Wednesday, September 30, 2015

High Timberline
Jim Lauderdale & Robert Hunter

I went out walking up high timberline
Snow fell like kisses, the air sweet as wine
Calling me back to the days you were mine
So close to heaven, up high timberline
So close to heaven up high timberline
Way up on high timberline

Remember my love, do this for me
For I think of you all the time
Whenever the wind howls lonesome and free
From the peaks of the high timberline

Like a vision of angels the higher I climb
A mare and a stallion with traces so fine
Stepping like dancers in three-quarter time
The ghost of white horses of high timberline
The ghost of white horses of high timberline
Way up on high timberline

Remember my love, do this for me
For I think of you all the time
Whenever the wind howls lonesome and free
From the peaks of the high timberline

I love you and I always will
Although we for evermore part
Sierra Nevada remembers us still
Holds our love deep in her heart

For shame that the sun showed its face on the day
You and the rose on your cheeks slipped away
But the promises love made between us still shine
When we rode white horses up high timberline
Dancing white horses up high timberline
Way up on high timberline

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Great writing.

Simple sweet.

Athena Kildegaard 

We drove across high prairie,
the Mississippi behind us,
nothing ahead for miles
but sky,

a loamy sky, thick enough
to put a trowel into,
but off to the south
clouds pulled

away from one another
as if to stand back
take a long look,
and in that

space what light was left
of the sun
already gone below
the horizon

flowed up and held there
and we did too hold
our breaths at the sudden

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Just a tea cup of sleep. 

Punch drunk.

No a great lead in to Wanda's great but, sad poem. 

In love with the pictures painted.

The Saturday Afternoon Blues
Wanda Coleman   

can kill you

can fade your life away

friends are all out shopping

ain’t nobody home

suicide hotline is busy

and here i am on my own

with a pill and a bottle for company

and heart full of been done wrong

i’m a candidate for the coroner, a lyric for a song

saturday afternoons are killers

when the air is brisk and warm

ol’ sun he steady whispers

soon the life you know will be done

suicide line i can’t get you

best friend out of town

alone with a pill and a bottle

i drink my troubles down

the man i love is a killer

the man i love is  thief

the man i love is a junky

the man i love is grief

some call saturday the sabbath

it’s the bottom of the line some say

whether last or first, my heart’s gonna burst

and there ain’t no help my way

here with a pill and a bottle

and a life full of been done wrong

i’m a candidate for the coroner, a lyric

for a song

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Amy Poehler lays it on us....

from her book, Yes Please.

“ Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. They talk about their ‘morning ritual’ and how they ‘dress for writing’ and the cabin in Big Sur where they go to ‘be alone’ - blah blah blah. No one tells the truth about writing a book. Authors pretend their stories were always shiny and perfect and just waiting to be written. The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of shit. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver. ”

Friday, September 25, 2015

Up early.
Cabin stashed deep in southern Athens county, Ohio.
Mercury burns through night shade clouds.
Coffee should be brewed.
Sneaking around trying not to wake everyone.
Dancing blind on a strange floor.
Toes on alert.

Eavan Boland 

After a friend has gone I like the feel of it:
The house at night. Everyone asleep.
The way it draws in like atmosphere or evening.

One-o-clock. A floral teapot and a raisin scone.
A tray waits to be taken down.
The landing light is off. The clock strikes. The cat

comes into his own, mysterious on the stairs,
a black ambivalence around the legs of button-back
chairs, an insinuation to be set beside

the red spoon and the salt-glazed cup,
the saucer with the thick spill of tea
which scalds off easily under the tap. Time

is a tick, a purr, a drop. The spider
on the dining-room window has fallen asleep
among complexities as I will once

the doors are bolted and the keys tested
and the switch turned up of the kitchen light
which made outside in the back garden

an electric room-a domestication
of closed daisies, an architecture
instant and improbable.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

“Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.”

John Cage from his book, Silence: Lectures and Writings.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


          Let Life Begin           
Walt Sample

Full of empty dry inside 
No more tears to be cried 
I’m drowning in a sea of you 
Treading water black and blue 

I’m givin’ up while I still can 
Gonna start fresh spic and span 
Time for an ear to ear grin 
Turn the page let life begin 

Coulda woulda shoullda 
You’re a lost piece jigsaw 
You drained my tank I give up 
Lovin’ you is black widow luck 

I’m givin’ up while I still can 
Gonna start fresh spic and span 
Time for an ear to ear grin 
Turn the page let life begin 

I begged for a rescue rope 
All you did was chew up my hope 
Like an hungry alligator  
You ain’t much of a lifesaver 

I’m givin’ up while I still can 
Gonna start fresh spic and span 
Time for an ear to ear grin 
Turn the page let life begin 
Time for an ear to ear grin 
Turn the page let life begin 
Turn the page let life begin

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tom T. Hall had almost 40 top ten hits.
Simple plain language lyrics-
Painting vivid pictures.

