MR. BRAY

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       MR BRAY

A boutique design & animation shop that dissolves the line between studio and agency.

Blood and Water

Poem by: Jesse Bray


Blood is mud in the face of water 

The mother

Sometimes mothers 

That treat you closer than kin

They begin to heal your brokenness

With their never ending kindness

Teaching

Preaching

Being a light in my life

Biology is hardly

A prerequisite 

For tenderness

While blood has made me dirty

This water has washed me clean

Salt


Journal entry: August 13th 2019


It's a strange thing to find comfort in such a raw piece of my art that predates my current pain. Yet I've found a strength in listening to my earlier sorrowful self. Why? Because I survived it! I'm here today, albeit to live to enjoy fresh pain haha. But the fact is there's air in my lungs and I made it through the struggle and time to be at this very moment. It fortifies my faith, my journey and reminds me to never forget God's presence and love is with me. So while the following poem and track our "salty", bad joke they're about authenticity. You deserve to be loved and there is love out there for you. So even when in your current mourning their is hope beyond the tears.  I pray this brings you some solidarity and comfort.


Salt

Poem & song written by: Jesse Bray

Circa 2006, recorded in 2007


How long

Til these eyes become

Salt

Oh can

This man

Turn to sand

Slow die

It cuts like a knife

Oh it haunts

In saline hope

You pull the rope

Say no to the world

And be my girl

How long

Til these eyes become

Salt?

Oh can

This man

Turn to sand?

In saline hope

You pull the rope

Say no to the world

And be my girl

Say no to the world

And be my girl...


Baggage

Journal Entry: August 11th, 2019


I want to preface this subject of “Baggage” before I begin: if people find your sincerity, or intensity or authenticity too hard to handle that's their problem not yours. You're looking to be a whole person and they're to caught up in hiding who they are. They're shallow to a fault and that's gross but not uncommon and not your crusade. You be the truest you and let everyone else wrestle with themselves.

Baggage

Baggage, we all have it but we just don't like to admit it. We can either talk about it and learn to live with it; and hopefully find others that understand and overlook it. Or we can pretend it isn't there and go on never growing or freeing ourselves.

Baggage is just apart of life. 

I've got baggage, and lots of it! From childhood stuff, body and mind issues to relationships and even faith. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and I've also been very stupid at times and thought both wrong and very ignorant things. I want to give myself a pass but that's often easier said than done.

My biggest baggage today is surviving divorce. All the reasons why aside, for me being now divorced I feel a bit like a relational loser. I lost my best friend and wife of twelve years. Sure she wanted to leave me and I fought like heaven and hell to make it work. But she wanted out. Her heart left me years before telling me and when her feet caught up I was spinning in the whirlwind of pain and loss. I'll always love her but my truth is she betrayed me. She abandoned me. And my heart is in a million pieces. I've lost over 25lbs in less than two months. I'm constantly on the verge of tears. It's hard to breathe most days and it is a constant battle to force myself to eat, shower and get out of bed. Have I made you feel uncomfortable yet? If so then my sincerity is challenging you to see my pain. We all have pain. Life involves pain. But how do we move from pain that becomes a scar instead of a festering wound? Truth be told I'm still working on that.

I'm not trying to offer quick fixes or a sermonette about how easy this is. Heaven's no! If I knew how to fix this stuff I would of a long time ago. I'm just sharing my baggage in hopes to free my soul from holding on to it all the time. And possibly to encourage the random reader as well to let go of a bit of their own baggage too.

Next month I'm planning on moving to Southern California. Eventually landing in the Hollywood area. Basically for work opportunities and a fresh start. Personally I see it as a spiritual experience. I need to let go of the past. I'm whole heartedly reluctant to leave my old life but my wife destroyed that life so there's nothing here that truly resembles it. If I was to stay in Portland, Oregon I'd have to forge twice as hard to believe in myself as I'm haunted by every landmark of my old life. If I was to stay here that would be for me to choose to live in a relationship cemetery, one where I'll never find life just gravestone reminders. I know this probably sounds romantic or overly dramatic. But I am a romantic and this is both how I feel and see my world. Like I said I've got baggage. And I'm trying to let some of it go or at least learn to live with the weight. Thanks for listening and thank you for following my journey.

-Jesse

Movies

Poem by:Jesse Bray 

Cinematic 

So dramatic 

Friendship on a silver screen 

Sometimes L.E.D.

