Tattered Rag Magazine

Posts tagged love
February 15, 2016

Trick or Treat, Lovers?

Valentine’s Day is a cheap trick of a holiday or as comedian Jen Kirkman likes to refer to it as, “…kind of childish.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s just another holiday where everyone feels pressured by marketing executives into keeping up appearances with the status quo, most of which are really just a bunch of meaningless stupid shit, anyway. It’s like high school, but in the real world. Chocolate, flowers, greeting cards, dinner out at fancy restaurants, lingerie, yada-yada-yada. Most of these marketing ploys always end up either giving you a fat ass or being tossed in the garbage. Valentine’s Day is the one day out of the year when people try so ridiculously hard to be so incredibly over-the-top, unnecessarily romantic that more often than not it just looks and feels fake.

“The thing about Valentine’s day is that people discover who are single and who to feel jealous of.” – Faye Morgan

“Why buy flowers for Valentine’s Day? Just go to a cemetery and collect a dozen off a few graves.” – Jarod Kintz

“Then, Valentine’s Day came. There was a dance, and balloons and flowers and cheaply made rings and all sorts of lame teddy bears and stuffed animals, as if teenagers can be wooed with the same shit as five-year-olds. It was the Dietzes’ most hated holiday of the year, too, because it dealt with the consumerization of something sacred. Mom and Dad had agreed never to buy each other anything on the day. It was a false, Hallmark holiday. A sham. A moneymaking sideshow for insecure couples who didn’t have true love…” – A.S. King

Most people around this time of year tend to exaggerate their relationships in public as if they are on the set of some soap opera or reality television show. You know, the ones that consume most of our culture’s attention. The ones where everyone is trying too hard to be the picture perfect couple, but underneath the facade the relationship is, more often than not, shallow and fallacious.

I overhear phrases all the damn time such as: “I’ve got to…” or “I have to…” or “…I don’t want to show up empty handed.“ And every time, I pause and think to myself, ”If it’s really a holiday about celebrating the love we feel for someone, then why would we have to get them anything? If we truly love someone, then wouldn’t we want to show them how much we love them? Do we even know why we are doing all of this shit? Do we really want to waste our money on trivial crap that marketers shove in our faces and say that we need? Are we all just floatin’ downstream with the rest of the perch and bass because it’s a national holiday and it’s the thing we’re supposed to do? Are we even really in love? Or are we all just pretending because everyone else is doing it and we don’t want to feel left out? Peer pressure is not just a high school problem, after all.”

“This is the story of America. Everybody’s doing what they think they’re supposed to do.“ – Jack Kerouac

Every year in my observations, I try and spot the authentic lovers. Think of it kind of like a game of "Where’s Waldo,” but with lovers. Each year, the game increases to another level of difficulty. Valentine’s Day has become a lot like Halloween in a fallacious, deceitful kind of way. It’s scary out there. Everybody wears their costume of love all throughout the day, but by the end of the night most end up shedding their costume and by the next morning nothing is left except their naked soul; the real them feeling empty and alone. Underneath the cloak of love lies emptiness, loneliness, betrayal, and heartache. Valentine’s Day should more aptly be called One-Night-Stands Day because it’s not really a day about love anymore. It’s about lust and everyone wanting to feel loved, even if just for one day.

Truthfully, in accordance with its origin story, Valentine’s Day was a lot like Halloween. It was violent and graphic and gory. There was a massacre. Hearts literally torn and pierced. Blood shed. Secret affairs and marriages. A hero who defied a tyrannical government. So in all actuality, we should celebrate in secret and remembrance.  

NEWSFLASH. We don’t need a holiday to be sexy or romantic. We don’t need a nationally-declared day written on the calendar to give permission to or remind us to express our feelings for someone. If the feelings are truly there, they will already be expressed. They can not be hidden or forgotten. Love can’t be hidden or forgotten. Everyday is, can be and should be Valentine’s day, but in a more individualistic sense. The calendar day is different for each pair of lovers. It’s whatever day(s) is special between you and the one you love.

My challenge for everyone is that we evaluate our relationships this year by asking ourselves these questions. Do I want to get this person a present? Do I want to show them how much I care about them? If the desire to give and show isn’t genuinely there, then maybe we don’t really care about them as much as we thought. Maybe we shouldn’t waste our time, or their’s, in a relationship that has maybe already run it’s course.