Back When Gas Was Thirty Cents a Gallon
Tom T. Hall

Back when gas was thirty cents a gallon
America was young and strong and brave
Lord knows that I didn't have much money
And my old car had seen some better days

You were young and fresh as brand new roses
I was so in love and strong and brave
Back when gas was thirty cents a gallon
And love was only sixty cents away

I don't think I'd know you if I'd see
You I practice my forgettin' till it works
Back when gas was thirty cents a gallon
I didn't know the meaning of hurt

Back when gas was thirty cents a gallon
And sweet magnolias line those country roads
We burned a tank of love most every weekend
And on work days I helped 'em fix the roads

My friends were many and our dreams were certain
Whoever thought we'd go our separate ways
Back when gas was thirty cents a gallon
And love was only sixty cents away

I don't think I'd know you if I'd see you
I practice my forgettin' till it works
Back when gas was thirty cents a gallon
And love was only sixty cents away

Monday, September 21, 2015

Joni Mitchell has praised Emily Carr as her favorite artist and author numerous times. 
I understand why.

Just getting into Emily's 1st book Klee Wyck.

Pure love so far.

Emily's wisdom-

“I did not know book rules. I made two for myself. They were about the same as the principles I use in painting— get to the point as directly as you can; never use a big word if a little one will do.”

a few lines I wrote down

The grating of our canoe on the pebbles warned the silence that we were come to break it. 

Then we went away from Tanoo and left the silence to heal itself— left the totem poles staring, staring out over the sea. 

He shouted and his black eyes snapped at me and the old woman’s smile dried out. 

can't wait to read more

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Many moons ago I attended Cheese University.
A two day seminar to mold me into a cheese aficionado.

Upon graduation, a NYC phone book thick binder
bulging with pictures and descriptions
was presented to me.

Rode in the back seat with me while I sold
sliced processed american in 120, 160 and 180 counts.

All anybody ever asked me was "how much?".

I think it lives with the other dusty sales 101
binders in the corner of the storeroom.

Anyway, I wonder if this poem was written from a prompt?


O Cheese 
Donald Hall 

In the pantry the dear dense cheeses, Cheddars and harsh
Lancashires; Gorgonzola with its magnanimous manner;
the clipped speech of Roquefort; and a head of Stilton
that speaks in a sensuous riddling tongue like Druids.

O cheeses of gravity, cheeses of wistfulness, cheeses
that weep continually because they know they will die.
O cheeses of victory, cheeses wise in defeat, cheeses
fat as a cushion, lolling in bed until noon.

Liederkranz ebullient, jumping like a small dog, noisy;
Pont l’Évêque intellectual, and quite well informed; Emmentaler
decent and loyal, a little deaf in the right ear;
and Brie the revealing experience, instantaneous and profound.

O cheeses that dance in the moonlight, cheeses
that mingle with sausages, cheeses of Stonehenge.
O cheeses that are shy, that linger in the doorway,
eyes looking down, cheeses spectacular as fireworks.

Reblochon openly sexual; Caerphilly like pine trees, small
at the timberline; Port du Salut in love; Caprice des Dieux
eloquent, tactful, like a thousand-year-old hostess;
and Dolcelatte, always generous to a fault.

O village of cheeses, I make you this poem of cheeses,
O family of cheeses, living together in pantries,
O cheeses that keep to your own nature, like a lucky couple,
this solitude, this energy, these bodies slowly dying.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Gave Toby a break and rode the Iron Donkey.

Burned some gas saved a little hay.

Thinkin' throne.

Boy Dog helping me write Tight Collar Blues.

You have to be careful during deere season.

They sneak up behind you.

That's a big 3 pointer.

One big yellow spike and two small green ones.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Leon Russell is a treasure.

Magic Mirror appears on his third album Tightrope released in '72.

I can not get enough. 