Sometimes bright and shining 

You are my empathy machine

That speaks to me

From my sad seat of misery

Sometimes romantic 

Sometimes probiotic 

Always on in the air

Filling me 

I binge

I buy

I cuddle up for the whole night

Watching 

Waiting 

To feel these vicarious mates

Singing songs of camaraderie 

I pause to rewind

I'll savory the flavor of the well spent time

To cheer me up

From

What?

From my lonely longing inner need

It is an opioid of a mass

That delivers a communion

Of common dreams

Don't poke fun at what helps me

It's just my trip to the movies 

First Class

Journal entry:  August 6th-7th, 2019

What can $99 get you? Well apparently a lot! Today I was wrapping up a flight home from Colorado. I had the fortune of being able to tie in a family visit with a work trip. It was a full time for sure. But even with the distraction of work and my absolutely adorable nieces. I was feeling a bit low, emotionally down. So I thought why not give myself a boost. My flight there my sister had purchased via miles as a gift and my client purchased my trip home as I was able to extend my stay and work at their Denver office. So overall it was a pretty thrifty visit. So I sprung for an upgrade to my ticket to a first class seat.


Never having any experience like this before, the attendant says "that'll be $99". And I'm like well that's not cheap but not that bad either, having no frame of reference other than an imaginary gigantic number in my head along with imaginary fat cats that needed to be separated from the commoners. That's totally not me but hey I was feeling blue, and traveling all alone. Because it's important to the story since I'm sharing this publicly. This has been my first trip to Colorado to visit family where I didn't have my now ex-wife with me. So I was feeling the extra weight of her absence. Especially when I was with my nieces and one of them asked a lot about her and being only three years old it wasn't an easy thing for her to understand.

So began my first time riding first class! Now when you sit in first class, I was flying United so I can't speak for other airlines, the seats are downright comfy. And with just two seats to a row you're thinking to yourself umm this is the perfect spacing and how in the world do they cram three seats together on the rest of the plane?! Next you notice the first class area is sturdy and you can't help but think that heaven forbid this feels like the only part of the plane built to survive a crash landing haha! So just the comfort of the seats I'd of easily paid $40 for that! I pay $20 for a movie theater seat that's not nearly as comfortable and for half the time sitting I'm doing now. So just for fun the first class math is coming across not bad at all. $99 minus $40 for excellent seats totals $59. Then they offer you drinks! Now I'm not a big drinker to be honest. I'm usually between a social drinker to an almost non drinker. Growing up in a quasi-baptist church alcohol was sorta frowned upon so it wasn't until much later in life where I challenged that notion. However by that time I got older I just didn't have much an urge. Long story short I'm a lightweight when it comes to booze. I get kinda truth-y and ask inappropriate questions so I try to avoid it. Nonetheless I paid for this first class ticket so I wanted to enjoy all the perks. I heard people ordering alcohol so I ordered a rum & coke. Which turned out to be mostly rum with a splash of coke. So back to our first class math let's just guess this drink was worth $9, maybe a bit high but then again airplane amenities are never really a bargain. I ended up ordering, slash allowing the attendant to refill my drink three more times! So that $9 dollar drink was now four beverages totaling approximately $36. So $40 for seat, $36 for the drinks we're looking at a running total of $76 Not bad right?! It gets better! Now add a free blanket to wrap yourself up, free internet, a private bathroom for first class and snacks. All for $99 bucks! Now I thought this was a fantastic deal until later my sister tells me that my upgraded ticket also came with a entrance to a lounge that also had cool perks, which I totally had no clue about.

So end conclusion my first experience with first class was pretty memorable. It lightened my spirits, was relaxing and completely worth it. Sure this might be a rare opportunity but one that I'm convinced is a pleasant way to travel. We all need to do self care and I don't see myself doing this stuff often, but I had a pretty crummy birthday the weekend before and easily would of spent $99 had I of had someone to enjoy it with. Why am I feeling this need to express or justify this expense? I think it's because how I've been so misled about what first class was all about. I like to think of myself as down to earth. Yet what is life without an experience that makes it memorable. So I say treat yourself if you're able to on an occasion. Some fine living here and there can lift your soul.


Sincerely,

Jesse

Eyes

Poem by: Jesse Bray


The windows

To this open hole

Gives me up

To this 

Empty 

My eyes 

Have harden like a seed

On this weathering 

On my inner outer retreat

My eyes 

Tell the story

That my hearts been emptied

But from the outside

You'll never know this pouring

Wintering

I try

To dry 

Out this life

With understanding 

It fails to tell the tale of

My longing

I need?

