Monday, April 29, 2019

quote unquote

Neat Marlowe bathed in Thespian springs
Had in him those brave translunary things
 That the first poets had, his raptures were,
All ayre, and fire, which made his verses cleere,
        For that fine madness he did retaine,
Which rightly should possess a poet's braine.

-michael drayton

'round midnight

you crave a cookie
            you go to the kitchen
open up the cupboard
            damn! out of cookies

Sunday, April 28, 2019

quote unquote

I am in love with poetry.  Every way I turn,
this, my weakness, smites me.

-ted berrigan

an immodest proposal

anna & i watched the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame broadcast on HBO tonight.  i usually eschew these kind of self-glad-handing award shows.  a hall of fame is antithetical to Rock&Roll.  but tonight Roxy Music & The Cure were inducted.  i like The Cure well enough, but Roxy Music is my kind of jam.  singer bryan ferry is the fonzie of pop singers.  this dude is the epitome of cool.  he's going to play the Fox in oakland at the end of august & i've read that Avalon, that great, romantic, sexy, smoky, slowburn of a record will be performed by ferry.  but the fucking show is sold out & we didn't get tickets in time!

so we watched the show for both The Cure, which was a foundational band of every '80s teen who felt the societal outcast, lonely, misunderstood, imaginative, & yearning for those things in life that we, in our teens, don't quite yet have a name, & Roxy Music.  oh, Stevie Nicks was also inducted, & who can resist her witchy charms?  so was Radiohead.  i was surprised by Radiohead.  they've been around for 30 years?!  fuck me, i am old!  as i've just said, i don't care for awards shows.  in a just world there would be no awards shows, or awards at all.  but i must live in this world.

& in this world we have to content with awards & awards shows.  can we add punk acts to the roster of inductees?  is that too much to ask?  i don't mean punk bands like The Clash & The Sex Pistols, who each got commercial radio play.  i'm talking punk bands that are wildly influential but are still fairly underground, like Black Flag et al.  has Rock&Roll evolved enough to include these bands in the museum?

if so let me propose my nomination for the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame.  X.  their album Los Angeles is a great Rock&Roll lp.  X's music is gritty, harsh, visionary & head banging bangable.  you can slam dance to it, as well as just dance to it.  if there ever was a great punk band then X is it.  but would the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame awards ceremony get its collective head blown apart, & open, by their performance?  i mean, the song 'los angeles' is gritty as fuck.  the lyrics are controversial.  & and yet still, if pop music was ever called poetry then let the songs of X be so declared.

i am no guild man.  i have no skin in the game.  next year i'll most likely ignore the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame awards show, just like i ignore the Oscars, and the Nobel prizes.  unless, that is, a band, movie, or scientist & writer i admire wins an award.  i'll still poo poo the awards.  after all, they are a cod's game.  but fuck it.  if you want to valorize artists then do so.  include the non-mainstream.  for the Nobel give the award to a poet or two, more often, will ya!?  for the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame recognize the achievement of X, a great punk band.



Wednesday, April 24, 2019

1st day of serious heat

my sneakers stick to the sidewalk
                                   'round midnight
the cats prowl the room

Saturday, April 20, 2019

r.i.p. mark hollis

[i fucking love his voice]

return to warm

the week began with cold temperatures & rain.  the weekend begins with summery conditions.  indeed, my walks home from work are a proof that, i think, most of us are ready to slough off the wet, cold weather for sunshine & heat.  in my own kind of flanuerie thru & in my beloved berg i pass enthusiastic dog walkers, & their dogs, skateboarders, roller skaters [i saw a girl roller skating past me on old fashioned skates (four wheeled shoes) doing her own kind of disco].  lots of people outside enjoying the weather.  & my hometown has developed to accommodate the young & new fangled with breweries, brasseries, bistros, pubs & all manner of cool shit that did not exist when i was young & new fangled.  i feel fucking cheated.  young people have a vibrant city core to enjoy, today.  when i was only a lad there were the odd nightclub & restaurant, but nothing like now.  bummer!  anyway, it was a pretty warm day.  it is midnight as i type & tho the weather has cooled it is so pleasant & mild that i have the windows open.  so let us celebrate.  what?!  you heard me.  let us celebrate our lives now today.  for there is no other reason better than that.  i am aware how fucked the world is.  it will only probably get worse.  & yet & yet, i have had a taste of summer.  it was lovely.  it is lovely.  as the poet said, my life is made of the world.  i will do what i can.

