Friday, October 28, 2016

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Jack Kerouac can rev up a moldy soul.

His excitement rubs off on you like poison ivy.

You feel alive.

You tingle.

You itch.

One of my favorite passages from Kerouac's Desolation Angels. Chapter 20.

I see the yellow moon a-sinkin as the earth rolls away, I twist my neck around to see upsidedown and the mountains of the earth are just those same old hanging bubbles hanging into an unlimited sea of space— Ah, if there was another sight besides eye sight what atomic other levels wouldnt we see?— but here we see moons, mountains, lakes, trees and sentient beings only, with our eyesight— The Power delights in all of it— It is reminding itself that it is the Power, that’s why, for it, The Power, is really only ecstasy, and its manifestations dream, it is the Golden Eternity, ever peaceful, this bleary dream of existence is just a blear in its— I run out of words— The warm rose in the west becomes a hushed pastel park of gray, the soft evening sighs, little animals rustle in the heather and holes, I shift my cramped feet, the moon yellows and mellows and finally begins to hit the topmost crag and as always you see silhouetted in its magic charm some snag or stump that looks like the legendary Coyotl, God of the Indians, about to howl to the Power— O what peace and content I feel, coming back to my shack knowing that the world is a babe’s dream and the ecstasy of the golden eternity is all we’re going back to, to the essence of the Power— and the Primordial Rapture, we all know it— I lie on my back in the dark, hands joined, glad, as the northern lights shine like a Hollywood premiere and at that too I look upside-down and see that it’s just big pieces of ice on earth reflecting the other-side sun in some far daylight, in fact, too, the curve of the earth silhouetted is also seen arching over and around— Northern lights, bright enough to light my room, like ice moons. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Breathtaking sunset.

 Electric fire orange.

 Exploding  plum purple storm clouds looming.

Love the golden streaks.

Monday, October 24, 2016

I agree. 

Every day.

Barefoot Boy

Instant information
Coming at me
Too much communication
That’s not what I need
I wanna’ be a barefoot boy again

It’s a sad situation
We find ourselves in
The whole population
Is staring at their hands
I wanna’ be a barefoot boy again

A barefoot boy
Wading Paw Paw creek
Mud between my toes
Skipping free
Like a stone
Thrown by the barefoot boy

Everybody's busy
No free time
I'm gettin' dizzy
But in my mind
I wanna’ be a barefoot boy again


The earth is spinnin’
Way to fast
I’m just hopin'
For another splash
I wanna’ be a barefoot boy again


Skipping free
Like a stone
Thrown by the barefoot boy

written by Rob McNurlin and Walt Sample 2016

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Found this tid bit in Gotham Writers Tips from the Masters

Typical Kerouac there is a lot between the lines and under the surface.

Number one is the key stone to creating.


Jack Kerouac: 30 Cool Tips

Jack Kerouac: 30 Cool Tips
Jack Kerouac was one of those writers who reinvented literature. He climbed in James Joyce's stream of consciousness car then careened down the streets of Beat poetry and the alleyways of Bebop jazz, creating such novels as The Dharma BumsBig Sur, and the landmark On the Road. He influenced countless writers and, some say, helped usher in the 1960s counter-culture movement.
Fellow writers were always asking Kerouac how he did what he did. So Kerouac set down 30 essentials in something he called “Belief and Technique for Modern Prose." These tips may or may not make sense to you, but that's Kerouac, man:
  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
  4. Be in love with yr life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
  11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
  12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
  13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
  14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
  15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
  16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
  17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
  18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
  19. Accept loss forever
  20. Believe in the holy contour of life
  21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
  22. Don't think of words when you stop but to see picture better
  23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
  24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
  25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
  26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
  27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
  28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
  29. You're a Genius all the time
  30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Friday, October 21, 2016


Check out Cab Calloway's groovy boogie.


The Walrus. Ah, Cab was the Walrus!

Beatles mystery solved.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Big show tonight in Columbus, Ohio.

Got a few new songs to test out on the public.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A few snap shots.

Veteran's Park.

 I stare at the sky a lot.

 Are they looking at me?

 Love clouds.

 See things.


Deep blue.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Five years verse fifteen minutes!

How long does it take you?

Cool stuff from David Remnick’s New Yorker profile of Leonard Cohen:

In the early eighties, Cohen went to see Dylan perform in Paris, and the next morning in a cafĂ© they talked about their latest work. Dylan was especially interested in “Hallelujah.” Even before three hundred other performers made “Hallelujah” famous with their cover versions, long before the song was included on the soundtrack for “Shrek” and as a staple on “American Idol,” Dylan recognized the beauty of its marriage of the sacred and the profane. He asked Cohen how long it took him to write.