Am I disappearing

Should I feed?

What's for dinner says my soul

I have no idea

I've been mistaken for taken

But I am lost and I am saved

Who is the knowing 

Better for let going 

I have zero

Idea why 

Or 

What

Or

Even where to go

Empty

Empty 

Empty

As my eyes are so full

Alone

Poem by: Jesse Bray


There's a space

Between 

The empty

The heat 

The need

That feels alone 

The wants

The heart dreams

For this space

Between 

To find my need

The hole inside me

To not be 

Alone

What is this need?

But the inner dream

Of my hearts home

I've felt this drowning 

Overwhelming 

Nights of salt

My eyes a flood

From

This aching soul

My God hears me

My God holds me

In the wrappings of eternity 

I know I'm truly not alone

Easy As Pie

Humming the original tunes to the ultimate love song; the fair skinned ginger boy spun in circles on his socks in the rough wooden floors of the hallway. "I love you more and more and I'll buy you a piece of pie". This silly little boy felt something when he sang this tune. He felt deep about these trivial lyrics. Especially the declaration that his love extended to purchasing this potential romance a "piece of pie".Surprised by his sisters, catching this gratuitously flowery display, they began to make fun of him.

He was cross! How dare they make him feel so low. He felt things about this song. He had created a song with imagery and originality. He was coming up with art! But he was also ten years old. And had zero idea of romantic love, or how little in the sense of artfulness using food in exchange for inner desires looked in his composition.

This clueless poet, this ten year old romantic, was me. The earliest attempt I had at song writing was this exact poem which I sang with gusto. Embarrassingly flamboyant gusto! Until my wonderful art critic sisters took the wind out of my sails. Haha yes, this was an important and cringeworthy lesson. If you're going to be an artists, expect critique! And if you're going to be an artist understand some critique is down right on point! It was a silly song that said "I love you more and more and I'll buy you a piece of pie".  Hey, if I love someone or heck if I like you I'll buy you a piece of pie! But much more so pie isn't the depth or extent of the affections I can express. Haha! I do like this idea of being genuine at any level even when my younger self wasn't mature enough to understand. However I was correct in one thing as a simple songwriting child: love requires a response. Be that a kiss, a hug, a thank you card, a nice email or a piece of pie. To quote the 90s Christian Pop band, DC Talk: "Love is a verb".



Thank you for following my journey!


Your friend,

-Jesse 🥧 

Air

Poem by: Jesse Bray


The air up here

Feels clearer

Feels cooler

Yet warmer

The air up here

Feels freer

Cleaner

Outrageously purer

Where has it been

The wind in my lungs

Caught

Choked 

And twisted

On my own breath

Before

With your absence 

At first

I couldn't see 

I couldn't breathe

Without your presence 

I'm finally relieved

Your weight was on my chest

Pressing down

Down

Down 

Down on me

But now that you're gone

I am truly 

One

Whole again

Though I felt ripped a sunder

My tears were lightening

My sorrow thunder 

But now the storm has cleared

There may be more

And others

But the greatest storm has cleared

Cleared my airs

And cleared my heart

You were once my life

Yet now I can see

You were never

 The light inside of me

You were just my air

The air that I breathe

Without filter

Function 

Or formality

I no longer need your air

I just need word 

Words of truths

That set me free

Free

Free

Free

Your stagnant air

Was for a time fair

But fair weather too

You're gone

And I'm gone too

Yet now

Yes now

I can truly say

I was blinded by 

Your once love of me

But now

Oh now

I can understand

That this man made from dust

Won't turn to sand

A Time Machine

Poem by: Jesse Bray


Last night I dreamed a dream 

A dream of a sad time machine

I traveled through once happy times 

The eyes and mouth were mine

I said aloud as I broke the mood

Us cuddled cozy enjoying food

I said this is me

Your lovely

From the future 

You're no longer

With me

Near me

Or for me

Love escaped out the door 

You have become a stranger 

Not stronger 

But weaker

You abandoned what we had together 

For reasons I'll never ever truly know why

You gave up on me

You gave up on our life

Your love flew away 

Like a bird from a cage

You feigned our friendship 

So now you'll feign your rage

Your love is dead and that is that

Like a ghost from futures past

Your mouth drops in awe

You can't believe your eyes in what surpassed 

And as quickly then 

As it is now 

I woke from my nightmare, my place of woe

For this sad sad time machine has no answers

It just reveals the hurts

And I need no device or great power to relive these things

When all I need is to close my eyes and then I'm reliving 

The hurt 

The pain

I'm tired and hinged on an empty trough

I'm sick of this sad time machine 

It's time to turn it off

Hate

Poem by: Jesse Bray


Hate is the greased hands of my life

I slip and stumble on life's troubles

Lashing out

Lacking self

Aware

I collect by arms folded

The spirit within me made me do it

Or did it?

