Casey Hallas Art


Eventually, you’re just OK. You’ve become who you wanted to be, you can handle it – and you finally get to feel those feelings again. Loving, like you’re loved. Sharing. That’s worth staying alive for. There are people who KNOW. There are people who can feel it too. This is the future, the feeling. Stay alive.

Letting Go

You are everything you have thought, you are everything you’ve done. You are everything you will do, you are everything you could do. Sometimes you run into the wrong people. They put a stake in you, for themselves, not you. If they wanted to help you, they would. They’d ask you questions and put you on the right path. But for them, it’s about keeping you tethered to something they believe. They can’t see the everything you think about, your potential. It’s what they see and how they see it in their corner of reality. It’s a terrible waste of time to get locked up in this kind of smallness. I can say, I don’t even know the point, other than it’s just some myopic bullshit. Who cares what they think, what they say about you. If they believed in you, they’d be helping. It pulls against you, something from the past – some name, an anchor in a kind of wasteland. A hungry ghost. OK, whatever you say. Have fun. You can just imagine them turning and talking – ha, ha, ha, blah, blah, blah. I guess you know everything. They weren’t even close to figuring you out. They were about putting you in a place and keeping you there. I don’t even care to know why. It’s so small. It’s such a waste of time. If people like this stand between you and an institution, get yourself a new institution. You’re an institution. Because by the time you do your thing, tell your story and everyone’s saying, I didn’t know that – I didn’t realize – you say, yeah, that’s because those people are grotesque. Look at them, watch them. It’s a web of disdain. It’s a house of shame. NOT INTERESTED. My thing is bigger, brighter, louder, prouder, softer and way more beautiful. Because it’s these people after the fact, scratching their heads saying, I didn’t know. You didn’t WANT to know. You aren’t big enough to know. So – go home, leave me out of it. OK? See, they’re talking about you BECAUSE they know you’re more talented, more amazing, more beautiful. A good person would say – why don’t you shut up and DO something. Why don’t you shut up and DO something? Goodbye ghosts! Goodbye 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998. Goodbye forever! Cause the I didn’t know, or, I’m sorry – that’s really about you not being intelligent to know what’s possible. It’s not on me. It’s on you, and if you’re trying to hurt me – well, that’s just mean – because I’m a beautiful man.


When something bad happens, it changes you. You can’t be who you wanted to be…or who you felt you were supposed to be. It’s a battle in the mind. I wanted to do something I couldn’t do. It was elusive, just out of reach. I had potential, I was on a path. As is happens, I ran into a patch of trouble. I got side-tracked. It hurts, because, there were other people who got hurt as well. The people I was connected to. I lost control. Well, I wanted to use my potential to help. The battle in the mind is disbelief. I can’t believe I got cast down like that. I got stepped on, mixed up, silenced. I lost people…because I couldn’t say what I wanted to say. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Oh god, not again. But, that is what happened. There were people who stood in the fire. Very, very few. But there were people who weathered the storm for short bursts. Those are the people who saved me. Someone held me – we held each other, for a month. And then I lost her. Someone broke for me and I broke for her. I got kicked in the face and then I lost her. Someone spoke to me, I spoke to her. Then my mind and words were mixed up and I lost her. The blame comes down on you, but what about the people came at me? Something happened. You get knocked down and they think they have you. It’s not for their edification that I write. In Chicago, Sam Saunders helped me stand on my feet again. We walked with the crack-sellers and I saw dignity. These kids were survivors. On the streets, the kinds of attacks that took me down are repaid in violence. I learned about strength and retribution. I missed out on those connections, the ones I earned. But here I am. What does a man do when he’s fully on his feet again. Those people I loved, are they whole and open to see me? Everyone has a life. I lost part of mine – I had it taken away. But, you’ll see. You’ll see what I did when you weren’t watching. I like the street. I like the hustlers, I like divine justice. I like the poetry of courage and broken minds. Shhhh. Quiet. Shhhh. There is 911. There it is, the internet. There it is, new media. There it is, New York, San Francisco. Talk, talk, talk. I did something classical. I did something remarkable. I did it old-school. You just saw a part of me. So, if you care – well, pay attention. This isn’t a promise. This is a prayer. Listen to me. Listen.

