Archive for personal histories

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 26, 2014 by jimcolemanmusic



Oh my God!



I tend to get depressed

Instead of getting angry,

but I can still hate.

And so at a young age

I hate God

And I hate Religion

And I despise

All those stupid motherfuckers

Who believe

In god.

I mean,

Jesus fucking Christ

Are you kidding me?

Some fucking patsy died for my sins?


I’m  7 or 8 years old

in Virginia

It’s  a warm day

and the light filters in

to the church

as I shit on the floor.

Not one witness

To my disdain, distaste and venom.

My hatred is alive.

And I say Fuck You!

But I’m not angry.


What I sadly come to understand

Years later

Is that act of hatred,

my big statement,

my scatological venom

that I leave  steaming on the church floor

Has no effect on god

No effect on religion

No effect on  the church.

The only one affected by this shit

Is pushing the mop.

The poor janitor

who has to clean it up.

So, dude,

I apologize

on bended knee. Seriously.

I meant you no wrong.

I’d clean up your shit today

If it would make up for it…


3 years later

and my friend Jim

just doesn’t show up for school one day.

Turns out

He  just stopped living –

Ceased to exist


Died in a car wreck

The night before

Wrapped around a tree

with his brother

who was driving

and who survived

and how the hell

does he live with that?


I’m at a loss as to

how to live with it.

How to make sense of it.

Shit don’t make no sense.

There’s a big gaping whole

Where once there was my friend.


There’s no one I can talk to

Not my family

Not my friends.


I pick up the bible

And find another book of stories

That aren’t too easy to read

For an 11 year old

looking for some answers

To some big fucking questions.


But there are no answers

So I’m left at a loss

And  keep this locked inside

Until right now

And though it never makes sense

I slowly come to accept

that loss and death

are part of life,

just as life is part of death.

And it’s only in our minds

That they separate

only in our minds

do they become opposites,

staring each other down

across the void of intellect.


Looking for answers

Of a spiritual nature

And finding none,

I soon find the next best thing.

Sweet baby jesus.

I find spirites.


And so begins the fight

Of and for my life.

Because the spirits

And the powders

And the gasses

And the grasses

And the tablets

And the smoke

And the rocks

And the liquids –

They all give me relief.

They don’t give me answers.

They just make the questions go away.

They Give life meaning

And they take it away.


As more and more

people around me start dying

From these spirits

I end up feeling

That the friends

I lose along the way

are the lucky ones

because they found a way out.

And I’m still stuck

Here in this god forsaken place.

This place with no god damn answers.


Don’t get me wrong,

It’s not all doom and gloom.

Not all Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath.

I have lots of fun along the way.

Like James Brown said, I feel good.

Sometimes the light of the spirits

Fills my being.

And at times I live for the

Darkness of despair.

Because it feels so true and honest.


I find the joy

of having sex

In church

Somehow there is a special thrill

Of fornicating in the pews

Or in the choir area

Specially with Donna,

Who was brought up

A good catholic girl.


Donna has snakes at home.

2 nine foot boa constrictors

When I sleep over

in Forest Hills

I wake up in the morning

To find the 2 boas curled

Under my head.

Donna and I eat apples

For breakfast.


In the mid 90’s

I’m Snatched out of

This god forsaken place

Some would say by god

But not me

I have to call it

A family intervention.


Whatever it is,

My cycle

Of destruction stops.

Destruction of self and others


Destruction of morals and mortals

Destruction of ideals and beliefs

Destruction of history and future

My destruction of everything in my path…..stops.


And though I no longer

Shit on church floors

Or fuck like a pagan

as jesus looks on,

I still stay well clear

Of anything that hints

Of god, religion, or spirit.

I place my trust

in machines

And the smell of sweat.

I have faith

In Human toil and turmoil.

In the asphalt under my feet.


Years go by.

I become things

I never would have imagined.

And I become happy.

For a while.


But eventually I find myself

Yearning for that familiar hell

Missing the seeming truth

Of despair


My sanitized life

Seems like a ruse

A fiction

And I convince myself

that the sad truth is

I wasn’t born

To be happy.


I was born

To live life on the edge

I was born

To be on the edge

The edge of suicide.


That’s what feels true

So I open that door once again.

3 years later

while contemplating

the distance

from the Tappan Zee Bridge

to the water below

I fall apart

I fall right in to god

Right through god

Though I didn’t call it that

At the time


Fragmented in to little pieces

Like the sun glistening on the Hudson

Sobbing, shaking

I realize with a smile

I’m just a tiny fucking speck

Just Here for a second…


In five minutes

My fear departs

Fear I’ve held for a lifetime

Fear that was in my marrow

Fear that I was taught as a kid

Fear that felt so fucking real

Fear that kept me safe

It just dissolved in to smoke

And I was held


And now I know

Whatever happens

It’s okay.

When loved ones die

When I die

When the dirty bomb hits the city

When birds fall from the sky

When the tea party takes over

And when the ice melts and the seas rise

It’ll be okay.


All my plans

My designs

My desires

My wants

Don’t matter at all.


Relief. Finally some fucking relief.


I’m still allergic

To the patsy who dies for my sins,

Still allergic

To any religion that wages war

In the name of god,

Still allergic

To those saying

Thank god my god is god

Still allergic

To any religion that says

we have the right to

weapons of  mass destruction

and you don’t.

Still allergic

To the whole us vs them

Mentality of separation

That underlies all dogma.

Still allergic

To right wing right for lifers

Still allergic

To televangelists

Praying for you

To send them your money

Still allergic

To god fearing Christians

Cause fear doesn’t have a place in this.


