Political Songs

Suitcases (for Walter Benjamin)

The wind came up. A storm was brewing
On the night the traveler died.
He carried a mysterious suitcase.
Lost love travelled by his side.

But the borders were all shut down,
And the boundaries could not be known.
All the knowledge in the universe
Could not guide the traveler home.

Political Songs Twisted Love Songs


“The work is the death mask of its conception.”
(Walter Benjamin, One Way Streets)

He didn’t think he could get lost
Crossing those streets he used to cross.
He didn’t think he’d forget those possessions
That were so hard to get.
Crossing those thoughts, watching them fade,
Falling in love with the things he made.
As if in a dream, walking those streets
Fascinated by the things he meets.

Political Songs Reggae Influenced Songs

Midnight in Triana

In the ruins of the city
Cardboard for a bed
Sleep the great musicians
With visions in their heads.

At the end of Empire
Living in the debris
Arise the great dancers
Struggling to be free.

Dreams Political Songs Reggae Influenced Songs Twisted Love Songs

Different Lifetime

Wish I knew you in a different lifetime—different from this one.
Wish I’d met you on another planet—closer to the sun.
The heat would rise from our bodies—and melt into the air.
Ecological convergence—a bi-symmetrical pair.
Wish I knew you in a different way
Than gender and despair.

Political Songs


I was born in a country in the middle of the baby boom.
My daddy was a soldier in World War Two.
He met his brother’s coffin when they marched it off the boat.
He reached into his pocket for a government smoke.
He put his shoulder to the grindstone
And tried to drink his way back home.

Covers Political Songs

Bob Dylan Pandemic Project Part I

Sometime in the early days of the pandemic of 2020, when contagion and disaster seemed immanent possibilities, we separated from each other and our daily routines. The sense of the familiar vanished and all of us found ourselves in some kind of alienated space. I sat alone one night in April in The Maltshop (my home studio) thinking about an unsettled and lonely future.

Covers Political Songs Reggae Influenced Songs

Series of Dreams (Bob Dylan cover)

Like Bob Dylan, “I was thinking of a series of dreams.”   I had been reminiscing about the many classes I have taught and the many students I have known as a series of dreams.  It seemed like an appropriate metaphor to me.  However, it is always a slippery business to translate the images and sensations of dreams into words, syntax and story.  Each of these elements imposes a world-view and an interpretation on what Freud called “the royal road to the unconscious.”

Covers Political Songs Twisted Love Songs

Tower of Song (Cover of the Song by Leoard Cohen)

Mike Opitz: lead vocal, guitar, digitally assisted production and final mix Caitlin Brutger: keyboard, harmony vocals, production and mixing Brian Heilman: guitar, harmony vocals, production, mixing and final mastering Tom Daddesio: bass *** The strange events of last fall’ s election season mixed with the falling leaves and seemed to conjure up nostalgic feelings in […]

Political Songs

Karma Refugee

1. Karma “Liberation is getting out of the toils of Karma.  During your many past lives, you’ve done all kinds of deeds, good and bad and you are reaping the consequences of these deeds today.  And also today, you’re setting up future consequences.  Before you can be liberated, you’ve got to pay off your karmic […]

Political Songs Twisted Love Songs

The Muse 2015

I learned about Suzanne Valadon from my wife, Maureen. At first, I was taken by Valadon’s evolution from an artist’s model into an artist. Her story evokes thoughts about gender, class, sexuality, celebrity and the economics of art. It made me think of how our culture deploys and exploits images of women. I wrote “The […]