In Defense

There is a complexity to the artist’s psyche that is paradoxical. It’s the nature of revealing. You are trying to be vulnerable to people who alternatively just don’t give a shit, those who want to see you fail, and those who might actually need some help. You’re doing it for the people who need inspiration…you would’t be doing it if you were OK. It’s the life process of finding out what OK is by putting yourself out there. Some people don’t try. I did it obtusely like throwing shit at the wall. You can learn a lot from the shit-talkers. If they were doing something, they wouldn’t be talking. But, they really have no use for you if you aren’t in their sphere. It’s a clique of self-importance. The true purpose of the art is for the traumatized to see hope through the horror – and then, finally – society becomes a thing that doesn’t create so much pain. We’re living in a post-apocalyptical aftermath. So, the extent of the losses and shame you face – is to be about as ruthless a cunt as possible and as soft a lover as to be found in history. Ideology is a ruse for desire. It’s about desire, and everybody wants to be the center of the universe. Except, if you don’t actually do anything – you’re just a shit-talker. So God bless the talentless. If I were you and just starting out – stick to science and don’t tell anyone anything about yourself. Try to learn not to feel. Anybody who’s trying to feel is looking for trouble. It’s hell. They’ll say you’re narcissistic. Not if it’s true. Not if you’re the real thing. And why? So you can be beautiful to HELP people, duh. We’re human beings not diamond rings. Get a grip. Eventually – you’ll get good at what you do, you’ll get the thick skin you need to tear through life. You’re a shark who can’t stop swimming. Get burned. Get destroyed. Rebuild. Your beauty seeps through the cracks and then you start to see – there is no time. It’s only connection. It’s only love. You lost the ones you love keeping your enemies close. Forget them. I love you so much it breaks time. The old stories are fictions. Why you gotta be like that? The only truth is now, now, now. You can only see what I see if you love me. Let’s love together. I’ll teach you violence – I’ll show you everything I know. This is what love feels like – destruction. I will turn you into a wilderness with earth-fire. You can’t mediate a legend. I’m not a sweater.

The Experiment

No see I was ACTING crazy for an independent psychology experiment…I didn’t actually LOVE you or WANT anything. That’s preposterous!


It’s best not to complain. This isn’t entertainment, really, someone saying something about something somebody else said. Blah, blah. At least it’s a low form of it and that’s not really the audience I’m after. It may be low-lying fruit, but still, not what I’m trained to do. The art speaks for itself, and if I really want to make a dent in the system, I’d need to go about it with some training. Sociology, English, Statistics. Whatever it is, to be a real expert. But generally speaking this carrying on isn’t about making things better, it’s about getting attention. Even to that end – which I’m guilty of – I’d rather just keep dressing like a weirdo and playing music. This kind of sniping and ribbing has run its course, it’s time for society to change. It’s time for the world to grow up. That would require a common ethos, so instead of complaining it’d be best to come up with some ground rules for how we can all live together. I know what my ethos it. But nobody’s asking, and I don’t feel the need to talk about it any more. Just put my head down and work. Try to be grateful. Look for connection. Be pleasant. I’m done being the thorn in your side. It’s not getting me anywhere. Seems like our society is perpetually about blaming other people. I’m just gonna make my life simple, effective, and be more open.


Boy have I made some bad decisions for the right reasons. Gotta start whipping out my nuts or I’m gonna die alone.


The point of being a good person isn’t to be thought of as a good person. It’s to do good in the world. There is nothing between your thoughts and the greater mind you can hide, and so any conceit about it gets in the way of the true purpose. Do you want to be a leader? It’s about what you lead to – not about you. You use your capacity to take people from one point to another. It’s about their level, not yours. If you’re going to make a difference, you have to find it inside yourself. True acceptance – for your own capacity and for those who harmed you. Move past it – it’s over. Nobody cares, after all. If they did, they’d be here with you. And if you’re doing it for the right reasons, the mistakes you made are teachable. You have to forgive yourself and offer yourself the same compassion you’d want to give and to receive. You have to receive it from yourself in order to finally transform. Any transformation in the world comes from personal transformation. Any leadership in the world comes from selfless giving. Give what you can when you’re finally ready by setting a good example. It’s very hard to live without desire, particularly in such a transactional society. Yet, in the very spirit of the thing, you should not expect anything in return. That is not the point of sacrifice. It truly is the practice that matters. The end of life is a mystery. Any inner peace you may wish on another you must have in order to teach. Loss transforms into strength. If you’re on the path, the harm becomes trivial. You lose the connection of individual achievement to ego death.


If you want a life with less pain, do what works. There are plenty of avenues to make yourself useful. Having success in art is incredibly rare. You need talent, you probably need to be attractive, you’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to get lucky. You need to have courage, you need to have patience. Delusion will sustain you through the worst of it – but, at some point in time – you will need to come to realize that your truest need is to connect. This desire came from trauma – to be like the illusion, because the truth hurts. Neglect, abuse – and you’re throwing yourself into a place where people WANT to doubt you. In spite of obvious talent, they pick on the parts of you that are failing. That is human nature – weak harming weak. The healthy will abandon you. Your search is not healthy. Be good – your goodness is the grounding you need in recovery. Because at some point in time – after all you’ve sacrificed, you need to just be appreciative of what you have left. A simple life. Reading books, talking to people. Having a job where you’re helpful. If you’re reaching for the stars you will still need to be content with the fact that you’re human and undoubtably earthbound. If your game is built entirely on conceit the inevitable fall will be unsustainable. Your looks will fade. Your next record will bomb. You must come to see that accolades of individual achievement are impossible without community. You are facing overwhelming odds – don’t expect sympathy when you’re trying to excel. The work is the statement at the end of your life. Be OK with it ending up in the landfill. Critics are trash looking to cash in. At least you make things.