Thursday, December 02, 2021

Sly & Family Stone - Thank You For Talking To Me Africa

go deep into the republic of groove brothers, sisters & non-binaries! 
tip of the hat to john bloomberg-rissman for texting me this jam this morning

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

an old punk poet on taking risks 
after alex gildzen 


live long enuf & you might find yr idols become embraced, lauded, feted & then established.  ran an errand this evening & classic punk rock e.g. black flag, sham 69, operation ivy, sid vicious et al, is on the radio.  then, i flip on the tv to a rebroadcast of the 2021 rock&roll hall of fame on hbo.  the foo fighters are inducted.  i still think of the band as new.  foo fighter guitarist pat smear, former member of the great, legendary, yet toxic l.a. punk band the germs, gets to the microphone to thank the germs, the adolescents, 45 grave & a few other classic punk bands.  paul mccartney did the induction for the band & finished the ceremony by performing 'get back' with the foo fighters.  i have grown old

i got boosted!


& man! my pumpkin is sore!

Friday, November 26, 2021

recently i texted a few friends a couple of pics of my bookshelves with the heading SHOW ME YOUR BOOKS.  a couple did just that.  another responded that he is currently downsizing his library & now depends upon his local library for all the texts he needs, wants & requires.  my friend has reached a certain age where he considers his things too much of a burden for his children to deal with when he is no longer on this mortal coil.  

i hear him.  after all, things are just materials.  they are the clutter of our lives.  just a few minutes ago a bottle of beer spilled sending liquid down a couple of bookshelves.  a few of books got a little damp including a couple of out-of-print collections.  this is not the first splashing for many of my books.  many bear the scars of a life of use & accidental spillage. 

another friend & i joke that we want to die surrounded by our things.  for me that is largely books, journals, manuscripts etc etc.  the clutter of my life makes me happy.  what happens to them after i die is not up to me.  i don't care.  i'm dead.  & won't have a say in the matter.  if nick & anna throw out all my stuff after i'm dead i won't care.

& yet, i do wonder what amongst my things might have some value to future poets & scholars.  i know, that is quite a conceit.  most likely my stuff bears no value but only to me.  of all the billions of people who live on this planet right now.  & the trillions of people that will come after my own brief time certainly i can't hold to the belief that i'm so important.  no.  i take great pleasure in my knowing that i am ordinary.  i am one of the billions upon billions upon billions who live, who have lived & who will live on this blue rock.  

does such knowledge bum me out?  not even in the slightest.  for i have this short time to make of them what i can.  for me that means the making, reading & being of poetry.  & movies.  & fatherhood.  & family.  & friends.  etc etc.  do i want to remake the world?  fuck yes.  how?  by being a non-asshole to the better of my abilities.  as the late poet michael dennis said, it is better to be a good person than to be a good poet.  but i don't think the matter is binary.  we can be good & be a good poet & artist.  

as for my things, throw them into a sack & do what you will.  for the moment while i am alive i am gonna be one happy mofo in the middle of my clutter, my own things.  

self-portrait of the poet in the window at the fish ladder


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

dad bod haiku

a large chunk of cake / washed down with an ipa / autumn light 

Monday, November 22, 2021

rob allan [1945 - 2021]

i've long professed that all poets are brothers & sisters, present & past & future.  an ancient messy sometimes unhappy family of all kinds, types, voices etc etc.  i feel that way by reading poems, biographies, letters, emails & now blogs, tweets & other platforms of social media.

i discovered the dunedin, nz poet rob allan by his twitter feed.  i never met allan or sent him an email.  rather i was a distant observer as the poet was a 21st C flaneur who frequently published his photographs on his platform.  allan possessed a gracious & generous mind by his promotion of his fellow poets by his often reposts & retweets.  his twitter was chock full of wonderful content whether it be created by himself or fellow poets & artists.  

still, the world is vast, strange, weird, beautiful, & nearer because of our digital culture[s].  rob allan's social media is a proof that digital platforms can be causes of good works.  i'd visit his twitter feed nearly daily.  allan's last post was october 8.  it being not terribly unusual for social media users to take breaks.  but rob allan was prolific.  today i learned he passed away in october after a short illness.  nothing in the poet's published tweets hinted at such a finality.  we all will die but the suddenness of death is astonishing.  at least for me.  

the suddenness of death makes me think that we - i - must make more of my love of my art & my brothers & sisters in the art.  i fear i do not do enough to send my love & appreciation of their lives & works.  i didn't do that for rob allan.  even tho i never personally knew him i will miss the kiwi poet.  

his friend & fellow poet kay mckenzie cooke published this warm memoriam of the poet rob allan.  you can read some of his poems here.  

Sunday, November 21, 2021

watching movies in a dead mall

tonight b. & did something a little unusual for a saturday nite.  we took a long walk thru the near empty corridors of the Sunrise Mall located on sunrise blvd in Citrus Heights, an incorporated municipality of sacramento county.  the Sunrise Mall was a destination for families & teens in the 1980s.  it was one of the places to go hang with your friends.  the mall had a video arcade, & a movie theater.  however, the last couple of decades have not been kind to the mall.  b. told me that he looked up the occupancy rate which stands somewhere north of 40%.  that is a devastating statistic.  so b. suggested we walk thru the mall before it is either transmogrified into another thing, or dead cold on the slab.  

i love decay, decrepitude, mess & all thing of popular culture including dead & dying malls.  i said yes to b.'s idea before he finished his sentence.  malls today are no longer, at least for most young people, places to be & be seen.  they are barely places to buy things in.  yet, there are stores inside the mall clinging to life & shoppers determined to find their bargains.  but one wing of the Sunrise Mall was void of all retail.  that wing housed the movie theater.

i remember trying to get into an R rated movie when i was around 13 at this theater.  i was denied!  imagine that.  i think the movie was a kung fu flick.  i was tall for my age with a lot of scroungy facial hair so often box offices would sell me tickets for R rated movies without a blink of hesitation. but not at that theater.  later i did get to see many many movies there including taking nick to the flicks when he was old enough to pay attention to the screen.

i don't know when the Sunrise Theater turned into a discount second-run feature house.  even during the video home rental boom of the 1980s second-run feature houses were fairly common.  sure you can rent the movie you wanted to see.  but you can pay a couple of bucks for a ticket to see that same movie on the big screen.  when you are young, broke & needed a destination for a date these houses were perfect.

same goes for any young family who wanted to take the kids out for a movie but couldn't or didn't want to donate a kidney to pay for the tix & the treats at the concession stand.  let your kids go to the movies, said frank o'hara.  the Sunrise Theater was a great place to do just that thing.  

it's dead.  the mall is dying.  i miss the theater even tho i've not been in a movie theater for a long while even before the pandemic.  & i think the last movie i took nick to see at the Sunrise Theater was wall-e [2008].  that can't be right since he'd have been only four.  i'm sure we've seen some flicks after 2008 when nick was a little older.  such is my movie-going life that my younger years blur into each other.  

the Sunrise Theater is dead.  long live the Sunrise Theater.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2021


i know of a poet who folds her poems in neat little squares & tucks them in to the pages of her fellow poets' books then places these books back onto her shelves