Magic Mirror
Leon Russell

I'm standing by the highway
Suitcase by my side
There's no place I want to go
I just thought I'd catch a ride

Many people look my way
And many pass me by
In moments of reflection
I wonder why

To the thieves I am a bandit
The mothers think I'm a son
To the preachers I'm a sinner
Lord I'm not the only one

To the sad ones I'm unhappy
To the losers I'm a fool
To the students I'm a teacher
With the teachers I'm in school

To the hobos I'm imprisoned by everything I own
To the soldier I'm just someone else who's dying to go home
The general sees a number, a politician's tool
To my friends I'm just an equal in this whirlpool

Magic mirror won't you tell me please
Do I find myself in anyone I see?
Magic mirror if we only could
Try to see ourselves as others would

To policeman I'm suspicious it's in the way I look
I'm just another character to fingerprint and book
To the censors I'm pornography with no redeeming grace 
To the hooker I'm a customer without a face

The sellers think I'm merchandise, they'll have me for a song
The left ones think I'm right,
The right ones think I'm wrong
And many people look my way
And many pass me by
And in my quiet reflection I wonder why

Magic mirror won't you tell me please
Do I see myself in anyone I meet?
Magic mirror if we only could
Try to see ourselves as others would

give it a listen-

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Animal Time
Carol Davis 

 I do better in animal time, 
a creeping dawn, slow ticking toward dusk.

In the middle of the day on the Nebraska prairie, 
I’m unnerved by subdued sounds, as if listening
through water, even the high-pitched drone of the 
cicadas faint; the blackbirds half-heartedly singing. 

As newlyweds, my parents drove cross country to 
Death Valley, last leg of their escape from New York, 
the thick soups of their immigrant mothers, generations 
of superstitions that squeezed them from all sides. 

They camped under stars that meant no harm. 
It was the silence that alerted them to danger. 

They climbed back into their tiny new car, locked 
its doors and blinked their eyes until daylight. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The last few songs I wrote were mouth fulls.
Fifteen syllable lines. 
Seems every page or screen I read "editing" is the theme.
I type about it I just don't practice it.
In lieu of a tattoo, I am writing 
on the tops of both my hands. 

Even Jerry Seinfeld agrees-

“If you always want less, in words as well as things, you’ll do well as a writer.”

We could learn more from Jerry.

He has two hour a day writing habit
via Bic pen and yellow legal pad.

"I have the legal pad and then I have one of those accordion folders with a different slot for each letter. Once I’m done with the bit, it either goes in the garbage or the accordion folder. Those are the only two destinations."

He says the biggest hurdle is getting away from your phone.

"All you have to do is transition from looking at your phone to putting the phone down and opening up the pad where there’s nothing going on. There’s no light hitting your retina."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I wear headphones while working out and doing tractor time.
I just can't get enough of this song.

Dawning Is The Day
Justin Hayward

Rise, let us see you,
Dawning is the day,
Miss, misty meadow,
You will find your way,
Wake up in the morning to yourself 
and leave this crazy life behind you.
Listen, we're trying to find you.

Flow to the sea,
You know where to go,
Still we are free,
No one tells the wind which way to blow.
Wake up in the morning to yourself,
Open your eyes and start to be you.
Listen, we think we can see you.
Baby there's no price upon your head,
Sing it, shout it.
Now the angry words have all been said.
Do it, don't doubt it.

So rise, let us see you,
Dawning is the day,
Miss, misty meadow,
You will find your way,
Wake up in the morning to yourself, 
open your head and look around you.
Listen, we think we have found you.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Birthday Of The World
Marge Piercy 

On the birthday of the world 
I begin to contemplate 
what I have done and left 
undone, but this year 
not so much rebuilding
of my perennially damaged 
psyche, shoring up eroding 
friendships, digging out 
stumps of old resentments 
that refuse to rot on their own.
No, this year I want to call 
myself to task for what 
I have done and not done 
for peace. How much have 
I dared in opposition?
How much have I put 
on the line for freedom? 
For mine and others? 
As these freedoms are pared, 
sliced and diced, where
have I spoken out? Who 
have I tried to move? In 
this holy season, I stand 
self-convicted of sloth 
in a time when lies choke
the mind and rhetoric 
bends reason to slithering 
choking pythons. Here 
I stand before the gates 
opening, the fire dazzling
my eyes, and as I approach 
what judges me, I judge 
myself. Give me weapons 
of minute destruction. Let 
my words turn into sparks.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

what to leave out?

Michelangelo: “The more the marble wastes, the more the statue grows.”