Was this oily substance 

That forgets of forgiveness 

It burn to much to let it subside 

It hurts to much to let it slide

My bitterness

Fuels my hearth

It's wrong

Yet feels correct

I tick and tally all my reasons why

I

Hold

On

But then again it's just hate

The greased hands not fate

That pretend to keep me alive

For hate is

And hate takes

From future past and present

I want to believe in

Being forgiven

Being forgiving

But why?

When this fire burns 

Burns 

Burns 

So bright

But when will it end?

I can't keep up

I'm filled with it

And it burns my throat

I am the screaming soul

The scorching wind

It has echoed through my heart

I need to believe I can let go

Let go

Of the brightly dim light

To tell it 

No

No

No

That I can live again

Without hate

Birthday

Poem by: Jesse Bray

Oh on this day I do hate

The sorrows buckle and burst

They're ready to break

Oh on this day I do lament

How once before I felt alive again

But this is the day

Day I was made

Made of flesh and bone

Made to celebrate 

It's overwhelming

This lone underserving

Am I deserving

A little cake?

But where is my balloons?

In this sorrow tomb 

Of our old bedroom

I sit in the absolute emptiness 

This day was never mine

It was meant to be shared

With loves of my life 

For without their love I'd be 

Nothing 

Really no one 

Worth time or dime to sing

A simple rhyme 

Happy birthday 

Happy birthday 

Has become the saddest echo

Echo 

Echo

In my mind 

Without you 

I just pine

Without you in my eye

Life is without ice cream or cake

I’ll Never Be Walt

Poem by: Jesse Bray


My life is hardly G rated

Yet I wish it was

I'm a kid at heart that suffers from

A broken childhood

But fact is duller than fiction

And no one wants to hear your "truth"

People want a sensation not salvation

But whose to blame them! 

