Joseph VanBuren's Blog

August 24, 2020

here now peace

There seems to be a lot of stress and drama in many people’s lives these days. What I think everyone needs is to relax with some mindfulness meditation through poetry and music. It has helped me tremendously, and I’m sure it can help you too.

Preview, stream, or download the album on the Sykophunk Bandcamp page
or listen to it on Spotify
Order your copy of the e-book on Amazon
You can preview the poetry on my Patreon page .

Paperback and incense coming soon…
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Published on August 24, 2020 09:53 Tags: meditation, mindfulness, music, peace, poetry, relax

May 22, 2020

Keep on Rockin in the Unfree World

Like a lot of people, I’ve been going through some ups and downs lately, especially with my creative stuff. On fire one day, uninspired the next, and just overall unsure of the future.

What has kept me going is the idea that my work can help somebody out there deal with these crazy, uncertain times.

If each poem, story, and piece of music I put out there helps at least one person to cope, escape, or just make a crappy day better, then it’s worth continuing even when I feel hopelessly lost in all the noise.

So I will keep posting content on Patreon, releasing albums on Bandcamp, and self-publishing my books with soundtracks. I encourage you to keep doing whatever you love, because if it makes you happy then chances are it means a lot to someone else out there as well.
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Published on May 22, 2020 12:21 Tags: books, don-t-give-up, joseph-vanburen, life, music, poetry, releases, stay-positive, sykophunk

May 19, 2020

Hooked on Poetry

Shout out to Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi at Hook of a Book and Kendall Reviews for featuring some of my work as part of the #HookedOnPoetry project! I am humbled and honored to be included among so many great poets.

These folks provide tons of support for independent literature, especially the dark and weird stuff. Have a look around their sites and find some new authors to love!
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Published on May 19, 2020 11:28 Tags: hook-of-a-book, indie-lit, joseph-vanburen, kendall-reviews, masks, poetry

April 27, 2020

6 (Mostly Free) Ways to Stay Entertained

I am proud to be an independent author and underground artist. Always have been. But along with minimal middlemen and creative freedom, this path comes with its share of hardships as well, such as being 100% self-funded.

Now that I’ve lost my day job and main source of income, all of my creative plans are in limbo. Seems like a great time to remind you of some simple ways you can stay entertained and support your favorite indie creators at the same time.

We love making stuff for you but can only continue with your patronage. That’s how the world works. Luckily, all of these ideas cost as little as one dollar, and some are 100% free!

Subscriptions. Sites like Patreon allow creators to offer monthly subscriptions to their content. Since a lot of us have extra free time and really need money right now, many creators have upped the ante on what they offer, giving you more bang for your buck. I have a few freebies up on my Patreon page. Anyone who likes the free stuff can subscribe for $1 and get exclusive content every month!

Streaming. When you listen to music on streaming sites like Spotify, artists get paid. Sure, it’s only a fraction of a cent per listen, but every little bit counts and it all adds up. I love putting playlists together on Spotify, don’t you?

Reviews. People are reluctant to take a chance on something unless they see good reviews online. If you recently read a book and enjoyed it, please leave a review on Amazon and here on Goodreads. A lot of indie authors are offering books for free or at discounted prices right now. My book Masks: Complete Trilogy is only $0.99 this week!

Pay what you want. Sites like Bandcamp allow creators to offer content through a “pay what you want” model. If you have a few bucks to spare, your donation is greatly appreciated. If you don’t, enjoy your free gift. My latest album, The Isolation Sessions, is now available on Bandcamp, and Volume Two will be ready next week!

Videos. Youtube is one of the biggest destinations for entertainment these days. Whoever your favorite indie creators are, chances are they have a Youtube presence. Some videos are monetized so that artists can get paid, but watching any video helps keep the creator stay relevant in the algorithms. Here is one of my playlists that features my poetry, music, and weird visuals!

Sharing. Of course, the one thing anyone can do for free is sharing things on social media. Three seconds of your time means the world to us. When you share your favorite music, books, movies, etc. with your social network, you help your favorite creators rise above all the noise out there. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @JVBsykophunk.

We are all in this together. You need entertainment as a means of escape, connection, or just making a crappy day better. We need to get our creations out to the world for the same reasons. Support your favorite indie creators today!
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March 31, 2020

Horror Haiku Inspired by #QuarantineLife

One of the ways I’ve been using my creativity to deal with these crazy times is by dropping horror haiku every Tuesday (a.k.a. #horrorhaikuesday) on social media.

In self-quarantine
the vilest virus infects:
poor preparation.


Plague of contagion
spreads quicker than the virus:
infectious panic.


You are not alone.
Always haunted by yourself:
social distancing.


Catch cabin fever
isolated from sickness.
Let’s go stir crazy!