“Two years,” Cohen lied.

Actually, “Hallelujah” had taken him five years. He drafted dozens of verses and then it was years more before he settled on a final version. In several writing sessions, he found himself in his underwear, banging his head against a hotel-room floor.

Cohen told Dylan, “I really like ‘I and I,’ ” a song that appeared on Dylan’s album “Infidels.” “How long did it take you to write that?”

“About fifteen minutes,” Dylan said.

This resonates with me because I too am a slow worker, often, like Cohen, laboring on and fussing with little things for years, though nothing quite at the level of “Hallelujah,” it’s true. It’s more like some people are Cohens, some people are Dylans. Speed-wise, I wanted to be more like Dylan for years, but now I’m more okay with my Cohen-like process, though the Dylan style has its advantages.

Here’s another great tidbit from the piece:

Cohen lived in a tiny cabin that he outfitted with a coffeemaker, a menorah, a keyboard, and a laptop. Like the other adepts, he cleaned toilets. He had the honor of cooking for Roshi and eventually lived in a cabin that was linked to his teacher’s by a covered walkway. For many hours a day, he sat in half lotus, meditating. If he, or anyone else, nodded off during meditation or lost the proper position, one of the monks would come by and rap him smartly on the shoulder with a wooden stick.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I need to learn this solo. Wild!

Check it out. Starts about 3 minutes in.

show from 1970

25 or 6 to 4
Robert Lamm
Waiting for the break of day
Searching for something to say
Dancing lights against the sky
Giving up I close my eyes
Sitting cross-legged on the floor
Twenty five or six to four

Staring blindly into space
Getting up to splash my face
Wanting just to stay awake
Wondering how much I can take
Should have tried to do some more
Twenty five or six to four

Feeling like I ought to sleep
Spinning room is sinking deep
Searching for something to say
Waiting for the break of day
Twenty five or six to four
Twenty five or six to four

Robert wrote the song about songwriting! 

Much to the dismay of the establishment the song was not about drugs........

Twenty five or six to four is a time reference...........

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Some of these thoughts are true gems.

Bob Dylan: 11 Writing Tips.
by Nicholas McDonald

1. “It is only natural to pattern yourself after someone. If I wanted to be a painter, I might think about trying to be like Van Gogh, or if I was an actor, act like Laurence Olivier. If I was an architect, there’s Frank Gehry. But you can’t just copy someone. If you like someone’s work, the important thing is to be exposed to everything that person has been exposed to. Anyone who wants to be a songwriter should listen to as much folk music as they can, study the form and structure of stuff that has been around for 100 years.”

2. “You can go anywhere in daily life and have your ears open and hear something, either something someone says to you or something you hear across the room. If it has resonance, you can use it in a song.”

3. “That’s another way of writing a song, of course. Just talking to somebody who ain’t there. That’s the best way. That’s the truest way.”

4. “Creativity is like a freight train going down the tracks. It’s something that has to be caressed and treated with a great deal of respect…you’ve got to program your brain not to think too much.”

5. “Let’s face it. You’re either serious about what you’re doing or you’re not serious about what you’re doing. And you can’t mix the two.”

6. “The environment to write the song is extremely important. It has to bring something out in me that wants to be brought out. It’s a contemplative, reflective thing.”

7. “It’s not a good idea and it’s bad luck to look for life’s guidance to popular entertainers. It’s bad luck to do that. No one should do that. Popular entertainers are fine, there’s nothing the matter with that but as long as you know where you’re standing and what ground you’re on, many of them, they don’t know what they’re doing either.”

8. “The best songs to me — my best songs — are songs which were written very quickly. Yeah, very, very quickly. Just about as much time as it takes to write it down is about as long as it takes to write it.”

9. “In my mind it’s never really been seriously a profession… It’s been more confessional than professional.”

10. “It is the first line that gives the inspiration and then it’s like riding a bull. Either you just stick with it, or you don’t. (Bob Dylan)”

11. I couldn’t find the quote, but my writing professor in Oxford once told me Dylan always tried to take a classical story and add something totally unexpected to it. For example, in his song “As I went out one morning” Dylan takes the “Damsel in Distress” tale and adds his own twist – the Damsel is a prostitute. I’ll give 10 cents to whoever can track that quote down.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


I had never heard of one.

Read across it this morning.

Looked it up.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Meteor alert!

Early evening tonight!

Laying on your back watching the sky always soothes the soul.

Thoughts and ideas swim behind gazing curious eyes.

Calm helps you catch them.

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