Saturday, May 24, 2008

Don't forget to smile

I really have to remember to be happy sometimes
It isn’t hard.

Life is too hilarious to be sad all the time
The words of a child
Stories from old people
Some little blurb in the paper about a glow in the dark fish in pink and green

Things like that make me laugh
There are many reasons to cry

sometimes I have to look for a reason to laugh
I can read the funniest funnies in the world

See a movie that should make me piss my pants
But if I am determined to be sad

Then that is what I am

I think it is better to be happy

Monday, May 19, 2008

blues and the substance of music

John Lee Hooker

Hey, yeah I know him

saw him down there at Antone's

premier gig in Austin, TX

I swear he had five fingers of whiskey in a highball glass

Big fat Gibson guitar sitting there tickling the strings with part of the house band and the remainder of his crew, long haired whiteboy working lead beside him and a tall black man blowing sax

I was on a chair at the back, girlfriend standing before me, wondering at the spectacle of a man

I will not soon forget "Tupelo", even if I did not hear it that night

I read one time the efforts of a man to write into musical notation what the man rendered into sound

It was complicated and was the best effort he could muster, to transcribe into notes what the man played in the honky-tonk

all he had was a piece of plywood, his guitar and himself

I heard the first thing BB King played was the wire from a broom, between two nails on the front porch, his slide was the spool remaining from the thread

find a way to translate that into four lines of notations

every good boy does insufficient

pavarotti cannot read music

john lee can't either

and those who write music

have a hard time figuring out what EXACTLY

either one was doing on the stage or recording

and I am in the audience

somehow I am amused by all this


you can either measure the speed of the electron

or find its place

you cannot do both


measure me this

find me the substance of a man

weigh the words and find their mass

i challenge those who would measure out this life

who would know exactly what is the facts of the matter

you cannot

you can only get so close

then you have to feel it

and that has no ruler, no scale

no rule book

you have to find it for yourself

Saturday, May 10, 2008

more art, if you can stand it

i still think hippies were germinated back during WWI when the rest of the world was
still thinking war was an honorable task and not something found at the
wrong end of a gun walking at a trench
some men went mad
and others just made like it was so, who would know?
throw another thousand men into the breach of fortifications
and let them billow upon the waters of lead

yes, let us walk into the gunfire of the implacements of machines
brilliant! let us salute the brass with our ass
so well informed, so shall we fight our fight
let us walk into the teeth of the guns
and perhaps we shall survive going over the top

when the brass asks, no tells us
you, go here and do this
and it is patently idiotic
we tend to buck at the idea
why are we expected to do any less now?

if the marlboro soldier of this latest war
has found himself divorced
and unemployed
what is that to the VA?
such is the lot of the veteran

we treat our disabled lobbyists better than we do our veterans
and that aint right

art: George Grosz, "The Convict"

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

100 years war

100 years of war

Finally saw the DNC's hard-hitting commercial
that which has raised and will continue to raise the ire
of the RNC and anybody on the other side of the aisle who voted for this damn thing
they ought to run it in every damn market that exists, until we all know it by heart

I did a diary on protest songs, like that was a first
got some comments and lots of links
it was reassuring to see the young and old remind me
of what I did not remember and was not aware of
good stuff maynard, eat it up

i cannot get through seeing the "War Pigs" edit on Youtube I found
without tears and anger, even now I choke up
I applaud them who gave it to all of us, lest we ever forget the images
that they do not want us to see

if we, the nation, decided to park the dead of the Civil War
in Mrs. Lee's rose garden
let us park our memories in Crawford and Kennebunkport
lest they ever forget. Let it be as the albatross that follows their every tack
haunt them into the grave of their own making

I cannot forget. Whiskey will not kill it
weed only magnifies the sharp images in my brain
my heart bleeds liberally upon page and there is no recourse
but to protest and be active, keep blogging, keep sending emails and money
fight the power. make them die like we have died
I will not relent. I cannot relent.
I owe them too much.

War Pigs

Save our souls.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hockey Poem #1

Being a man where I knew
the smell of churned turf and sweaty pigskin
it really wasn't too far a leap of logic
that the flying fight of hockey
would appeal to my better parts of sportsmanship
and my inner demons of bloodlust and battle
I am awaiting the outcome of what shall be
to see the same and say I was there
I cannot skate any better than a milk cow
But I know a good game when I see one
sport does not know nationality, religion or color
of skin or flag. It is but a game we play
if it is a good game we play and watch
I found stick and puck or it found me
at any rate the 2OT is coming up
and I am out of beer

Verse 2
it was the 5th longest in the modern era, so they say
at 1:23A Central Time on Cinco de Mayo the captain scored
it was over on a Monday morning
sudden death football and extra innings do not compare
the rules do not change, they carry on as before
they survive on sheer guts it seems
I remember games like these