Showing posts with label seasons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seasons. Show all posts

07 November, 2017

Just yesterday morning, Part 3

All things are made bitter, words even / are made to taste like paper, wars gets tossed up / like soldiers used to be/ (in a child's attic) lined up / to be knocked down, as I am... ~ Charles Olson
The life of reality is confused, disorderly, almost always without apparent purpose, whereas in the artist's imaginative life there is purpose. ~ Sherwood Anderson 
Daylight Savings Time, Marriage, Art
Give it about 30 years and no one will even talk about Daylight Savings Time anymore.

Seriously. As annoying as it is, as pointless as it is, and as completely illogical as it is, it will cease to be the topic any real discussion.  
This won't happen because the powers-that-be will suddenly come to their senses and realize that moving the hour hand backwards or forwards doesn't actually extend or shorten the day. As a matter of fact, if anyone talks about hour hands, it will be in the sense of a quaint curiosity. Like jewelry made out of the hair of a dead loved one or the concept of privacy. All things fall into the dust of quaint curiosity shops of the mind -- including curiosity shops -- so seriously, don't put too much stock in the illusion that you're getting an extra hour sleep when we  FALL BACK IN THE FALL.

Don't worry about it. The Internet of Things will do it for us. We won't have to think about Daylight Savings Time because the ability to think about anything -- like the ability to read a clock or have a private thought that can't be described by a meme -- will have disappeared and we will have the IOT (Internet of Things, or, as we'll maybe call it NetStuf) heft the apparent burden of consciousness for us.

But if this Internet of Things... I mean, NetStuf... is so damn dandy, why can't it fix the hole in my ceiling? It can, apparently, predict what kind of advertising I'll respond to based on (really, very) random keyword searches. It can tell me who I was in a past life. It can tell me how I'm probably going to die and -- based just on my Facebook profile picture -- tell me where my ancestors came from. This Internet of Things assures that I'm instantly and permanently connected to countless facts, factoids, fake news, friend updates, new business connections, and scores for everything from the little league game (in languid immobile Summer, anyway) to World Cup Soccer.

But it can't crawl up into the very small and sort of claustrophobic space under the ceiling awning off the attic and repair a hole. It can't climb up on the roof and make any necessary repairs. It's 2017 and there are robots that can vacuum your house while you're gone... not that we can afford one or could even make use of one with three dogs and two cats to either hunt it, stalk it, or asphyxiate it with the endless trails of shed fur.

Ok, I know. I signed up for this life on the margin, right? Making Art out your life isn't easy, nor, I suppose, should it be. Though I'm still unsure of why. And I feel like I've been asking that question a really, really long time.

Please check out my work for sale on Amazon: You can also throw a little in the tip jar:

05 December, 2012

Repeal Day Landscape

The world is seen best with natural light.
All the lines are crisp and clean first thing
in the morning: blue winter sky seeping in
through half open blinds, all sleepy houses,
the outstretched limbs of trees stripped naked,
leaving no protection for the squirrels scurrying
for winter stores in the lingering autumn.
Yuletide is coming. Christmas decorations adorn
the more festive houses on the block,
and the mall Santas are checking their beards
against altars to Rockwellian archetypes.
The garbage men have not yet arrived.
Possums and office workers have scurried
underground and away. It’s still too early
for all but the most dedicated daytime drunks
and commerce continues unhindered
in spite of the unemployment rate.
Crumbling blue collar houses cast deep shadows
in relief against the December blue sky,
etching themselves between the cracks in the street
the city never has the political will to repair.
All the starlings have gathered, taken final counts
and are waiting for the first real northern wind
so they can stretch their wings out
and be carried away the way children are told
all prophets and holy men are carried away
in the whoosh of a wind before the arrival
of the cold dark days in which every errant ray
of sunshine is a savior, Spring is a freshly planted messiah
rooted deep in the moist earth
and fed by homeless saints at midnight
when all the good folk are tucked safe
and dreaming of permanent sunshine.

