Monday, June 16, 2008

Texas 2 and 5

Texas 2
crunchy sound of frozen turf wind whistling in the trees
icy fingers touching your neck
taste of dust and rust, as the plow parts the soil
clang and clamor of metal
touch of glass windows, shining in the sun
bustling city
hurrying to and fro, from anywhere and everywhere
farmer alone on the tractor
hub of the wheel touching the rim of the earth
buzzing bugs in the trees of summer
the crackle of grasshoppers in a field
relentless sun beats down upon the earth, hammering the inhabitants
the ants go down in the heat of the day
pity the individual who must go out to burn their skin
tar on the road is sticky hot, boiling in the sun
we survive, knowing that someday soon summer will give up and go away
usher in the cool air of autumn
with a rushing wind the trees shed their leaves
frost burns the leaves and drives them back to earth
so it goes on
rain and snow, sunshine, wind, earth and sky

Texas #5
Shall i say we are more like an amalgam or the conglomerated collection of souls?
Mashed together like so many taters
we sit at the crossroads of earth and sky
the flowers of our nativity persist
People from all over the globe come here, passing by or persisting
maintaining their specific tastes and passions and sharing them around
Dare I say that the influx of East and West has not had an impact?
if it weren't for Yankees, would we have A/C in Texas?
I might have never discovered horseradish on beef or sushi and wasabi
I wrestle with this 'harmless perversion' of loving Texas
a state that bore forth W, LBJ, and Barbara Jordan
Billie Sol Estes and Walter Cronkite
There is much good and evil simultaneously
Peculiar place this Texas yet just right for me
I miss it when I’m gone

Saturday, June 07, 2008

John Hiatt

Slow Turning

Perfectly Good Guitar

Something Wild

Friday, June 06, 2008

more from the file

On a paper towel

When the shock wears off

the bouts of sad are fewer and farther between

you begin to realize you are alone

it is likely to be that way for the foreseeable future

when you split the blanket it is

so much more than the partitioning of stuff and belongings

or even who is the primary conservator of the children's welfare

it is that you must recollect yourself

pick-up from the murky mire move on

find some worthwhile tasks you can simply occupy your time with

Somewhere down the road I’ll feel like myself again

despite the fact that they tell me I sound more like me than anytime

in the last decade

something is missing and amiss

I am not he who was before and I am not sure I want to be

I would feel a little better if the me I am now is ok with everybody else

even if I am not sure who that is


The strings do not know words

They know not the limitations of

Language culture or time

Notes are universal, rhythm is inherent

Music is born into us

As much as our color of hair or skin

Even if we have no talent, no skill

Music touches us and the ear that hears

A soul that is stirred

By the sounds of string and wind

The skin of a drum

Is not enslaved by words

Even if a mind cannot grasp a song in a language not my own

My heart, mind and soul

Can nonetheless be touched by the presence of music

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Things to bear in mind about Austin

Only those who are familiar to Austin will understand and find the humor...

1. First, it's pronounced AWS-TUN. It doesn't matter how they say it in other places.

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Austin has its own set of traffic rules. There's no book about them. All you can do is get in your car and hope you survive to learn them.

3. All directions start with "Go down Mopac...'cause you don't want to get on I-35." No one knows for sure what 'Mopac' means.

4. Burnet Road, Braker Lane, and Lamar Blvd. have no beginning and no end.

5. It is impossible to go around a block and wind up on the same street that you started on.

The Chamber of Commerce calls this a scenic drive.

6. The 8:00am rush hour is from 6:30am to 9:30am.

The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:30p to 7:15pm.

Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

7. If you actually stop at a yellow light, then you cannot be from Austin.

You may only apply your brakes when the end of a yellow light and the beginning of the red light creating a burnt-orange hue. This is Longhorn Country, after all.

8. If you like being an individual, don't even think of working for Dell. You'll be branded like cattle and made to walk all over town with your Dell Tag around your neck or clipped on to your belt loop. Ninety-eight percent of the people within a 200 mile radius work for Dell.

When someone says "Michael Dell", Dell employees are trained to face Round

Rock, hit their knees, put their face to the ground, weep, and rock back and forth.

9. Just remember that Mopac IS Loop 1; Capital of Texas Hwy IS 360; and U.S. 183 IS Research Blvd., Anderson Land, Ed Bluestein Blvd. and Old Bastrop Hwy; 2222 IS Northland Dr. or Allendale Rd. or Koenig Lane. Don't try to figure it out. Just accept it. If you question the intelligence behind this naming convention, people will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you.

10. If moisture is determined to be rain, and not sweat, all traffic must immediately come to a screeching halt; ditto for daylight savings time, a female UT student applying eye-shadow across the street, or a flat tire three lanes over.

11. DO NOT attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like snow or SXSW (South by Southwest Music Convention).

Construction on I-35 AND U.S. 183 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. Get used to it!

12. Attn: All telephone solicitors...DO NOT correct my pronunciation when I say I live in Manchaca, TX. It's pronounced MAN-shack (just like a man living in shack). Also realize that the city of Manchaca (MANshack) is in Hays and Travis Counties, and there is also a very long street in Austin named Manchaca (MANshack)! The city of Manor and Manor Rd. are pronounced

'MAY-ner'. We don't like corrections on that either. And, for God's sake, DON'T pronounce the 'E' at the end of Guadalupe. It's Gwada-LOOP and we like it that way!

13. Burnet Road is pronounced BURN-it, not Bur-NET. Koenig Lane is pronounced KAE-nig not KOE-nig. The old airport (Robert Mueller) is pronounced Robert Miller and is on Airport Boulevard. The new airport (Austin-Bergstrom) is no where near Airport Boulevard. It's in the city of Del Valle pronounced Dell Valley!

14. Keep in mind that the sloppily dressed 'hippie' in worn-out sandals and earrings is probably the latest IPO millionaire.

15. Stay away from the Congress Ave. Bridge at sundown if you do not like the thought of being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. (Largest Mexican Freetail Bat population in the US.)

16. And, yes, we all know that there's a man in a teddy and a tiara on Congress Ave. It's Leslie, and he probably makes more money than you do. (Surely you have a homeless, celebrity drag queen that likes to run for mayor where you live, too, right?)

And you wonder why there are so many bumper stickers that say 'Keep Austin Weird'?