So I find

That once again

I don’t get answers

And the questions

Have been revealed

to be unanswerable.

And honestly,

I’m relieved.




Memories of Dave / Art School

Posted in art school, jim coleman, personal histories with tags , , on June 25, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

1979 – 1981: Hartford Connecticut

I can’t fucking remember Dave’s last name. I really wish I could. I wonder what the hell he is doing now. He could be an extremely successful car salesman. He could be an actor or he could be in politics. I lived in Hartford CT for 2 years (1979-1981) and Dave was a close friend, along with my roommate Seth. It was Seth who motivated me to go in to Hartford Art School, which totally changed my life. These images are examples of my early work there.

This first image is of my first outdoor sculpture. This was really aesthetically based, these wings that framed a walking path by the art school.

sculpture contact

These drawings were the start of ideas, which led to my first performance. I was looking at ways of using these lockers in a performance. I ended up placing 2 lockers side by side (with about 2 feet between them) in a common area, where people would sit and take breaks. In one locker was a dismembered female mannequin. I was in the other locker, in a 3-piece business suit. This performance started at 9 AM. People could open the lockers and do whatever they wanted to, but there would be no response from me. I would remain completely detached, an object. This affected people in interesting unforeseen ways. I remember one girl getting so pissed at me, she was just kicking the locker as hard as she could right at my head. So I stayed in there, prone, until 12 Noon. I then got out, walked to a table in the room and sat at the chair there. A woman in a maid’s outfit served me a double martini, which I drank over the next hour. I then re-entered the locker at 1 PM and stayed in until 5 PM, at which point the performance was complete.

locker in the earth

Anyway, back to Dave.

Dave was without question the class clown. Always high, always laughing, always funny to the point of pain. He could take anything, any source, and run miles and miles with it, way past the point of decency, way past the point of logic and sense. He would daily take us on journeys, in which none of us knew where we were going, but we went, trusting that Dave would ultimately return us to the world as we knew it, with our sides aching from laughing so much.

We’re all familiar with the comic art form of prank phone calls. Dave was not only a master of this, but he was a pioneer. He would call up McDonalds and, speaking in extremely broken English, with a mid eastern inflection, attempt to make reservations for his family of 13.  He would not let the poor associate off the phone, he would work his way up to the manager. He could keep these calls going for 30 minutes easy.

Dave would make blind phone calls and just start insulting people. Repeatedly, he would get people so worked up that they would agree to meet late at night at some shopping mall parking lot to fight it out, man to man. The goal was to get 2 or more people to agree to meet up at the same place to fight. It was a huge missed opportunity that we never actually showed up and watched from a distance, but we would inevitably end up too stoned.

Another favorite call of Dave’s would be the “man on the edge” call. This one worked best when a woman answered the phone. He would come off as an individual on the verge of suicide. These poor people would want to help so badly. And Dave just had that gift of being able to wrap almost anybody in to his reality, whatever that happened to be at the moment. He was just completely convincing, whatever persona he took on was his reality.

Snapshot memories:

–       Dave showed up at my apartment one winter’s night during a snowstorm after parking his car. I looked down a few minutes after his arrival and noticed that he was barefoot. When I pointed this out, he was surprised. He had just walked almost a mile through the snow, barefoot, and didn’t even realize it

–       One night at 2 AM, I got a call from Dave. He was quite excited: “Jim, get over here right now! Bring your camera!” I threw on some clothes and ran over to find him and our friend Seth covered from head to toe in shaving cream. No explanation, but they did want to capture the moment.

–       One night we were in Dave’s car. He sped through a parking lot area that had a guard in it, the car fishtailing. I saw the guard writing something down. Assuming he had made note of Dave’s license plate, I urged Dave to talk to the guard, so he would not be reported. He actually convinced this guard that he was cleaning the “gunk” out of his carburetor

–       Drug memory #1 with Dave. Thai stick. Lying down on a bed, listening to Pink Floyd. I felt that I was really lying in a field, watching a grid of Turtles flying past me in the sky.

–       We had weird drugs back then. Actual Thai stick. Hash oil that people would drop in to their eyes, or paint on to cigarettes or joints. Fresh Mushrooms. Liquid LSD, also dropped in the eyes. Dave made bongs. I recall one he made out of numerous tennis ball cans, about 7 feet high. It took 2 or 3 people to work it, and would only yield smoke after doing about 5 hits. One thing we used to do was to take a bong hit while a helper would put 2 whippets in to a plastic bag. Then, you would exhale the bong hit in to the plastic bag and then breath the bagged whippet air in and out, in and out. You would end up in a very very different place. Once while doing this, we were listening to the Doors, while the TV was playing a Liberace concert. The music and visuals ran in perfect sync, each cut was right on the beat, each accent in the music had corresponding visuals.

–       Another disparate non Dave memory arises from this. But this was from the same time. My long time friend and co-conspirator Clay Ketter (google him please) were high and driving in the wee hours of the morning (well past midnight). It was rainy, extremely foggy. The radio was stuck in between stations, it seemed to be picking up about 8 stations at once. But I heard a voice cut through this static and mix of noise, talk and music. It was speaking to me. Or to us. And I know this sounds like typical clichéd auditory hallucinatory shit due to drugs and lack of sleep, but it felt true, genuine, real. I was tempted to just drop it, but couldn’t. I looked over at Clay and asked if he was hearing this. And he was. I luckily never got in to closing the shades and freaking out about all the undercover government agents in front of my house. But that doesn’t mean that they weren’t there!