“Let’s forgive someone for Valentines day, it’s a great way to show love, and forgive yourself too for the hurt you held onto.” – Jay Woodman

Boycott the trite and conventional Valentine’s Day. Celebrate genuinely. Love authentically.

August 11, 2015

Summer Night Opera

summer, summer
nights of sweetness
sweat & soul
‘tis you I long after
& adore

yr a song
i relish to remember
a sound that soothes
my thoughts, calms
my angst, stirs
my soul with peace
& passion deeply

setting sun
& rising moon
you bring a feeling far better
than this one I’m feeling now
kiss me & sing me
softly to sleep

summer, summer
nights lukewarm & sticky
crickets chirping a cheery melody
the winds whisper over
in hushed harmony
the rhythmic beat
of aluminum trash cans rolling
down sidewalks
& dimly lit streets
neighbouring canines
howl out the bridge
& in the faint distance
a bike’s idle motor
hums the bass line
awaiting the signal for go
to glow

& here on the grassy knoll
lightly & quietly
i lie
staring up at a star-lit sky
even as droplets of water begin trickling
down into my eyes
& melting into my skin

summer, summer
the opus of love
the opera of summer nights
August 11, 2015


This is the genre that never ends
The soul it soothes & always mends
Some people started playing it
On saxes & trombones
And they continued singing it
In low & steady tones

This is the genre that never ends
The mind it schools & always bends
No one can tell me ever
That they’ve never heard a line
That didn’t make them jump & jive
Or sing & dance sublime

This is the genre that never ends
It needs no reasons, no reiterative rhymes
Ubiquitously, it loves to hang around
Befriend you or make love to you
But never leave you drowned

This is the genre that never ends…

This is the genre that never ends

The soul it soothes & always mends

Some people started playing it
On saxes & trombones
And they continued singing it
In low & steady tones

This is the genre that never ends
The mind it schools & always bends
No one can tell me ever
That they’ve never heard a line
That didn’t make them jump & jive
Or sing & dance sublime

This is the genre that never ends
It needs no reasons, no reiterative rhymes
Ubiquitously, it loves to hang around
Befriend you or make love to you
But never leave you drowned

This is the genre that never ends…

July 31, 2015

Playbook For A Childfree Life

i can barely take care of myself by Jen Kirkman is more than just a hilarious series of stories about a young woman’s life being center stage in the limelight of critique and ridicule about her personal decision of not wanting to bring a child on board her already frenzied train to the free-spirited, strangely cool island of Quirksville. Instead, it’s also kind of like a how-to, didactic playbook manifesto for navigating through a life filled with inconsiderate prejudices from persuasive cavilers.

“Most people who don’t want kids also don’t want to be cornered by strangers at parties who launch an informal investigation into our psyches and backgrounds and decision-making capabilities.” - Jen Kirkman.

“It’s time for the bullying from breeders to stop.” - Jen Kirkman.

Between the pages, Kirkman repeatedly reassures and explains how she does not dislike or, dare I say, hate children or the people that want to have them or even her friends, for that matter, that have or want to have them. She points out that, obviously, ones friendships and interests’ do change a little from how you spend your time and money when you have a child, but it should not change your attitude of respect and common decency towards others!

As you grow up, you begin to realize that the peer pressure in high school wasn’t actually all that bad after all.

“This is the real reason lots of people end up changing their minds and having kids. They don’t want to lose their friends. It’s just like drugs. Peer pressure eventually gets to everyone.” - Jen Kirkman.

However, baby, a child, another human being with a heart should not, under any circumstances, give parents the right to become some kind of rude, elite force; an army of ‘spawnists’ who can’t seem to respect others’ personal choices to not want to multiply their genes. I know how to multiply my jeans just fine, thank you.

“Childfree by choice is the new gay. We’re the new disenfranchised group. People think we’re irresponsible, immoral sluts and that our lifestyle is up for debate.” - Jen Kirkman.

True. Babies and children can be cute little blessings (most of the time). But this doesn’t mean that everyone on earth is cut from the same bib cloth. (no pun intended…well, maybe just a little) Not everyone is cut out or even wants to handle that kind of responsibility of caring for another tiny human being’s every desire and demand. Not everyone follows the same generic recipe for life. Some people find it much more fun to concoct their own original recipe.

“It also takes a lot of strength and dedication to carve out a life that doesn’t seem normal to anyone else.” - Jen Kirkman.

