Glad to be back.
Did you ever figure out what you’re going to do?
Not really. Things are getting fuzzier. It’s like I’m traveling down this road and letting shit go. I want to let everything go. I don’t want to die, but I want to let everything in my life go. I want to believe that there are other things that I should be thinking about and dealing with and doing those things. I want to lose interest in everything from before. I want a newer and better life and just chuck the old one. It’s too full of shit.
It just is. All my dreams that I went for were all vanity. Solomon was right. Even if you do succeed the heartbreak that you get in knowing that everybody then wants to see you fail brings you down. You wish that you could see according to the old way that you saw the world, but the old way is gone. People are animals and there’s nothing to allow you to overcome this fact. A smiler will kill you the next second. Some people perfect the process. Smile their way into your life and continually play the game so that one day they succeed and you lose. You can never go forward with people expecting there to be an even transaction. Everybody seeks superiority. It’s as simple as that. There is no other game in town. We all seek status and if we don’t get it then we can’t rest. We must win. There is nothing to strive for anymore so I would rather lose all signs of the game and, I don’t know, walk the earth.
Walk the earth?
You know, look at the world in a new way. Find something else to do. Maybe make glass and forget about being a battling ant for a crumb that is huge only to us ants. Sick of it. Tired of it. Done with it.
Well, you can’t just disappear.
No. I can’t. I will always be here, but how will I be here? This is the question.
You can get a new job.
You can get published and have success as a writer.
More judgment. The issue is lost. The salvation from the writing is hidden. I’m sick of dedicating my life to one or two readers who may or may not understand what I was trying to say. I thought I wanted to be heard and then found that I couldn’t be heard because everybody else is trying to be heard. We are throwing our best, truest stuff out there and it is being lost in everybody else’s best and truest stuff and in the end we don’t know who to believe, what to believe, or even what the issue is anymore. It’s just a bunch of us struggling to be most authentic so that we can be heard and eventually make money from being heard. We know this is the solution to our particular careerist illusions.
Wow. You are really hard core.
I’m not hard core. I’m not beginning to be hard core. I am mild and meek and have a lot to say, but I don’t know how important it is anymore now that I know that most of it has an undercurrent involved that is desperate, that the words have been shared under less than auspicious reasonings. We all want success. This corrupts us all. It means that there was a possibility that our truths did not contain real care. If you are selfish you cannot care. My whole life has been this balancing act, trying to be selfless and then to be selfish (since I matter too). The selfish part always seems to make me ineligible for the selfless role, like I am a phony and a fake and I’m starting to believe that I am. A true person doesn’t chase after success, but the one who doesn’t get it regrets it later. We are animals and it is better to be honest about this, make our nest egg while we are young, and live as long as we can because here comes death…
So, death is involved in this thing.
Yeah, death is there. Most people hear me talk and can’t stand it, think that I’m a major complainer, that I should just forget the bullshit and get on with my life. Well, that’s what I’m trying to do. Get rid of the bullshit and get on with my life. Get mine and disconnect the getting from “true” things that could be searched for and given to the masses to heal them. Altruism is purposeless anymore. Google for help and you will get many more better put together and researched answers than I could give. I would probably go off on the color blue or yellow or purple or something. Poetry. Nobody told me that us poets would be dealing with economics on the level of pennies. But that’s what it is. Pennies.
So, you feel as though you donated your life to the arts and life never gave you anything back?
Sort of. It gave me pleasure in a job well done. It gave me a sense of meaning and purpose, but when it is all said and done, the philosophical road that it places you on makes you lose everybody in the world that matters to you. You cannot have money, basically, so you cannot have a wife and children, hardly even friends. If you try and replace your moneyless world with friends then you are with other moneyless people and you begin to eat each other up with your moneyless problems, the havoc that moneylessness reaps on human beings in general. A soap opera. A big soap opera.
Like everyone else, I am silent and perplexed somewhat. I don’t know how to answer you, but I am sure that you get this response from just about everybody. You get it as complaining or thought processes gone too deep for your own good. The only advice you probably ever get is to go outside and enjoy nature.
True. Nobody knows how to talk to me. We immediately go to too deep modes of thought and the next thing you know. Poof. It’s done. Intellectual people can’t talk to me either. They can fake it pretty well, but only age can take you to a certain depth and all the reading in the world isn’t going to get you to the place where you can understand another man’s travails who feels them deeply and is perhaps older than you. We are all on a trek to death.
