Photic Ray

Grinding away


By unending
Magma bursts

Atop sunspots
Simmer heat
Boils over this forge
As sunshots

Wear the plates
Of metamorphic rock
Punch through
As a volcano
Through clouds

Thermite of dawn
And mortar strikes
Weaponize light
As melting heat

Roaring energy
As fast as the
Speed of light

Charging with fury
Because they can’t

The sunrise


Minotaur Ichor

While we observed
Curfew roll by
Hours ago we knew

That Bigfoot Java
Was open
Twenty-four seven

And they sold
Coffee and energy
At three a.m.

So we made a stop
When we were sleepy
Back to your place again

Familiar creaking floors
Only been here once

Drinking blood of the
This raspberry ichor

How the hell
Did I get here
Lost in the labyrinth

Tacoma night
Slipping away with
Morning birds

Now the tides have
Turned, no longer
Surviving, but thriving


Drenched earthen heat
Soil cracked dry as arid rifts
Soaking liquid sky

Showers upon streets
Seared raindrops flow in valleys
And pool into springs

Partly cloudy breeze
Chill in the great summer heat
Again and again

Light with the hot star
Fading and oscillating
Vanish returning

Seattle Solstice – Journal 6/21/17

Happy first day of Summer, everybody. Let’s make it a good season!

The take from my birthday was a bunch of cool stuff including but not limited to writing utensils! My sister always pulls through with a moleskine, and this time that rang true with one to replace the completed one that she had gotten for me last year when I turned 19.

Writing is a tricky mistress. With my camera, I can frame up and shoot a photo in about 3 seconds, adjusting for shutter speed and f-stop if I need to. Writing? You have to sit down and think about writing. To communicate an idea as effectively as a photograph is something… escaping me at the moment.

Confession time: out of most everything I have ever written, very, very few times have I sat down with a schema or anything to write to the tune to. Sometimes I’ll use songs or something like that, but I’ve never sat down with the intention of writing a sonnet, or a villanelle. I’ve done pantoums, a sestina (Forever Seam), and sometimes some things with structure. For the most part, I’m a firm believer in vers libre, but I eyeball all my syllable counts in poems and things like that.

I can’t name off the top of my head a time where I sat down with a poem I’ve written and really beat form and consistency into it. I stick to quatrain poems, which is that 4 line stanza structures, because that lends itself to some good enjambment and easy rhyme set ups. Though, I do go all over the place.

Which is something I do want to do. In my advanced writing class, people would throw out words about form that I’m sure I’ve heard but never fully understood, and then turn around and praise my use of those things in my poems. It makes me think I’m not educated about something I’m good at, which is a strange thought.

I opened up talking about photographs because with my notebooks following me around, so too does my Canon. You’ve no doubt noticed on Radio Reality. City that I credit a lot of my photos as being taken with it, and that’s because for the most part it’s always with me.

I was in Seattle practically all day yesterday, and not one photo I don’t think captures any part of the experience very well. Sure, they’re photographs of interesting people and places, but there doesn’t seem to be much feeling behind them. So I’ve been pouring through them and cleaning up the ones that I’ll put up here (a lot, actually), and trying to find the ones that strike me the most.

joint rolling

The photograph above was one I took yesterday, at Freeway Park. You can see the design of the concrete facades as well as some foliage, the apartment building in the background, and of course the man off-center sitting down there. What does it capture? Where is the feeling? Maybe it’s me in the haze of this, but while I think it’s a neat photograph, as an art piece what can I say about it?

Perhaps this photo is a red herring to what Seattle means. Though, I take better pictures the more something means to me, it seems. Olympia? I can get photos for days from that place. Good ones, too, like the Capitol Lake: April 2017 shot. This photo from Freeway park is more about solitude and peace, not the chaos and invisibility an individual can have in a concrete jungle.

Pictures are supposed to be a thousand words, and yet less than a hundred can describe what I think about the man in Freeway Park. This picture can’t tell you about the chill in the air, nor the people behind me who where also taking pictures. How can you capture the vibe of a city such as Seattle all in one go? Is it even possible?

In places of high urban density such as Seattle, I like to take photographs of the skyscrapers that surround the streets. I’ve done a lot of that yesterday as well, but it isn’t the first time I’ve done it in Seattle.

view from king street

Something like this is much more appropriately Seattle, to me (this photo was put up a while back). At least here we’re starting to get more at the urban jungle I like about the place. The vibe is a little visible with some cars on the lower right hand side, but all the while the monolithic structures tower over everything else.

Still, what about it is art yet? The touching up to balance the white exposure? The framing of the buildings within the photo? I don’t quite know yet. It could be the “Seattle Lighting” sign there at lower center, being some kind of extra reference hitherto unknown.

Yet I sit here after an entire ten hours in Seattle yesterday with a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War from a Barnes and Noble, a Celtic knot notebook, an original poem called “Brave”, and hundreds of photographs.

I find it difficult to put into words how emotionless I am about the city, and I’m trying to rack up why that is. I do have emotions there in isolated pockets, in very certain barrios. But Pike’s Place Market and the Space Needle only serve to make me think I’m nothing but another tourist, taking pictures for the picture’s sake and not because they’re art. At what point is it pointless? My high school art teacher would be so very cross at the sentiment.