For some of us, it’s hard enough making it on our own; surviving the best we can to make sure we alone get the proper amount of food, sleep, exercise, respect and love to and from others, showering and staying potty-trained. How then should we be expected to be responsible for a little ankle-biter when some of us are already daunted by the task of being responsible for just ourselves?

For more information about Jen Kirkman, go to her website at jenkirkman.com or follow her on twitter: @JenKirkman & instagram @JenKirkman. Everything you need and could ever want to know can be found there. If it’s not there, then you were not meant to know about it…yet.

i can barely take care of myself is available in hardcover, paperback, electronic copy and audiobook (which is read by Jen herself).

Download & listen to her podcast “I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast” on Itunes, Soundcloud & Libsyn
July 20, 2015

Sticky Summer Sweat & Sandy Toes Playlist

When your skin is tan & sweaty and your feet are bare & sandy, sit back in your chair, feel the breeze and let the sun soak in while you listen to some sweet summertime tunes!

High On Sunshine – Commodores
The Mosquito – The Doors
A Summer Thing – Cayucas
Open Toes – Katharine McPhee
Summerscent – Kids These Days
The Sound Of Sunshine – Michael Franti & Spearhead
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
Rockaway Beach – Ramones
Is This Love – Bob Marley & The Wailers
The Only Place – Best Coast
All Summer Long – Kid Rock
(You Want To) Make A Memory – Bon Jovi
California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) – Katy Perry
Summer of ‘69 – Bryan Adams
Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys
Summertime – Kenny Chesney
'Til Summer Comes Around – Keith Urban
Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks
Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly Stone
Dancing at the Blue Lagoon – Cayucas
Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter – Nina Simone
The Girl They Call The Cool Breeze – Albert Hammond
Summer’s Skin – Death Cab for Cutie
Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes
Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters
I’ve Got Sand In My Shoes – The Drifters
Sandy Toes – Linda Perhacs
Castles Made of Sand – Jimi Hendrix
Summer Breeze – Seals and Crofts
Surf’s Up – The Beach Boys
Summer Day – The Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble
Breathing Underwater – Hiatus Kaiyote
Sunshine on My Back – The National
Summer Noon – Tweedy
The First Day In August – Carole King
Hot Scary Summer – Villagers
90 Mile Beach – Wolf Alice
Summer Breaking – Mark Ronson & Kevin Parker

Listen to the full playlist here: Sticky Summer Sweat & Sandy Toes
December 23, 2014

"Christmas Time Is Here" Playlist

Sidewalks dressed with lights, pines & bows. Smiles widen. Cheeks & noses glow red from the cold. Snow lays like a blanket of fleece. Hearts are numb as we mingle amongst each other through cities & streets. We hear the sounds of the season surround us all like a warm scarf of love notes. Notes to thaw our frozen hearts.

Highway To Hell - ACDC
White Christmas - The Drifters
New York In Wintertime - Kara DioGuardi & Jason Reeves
Christmas In New York - The Pointer Sisters
I Heard Santa On The Radio - Hilary Duff & Christina Milian
The Lights And Buzz - Jack's Mannequin
Broke On Christmas Again - The Mansfields
River - Joni Mitchell
Bye Bye Baby - Bay City Rollers
Stille Nacht - Mannheim Steamroller
Brooklyn Sleigh Ride - The Red Elephant
Jingle Bells - Katharine McPhee
Xmas in New York - The Rosebuds
Ain't No Chimneys In The Projects - Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Back Door Santa - Clarence Carter
Silver Bells - Katharine McPhee
Silent Night - Taylor Swift
Christmas Must Be Tonight - Bahamas
Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight) - Ramones
Song for a Winter's Night - Sarah McLachlan
A Mad Russian's Christmas - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Merry Christmas Baby - Four Tops
Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
Please Come Home For Christmas - Christina Perri
Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton
Here With Me - Dido
Rock And Roll Christmas - George Thorogood And The Destroyers
Santa, You Owe Me - Antigone Rising
All Alone On Christmas - Darlene Love
Jump (For My Love) - The Pointer Sisters
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Katharine McPhee
Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne - Jimi Hendrix
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C & C Music Factory
Better Days - The Goo Goo Dolls
Fairytale Of New York - The Pogues
Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy) - Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
Jesus Ahatonnia (The Huron Carol) - Bruce Cockburn
White Christmas - Otis Redding
City Of Silver Dreams - Sugarland
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy - Christmas at the Devil's House
Glorious - Melissa Etheridge
The Christmas Waltz - She & Him
Love Is All Around - The Troggs
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - Christina Perri
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
God Only Knows - She & Him