For life and time don't cost a dime

They don't cost a thing

That's why we're all penniless hippies

Tripping on Disney

Looking for love on the silver screen 

To remember of better dreams

I set the mood

I set the scene

But in my head it all seems 

So much brighter

So much lighter

So

Much

More imagineering

I'll never be Walt

But at least I'll try

I'll live my light

In my own time

I may never have a bauhus

Or a mouse house 

Kingdom

Except the one in my head

In absolute freedom

I'll never be Walt

Because Walt's not me

A living dying legend 

Whose memory 

Gave me strength 

When I was young

To hold my whispering inner peace 

Bitter

Poem by: Jesse Bray


Bitter than better 

Better is a lie

Life can't deny what the reasons 

Are

Why

Oh why

If this toxic lovesick

Romantic

Couldn't break free and see

The simple mind

Can tell more lies

It's not from deception

It's just from their conception

Their nature made them this way

Antibiotic Kiss

Poem by: Jesse Bray


The sliver tips of the silver lips

Drip 

Drip

Drip

Like the underwhelming stares into infinity

It's so colder now

It's so lonely some how

Your warmth was tepid

Your kiss was intercepted 

By your lies

Understanding

There's no rewinding

What's done is done

Is done

Done

Done

Done

My Beautiful Black Heart

Poem by: Jesse Bray

I miss your hollow tears

Your simple aches

On your toes

They twitched in joy

They twitched in hate

I miss your frown 

Underneath the single take

Your crown

Was your simple taste

Oh how I

Wish

I could believe your eyes

That not all your love turned to hate

I miss this time

The smell of your sigh

You were my life

But how I'll forever mourn

Your absence is a constant thorn

In my beautiful now black heart 

For Patrick

Poem by: Jesse Bray


Patrick the obnoxious prick

Illustrated with intoxication

He's sweaty and unrestrained 

He's seen better days

Under paid

He walks a walk of a crooked jaw

He's over his armpit bullet sinister bearded goatee 

Who knows what he knows 

He's just an annoyance to me

Shoo barfly don't bother me

Brush your teeth with glycerine and eat another humble pie

Shoo barfly

You're bothering me

Eyes of Winter Soul Of Hell

Poem by: Jesse Bray

She is a listless mistress of undertow

Hurting others like no other

She's the Queen no the King of damning souls

Harpies have no song to sing

In comparison of this banshee 

She's taught with lessons

Fought for acceptance 

Yet never Ever accepting

She's full of wisdom from another realm

Haunting but never haunted 

She'd rather you flail and fry

Then keep you alive

Even if that life was a lie

Her truths burn like a dagger in the lip

Cutting and cutting for all time 

A Bowl Of Chili

Poem by: Jesse Bray


The Bar maid

Looks to get paid not laid

Leave her alone

Her flirtatious pace looks to feed her face 

Not some romantic embrace

She's no villain of attention

You're just a lonely soul that's looking to fill a hole on the inside

But not the outside

The warm bowl of chili tastes salty and dry

Onions sweeten it but ruin your breath from hearing this, from hearing it

You're only a fool if you believe her smile is for you it's just her job

hospitality

It's no invitation to spend 

Any real time 

With her

Grow up and go out

You won't find your love in this dump

The Raging Case Of Casey Black

Story by: Jesse Bray 


The night sky is a murky purple. The cherry of a lit cigarette burns to the butt. The ash falls to Casey's lip and scorches his chin. Casey slams his foot on the gas pedal. His rusted blue truck picks up speed as it pops up the bridge. Flying faster and faster until it breaks and plummets off the side of the rails. Down below, what looks like hundreds of feet is a tumultuous unforgiving river. Casey clutches his steering wheel. A bible slides across the bench seat. Casey Black is about to die...


Casey was never hit by his father but he wanted to hit him good. He felt the old man had deliberately placed his foot on Casey's neck just to see him suffer many times. Chaos was the mans parental guide book. He lived a self righteous mind with a sailors tongue and a lawyers lifestyle. Casey never saw himself in this man. Casey was easily distracted, down right happy as often as he'd allowed it.

But Casey hated his old man for being his old man. Like the crazy person in Edgar Allen Poe's classic "Tell Tale Heart" that went nuts and offed the geriatric with the cataract eye. Casey was haunted by his father's relentless unavailability and       hollow quips. If Casey could of shook life into the bastard to get a rise out him he would of. 

Yet Casey eventually could careless after awhile, until Casey found the substance K. Here was a new drug that was perfectly legal and potentially cheap to get a hold of. Casey wasn't a casual user either. He found himself on this substance, night and day, good times and the bad. The drug had always been around and was even easy to whip up a homemade batch. But Casey found the drug more than medicine, more than a numbing agent. Casey found it as his life's purpose. 

Casey eventually left his work and family to use the drug full time. He used instead of ate. He used instead of drank. He used instead of getting out of bed, he used instead of talking to other people. He was the drug as far as he saw himself. His mind fractured and he couldn't live without it. If something or someone got between him and substance K he'd cut it out of his life or remove it. He'd fight like hell and jump fifteen steps ahead just to keep it. He was in all sense of the word an addict. Addicted to having the substance, being near and with the substance and being on the substance. This drug was his whole life.

When his finances and health began to rot he used all the more. When his relationships and family life began to fray he used the drug all the more. He even told off the old man, the man that did him to his eyes harm and kept him from his drug. 

He slung a noose around his own neck and it was called substance K. When he'd use his heart would race, and his blood would chill. Like ice flowing through a river it changed him as a person to his own riverbed. Then the worst thing happened.

The drug stopped working. The more he tried to use the less and less effects it had on him. Eventually it got even worse as the drug disappeared from all the local shops and even the ingredients for home remedy couldn't even be found. He felt abandoned, he was abandoned. 

So Casey desperate for meaning, desperate for feeling. Picked up a vice for vice sake. He didn't smoke but smoking was the right kinda bad that made him feel like he finally looked the part. He reached out to the old man one last time. Mostly through anger mixed with confusion. He wanted to punch that old bastard so hard for never being there for him. But all he felt was the deep sadness of his missing drug. So he sat in his truck and lit up a cigarette.

His heart racing he wanted to feel alive or dead, either way one would do the job. Fuming up the hill, his foot wedged on the gas pedal seeing the bridge up ahead. He swerved into the rails and went over the edge. His eye noticing his bible in his seat. He knows what he's doing or at least he knows he'll eventually know where he's going. The waters crash through his windshield on impact. Casey Black is smiling. His rage within is full and now finally empty. Liquid begins to fill his lungs. He breathes it all in. This is what he wants. An end to the endless gnawing pain. He lost everything thing that gave him anything so he's ready to give up everything.

Casey's eyes begin to close. His hate filled heart is now empty. He's ready for his rage to end.

The End