poems, etc.

journaling and Zelda's exercise

Went to see Nicole do the triathalon relay today - so proud of her! She and two co-workers split the "Iron Girl" triathalon in Columbia, she did the biking part. I got her to volunteer as model for shiatsu photos afterward.

Been working a lot on the house the past week, moving furniture around, making preparations to renovate the rear addition, catching up on cleaning.

Dusting off photos of old friends who I haven't seen in months...there's some kind of symbolism there. "The mind is like a bright mirror in a stand, take care to keep it free of dust.", the old Buddhist poem.

Dust piles up on the photos in their frames
Faces of friends, some long unseen
Are hidden and dimmmed
Though memory is always bright
Memory is always bright

Zelda's exercises, August 13

Two exercises from Zelda's Inferno:

1) using these four things:

1 inanimate object: window glass
2 landscape or geography: sidewalks and streets
3 newspapers/current event: latest terrorism scare
4 from tv: idiot talking heads

how many windows have I looked out of, in how many cities
on to how many sidewalks and streets
watching people go by
mostly watching the women, to be sure

the window glass keeps me safely inside, separated from what I see
vision only, no sounds, like a TV that's muted

Jul 30 Zelda's exercise

From a Zelda's Inferno exercise:

firefly

when we were kids we would catch them gently

running around my grandfather's yard on summer night

put them in glass jars with holes in the lids and a few blades of grass in the bottom

let them go at the end of the night

catch them from underneath, hands scooping up to match their flight, cupping the lightning bug inside

its flashing tail betraying it to our child-eyes

never wanting to hurt, just hold the wonder for a little while

later

first time I went to camp, nine or ten years old, other boys my age, me not fitting in much as usual but liking being in the park

evening, summer, games

some other boy catches lightning bug

"watch this!"

smashes it on my chest, smearing its glow across my t-shirt

casual cruelty still stuns me twenty five plus years later

if I had to summarize all that's stupid and wrong and sick in this world of men

in just one moment

the death of one firefly might do it

Language, animals, and music

A few interesting bits regarding language that came before my eyes recently:

First a new study reveals that the "Putty-nosed monkey" (Cercopithecus nictitans) monkeys can combine simple primitive calls into more meaningful sequences. The evolution of grammar?

Second, studies of prairie dogs show that they have "the most sophisticated communication system that anyone has shown in animals", including a capability to create new terms for things they've never seen before.

Finally, this article discusses the theories of Steven Mithen, professor of early prehistory at the University of Reading, that early hominids ancestors had a musical culture that strongly influenced the development of language.

Chris Chandler at the New Deal Cafe, March 24

I've been a huge fan of the "folken word" of Chris Chandler since I saw him perform at College Park's "Planet X" coffeehouse back in the early 1990s. Chris has traveled the nation and worked with musicans and poets from Allen Ginsberg to Ani DiFranco and Pete Seeger to Mojo Nixon. (For those of you who know the work of Billy Jonas - Chris is credited as co-writer of Billy's wonderful song "God is In")

Chris now lives in Tacoma Park, and I'm happy to have helped introduce him to Greenbelt's fine fine venue, The New Deal Cafe. Chris will be playing there March 24 - you do NOT want to miss this! Spread the word!

Poets are sexy

Reuters reports that creativity is sexy:

Pablo Picasso, Lord Byron and Dylan Thomas had more in common than simple creativity. They also had active sex lives, which researchers said on Wednesday was no coincidence.

Psychologists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Open University in Britain found that professional artists and poets have about twice as many partners as other people.

more on HST's gonzo sendoff

Rolling Stone has more on the death of, and memorial service for, Hunter S. Thompson:

"Fuck you, Hunter," [Johnny Depp] joked one afternoon not long after Hunter died. "You want a Gonzo Cannon? We'll give you a Gonzo Cannon."

Following Hunter's thirty-year-old blueprints, the Colonel commissioned a construction crew to build the cannon. Cost was not a factor. So what if the price tag was $2 million or $3 million? Depp's recent hits Pirates of the Caribbean and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were financial grand slams, earning the forty-two-year-old actor enough money to buy his own island near the Bahamas. Doing it right for Hunter was all that mattered. "I loved him and wanted to make sure his last wish was fulfilled," Depp says. "It's that simple." He galvanized Hunter's inner circle to share his vision of building the most spectacularly weird monument ever erected for a writer.

Hunter S. Thompon's last dispatch

Reuters reports on an apparent suicide note from Hunter S. Thompson. Perhaps the last thing he wrote:

The brief message, scrawled in black marker and titled "Football Season Is Over" (an apparent reference to the end of the NFL season he avidly followed as fan), reads as follows:

"No More Games. No More bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun -- for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax -- This won't hurt."

A Gonzo send-off for HST

Our good friend Mike Gurklis sent me this link to a story about the explosive send-off for Dr. Hunter S. Thompson:

http://talkleft.com/new_archives/011936.html.

In other Gonzo news: if you've got $2,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy a limited edition Gonzo Monument print. (I'm seriously tempted...) Or, on the lower end of the monetary scale, try some Gonzo Imperial Porter (it's good stuff).

Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

So Mundane...

Up late tonight, getting the website up and also putting together some wooden pre-fab storage furniture from Target. Some nights are magic, dancing around bonfires until dawn; some are mundane. Chop wood, carry water; administer website, re-arrange bedroom.

Mundane, that is, except for the music. I finally opened up the CD I bought from Chris Chandler a while back, "Convenience Store Troubadours". Wow.

Some of you have heard me rave about this guy. Well, I'm going to do it again now. Check him out. Spoken word + folk music = "folken word," as he puts it. He's living in Maryland now and I'm hoping to turn more friends on to his work.

Hear some of his stuff in RealAudio at http://www.puremusic.com/listenten.html (scroll down a bit to the links for "Chris Chandler & Anne Feeney", "Chris Chandler & Convenience Store Troubadours", and "Chris Chandler". Do it! Do it now!

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