The Haberdashery


Contracted words are useful in an everyday vernacular sort of sense. You would not think (or maybe you would) that making one word out of two separate words would be all that necessary, and it is not, but when speaking “in flow” using the english language the streamlining of such an action smooths out cumbersome dialogue like you would not believe – if you are new to the english language, that is. If you are not, then you know all too well, albeit you have probably never given it much thought. In this paragraph alone, I could have used a contraction six times, and you may or may not have been finished reading it by now. 

From a time savings perspective (the worlds only real currency) “should have” becomes “should’ve” (awesome!). “Could not” becomes “couldn’t” (so great!). “You are” becomes “you’re” (smoooooth!) “Am not”; “are not”; “is not”; “has not”; “have not” becomes “ain’t” (so easy!)! But that last one treads into some pretty informal terrain. 

Contractions themselves were informal inventions made up, presumably, by the “cool” kids (who’re notoriously lazy) on the block who were tired of (two word combos are for suckers!) uttering each and every word cleanly, clearly, and distinctly, whereupon many others (thankfully) followed suit. In fact, the word “ain’t” is considered a slang term, which is a word or phrase that is considered very informal (by who/whom, one can only wonder…), 

and would surely be frowned upon in a professional writing/speaking setting – it’s interesting, though, the various gradations of “frown” when it comes to these very informal words. Take “ya’ll” for example. 

I was born in Atlanta, GA, although I was raised in Sacramento (about as Cali as it gets), but my Mom, or, Momma, as it were, would be very liberal with the doling out of the word “ya’ll”. “Ya’ll come in here before your dinner gets cold!”, or “Boy! I’ll snatch ya’ll bald-headed if ya’ll keep them elbows on the table!” (that particular threat never came to pass, so I’ve often wondered how such a maneuver would be executed…). But in my memory, most of her sentences would include the word. And, while growing up, I recall that the word “ya’ll” was frowned upon to the level of “ain’t”. If you spoke these words in public, it was explained to me, it telegraphed your position on the psychologically stratified social hierarchy, so it was to be avoided (if you gave two shits about what the people who bought into the perceived reality of the psychologically stratified social hierarchy thought, that is). 


These days, it seems, “ya’ll” is being used by peoples from all walks of life as a fun way to address groups of people with whom you share an affinity (friends, colleagues, the whole of humanity, etc…). It’s the one word that is quickly beginning to unite us all (or maybe just a lot of us) and as such, for years I’ve been meaning to throw my hat into the ring on the correct spelling of the word. Duhn duhn DUHHHH! 

If you’ll note, all the commonly used contractions from above are composed of two elements: the first word, and it’s abbreviated counterpart; the abbreviation seems to typically be in the form of a dropped vowel. “Should” is paired with the abbreviation of the word “not”; “shouldn’t”. “Could” is paired with the abbreviation of the word “not”; “couldn’t”. “You” is paired with the abbreviation of the word “are”; “you’re”. And therein lies the crux of my argument. The word “you” is not abbreviated. 

The word “ya’ll” is a “very” informal contraction of the words “you” and “all” and is, the vast majority of the time by the vast majority of people who write it, written as “y’all”, 

but if we’re following the aforementioned convention of proper contraction usage, it would stand to reason that the abbreviated word would not be the word “you”. It would in fact be the word “all”. And, since we’re slinging such slang words around I would be remiss not to point out that “ya’ll” is actually a slang word, and as such, the contraction is the combination of the words “ya” (slang), and “all”. Therefore, the proper spelling of the word is “ya’ll”. 

Now, one could argue that the contracted words “'twas” (it was) and “'tis” (it is) have abbreviated first words, but I would like point out that the last time you used such a word in any real context was probably never, and this is for good reason. They just feel archaic and out of touch. Maybe that’s because they are. But it’s a very valid point, and brings into full view the notion that we’re kind of just making it all up as we go, so a “final authority” on the matter doesn’t really exist (unless we all agree to it), and if we’re making it all up as we go, I’ve just made up the case for “ya’ll”.

That is all. 

