New Spoken Word Album title, artwork, tracklisting and some backstory

Edit: album release is shaping up to be this summer/early fall. Stay tuned. Homies,

You may have seen some cryptic and some not so cryptic messages regarding some good news, a new spoken word album and something about a grant. If you tirelessly follow my posts you may have pieced together that I received a VERVE grant from Intermedia Arts to create a new album of spoken word that I'm toting with me to Europe on...THURSDAY. haha.

You may also have read or listened to some poems that I've posted. Posts like this  and this. You can also read a little more about the grant  here.

Even after all of that, you may not know that I've put music to all of the poems. Music by yours truly. All kinds of percussion and home made sounds and effects and a couple of more (or less) traditional hip hop beats.

Around the beginning of October, I learned that I was awarded the grant. Since then, I have worked so hard to research subjects of my poems, imagine an arc for all the pieces record the vocals, post some of the work here and there and then finally, decided that I should probably put music behind ALL of the pieces...mostly over one weekend before handing in the project to the duplicators. There's no inspiration like a deadline :)

So after a couple of months of writing, researching, brainstorming and "musicifying", here's all the juicy details. Its probably my best work yet, spoken word, hip hop or otherwise. Its unlike anything you've heard from me and probably anyone else and I'm ecstatic with anticipation of you listening to this. Topics include John Henry, Dia de los Muertos, Zapata, Harriet Tubman, Thor, dreams, ghosts, Buddha, and the cosmos. Its fun.

The release date is loosely set for March-ish 2013. There will be a release party and hopefully an intimate listening party sometime in January.

The Cosmos According to Your Closed Eyes
Music and Spoken Word written, performed, recorded and engineered by

My Theory of Time and Space
The Definitive Telling of John Henry's Tale
Dream Sequence #4 (Misery Loves Company)
Until Ragnarok
Dream Sequence #5 (Buddhas of the Valley)
The Tiger of Morelos
Dream Sequence #3 (The Presence)
The Conductor
We Are Star Dust
The Cosmos According to Your Closed Eyes

Europe, Dream sequence #4 and new work update!

In less than three weeks I'll be getting on a plane to London where I'll be starting a three city, three country journey for 17 days. I'll be getting off the plane, getting into a car and going straight to STONE HENGE. I'll take some notes and at some point write about the experience in a poem. After that, its off to a pub before my wife and I go drop off our bags and rest up for an amazing trip through  London, Paris and Rome.

Obviously, I'll see some historical sites and I'll definitely come back with some new spoken word  that reflects on what I see and experience. Most importantly, I'm currently writing new work that I'll put on CD to spread around throughout my trip. That will be ready to go in about a week or so and I'll have an official Twin Cities release for that sometime in January or February. So stay tuned for that, cuz 2013 will be coming in hot!

Here's one I finished last week, from the "dream sequence" series about dreams of mine:

Through miles of jagged rock like a sky of broken shark teeth
there is a pocket of earth and rock smoothed into a home
a clearing with an air of humble majesty
and the every day sacred
ecstatic truth wrapped in the mundane

there are two inhabitants here
one, a custodian of sorts – a ragged man committed to a singular purpose
and the other, an ascetic of the highest order - living wisdom and compassion
there is an immense statue there of the greatest buddha
soft, milk white marble contours the imagination into a smile
just smaller, immersed and emerging from this supple colossus of knowing gentleness
is a golden, shimmering figure like the sun snuggled in a comforter of fog and sky

days pass and the old, kind worker tends to the dirt and polish and broom
he is lava, slow but certain
the enlightened one walks and sits, filling  the newly dusted grounds with ubiquitous thought
days pass in their clearing amidst the rocks and nothing changes, save where the dust gathers most
and where the thoughtful old gentlemen begins with his broom
days pass and an otherwise invisible fact emerges - these two characters trade  places every day
one always the custodian and the other always the holy man
as if two sides of  coin

I am an observer on the wind of this quiet, magical place
my presence  a still water tension, my breath held as to keep this constant, silent peace
suddenly, something occurs to me like the first breath to the drowning
these are not days that pass in the animated amber of this experience, they are lifetimes
centuries have lived and died over the course of this dream
there is a gift in this realization that is not meant for my waking hands
I learn something I cannot exactly bring with me as these tides of knowing and wakefulness wash over me simeltaneously
I am pitched out of this knowledge, Hurling through the last moments of understanding
I hit the ground running
My wholeself aimed at this lost truth
Strides of thought stretch toward  that gasp of realization
And I am still running

If you missed them, here's a couple other pieces from the project about dreams, cultural traditions, folk and tall tales and my journey  as a person and as an artist.  It might sound all over th eplace, but it really is going to make sense and I'm so proud of the poems I'm writing.