Friday, April 12, 2019

the weekend

i am an old man, or turning into an old man, or whatever adjective you/me might use to describe this dude alive right/write now, i love music, particularly live music.  & this weekend the music fest Coachella is happening.  the fest started today.  most of the bands/performers i don't know.  but we live in interesting times.  a cool fact of our times is that youtube live streams Coachella on three channels.  as i type i am watching Nina Kraviz on channel 3.  who?  first time i heard of her.  but after a quick google search i learn Kraviz is a russian singer/performer.  her music is a cool, eerie electronica that matches her stage presence, dressed in black & giving an icy Nico kinda vibe.  Kraviz is sexy if you think Nico is sexy.  that's not a diss.  on either Kraviz nor Nico.  because i find this performer bewitching in a cool european style.  however, the next musician up on the list tonight is the electronica artist Nora En Pure.  i dig her.  i listen to Nora's radio show on SiriusXM satellite radio.  so that is what i'm doing this weekend.  i'm tuning in to youtube to watch Coachella.  i look forward to it every year.  & i can't believe a year has passed already.  last year i was digging the sounds of electronica artist/DJ Alison Wonderland.  i never heard of Wonderland either, at the time, but i liked what i heard/saw.  & that seems like, really, no fucking joke, yesterday.  weekends go by so freaking fast, blink once, & they are gone.  just like life.  so stop & do as my late cat ernie taught me, eat the fucking flowers.  & have some ice cream & beer too for crissakes!  for there is no ice cream or beer in heaven.  take it from me, i am an old man.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

the seeing eye gods

our good friends b, c., & their son j., visited this evening.  we did our normal thing which was pizza at a local favorite pizzeria.  before we left j. said to me, 'my dad has an album for you.'


see, they have a little indie record store near their house.  they found the obscure, & wonderful, picture disc ep by the seeing eye gods.


the seeing eye gods was a one-off paisley underground band by the owner of epitaph records & member of the punk band bad religion, brett gurewitz.  this ep is legendary in our circle.  released in 1985 we, my friends & i, knew very little about who was behind the music.  but we loved the picture disc & psychedelic sounds.  legend has it that gurewitz wrote, performed, produced & engineered the whole of the ep with some help from his drug dealer.

b. has had a copy of the ep for many years.  indeed, i had borrowed it in the early 2000s & recorded the music on cd.  however, there was very little information, even as recent as the early 2000s, about the story about the band & its music.

now, it is no secret as to the who, what & why of the band & the ep.  & the songs are very easy to find on the internet.  & yet, still, it is wonderful to have in my hands a copy of the original pressing of this fantastic ep.  very few of these records were produced.

but why yes, i do have a record player.  it is one of the relatively cheap deals that are sold at Target & Best Buy.  i still have a clutch of LPs too.  same for cassettes.  anna & i have dozens upon dozens of old cassettes.  we don't have a cassette player.

& yet, & yet, we live in the information age.  music is ever present in our lives.  even 34 year old records of obscure psy-rock.  behold, below is my favorite song off this ep.  plus in the description is a pretty good detailed history of this record.

thank you, b., for the lovely gift of music.

dig it


Friday, April 05, 2019

eliot is wrong

april is not the cruelest month but man! can the rain ease up a bit?!  it's been a very very wet winter & now it is a wet spring.  shit is soggy!  i've seen so many snails, slugs & earthworms on the sidewalks that from the looks of their arrival after a good soaking they are the inheritors of the world.  there are far more many of them than there are of us humans.

but as my friend john b-r sez if a worm could talk it would speak

i am shiva maker & destroyer of worlds
but if you see me on the sidewalk
please pick me up 
& place me gently on the grass

as for april being national poetry month, pshaw!  it is always poetry month, week, day, hour & second.

don't let april be the only month you read a poem or two.

however, i enjoy the annual Tattooed Poets Project currently underway at bill cohen's blog tattoosday.

also, mi amigo in this art & life, alex gildzen, refuses to allow april's cruelty.  rather, he is celebrating 50 years publishing his wonderful poetry.  please see alex's blog for information of an upcoming celebration of the poet alex gildzen & his poetry.

go on now, eat a peach.  i double dog dare you