Michelangelo: “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”

Michelangelo, loosely, as we can imagine him with six tons of Carrara marble, a mallet, a point chisel, a pitching tool, a tooth chisel, a claw chisel, rasps, rifflers, and a bush hammer: “I’m just taking away what doesn’t belong there.”

And inevitably we have come to Ernest Hemingway and the tip of the iceberg—or, how to fashion critical theory from one of the world’s most venerable clichés. “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.” The two sentences are from “Death in the Afternoon,” a nonfiction book (1932). They apply as readily to fiction.

Hemingway sometimes called the concept the Theory of Omission. In 1958, in an “Art of Fiction” interview for The Paris Review, he said to George Plimpton, “Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg.” To illustrate, he said, “I’ve seen the marlin mate and know about that. So I leave that out. I’ve seen a school (or pod) of more than fifty sperm whales in that same stretch of water and once harpooned one nearly sixty feet in length and lost him. So I left that out. All the stories I know from the fishing village I leave out. But the knowledge is what makes the underwater part of the iceberg.”

Snippets from a great article "Omission" by John McPee in the New Yorker Magazine.

Read it here-

Saturday, September 12, 2015

All of the lyrics are outstanding.
Verse 3 really strikes the anvil.

Shadows And Light
Joni Mitchell

Every picture has its shadows
 And it has some source of light
 Blindness blindness and sight
 The perils of benefactors
 The blessings of parasites
 Blindness blindness and sight
 Threatened by all things
 Devil of cruelty
 Drawn to all things
 Devil of delight
 Mythical devil of the ever-present laws
 Governing blindness blindness and sight

 Suntans in reservation dining rooms
 Pale miners in their lantern rays
 Night night and day
 Hostage smile on presidents
 Freedom scribbled in the subway
 It's like night night and day
 Threatened by all things
 God of cruelty
 Drawn to all things
 God of delight
 Mythical god of the everlasting laws
 Governing day day and night

 Critics of all expression
 Judges in black and white
 Saying it's wrong saying it's right
 Compelled by prescribed standards
 Or some ideals we fight
 For wrong wrong and right
 Threatened by all things
 Man of cruelty-mark of Cain
 Drawn to all things
 Man of delight-born again born again
 Man of the laws the ever-broken laws
 Governing wrong wrong and right
 Governing wrong wrong and right
 Wrong and right

Check out Joni with The Persuasions.

Friday, September 11, 2015

I am about halfway through reading  

Joni Mitchell
In Her Words
conversations with
Malka Maron

Gaining insight into Joni's process is exciting.

Chew on this tidbit. 

And yes, do try this at home tonight.

Malka-What about the music part of the songs?

Joni- The music? The only time I really play an instrument is to explore it. Sometimes I have to play an instrument in order to rehearse material for a tour. That’s drudgery to me. That’s work. That’s the piano lessons as a child, that’s hammer and saw. Practice. Practice. Practice.

The time that I enjoy playing the most is when I’ll sit down late at night and tune my guitar into a tuning which I’m unfamiliar with, so I have the unknown in front of me, a combination of chords in front of me, a combination of strings, which I’m unfamiliar with the fingering. Then I would just pass my fingers, in sort of a mathematical fashion, fifth to the seventh, maybe back to the third, you know, to the eleventh, to get a really sort of strange colour in there. And just mess around with it, and then gradually introduce liaisons — the things that smooth from chord to chord, and then it gradually takes shape, and that … that’s also a magical process and sort of trance-like, takes total preoccupation with it. But that comes easier to me than words do. I think that you keep your writing muse alive as long as you’re open enough so that experience seems amazing to you and things continue to be magical. [But] the musical muse, in my particular case, is easier to keep alive, since it’s abstract emotion. It’s feeling and it’s the colours which transport certain feelings into you or out of you. I seem to be more prolific musically than I [am] lyrically.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Everyone Sang
Siegfried Sassoon

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on - on - and out of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Searing Frozen Face
Walt Sample

I’m living in a twilight zone twenty four seven 
Two gilded orbs always gazing my direction 
Ruby lips floating invisible words of advice 
On amber clouds flavored like burning sulfur spice 

Searing frozen face 
Devil’s sunburn glaze 
Sand paper smoke 
Eyes tempt my soul 

Maybe I could set it on the edge of the shelf 
Jump up and down let if fall off by itself 
Sin stone brittle it will be an incredible crash 
Shattering the curse of the porcelain mask 

Searing frozen face 
Devil’s sunburn glaze 
Sand paper smoke 
Eyes tempt my soul 

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