A Practical Application of Infinity - attempt 1 


I seem to take a particular, 
flavor of offense
overtly ordinary in it's openness, 
when I see someone acting out some bullshit or other
    we're not all here in the room, 
and like 
    we're not all paying attention to the
inappropriate misappropriation
(redundant? is there ever a time when 
misappropriation is appropriate?)
-- Misappropriation? --
of the moment 
by corralling the attention(s) available 
in the room 
for the personal fulfillment 
of some ego-based need. 
So I process the feelings 
that are produced in me 
by it,
my personal gourmet blend of offense --
   equal parts taking my "self" too seriously, 
   and not seriously enough --
my emotional reaction cocktail,
my mixture of mechanical machinations,
as it were
(or maybe it's 
that I'm only now 
becoming aware of 
latent feelings 
that were produced in me 
by some other 'it'
years gone by
by now) 
sitting silently, 
bearing the behavior 
by observing the behavior, 
    and its effect on the current setting 
    and its constituents 
    (including myself), 
while this particular ego 
  (get thee behind me Satan, 
  and all that business) 
attempts to bend the world, 
and all of us in it,
to its will
-- I hesitate to use the word 'ego', in fact; 
   I find loathing in here for it, 
      the word, 
      and maybe the thing,
      the only way an ego can
   but it does seem 
   to most accurately describe 
       the event of possession 
            or otherwise, 
            depending upon your perspective 
   of an individual's selfness 
   in the moment 
   in relation to the surrounding area,
   and all parties involved
   by way of protecting,
   like some so-called super hero 
   headed up 
some so-called slippery slope, 
   a non-causal, 
   already broken, 
   chagrin implied 
   by way of this particular ego -- will unfold 
all of its strategies for obtaining 
what it needs from the environment 
given time and understanding 
(compassionate, or no) -- 
in truth, we're all doing that at some level
(bending the world around us to our will),
it's my belief, 
none of this would even be here, 
      or maybe pointing out,
          or maybe citing, 
that the only existence that exists 
is a relational one: 
I exist, 
It's then that I realize 
I must do it too, 
in my own way. 
Why else would I react at all?
there would be no cause for offense
if no one were horning in on my game
why would I be playing a game..?

Haberdasher Puzzle: The 4 Pieces of Circles, Squares and Music  

Haberdasher Puzzle: The 4 Pieces of Circles, Squares and Music


David: What’s the Haberdasher Puzzle?


Derek: It’s basically taking 4 pieces of a geometric shape and rearranging it from a triangle into a square. The same pieces that make a triangle can also make a square. You can cut an equilateral triangle in 4 pieces that can be rearranged to make a square.



David: What’s Haberdasher mean?

Derek: Shapes, cuts, refinement, old school, harmony and music. Did you mean the actual definition?


David: I meant what is it. How does it relate to music?

Derek:  The flow of music in performance is consistent with the flow of the Haberdasher’s puzzle. The idea that all of the pieces would hinge, or connect with each other without breaking the flow during rearrangement. Like performance. The problem itself would have had to have been deeply considered before a conclusion could be drawn; I like that.  


David: What is it about 3 vs 4?

Derek:  1,2,3,






David: Whatcha mean?

Derek: ¾ is in the feel of the waltz. Most pop music is in 4/4. ¾ is a bit more rare in the pop world, but equally satisfying.


David: There’s also an odds and evens quality to 3 vs. 4.

Derek: All bases covered. And it’s a four piece band: Samuel Hertig, Bass. David Walsh, Cajon and Percussion. michael michael, Percussion/Soundscape. Me, Guitar and Vocals.


David: Do you remember the moment you picked Haberdasher?

Derek:  I don’t. I remember the timeframe, but I don’t remember the exact moment.


David: What was the timeframe?

Derek: My friend Eric and I formed a duo shortly after I moved to San Francisco, and we worked together for a few months, wrote some songs, played a show at El Rio in SF in The Mission District, and then amicably, by way of a gentlemanly handshake equipped with a slight, respectful nod, went our separate ways.


The experience of moving from start to finish through a project had a profound effect on me, and I immediately began thinking in my own direction. From there the word haberdasher popped into my head, and I liked the word (I’m into words. Bailiwick.).


David: What is it about the word?

Derek: It had a vintage feel. It drew out of me an association to the 1920’s for some reason, and I’ve always had an affinity for the 20’s, the odd, old timey words (ballyhoo!), the tense harmonies, the bounce of celebratory music, ragtime. So I was transported, not to a particular time and place, but to a kind of nostalgic sentiment. I like what it could mean in terms of lives lived and interactions had as people rolled in and out of some one location discussing the events of the day, life’s philosophies, life’s priorities, all while tailoring up, as it were, and “everyone” seemed to have worn a suit back then, so a Haberdasher was a busy individual.    


Besides, it just rolls off the tongue, using the “B” as the windup, and the “D” as the launching point. HABERDASHER (link to instagram of vine of derek saying the word). Singular. Not plural. Not as a means of describing multiple participants. Just Haberdasher. It’s evocative to me. As it exists that way, the idea merges with the sentiment, and connotes this notion of singularity. Just another bubble of reality.