There it is again.
I guess so. But I’m not hooked on death. I’m hooked on the fact that life isn’t so great until death and I can’t ever figure out how to fix that. I know there are a lot of things that I should do, though. I’m not stupid. I didn’t just fall off the chicken truck. And that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to clear the slate.
Maybe we should end it here.
End what here? Do you see? There is no there there. There is nothing to wrap up. I don’t know the metaphysics, but I’m pretty sure that we are not talking about anything of substance. Thoughts? Phtth. Call all talk complaint and excuses. What else is there any reason to communicate for? I’m not on to your pop rock trip and you don’t want to splice hairs about morality and the nature of mankind. Ehh. So let time roll. It’s going to roll anyway. Nothing is going to change. After 2000 years after Jesus we just had our bloodiest century ever. Man learns, but man forgets just as quickly. You can’t take the animal out of the man.
So how do you get through the day, not believing in thoughts.
I believe in thoughts, but the transfer of them I don’t see as having any value. I can change you a little bit by changing your thoughts maybe, but so what? Who cares? Do you really need to be changed? It seems to me those who keep change away are the happiest. They get everything they want. They can kill for what they want. It’s easy. It’s easy to be a non-thinker in this society. It is geared for them. Lucky bastards who never believed in morality or the humanities, writing, art, music. Lucky bastards who can just see what is acceptable in their head and say no to everything else. If only I could be like this, then I could get in the game. Be loved. Be respected as strong and forthright, as being a person who knows what he wants and goes out and gets it. A success!
But only if they have money, right?
Yeah, I guess so. If they’re broke they’re just considered assholes. But when you have this type of attitude you’re going to find a way to get money.
True. Maybe. Not everybody is smart enough to parlay their meanness into cold hard cash, but it certainly helps if you are ruthless and can lie in the name of apple pie, the American way and Jesus Christ Himself.
Your trajectory is set and you can just go…
Yes, something like that. You don’t have to mill around sticky moralistic questions and ugly reactions from ugly facts about mankind and whether or not you want to participate. You will want to participate in anything that will get you closer to your goals. You can fake all the other shit, all the moral shit, all that shit is easy to fake. You did it every day growing up going to school. You play that shit. Just play it. It’s easy to make it big if you don’t have a conscience. I wish I didn’t have a conscience basically, but I do, so I can’t get into this competition bullshit that they keep telling me that I need to embrace after filling my head for eighteen years with the notion that it’s about helping and sharing instead. Get out of school and you will see that the Pollyanna eyed doe-boys like me are the first to be placed on the platter to be picked clean. The luckiest people are the ones who drop out of school at thirteen with a strong work ethic. They beat the rest of them by 10 years. By the time the others have graduated college they are skilled in the game. They are the masters of the universe. Bow down to them. If you drop out at thirteen and are not work oriented you can kiss the baby just like the others who don’t care about things, but if you have a work ethic…
Scammers. Get connected in scams young?
Pretty much. Figure out how everything works, parlay your youthful charms into better pay and more connections. Play the adults for everything they’ve got. Youth rules. It’s just that youth doesn’t know this.
You sound exasperated.
It’s played out. I’m grasping at straws now. I don’t want any of this thought.
You think of what you say as mere thought. You don’t really think much of a real world do you? Everything seems to be philosophy with you.
True. Maybe that’s because I don’t have something better to do. Maybe I am complaining, but this is pretty much the way that I was taught to live. Think all the fucking time. Be a thinker. Be a critical thinker. Think about this that and the other thing and when you have thought a whole lot then put it on paper and let other people read what you thought and wait for the applause, smile, and continue on thinking and thinking until you write something else down, put it on paper, wait for the applause, accept it, and then go forward. All the while money is coming into your coffers because of the thoughts on paper and you are slowly rising in self-esteem, and your eyes clear up and you walk a little taller and you get a mate and have children.
Nice dream, huh?
Yeah, it is.
Tell me about your childhood.
Bad, good. Whatever. Pretty good. Imaginative kid. That’s why I’m a writer. In the sixth grade I got a lot of applause for some stupid stories I wrote. I included my friends in them. Second grade, I won best haiku poem by a Japanese judge, the uncle of a student. So I carried that forward as excuse enough to say that I want to be a writer. Good luck. Anyway, that was then. This is now. You don’t see yourself and all that and blah blah blah.