Emotionless to the point that I only have one poem from a day that could net at least three. Which isn’t exactly normal. I can’t step foot in Olympia without the tides changing and winds sweeping into my creative taps to make them flow. Even in Puyallup where absolutely nothing happens I have enough to make something on certain days.

Seattle is supposed to be this mystical experience that is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. I used to be envious when people said they were going to Seattle, and even I was excited to go this time. But I don’t know what’s happened.

It isn’t the money, though paying for parking is a bitch and I hate it. It isn’t the time spent walking, because that’s part of it. There was not a single detriment to the trip and journey and yet I can make nothing from the hours I spent there yesterday. Just strange to me, is all.

I know I definitely haven’t run out of steam for it, but it’s just that I can normally immediately return home to make art from what I experience. This time I fear I might not be able to capture Seattle as I have captured other cities before.

We shall see.

This journal’s excerpt is gonna be from “Brave”:

“I wish to be so brave
As the spectate and
Photograph these things

Like the waves of tourists
That add to this
Vicious cabaret”

Some of you will pick out that V for Vendetta reference. Once again, not much form, eyeballed syllable counts, and hey it’s a simile.

Seattle might have something I’m not yet seeing, or an entrancing energy I have yet to really touch. Before that happens I’ll still try to catch it from what I’ve experienced, though I don’t know how complete my memories will be without that certain something in the background.

That’s what I’ll be doing later tonight: trying to capture it all. I’ve certainly walked away with a wealth of good memories, but I can’t phrase them. 

Meanwhile I can’t keep out of my head the fact that I’m soon going to commence training for Mount Si. A place that really does mean something to me. I’m going to pick a day this summer to go out there to North Bend, solo or otherwise, and I’m gonna climb that damn rock all the way to the top. Yeah, I know that last stretch is going to be dangerous as hell. I’m I going to climb it for the right reasons? For climbing’s sake? I guess we’ll find out.

Until next time, this is Jake Thomas Shaw from Radio Reality City! Have a lovely day!

Anthem Order – Journal 6/9/17

As I’m blossoming into and adult and having money at my disposal to do frivolous things with I am quickly learning that life isn’t about having money, it’s about spending it.

What I do I choose to spend my money on these days? Food! I’m going through another god damn growth spurt just as I’m about to turn 20. Isn’t that stupid? Who does that? My jeans nearly don’t fit me again! It’s like I’m 14 once more.

And speaking of being 14 once more, when I was 14 I listened to a lot of deeper EDM stuff than I do these days. That hip Electronic Dance Music that kids listen to these days at festivals. I was really into Knife Party, Porter Robinson, and of course Skrillex. Over the years, I’ve transitioned away from those in favor of less brash sounds such as early Xilent stuff, and Deadmau5. Synthwave, too, has recently been a thing.

Yet these days I’m dipping back again into the EDM scene. Trigger Warning EP, Redfoo, Chainsmokers. It’s all coming back to me, and it’s actually pretty great. Fun music that knows it’s supposed to be fun is great. Which is why hair metal bands of the 80’s are so much fun to listen to, still.

Your Ratts, Don Felders, Def Leppards, Motley Crues, Quiet Riots, Skid Rows, all that stuff still exists in the sounds of a scene that no one could see coming.

So that’s what I’m doing these days, going to Anthem coffeehouses and listening to EDM. Also work, work’s good, and writing.

As the spring quarter comes to a close, I have taken up the object of building a guerrilla magazine to go out with a bang in my Advanced Writing class. We have about 12 authors and we’ll be putting something out in print come Monday, with much work to do across the board this weekend. Busy, busy!

As for me, I’m sustaining a good high energy burn after getting back into EDM. Yesterday my college had a festival of sorts as an appreciation day for all the students. Free food and free events as long as you signed a waiver. My friend Cam and I decided to go ahead and get stupid. It was raining. We went down a slide that was not meant to be out in the rain. 6 times. And you know what? It was probably one of the most absurdly fun things I’ve ever done. Especially as I was blasting #SELFIE on my phone every time we went down. There was a rock wall. We went up that, too. They were giving out backpacks and frisbees and flash drives. We got us some of that, too.

Fun day. Got home drained, though, as evidenced by my not posting much (apologies!).

Today is quite similar, except that I started it drained and am actively looking to pick myself up, which has resulted in my putting out this journal as I use the wifi of my workplace, 20 minutes before I’m meant to clock in. Not a bad thing, but as much as I put out, I’m more worried about quality over quantity.

This journal’s excerpt is from “Lost at the Spaceport”:

I’m not a cowboy
But I’ll beebop
My ass to Mars and back
If it means I get some cash

I’m lost at the spaceport
And there’s this stupid robot
Trying to talk to me

Trying to get me to
Buy all kinds of things
For my ship that I don’t need”

Explicitly harking to The Clash’s “Lost at the Supermarket”, but focusing on space piracy and just scraping by.

I’m two coffees, a Red Bull, and a medium drink from McDonald’s into my day, so let’s see where the day could possibly go. I’m excited!

