Thursday, May 22, 2014

Find the Wings

Christopher Knab

—Christopher Knab, Burien, WA

Our flesh covers our bones
And our bones cover our soul
Which is wrapped around inside us somehow
And never lets go of its mooring
Even when we are shaken to the core with doubt
It stays with us (our soul does)
And reminds us who we are
And what we should be doing
(In case we ever have any doubt)
That’s the soul’s only job really,
Reminding us over and over
Until we hear our music and settle into singing it
Like someone who might take up carving for example
And sees a bird, a snake, a flower in plain wood
And unlocks it from its hardened place
(Where no one had guessed it lay)
Waiting to be discovered
Or maybe it was a field, a distant sky
Or our own flesh and bone seeing itself
Reflected for the first time in all that surrounds us
Clear as all that.


—Christopher Knab

This place will do,
Not like the others
That lied to me

Again and again

I find my hope
In this place



Not this place

It's this place

(Now we're talkin')

It has everything
I need in a place
I can call home

Doesn't it?

—D.R. Wagner, Locke

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove

Always admired the winged foot
The track guys wore on their letters
In high school.  But I couldn’t run,
Couldn’t jump, never quite got
That you go over hurdles rather than
Through them, froze at point of plant
In the pole vault.  That left shot put
And discus.  But I was left-handed,
And the coaches didn’t
Know what to do with me.

So I became the track team manager.
The letter with a little “MGR” in
A diamond had no cachet, except
With those guys in the bathroom.
Would give them the letter
In exchange
For getting to keep my lunch.

Senior year, head coach promoted
Me to track announcer.  Was a slow
Day, and a microphone in the hands
Of a high school smart ass is
A dangerous thing.  I announced
In my best Harry Carey voice “Last
Call for the javelin,” which hadn’t
Been offered in the state for twenty
Years.  But in the excitement and
Confusion, the coach began screaming
For his javelin squad to get out there. 
Now.  His assistants took him aside and
Gently explained that it was no longer
Offered.  And I no longer had
A microphone.  Never got a letter
With wings on it either.


—James Lee Jobe

The owls were hungry, with stomachs on fire,
and they were ripe for a new leader,
someone who could get beyond the usual party lines
and get some work done,
someone who could put some meat on the table.
Doris, the mightiest of hunters,
landed in the middle of them,
a live mouse wriggling in her beak,
which, with a smile, she tossed to the crowd
to be ripped apart.
"Follow me," she said,
spreading her wings to their fullest,
"I know a field, close by, where the the fat mice run free,
the pine trees are tall, and the breeze is sweet!"
Doris leaped back into the sky,
and one by one the other owls followed her,
dark shapes staggered against a dark sky
like angels returning to heaven,
and with no one there to see them anyway.


—James Lee Jobe, Davis

The stars are the lights from a beautiful city
far way, across the sky.

No buses go there, no trains.
No airplanes or highways.

To reach the City Of Lights
I will need wings.

To fly across the brilliant sky
I must be worthy.

Give me time,
I am trying.

—D.R. Wagner

—James Lee Jobe

deep in the night,
and the soul
beats its wings
against the bars
of the cage.
and the soul aches
to go free,
wings wide,
pumping hard
in cold night air.
The keeper
shows precious pity
and leaves
the gate ajar.
and by sunrise
the soul
is long gone.

—James Lee Jobe

The sky is empty to leave room for our souls to fly.
What is your job? Are you a teacher? A policeman?

Fine, but your job is to keep your soul free.
Is the well empty and dry? Fill it with your wet soul!

Do you feel a hunger inside that you can never satisfy?
That is your soul longing for more kindness in this life.

Be kind. Live free. Find the wings that are there for you.
The sky is empty to leave room for our souls to fly.


Today's LittleNip:

how a poet writes
—christopher knab

a poet writes all the time
even when his pen is empty
or his printer cartridge has run out

a poet often writes
when the dark is at its darkest

and sometimes
but not often

when the light
comes pouring in.


Christopher Knab is the owner of FourFront Media and Music, a Seattle-based consultation service dedicated to helping musicians help themselves with the business of music. He is the former owner of the Aquarius Record store in San Francisco, a former president of the Northwest Area Music Association, former Station Manager of Seattle’s alternative radio station KCMU (now KEXP 90.3FM), and co-founder and Vice President of the new wave/punk rock label 415/Columbia Records, with such '80's/'90s bands as Romeo Void, Translator, the Red Rockers and the legendary Roky Erickson among many others. He was on the faculty of the Music Business and Audio Production programs at the Art Institute of Seattle for 18 years (1988-2005).

Chris has a poem in the newest issue of Rattlesnake Press's WTF. He is also the co-author (along with entertainment law attorney Bartley F. Day) of the New 4th edition of Music Is Your Business ( Along with Mr. Day, he co-wrote a chapter on distribution options for Independent labels in the book, The Musician’s Business and Legal Guide, published by Prentice-Hall. His website ( has been online since 1995 and features many free articles on how to market and sell independent music, and he is on Twitter and Facebook, as well. Christopher’s activities are centered on his commitment to helping bands and artists learn how to promote, market, and sell their music. For more information, Christopher Knab can be reached at



—Photo by D.R. Wagner