Listen to the full playlists here: Christmastime Is Here & New York's Sparkling Snowflakes

Joyeux Noël!
June 30, 2012
I Am Afraid (Korkuyorum)

You say that you love rain,
But you open your unbrella when it rains…
You say that you love the sun,
But you find a shadow spot when the sun shines…
You say that you love the wind,
But you close your windows when wind blows…
This is why I am afraid;
You say that you love me too…

- Unknown
April 28, 2012
ATP Playlist: Pt. 5

Colors - Amos Lee
Brand New Day - Ryan Star
Chariot's of Fire - Vangelis
I Am Your Skin - The Bravery
Over the Rainbow - Annie Automatic (feat. Kaley Cuoco)
Waiting for the Moon to Rise - Belle & Sebastian
Homebird - Foy Vance
Parting Patterns - The Ambience Affair
Last Train - Abigail Washburn
Orange Sky - Alexi Murdoch
Keep Breathing - Ingrid Michaelson
Fidelity - Regina Spektor
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85, Adagio-Moderato - Elgar
April 28, 2012
ATP Playlist: Pt. 4

Glitter in the Gutter - A Hori Buzz
32 Flavors - Ani Difranco
Sex Tourists - French Kicks
Find Love - NLK
The Heart of the Matter - India.Arie
LA River - honeyhoney
O-O-H Child - Nina Simone
Suite Española, Op. 47: V. Asturias - Milos Karadaglic
Man Inside - Shirock
Bach/Break - Steve Erdody & Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Fix You - Coldplay
Beautiful Lie - Yoav
Rise - The Frames
April 10, 2012
ATP Playlist: Pt. 3

Steer - Missy Higgins
Lithium - Nirvana
Catch My Disease - Ben Lee
No Big Deal - Lyle Lovett
I Follow Rivers - Lykke Li
The Nutcracker Op. 71: Trépak (Russian Dance) - Tchaikosvsky
Street - Jamie Woon
Don't Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas) - Regina Spektor
Little Black Sandals - Sia
West Coast - Coconut Records
Johnny - Madi Diaz
All The Same To Me - Anya Marina
No Cars Go - Arcade Fire
April 10, 2012
ATP Playlist: Pt. 2

Shut Your Eyes - Snow Patrol
Simple Things - Db Clifford
Temporary Title - Butch Walker
The Tide is High - Atomic Kitten
Whatever Life - Haylie Duff
We Used to Wait - Arcade Fire
You Said Something - PJ Harvey
Young Aren't Young - Hundred in the Hands
7 Stars - The Apples In Stereo
Breathe - Ryan Star
Sonho Meu - Maria Bethania & Gal Costa
Santo Domingo - Rodrigo y Gabriela
Can't Stop - MoZella
April 10, 2012
ATP (Alternative Travel Project) Playlist: Pt. 1

Bicycle - Memory Tapes
Brand New Day - Joshua Radin
Butch - Saint Motel
Butterflies & Hurricanes - Muse
C'est L'amour - Rosi Golan
Anything's Possible - Jonny Lang
Revolution Song - Fefe Dobson
Running - Eliane Elias
Full Moon - The Black Ghosts
Move You - Anya Marina
My My Metrocard - Le Tigre
One Girl Revolution - Superchick
Run - Benton Paul
March 6, 2012

The Blue Butterfly

Sitting alone in a crowded bar
Their gazes lock from afar.
Not even once,
Had they ever met.
And yet…

Week after week, in the midst of friends
Many bets he would place
On the bountiful, beautiful butterflies
That dared to enter his sacred space.

But she is unlike any other.
Her will brave,
Yet fragile.
Her wings strong,
Yet delicate;
The rare hue of deep,
Crystal blue.
Her aura of suspense surrounds him.

Fluttering suavely,
She draws near.
Her presence deep within him,
For the first time he feels.
On his hand, she gently comes to rest.
And breaths in him a whisper so warm;
So mysterious.

Like a spark in a forest.
Like a love-borne pathogen in the bloodstream.
Like the dewy air after a steady, summer rain.

Intoxicating passion without reason,
Between two sobering souls.
Explicit trust without doubt,
Between a dyad of suspecting skeptics.
Genuine affection without fear,
Between long awaiting wounded hearts.

Both of them running.
Running from themselves;
Their pasts.
Find safety forever in each other,
At last.