand around light – all I got was darkness. Eventually, I realized that, as many women that came home with me, sex was only sex, and even in all the flesh, I was lonely.

I don’t even know what I’m writing anymore, and don’t give a fuck.

30 years later, I stumble on all I’ce known and done, and have no idea how to  actually “date”.

I’ve been alone for over five fucking years.
All I want is someone  to be better for. And I am horrible at the game. I don’t know the rules, so I make my own, say too much, and say goodbye, I”m sorry for my heart, but it’s insistent and I don’t know how to pushit back down and you’ll go away anyway so I’m going to say…

that I think we would be good together. I have never been wrong in the rare times I’ce seen something in someone, something that would make us both happy if you allow it. Never.

But you need to have time for me, for us. That is all I ask. is it that much?

The skies are dark now but I still hear the rain against my window. As usual, I don’t read this before posting.

And I taste the tears that have been shed over far too many lives.


Someone new to help, something else to make someone happy each of the past few days. From being at the right place at the right time to help a stranger get her dig to the emergency room after an attack by another, to finding, just outside my apartment door on the morning I decide to bring a bag of warm clothes that has been sitting for months, the person who perhaps needed them more than any other – and just the right size so that they would fit her thin frame.

There is no altruism in my actions, in my need to help others. It is as vital to me as food, as breath. As the beat of my heart – but even, perhaps, more so than those things alone.

I need them to prove my existence. To remind myself that I’m someone, something. To help push away the constant doubt that I am a corporeal being, flesh, bone, blood, and not an illusion, an apparition, a phantom. A dream.

In my life I have been called all of those and more, always by those who knew me a bit more than the shallow toe-dip of most. Always by lovers. But then, it was them that made me believe I was real.

In this life I live now, days, sometimes weeks pass without talking or seeing someone who knows me, without touching another human, without the challenge of a good conversation, something that might make me think, question – and I feel myself vanishing again in the absence of those things…

No, the things I do for others, at least at this point in my life, isn’t even close to something just for them.

In many ways, I need  them much more than they need me.

Together again

It’s because I feel that something needs to be said that these words go down. Something, but I’m not sure what.
I catch faint glimpses of it now and then, in the quiet times, where it has clawed its way up to the top of this stagnant well – and then it’s gone again, leaving me with only the essence, only a broken line or faint idea. I reach out to grasp it, help it into the light, but I am no help. It still falls back down and leaves me up here, empty and alone, waiting by the edge to help again.

Or maybe I am the one bloodying my fingers, tearing out nails, clawing my way, try after try, to the top.

Most likely I am both the climber & the one waiting, trying to put myself together again.

for what it isn’t

Inside me swim any number of feelings, either ready to choose from or, at times, forcing their way to the front of my attention.

From it’s birth at the tiny Cat Club to its growth into what it has not become – a two-evening, three city event, in it’s hometown of San Francisco held at one of the largest appropriate venue’s available & still waveringly sold out, I don’t recall ever not attending The Edwardian Ball when I’ve been physically able.

Until this year.

Why I made this choice has a number of underlying reasons, but I think what surprises me the most is that, in all honesty, I don’t miss it or the people, nor do I believe that they will notice my absence. At all.
Of course when I’ve gone there have always been the friendly faces, the smiles, the hugs and “how are you”s, but I have no reason there, no purpose, and nearly all contact is superficial at most. I show up alone, spend the majority of the event wandering alone, feeling alone, and more lonely in the middle of hundreds of people than I feel by myself in my apartment – and leave alone.

One of these days it would be nice to have someone to enjoy it with, someone to arrive & leave with – but at least this year, I had no desire to make all the effort to go and see the people – the “friends” – who, in the years that I have known them, haven’t once spent any amount of time with them at something that wasn’t an event, a show, a party. In the years I’ve known them, never have any called or messaged me, simply to say hello. It’s growing more & more difficult to deny the reality that, in the grand scope of things, very few of them are little more than good acquaintances – and I feel more alone – & lonely -when I’m around them.

It’s time for some things to change.
The Edwardian Ball isn’t going anywhere for a while – I’ll come back, I’m sure… but I won’t show up alone.



coming true

This timing isn’t working. All I can do when I sit down to write in the morning is think about how quickly I can get it done. There are so many stories I want to write, so much life I’ve lived, but they don’t fit neatly into a few small paragraphs. Into a small pocket of time. There is so much more I need to be doing, and so much more time than I had intended to have this ready by has already passed. just a few more things and every bit of focus I can dredge up to get them done before I’m able to take my art and life to a place that has only been a vague dream with no knowledge of how to get there – like the whisper of a pirate’s buried treasure with no map of how to get there.
At least, up until now.

Suddenly this lifelong glassy-eyed, “wouldn’t it be nice if someday” dream has an incredibly good chance of  becoming real… and I’m having an insanely difficult time believing it. It’s as if David Bowie called you out of the blue to explain that his death was just a hoax, and not to intrude but he would love it if you could find a nice two bedroom apartment where you & he could live for a while, and just live quiet lives hanging out, chatting over pints at local dive bars on the nights when you two weren’t at the studio while he cut another album – and by the way, do sing or play an instrument?

Okay, so that may be a bit unbalanced on the level of disbelief in the possibility of it happening, but you get the picture. The life I’ve considered nearly impossible to ever be mine is now so close to becoming reality that I’m absolutely terrified. More than finding my birth mother, more than dying. This is being able to do what I want, to have the freedom to go anywhere, to simply treat a friend to a nice dinner on a whim as we walk past an interesting looking restaurant – I can’t even remember how many years it’s been since I’ve been able to do something as simple as that…
and to be able to help. Having a car when someone needs a ride or to move, money if they need that, donations to animal shelters & sanctuaries, and eventually even a yard large enough for Rubes to run around & plan in – with her new friends.

I see the steps, have carefully thought about how it’s going to grow, and am ready as I can be for the inevitable challenges along the way.
I’ve learned quite a bit about how to work through adversity over this life I’ve lived.
Maybe it – the good and bad – maybe all that I’ve lived through has been preparation for this new adventure. Maybe it has all been trying to teach me not to be afraid, that one way or another, it will all work out – just like it always has.

All I need to do is get my ass in gear & get the things I need to get done, done – and maybe, come this Friday – four days from now – this impossible dream will get its first taste of reality as I receive the first wholesale order for my jewelry.

Either that, or David Bowie will call.

trained well

Less than an hour after I took my pup out for a decent walk, she paces the floor of our small apartment, from the couch to the front door, one end to the other. As she walks in the direction of the door she looks at me with her RubySmile, as if to train me: “Look, I’m smiling as we walk towards the door! See? Now think, dad – where does the door go? Understand what I’m trying to convey here? Door = outside = potty = me smiling! Now I just need you to come with me, turn those things that make the door open. Okay? Here, let me show you again.

and again.

I try to ignore her. I need to get my daily writing done, and I know if I get up & come back I’ll go straight into work instead of doing this, and likely not ever get to my daily writing, no matter how I assure myself that I will. This commitment will just fly in & out of my consciousness like a mosquito when you’re trying to sleep, making me know in no uncertain terms that I didn’t follow through on a commitment today & taking my focus away from what I need to be working on.

She’s got it down. the click of her claws on the hardwood floor, back & forth & back & forth like Poe’s pendulum, slowly slicing away at my patience to the point where I would do anything to have it stop, and knowing that I have at least 50 words written I consider this writing done and gods make the clicking and pacing STOP and that’s IT I don’t even care if I end this in the middle of