Today I’m listening to Xilent’s ‘Kill Me’. Good track, vibey start. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys something hard and fast. Builds up, then knocks down.

Kind of like me when I’m without energy, so let’s not do that. Time to go change into uniform, so I must be going.

However, we’re only 3 away from breaking 200 listeners here at Radio Reality City, and I hope those of you here enjoy the recent redesigns! I’ve put a lot of effort into getting the backgrounds all nice and the menus to be flashier.

Keep on listening and keep on reading! Thank you so much for sticking with it!

Pure Inhuman Energy Advance

I can’t stop shaking my leg
Or jamming to the music

One 20 ounce Red Bull drained
Dragonforce is playing
Operation Ground and Pound
On loop

It’s really difficult to
Feel bad

When I’m doing things that
I enjoy so much

The Red Bull helps my leg
Shake in tune to the
Insanely fast music
Like I’m part of the song

And work’s getting done

It’s not a crime to be
Taken over by the force

Of intruding high energy
Party goers invading

My blood stream
Like an ethnic war

They’re the coolest
And fun to be around

They could help me
Move mountains

And drink rivers

My body becomes a fiery
Fierce little party

All by itself
Generating nothing but

Pure and absolute
Positivity and thoughts

Riding on a high tide
In happily chaotic seas


A dragon force
Compels us

And every running
Beat of our feet
Uphill bothways

Like a punk engine
Kicking the bass drum
And smashing the snares


Tapping into the roots
Of road and gravel

Softly sprinting
Why we have
Endurance for days
I’ll never know

Within the haste
We know there’s a
Meaning for the beating

Far away we know
The destination lies

Through the thick
We know the answers
To the “Why?”s

We’re just flesh
And metal soldiers
Working like androids

To do what we do
In whatever way

We think we’re so valiant
Sprinting to meet the day
Powered by the engines
In our chests

That kick dust
And shake rust
Off with each step

Glowing so hot they
Nearly melt and glow

Heat of friction
On the feet
And throttle open
So wide

There’s no stopping

Smashing through the
Mountains, see
Flesh and steel
Will smash the walls

And blast off
Through the ceiling

Grinding sound
Ground and pound

Operation is greenlit

Ready when you are
To rise
And meet the day

Symbolic Something

symbolic something pilot v7.JPG

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symbolic something pilot v7.JPG

Another writer gave his pen to me,
Said he wanted to “swap energy”.
So I took his and he took mine,
And I tried to imagine all the things it’d seen.

What kind of clubs had it been in.
What words had it written.
Was there ever a time when he
Wished it wasn’t missing?

Where had it been. Was there ever
A city that us two had visited?
Or had the same spot in a place
Where the only thing to do was write,

And right we were, because apparently
Our pens weren’t just similar.
Identical, the model, and each had
Ink drained like a number of bottles.

How many things had burned in his mind,
When he whipped it out and uncapped
And set to immortalize – it on paper,
And how long later did I see

A pen sitting on the counter
When I said to he,

“I’ve got one just like it”
And he said “We should swap,
‘Cause I’d like to have your energy
Quite a lot”.

So a pen was pocketed, but for once,
Not my own.
So I’ll sit down and write a song
And put on a little show

Using that energy he mentioned.
This time not Red Bull, but a power.
Going to turn it to eleven
With his trusty Pilot V7.

This Machine

This Machine

A shadow follows me
A power fantasy
Trapped in this machine

How it changes me
An insurmounability
Don’t know how long its waited
As the conscious watches

Opportunity waiting
An incorporeal fire
Looking from a cage
Staring at the sky

Never been without control
Never broken free
A showstopper illusion
Only in allusion

An assumed identity
It’s a doom inside of me

It’s all down to the wire
Looking through bloodshot eyes
Don’t know how long its waited
As the ego watches

So close to transcending
Trapped in this machine
Don’t know how long we’ve waited
As the ego reaches

We’re alive
Want to get out
No stakes are clear
Nothing held dear

Just want to get out
Want to be released
Just let it out to see
What lies within me

It’s all down to the wire
Trapped in this machine
Don’t know how long we’ve waited
As the ego’s watching

We all want to run
Looking through bloodshot eyes
Don’t know how long its been
As the ego watches

Energy of The Minotaur


Energy of The Minotaur

The tab gives way easily.
The whole can is cold;

An odor of rocket fuel
Seeps into the air
When the seal breaks.

Gripping it gives way
To a vision of cold
Bull horns.

Tipping it into the mouth
Spills into your body
A sickly sweet ichor,

Like the taste of an
Enflamed maniac
Breaking through walls.

With every pulse
Of the heart, another
Wall smashed through

With a sledgehammer
And ran through
On fire.

Tastes dissapate into
Plasma in the air.
A chemical triple point.

An exhaust.
A venting.
A cold roar of the minotaur

Rising and lowering
Over the expanse of
Red hills scorched

By the blaze of a
Maniac bleeding ichor
With horns as sledgehammers.

Plasma smoke billows;
Exhaust of its pulse.
A chemical roar

Of the minotaur.