Sunday, September 24, 2017

Making lemonade out of coal.

Dear Glad You Asked and Been Meaning to Say,

I am not even remotely over it.  I sometimes don't think about it, but it comes out of nowhere and hits me like a ton of bricks, which I have noticed have little words and phrases stamped into them.  Things like 'well, now what?' and 'futility,' and 'wellerschmertz.'  If I ignore these bricks, more come along, which only proves their wretched little points.  Beware the bricks.

I am going to get a sofa that people can stay in my studio on- overnight.  It's not an easy decision.  Many things will have to be removed, re-located, given away, in order for the space to accommodate a making down of a pallet on the floor.  An artist pines for years to have a dedicated space- a space without a washer and dryer in it, or mice, or a dresser full of clothes, or shovels and hoes.  A place that is only for making.  I set mine up for that, and for reading, but only for reading the 'right' kind of books- theory, and picture books, dictionaries in various languages.  I made shrines to the things I cared for in it- photos of people, birds and animals;  rocks, leaves, dirt, shells, seeds, sticks, and the red powder they use in India.

Still, what use are secret shrines anyway?  Who would be the initiates that might see such sacred spaces?  There is a very nice* bakery in Los Alamos, and the bathroom has a little Joan Didion shrine in it.  And isn't that the right kind of place for a shrine?  A place that people visit?  I think putting people to bed in my shrine-filled studio could be a step in the right direction; although I remain far from certain about the right direction; sharing a space surely cannot be worsening things, can it?

*  Par exemple, they make terrific canel├ęs AND fabulous pretzels.  Imagine mastering both of those, and consider how wonderful the croissants and bread must also be.

Make a few more pallets....  One, two, three, four, & five.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Not-Song.

Dearest Ones,

Oh, golly, what if you have stopped checking these pages?  It's been years since I started to write you here, and now I worry that you have strayed.  Well, not strayed, but moved on, or lost interest.  Which is fine, except, except for this one thing that I want you to read so much!  Oh, I hope you are reading still! 

A not-song for today.

Friday, September 15, 2017

A conversation between songs.

Dear Record Collection,

This song, is a sort of counterpart, perhaps, to that song.  Do songs talk to each other at night, when we aren't listening?  I have noticed my Lou Reed albums seem to be sidling up to Rosalie Sorrels, and I am certain that Debbie Harry likes to be between Jonathon Richman and Nick Lowe.  Bob Dylan keeps filing himself next to Dawn Upshaw. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Dear Watchful,

For those who love to see the rockets go 'boom,' there is this. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The music plays so nonchalant.

Dear All,

A song for today, because my DJ played it for me a few days ago, while I rolled along under the oak canopied byway - it was a beautiful time; magpies flapping up and ground squirrels scampering out of my way, the first loose leaves falling out of the cottonwoods in the creek.

I love this song; I love the operatic shifts and the chanting anthem refrain.  I want to sing it often, and you will too.  Be sure to watch this one, because it's a pretty wonderful little bit of film.  Want another another version?

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Prose Poem for Today.

Dear Rhymin' Simon,

I send you this poem-ish bit of writing today, and I anxiously await your response, if not your approval. 

As I Was Going to St. Ives

I met a man in a coffee shop.  He wrote poetry and wore a leather short brimmed fedora.  He spoke of  his 40 years of rejections; said he didn’t care for abstraction in poetry.   
I did a double take, because I thought abstraction was all there was in poetry.  But, thinking more on it, I suppose I am wrong.
Another man I met was a designer; he said he knew I would like it, because it was conceptual; said he knew how I worked. 
I thought he was out of his mind, but reflecting further, I see that he was right; many of my works are composed by systems.
I met a third man, an ex-high school coach; said he would have loved to have had me as a discus thrower. 
This was an even more shocking notion.  I always duck when the ball comes my way, I told him; I am not what you think at all.

Monday, September 4, 2017

You know who I am.

Dear Ones,
I can't seem to cross the street these days without thinking of the song for today.  Let's hold hands, all in a circle, and sing it together.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Next Stop.

"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone!"

Dear Peers,

If you heard this, oh, I don't know, a few times each month over the course of 5 years, say, it would really become a part of you, wouldn't it?  Sometimes I think that a message like this might be at the bottom of every little thing.  F'r'instance:  Why do I find mist the most beautiful of atmospheric phenomena?  Could just be that I watched a lot of TV. 

Television was the evil mind-rotter of those days, and I rotted enough of mine to choke a horse, but I still can't see trying to watch a show on that tiny little telephone screen!  I mean, there isn't even enough screen there to rot a really poor mind.  If you want to rot your mind properly, you'll need ads, too, and reruns and time-based programing.  Kids today don't even have a chance, actually, at rotting their minds well.

However, if you ever want to throw a little retro mind rot party, here's what you do:  You get a dvd of  I Love Lucy at the library, and get some lesser shows, too, like, The Big Valley and Bonanza, and get a really good show, like The Wild Wild West or The Rockford Files.  Now, carefully break each episode apart into 5 or 6 sections.  I recommend watching Lucy first, and then the two dud shows, because you are waiting, see, for the good one, the Wild Wild West, but you don't want to go do something else in between because that isn't in the spirit of mind rotting at all.  At each of these intervals you have broken the show into put on an old ad from YouTube's vast archive of such things, and then run into the kitchen to get one of these things:  a drink of water, or, a sugary soda, or a cheap beer even, if you are old enough.  You could also get packaged cookies, or maybe that odd popcorn that you make on the stove, with the foil pan attached.  One thing that is a nice and nostalgic snack is to make instant Jell-O pistachio pudding.  You just pour cold milk on the pale celadon powder and voila!  It really is instant, and it goes down easy with mind rotting shows.

Once the show you were waiting for has 'aired' you would do well to drag yourself through a really pretty bad show, like, Father Knows Best, or even Gilligan's Island, because what you want of course, is more of the good stuff, but now all that is on is these shows you never would have turned on the TV for in the first place.

And that, my friends, is the way it was, and I'd love to stay and talk about it further, but my show is coming on in a few minutes!