Blah what? What was that last blah.
That’s what I thought. Depressed, huh?
That final blah always tells it.
What about your adulthood?
Pretty good. Not too bad.
What was good?
Peace. Young peace. I mean real young peace. When I was very young and the world was a magical place although I could feel the pain. I could also feel the beauty in the quiet stillness. Peace. Gray walls watching the shadows of the trees blow on my wall. Day slowly turning into night. Peace. Sometimes you are too frustrated to write. Too bottled up. Anything that you say would be too much about a subject that you feel more than truly understand. You try to understand but you don’t and you won’t ever. You’ll never see it in the scope which some say that you will and can see in, their scope, no, not even really that, a more positive scope, sure, hopeful, yes, always looking for the right proper true answer? Yeah. Peace. Gray wall peace. Sleep and dream peace to wake up to a raucous world slowly, the smell of the food cooking in the kitchen, look down the hall at the old clock. My brother’s up. Action. Talk. Life. Slowly come to life.
Yeah. Slowly come to life.
How old were you.
Eight. Nine. Ten. Life. Grew up, was going to say “though.” Like life is the hard lessons of older age and not the innocent dream of youngness was a part of you as well. We are all on the continuum it seems perhaps some of us may match along the way and we may have families. The world needs to cater to these growing families by providing them with decent places to assemble and be themselves. Let’s take the scene back away from the drug dealers and into the hands of our kids where it belongs. Hamlet, orchestra, rock, punk, whatever, circus! They’ll do it all these days and I think it’s high time we listened.
Jed Jones was the lead guitarist for the grammy nominated band Moxy Priestess. In 2011 he put on Petals: A Rock Scenario. The American Tribute to Princess Diana at the Riverpark in his hometown of Millsville, Tennessee.
Interviews jed jones
s. Jed or is it Jedediah?
j. Jedediah, but you can call me Jed.
s. alright, Jed.
j. You don’t seem staid to me.
s. Thank you. Short for something.
j. Cool. Thankyou.
s. No, thank you for the interview.
s. Alright, let’s go. Moxy Priestess.
j. the love of my life.
s. Helen Capowitz
j. the mother of my child and the love of my life.
s. Moxy Priestess reunion?
j. I’ll talk now. Thanks, Stade, for having me. I got me right now a rock scenario on my hands written by my brother, Albert Jones, who I hadn’t even seen in over ten years.
J. Yes, that’s right, Petals.
s. is it sad? And about Princess Diana?
j. yes and no. it’s funny sad, but happy hopeful and musically astute…but anyway…
s. No, yes, I’m sure. And the music was written by yourself with your brother, Albert?
j. this is also correct.
s. I see. Well, tell me about this thing, this Scenario you call Petals?
j. Well, it’s like this, it’s one of those things. You ever pick up a rock on a beach or somewhere and looked at it and then kept it for a long time like it meant something to you until one day you look down and you see what it is? Well, Petals was like that. It was sort of an ode to my lostness in my daze of heroin addiction and running, petals, I remember ‘em in the fall in Pennsylvania. Petals. Petals. Petals. Falling Down. On the Ground. Petals. Knee deep.
s. I see. Let me ask you, is the risk on the road rousing you, I know Rose had a problem earlier in her career…
j. No, not at all. No. I’m free. I’m free. There’s a real story I could tell you and it would have to do with this play and it is actually in the play because I told Albert to put it in the play and he did. It’s what Steve Merrick told me at Riverbend Penitentiary in Nashville, Tennessee. He told me to “love.”
Love. That was it. No room for hate. Just love. And Albert put it in the play and then we took this hike on the mountain, a sort of climb, tried to get to the top through the back way of Anna Belle Mountain, the same way that my mule Teardrop went up. We made it, but along the way there was a little accident. We fell off of a cliff, first me, then Dink, this is Steve Merrick’s son, I still hated Steve Merrick at this time, still had the hatred clenched around my heart, and there was his son and he followed me over and finally we all just stopped.
Blahmph. I stood there swinging from a rope by my neck, Dink spread eagle above me as if about to take flight and from out of his shoulder the steel tip of a blade and rising above his shoulder, like smoke, the clenching face of Albert reeling both of us in.
s. how did you manage to fall like that?