December 31, 2013

remember all the people
who were heroes to ya
and remember all the people
you deceived

Christa Parravani, Kiss, 2003

Seen You Around
-- Hal Sirowitz

Each time I've come to this bar,
she said, I've seen you here.
You look like you come here often.
You must be having trouble finding
a steady girlfriend. I hope you
don't think I'm being critical.
I can't find a partner either.
I go to different bars, so it isn't as obvious.

At the Lions Head
-- David Markson

I scowl at the bar
And confront a midnight revelation:
In ten years
I have contributed thirty thousand, cash,
to the fiscal well-being
of this saloon.

If I still wake, mornings, to
Is there a refund?

-- New Year's Eve, by the cut ups.

Happy New Year!!

December 24, 2013

always use the old sense of the word

Michal Rovner, Untitled, 1990

Christmas Morning Without Presents: The Depression, Granite City, Illinois
-- Ellery Akers

It is 1929. The moon falls on the floor,
the pantry is empty, beans hardening like rocks in the cans.
No, you did not expect this.
The same cracked wall with its stains,
odor of your mother's cleaning fluid,
curtains with their clean hems,
blowing in and out.
You touch the bones and lumps of the chair,
the broken wireless with its dial, you pick up a spoon,
and it's cold. A clock ticks. The chipped plates
fill up with the moon.
You look back at the window,
tubes and vats of the factories
quiet for once.
The garbage truck rolls up the alley,
the bristles of the streetcleaner's brush rasp on the pavement.
Your hand closes on the doorknob, quietly.
You begin to carry the stone of your childhood:
The moon. The empty room. It will be yours.

* Excerpts from Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory.

December 6, 2013

it's a city full of animals, a city full of thieves
a city full of lovers trying hard to make believe

Alex Goldschmidt, Man and His Paper, 2009

Bargain Hunt
-- Ron Padgett

for Tessie

Suppose you found a bargain so incredible
you stood there stunned for a moment
unable to believe that this thing could be
for sale at such a low price: that is what happens
when you are born, and as the years go by
the price goes up and up until, near the end
of your life, it is so high that you lie there
stunned forever.

Ah, Humanity
-- Klipschutz

Throat cancer is not remotely funny,
but the situation is hilarious:

One of Our Finest Actors, also a notable producer
and all around Hollywood Royalty, having long ago
outdistanced any taint of nepotism for being the son
of an actor even more famous than himself,
is living separately from his second wife,

One of Our Finest Actresses, a world class beauty
twenty five years his junior, and their two children,
though it is said he rents near them in Manhattan
and comes over every morning to make pancakes
for the kiddies and their mother.

“Sources say” she cannot forgive his statements
that the cancer he recently fought to a draw
may have been caused by oral sex.

Life itself is a Reality Show. CUT TO COMMERCIAL---—

December 3, 2013

Promise me
You will always be
Too awake to be famous
Too wired to be safe

David Malek, Blue Lozenge (Erik Roehmer), 2013

"Malek also makes canny use of quasi-subliminal iconographic motifs culled from various ancient and contemporary sources. Some of his paintings, which appear at first glance to be Op art–esque abstractions, use images directly from pop culture:... The works’ titles act as touchstones for interpretation: Blue Lozenge (Eric Roehmer) is an homage to the French filmmaker’s production company Les Films du losange (“Lozenge Films”) and straightforwardly appropriates its blue diamond-shaped logo..." -- Ian Wallace

* Nice Breeze performs with ARU and Teething Veils at Velvet Lounge Monday December 9, 2013.

* From a 1974 interview of Leonard Cohen:

J.S. - When you talk about people, do you see individual faces, or is it a concept of the masses?

L.C. - People are a complex of everyday heroes, at least that's what I feel. There are millions of faces and personalities, but all together they form a people. Then, within each group, there emerges a value system that makes some into leaders and others into followers, that makes some into celebrities, and others into unknown people. All of them are heroes, but each with a different destiny.
J.S. - With this tour, and with the bad treatment you have received from the English and American critics, how are you feeling about this international exposure?

L.C. - I don't consider myself a great singer. I just play the guitar and interpret my lyrics. I do what I do because I have a need to do it, to express what I know, and to show people what I do. It's true that this tour has had some rough moments, especially in the U.S. and England, but the unpleasant times have not come from the public, just from the critics, and I really don't pay attention to critics. Critics view things with a certain coldness, they focus on the sound, whether it's good or bad, whether one plays the guitar well, on whether there is a large audience, and sometimes they can't see real success, because they don't look into the soul of the audience nor into the soul of the singer. I've seen the people applauding from their hearts, and that is what is truly important for me. And that's the way it was today, here in Barcelona, so this tour, in my opinion, has gone well indeed. I am content, happy.
.S. - Nonetheless, "Lover, Lover, Lover" is dedicated to your "brothers" in the Arab-Israeli war, and besides, you were there, singing for them. This indicates you're taking a side, and in a way, fighting for it.

L.C. - Personal process is one thing, it's blood, it's the identification one feels with their roots and their origins. The militarism I practice as a person and a writer is another thing.

J.S. - But you worry about war, and for that reason it would be logical that you would be concerned about both sides.

L.C. - I don't want to talk about war.

J.S. - Do you feel commercialized when a million copies of your albums are sold?

L.C. - That isn't the problem, that feeling doesn't happen at the time a million albums are sold, it happens afterwards, when I accept the fact that my songs are being recorded and entered into the commercial games. I feel neither guilty nor happy, but I could add that the system uses me as much as I use it, so we would have to speak in terms of collaboration. What concerns me is reaching the people, so I have to submit to the rules of the game, because this system is the only means I have, to do what I have to do.

* "Power does not corrupt men. Fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power." -- George Bernard Shaw