"Keep It Simple," He Says 

Man, life; the very stillness of it boggles the mind. And even when I think I have it all figured out (which I never actually say out loud anymore, lest the hammer fall), I find another nuance that's news to my perception, causing my nasal area to seize up, and my forehead to clog with a fear for the light of the moment that's akin to claptastrophy. Since when is it I learned to second-guess myself? Since when is it I learned to set aside the business of living for the cajolement of a sense pleasure, the appeasement of a mentality long since established by a world around me that was merely appeasing its mentality? Sure you could say I had my own role to play in accepting what the world had to offer, proceeding to hit the pleasure button over and over again, and finding the button for pain as far away from me as possible.

All I can say is that everyday I stare, increasingly in awe, at the grandeur of my delusion. The little intricacies of a story to unfold. A mind filled, brimming with untold miserable delights that slaver, with naught but regularity for a second-hand. And where else can I be but right where I am regardless of what it is I take in by these senses? The world that surrounds me is not what I thought it was. Somehow I've surrounded it, and will break windows and toss torches if I don't cooperate and release my sole hostage. It's not what you tell me it is. It's not what I tell myself it is. It really only seems to be what it is. A world that changes its skin more times than the topmost salesman (is it the world that changes, or my point of view? who's the salesman here anyway?!). Without the assessments of science (more of a religion than Christ could ever lay claim to), without the rigid data of a rigorous guess and check analysis, and without the unanimous decision to call a toad by any other name. Is that egotistical of us as "humanity"'s underbelly (I'm sure it's egotistical of me to say it, right?)? Is this really just another dark age in disguise?

Who is called to bear to for the foibles of a derelict race of mammals that build a tower daily and tear it down again before reaching the heavens for fear that we deem ourselves worthy? We're always watching everyone else for their misdeeds, misconducts, misfortunes, misdirections, misunderstood hackneys, mistletoes, exposed camels toes and leftover genitalia, loaded social norms, and subtle language undertones motivated by cowardly righteousness ("oh, not me!" you proclaim...well, so). We play by a system of checks and balances whereby we have appointed ourselves wards of those poor people who just so happen to be nearby, or, within shouting distance, within earshot, or eyesight, arms reach, or a hair's breadth, three feet out, or nine feet to the hole and a clear lane to drive.

We monitor the actions of our neighbors just so we can feel, when we've caught the red hand pilfering cookies, a little bit more righteous in our search for a cookie jar to pilfer from, our hand clothed in a fresh coat of paint. At least the cookie monster had no shame. He always said, "Fuck it, I'm having me some cookies by the fistful." He didn't judge or disdain, justify or complain about another's actions ordained by his wanton desire. He didn't judge anybody but himself.

So, who's to say? Sesame Street? Apparently, and why not? It'd be better than lifting our eyes to their lord and ladyships, us, wouldn't it? Right down to the black gown and white wig, the gallant gavel and tasty fig of a justice we preach but never follow, only to wallow in our own selves, the strife of another life after life after life.

Man, life.


We don’t see emptiness it seems, we only see what is there (provided by emptiness). I asked myself this morning, what is it we learn at a very young age when taught in which direction to look and what to focus on? As I see it, the focus, spatially, was pretty much always on what was there physically (there implying that there’s a here from which to see) – possibly as a means of survival – but to focus only on a physical “there”, completely negates the vastness of what isn’t there in physical form.

If I wonder long enough on what isn’t there physically, but what is there as a result of physicality, I see only sky, or, air. It’s a “something” to be sure, but relative to what we’ve been taught to focus on as being “there” (physical form) a “nothing” is implied, emptiness. Emptiness not nihilistically speaking, but emptiness as a “something” made knowable/perceivable by the physical.

If I ponder longer still on the nature of the space in which the physical resides, I realize that the substance “I’m” made of is of this same material of residence and naturally implies emptiness by way of existence, and so the emptiness encroaches upon me, into a space originally conceived of (by me) as me.

And so I ask myself, how close does the emptiness come? Where do the borders of “me” begin to hold this emptiness at bay? Because if no borders held this emptiness at bay, then that would make this “me”, what I conceive of as me, empty (a terrifying thought to something located somewhere within the vicinity of “me”). But if emptiness is implied by the physicality of my being “here”, then it must be the lines of this “me” that creates the surrounding space. But even still there seems to be something that permeates both the form and the not-form – some kind of über emptiness that implies both of these, or rather, allows the form and the not-form to be seen or perceived, just as a drawing (space implied by lines to form a recognizable image) is only made possible by the piece of paper.

Then I further inquire: if the form of “me” implying the not-form around “me” is only “there” by the grace of the piece of paper, then, as the emptiness further encroaches, past borders that don’t really exist, what am I? As the piece of paper permeates in its entirety, then space implied reaches inwardly as far as it goes, and if “I” continue a retreat from this advancing space I eventually become a pinpoint of definition in the general locale of this “me” until everything is suffuse with what, the piece of paper? If everything is suffuse with the piece of paper, and yet I’m still here, then what the hell am I?

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