Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits 18 June 2013

(I posted this particular version of the song because this performance is so badass. I've performed on live national TV several times and it's not easy. Live TV is so tough for performers, because time is always tight and things are so fluid, and there's no chances for do-overs. Celine comes out and her mic doesn't work, then they bring her a new mic and her in ear monitors don't work. They tell her to double check that it's turned on, she does, but no sound. No she has to sing a song, live, in front of a worldwide TV audience with no monitors. Singing on stage without monitors is really tough, it's even tougher in a huge hall like the one they're in. No problem, she takes one out and hits the song, perfect pitch. Partway through, she takes out the other obviously non-functioning monitor and never misses a beat. Did I mention that she crushes the song? Absolutely nails it, despite everything that went wrong. The song itself is very emotional for her and yet she never shows any sign of being flustered or distressed. Badass.)

His ashes spread 
where the Allegheny ends- 
Father's Day

Fathers Day 
the only text that matters 
the distant sun

Our only sun 
glowing on the horizon 
Father's Day

New Moon-
Learning to twist
her dreadlocks
Harvest Moon
rising in the backyard
scent of wild figs

Late night news
tangled in her dreadlocks 
common scents

the weight of everything
that separates us

Son puts my O
in his MOUTH

How cooly
he swishes the net-
August breeze

Rustling around
Medgar's rosebushes-
Deadly thorn

Italian Ice man

twiddles his thumbs-
No Shave day

Obscure Landmark-

The pianist modulates

to a higher key

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)


Monday, June 10, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits 11 Jun 13

Faint glow
on the horizon-
Smell of coffee

Off the leash 
gnawing on the unknown- 
Cave Canem

Sickle moon-
They call it a wake
although she won't

scanning the radio
for Miles

"You Are My Starship"-
The shape of William's

On the jetty
casting much longer 

broken down in the road
A goose

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)

Friday, June 07, 2013

Doves and Fiddles

Today is the birthday of two of my favorite artists; Prince and Gwendolyn Brooks. Below find my Top Ten favorite Prince songs and favorite three poems by Ms. Brooks.

Ten Favorite Prince Songs

10. Little Red Corvette-This is the first song that made me really pay attention to Prince's lyrics. "She had horses in her pockets, Trojans and some of them used". Made me stop, think, and imagine. And that's what a good lyric should do. 

9. When You Were Mine-"Even when he was sleeping between the two of us" *drops mic* What? This is actually Prince's most covered song. Unrequited desire all day and night long. 

8. Starfish and Coffee-Another stellar lyric. A song that no one else could have written. Quirky, playful, clever. Traits that I love in music and women. But especially love in song lyrics. 

7. The Cross-DJ Kool hipped me to this song by playing it late one night at The Room Nightclub in DC. It was a huge risk, but Kool had the balls to try it and pull it off. That made me go home and listen to it. It's basically a gospel ballad. 

6. Another Lonely Christmas- One of his best B-Sides. I love Christmas music. I might be the only fan this song has, it rarely gets mentioned. But it's a X-mas song and its Prince and that's enough for me. 

5. The Beautiful Ones-Prince does unrequited desire pretty well and this is one of his best. The anguish at the end is absolutely exquisite. This song has been covered, but nobody is probably ever going to duplicate the screaming (in key) at the end. 

4. How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore-Another ballad about unrequited desire, as plaintive a plea as one is likely to ever hear. His piano playing on this cut is underrated. 

3. When Doves Cry-Maybe his best lyric from a poetry point of view. I've taught this song in poetry classes, his use of images to show and not tell is masterful here. "Dream if you will a courtyard, oceans of violets in bloom, animals strike curious poses, they feel the heat, the heat between me and you."

2. Adore-Old School balladry at its finest. I also love the playfulness and humor in this tune. "Well, maybe not the ride."

1. No One Compares 2 U (Sinead O'Conner version)-Lyrics, music, it all comes together here. Her tendering of this song is just so dead on, emotionally it's pitch perfect. 

Before I give my Top Three, check out the amazing lovliness that she made with these words.
when you have forgotten Sunday: love story

—And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,
Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon
Looking off down the long street
To nowhere,
Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation
And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why?
And if-Monday-never-had-to-come—
When you have forgotten that, I say,
And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell,
And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang;
And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner,
That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner
To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles
Or chicken and rice
And salad and rye bread and tea
And chocolate chip cookies—
I say, when you have forgotten that,
When you have forgotten my little presentiment
That the war would be over before they got to you;
And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed,
And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end
Bright bedclothes,
Then gently folded into each other—
When you have, I say, forgotten all that,
Then you may tell,
Then I may believe
You have forgotten me well.

My Top Three Gwendolyn Brooks Poems

3. The Blackstone Rangers-I grew up with cats like these. She deals with them in a way that is evenly measured, something that this particular topic wasn't going to be getting too much of in the literature of the day. 

2. First Fiddle Then Fight-A masterful play on the Sonnet and sage advice for anytime or place, but especially for the late 60s

1. We Real Cool-Was there any doubt? Her most famous poem, for good reason. All of her quirky music, incisive wit, perceptive observations are here. I first encountered it while riding the 51G Mt. Oliver bus in Pittsburgh as a kid. It was part of the original Poetry in Motion program. I was ten. I read it over and over, outside of Dr. Seuss it was one if the few times that a poem just mesmerized me.

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon).

Monday, June 03, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits 4 Jun 13

So I decided to make a small change to the format of the blog, rather than do one post for all the haiku/senryu I write in a month. I'll just post them every Tuesday. Last month was the most productive month I ever had haiku wise with almost 70 new ku written. I'll do more of the prose stuff on Fridays and will post longer poems whenever I write them. Enjoy. 

For sale-
Beauty Rest
never used

After the blade
came out of the forearm-
The other white meat

ripe on the vine-

Footprints fading
in the sand between us-
Ebb Tide

as wide as her smile-
New hoop earrings

Scratching with both hands-
DJ Poison Ivy

Atop the pole
fluttering furiously-
knowing  not knowing

Out of the pen
chasing Schrodinger's black cat-
Sub-Atomic Dog

Ablaze with
the rays of every sun-
Forty candles

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)