Follow me on introverted media @JVBsykophunk for new ones every Tuesday, especially for National Poetry Month in April!

What are you doing to help get through #QuarantineLife?
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Published on March 31, 2020 13:14 Tags: coronavirus, covid-19, dark-poetry, haiku, horror, joseph-vanburen, poetry, quarantinelife, sykophunk

March 21, 2020

Free E-book for Quarantine Reading

My first poetry collection, The Consciousness Conspiracy (remix) Vol. 1 , is available for free download if you'd like to add it to your quarantine reading list. It's dark, weird, and not exactly uplifting, but maybe in a strange way it is because we're all in this crazy mess together. I have always used horror as a way to navigate the darkness of the real world, especially in uncertain times like these.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!
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Published on March 21, 2020 08:56 Tags: dark-poetry, free, free-book, horror, quarantine, sykophunk

December 17, 2019

What Do You Want in 2020?

Sykophunk may go quiet, but it does not go to sleep. The rEvolution Underground cannot die. It merely changes shape over time, evolving to adapt to a world in constant chaos.

I have a lot of ideas for 2020 and not necessarily the time or resources to execute them all. So I need your help to guide my creative direction for next year.

When you have a moment, please take this short 7-question survey. You’ll be able to tell me what you want out of this blog, my future releases, and other potential projects for 2020. I will take about 3 minutes and mean the world to me!

Thank you for supporting independent literature, underground music, and unconventional art :)
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Published on December 17, 2019 06:04 Tags: 2020, feedback-needed, indie-lit, joseph-vanburen, sykophunk, underground-music

October 15, 2019

More October Halloweenormama!

The autumnal awesomeness and Samhain sickness keep spreading! Check out some Halloween poetry, including one from yours truly, on the SFPA Halloween Poetry Readings page.

All month long, I am posting the 31 Days of #Sykophunk #Halloween. Horror music, poetry, videos, and more all throughout October. Follow @JVBsykophunk on your favorite social media platform – links on my official website as well.

My latest album entitled Not Mask Self Soundtrack is now available on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, etc. Horror is only one of many influences on this album, but the creepy cover art is definitely Halloween AF!

Do you have any horror/Halloween creative things coming out this month? What are some of your favorite sources of entertainment for the season?
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Published on October 15, 2019 06:18 Tags: autumn, halloween, joseph-vanburen, music, poetry, sykophunk

October 5, 2019

October/Autumn Things Happening

Isn’t this the best time of the year? The falling leaves, changing colors, hoodie weather, and of course all the awesome Halloween and horror stuff!

This is always my busy season, and this year is no different. My latest book, Masks Complete Trilogy, is now available in ebook format! Paperback & ebook through other retailers coming soon.

All throughout October, I am posting the 31 Days of Sykophunk Halloween on social media. Follow JVBsykophunk on your platform of choice for a daily dose of your Halloween fix!

My new album, Not Mask Self Soundtrack, is now available on Spotify, Bandcamp, coming soon to Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, etc. If you hate music that mixes too many genres in unique ways, do not check this album out ;)

How do you plan on celebrating Halloween and horror this month?
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Published on October 05, 2019 09:42 Tags: autumn, halloween, joseph-vanburen, music, poetry, sykophunk

July 1, 2019

2019 Goals: Mid-Year Review

At the beginning of the year, the hosts of my favorite podcast (The Mando Method) publicly announced their goals for 2019. Hosts Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda encouraged listeners to set and announce their own goals, which I, among others, did.

Now it’s time to face the music. How well have I done on the goals I set in January? Here we go:

Word count goal: 210K. Mid-year actual: 40,875.
Continue to release 6 things per month on Patreon. Actual: I did it for about 2 months then killed my Patreon page.
Releases: 4 (2 albums, 1 book, 1 interactive story). Actual: 1 album released (Mask: Persona). 2 books finished but not yet released, 1 album halfway done, interactive story just barely started.
Submissions to anthologies/magazines: 24. Actual: 12. But one submission was a chapbook of 33 poems. Bonus: I’ve gotten 4 acceptances published in 2 magazines so far this year (Horror Sleaze Trash & The Sirens Call)!
Edit & polish: the novella I finished last year, The Black Circle, to submit to publisher. Actual: I haven’t worked on this at all.
Get more subscribers on Patreon, whatever sorcery it takes. Actual: Negative (see number 2 above).

So, I’m right on target with releases and submissions, but way behind on everything else. I can cite all kinds of excuses – health concerns, the perils of home-ownership, struggling to settle into a day job/freelance work, setting unrealistic goals, some combination of all the above…

Nobody said this would be easy. I have fallen short on some of my goals, but I am also proud of what I have accomplished. The year is only half over. Let’s keep at it, adjust battle plans according to reality, and see where the next six months takes us!

How about you? How are you doing on your 2019 goals so far?
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