photo by Zil Nagoh

We did it. We crossed the threshold into a new year and just by the skin of our teeth. Having mortality on the tongue of every anchor in a 24 hour news cycle has somehow given me a new lease on life by deepening my respect for death.

The Buddhists have a slogan: “Death is real. It comes without warning,” so for some, the million dollar question is about how to live a life that leads to a good death.

Where I come from, a good death is something to earn, and earning a good death is a birthright. …

Alton Sterling

Dear Alton,

I’m not sure what it is about you. Maybe it’s because your smile reminds me of the first guy that ever asked me to dance at 4-H camp back in the day, or because your shy eyes remind me of the dude I used to tutor in math back in school…Maybe it’s because it happened in my back yard or maybe it’s because you’ve spent the last 6 years doing what I’ve been trying to do myself, peddling CDs.

I don’t know what it is but you are familiar to me and I’m sad about what happened to…

Neil Young — “Fork In The Road” (2009)

It’s been weighing heavily on my soul.

It’s been over 10 years since I heard this song and is refrain still rings in my head. “Just singing a song won’t change the world.”

I am a musician in my heart and in my blood, but I don’t make enough money to build new communities or rid the world of COVID (#maskupcoviddown), and I’m too far off the radar to be asked to sing for America or sing to end racism or even sing for our Black Lives who Matter. Furthermore, regardless of my intention as an artist to add value…

Phrenology: The Victorian Beginnings of Eugenics

There are only three things I remember about the 6th grade, and they all happened in social studies class. I remember meeting my friend Marc, the first person I ever met from the Philippines, who in college became my ballroom dance partner, and who is now living his best life as a dentist in Houston. I remember the names of my best two friends that year, Laura and Paula, who I later found out were assigned to befriend me by our social studies teacher (whose name I don’t remember) because I’d come to the school as a new student in…

Lilli Lewis

Lilli Lewis is a squishy humanist singer/composer who loves pianos and makes orange music-the distant, more sober cousin of the blues.

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