*Image by Amanda L. Hay

Location:Louisville, KY

13 August, 2012

Southern Jaunt: At The Risk Of Being Instructive

I cannot keep from talking, even at the risk of being instructive. - Mark Twain

The Prince of Peace
No less a personage than Jesus -- upon whom a whole mess of a religion was hoisted in spite of anything he might have preferred (Not that he was ever asked, as far as anyone knows, whether it would be fine to rape, pillage, maim, and kill in his name; and it probably is the more expedient and judicious thing to hedge our bets and guess that it might be alright.) -- is supposed to have complained about going home. You'd think that a guy who spent 40 days in the desert, came back to town with a dozen other guys who think he's smarter than anyone around, and -- so says the book -- was responsible for a few miracles might actually manage to garner some respect.

It was apparently not the case. All anyone saw that funny acting kid who never really looked like his dad and who's mom, according to the old biddies at the temple, gave it up before the rabbi said "Shalom."

Not that I'm comparing myself with the foundation of anyone's religious beliefs; I'm merely pointing out that even in our mostly deeply ingrained myths and beliefs, that returning to a place you once thought of as home can be both a blessing and a pain in the ass.

One of the things I looked forward to as I made my way back through Mount Carroll, in the State of IL(L) was visiting again the monthly 5 Minutes of Fame Open Mic ... which I helped start ... at The Kraft Building. In my absence, I am happy to say that it has grown and taken on a feel all it's own under the expert leadership of Heather Houzenga: friend, local artist, and all around cool chick. As I suspected, my absence drew out folks that had previously avoided the open mic, maybe out of some personal aversion to me or (more likely) some aversion to my occasional use of so-called "colorful metaphors" that my Dear Sweet Ma has objected to in my work more than once over the years.

"You're an educated person," she would say. "Why do you have to write like that?"

Well, hell. Educated though I may be, I try not to act in a way that will cause people to hold it against me. I certainly try not to hold it against myself.

And although most everyone I've run into since being back has been happy to see me -- people generally greet with that subtle and stoic combination of  "Why'd you leave?" and "Why'd you come back?" that every road worn traveler likes to hear -- there are a few, though they haven't said so directly, who are wishing that I had lost my memory in that Minneapolis casino instead of merely losing my official photo proof that I am, in fact, a citizen of Pax Americana. One such person was sitting near the front row when I took the stage last Thursday to tell the story of Cletus the Dog Man, his too skinny not to be a drug addict girlfriend, and indeed, the most adult of the trio. (That would be the dog.)

The woman in question is a particularly pious member of the county board. Her job it seems, other than to scrupulously avoid the use of a computer or even a typewriter when making notes for the press board packet, is to read the prayer into record prior to the Pledge of Allegiance. A member of one of the many churches here in town, she reads from the carefully scripted officious prayer that is supposed to indicate that Carroll County's elected leaders -- most of whom twiddle their fingers or stare at the ceiling during said prayer -- are religious and divinely (one would hope) inspired.

It may indeed be a stretch to presume that the county board --mostly populated by agri-business people, the spouses of people who work for those same agri-businesses, and a few tired local officials who didn't want join a club or group that might require more of them than their occasional physical presence and an even more rare need to take a definitive stand on some issue or another -- would be divinely inspired. It is worth noting, however, that County Board Chairman Rodney Fritz behaves as if he believes his election to the big chair and gavel lends him divine strength and guidance, not to mention the right to ensure that his trucks have clean roads to run on while simultaneously trying to gut the budgets for employee wages and benefits, the Health Department, the Veteran's Assistance Commission, and The Department of Animal Control.

So as I got up and did my bit, recounting Cletus, his woman, his dog, and the fact that he is just one sample of a larger group of people wandering the country on the buses looking for work in this great recovering economy that's built on schemes by corporations and banks to line the pockets of their executives, as well as consumer credit and the accumulation of shit made in China and Mexico.

The pious reader from the county board was not amused.  I suppose the mention of methamphetamine and micturition had something to do with it, or the fact that I went as far to talk briefly about the fact that there are people in the world who have no home, who might not have a sane girlfriend, but who can have a well behaved dog -- and indeed, even individuals who might seem a bit shady... which Cletus was in many ways... can have enough heart to make sure the dog eats even if they don't.

Or maybe she didn't like the reference to pit bulls, which, everyone knows are dangerous dogs... when they're trained to be.

But there are some audiences that would rather be entertained and placated than have an informative and useful experience. There's no way to please everyone.

And in case you missed it, I'm attaching the audio of Cletus, and another bit from an open mic at Charlie's Bar and Grill... an open mic that runs every Sunday from 4-pm, by the way.