MUSIC: LISTENING TO THE OLDIES

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There’s a reason why it’s still here

       That “old” music, emblematic of all our firsts

History,  instrument-etched

       Rhythmic scorching guitars

Saxophones – longing or lucky

       Pianos running us up and down

ranges of emotion

Bass and drums defibrillating

beatless hearts

       All spooning with words

That led us in that timeless

       Continuous dance

Along the Watchtower

       Among the purple flowers

In that Purple Haze

       There’s a reason for “oldies stations”

Sanctuaries for melodic reminders, telling us

       Passion, its usefulness, is deathless

As long as humans prevail

       “Old–school” music will continue

Demanding answers to questions

       That should have been asked

Of the past

FOR THE CHEER LEADER OF SCIENCE

 

 Dead coral

The non-fiction writer said *art will not fix the global crisis and the vengeance

Neglect is reining down upon our dirty greasy planet.

I beg to differ.

I want to dip Mr. Bryson in the waters of

Huxley, Orwell, Atwood, Carson, and the words of

Colette that tell the world of the corresponding

Smells of the betrayed, jealous and lovesick.

Science has a fix  but a “fix”

Denied its beauty – resolution

Because there is no profit

Ensuring the earth remains

Healthy for everyone.

Right here,

Right now,

Money’s to be made

Fat capitalists sucking the earth

Dry of its natural resources

Sadly, ironically

With the help science.

In revolutions over time

Knowledge and passion is

Ignited by art

And the time is neigh

When art reveals the capitalists deniers

Who catch the money flung at solutions

Hiding it away in the pockets of those

“Rapture ready”

With no need of a future world.

Art, in freedom

Will save us

When science, in chains

Will not.

 

 

* “An arts graduate is not going to fix global warming. They may do other valuable things, but they are not going to fix the planet, or cure cancer, or get rid of malaria.” ~  Bill Bryson

 

THE MUSEUM OF LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING

red door

Where we keep our humanity

Hermetically sealed

And in the future they will come

Down long google-glassed tunnels

To collect artifacts

Heartless facts from

Our artless landmarks

Blind to the act:

Giving succor to the enemy

Night on the battlefield when mountains

Of hatred became mere

Mounds over which we stumbled with gifts

The weight of humanity too great

Too heavy for the light of day

A light used to make way for

The resumption of war

CHILLIN’ AT CHIPOTLE

An example of the cups being used by Chipotle as part of a new series that includes writing by authors like Toni Morrison, George Saunders and Jonathan Safran Foer.
An example of the cups being used by Chipotle as part of a new series that includes writing by authors like Toni Morrison, George Saunders and Jonathan Safran Foer.

 

The following 26 questions by Jonathan  Safran Foer were found on  drink cup from Chipotle in Ithaca, NY. The story behind this thoughtful Disposable Literature campaign can be read at chipotle-experiments-with-disposable-literature.html

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1.  What’s the kindest thing you almost did?

 2.  Is your fear of insomnia stronger than the fear that awoke you?

 3.   Are bonsai cruel?

 4.   Do you love what you love or just the feeling?

 5. Your earliest memories: do you look through your young eyes, or do you look at your young self?

 6.  Which feels worse: to know that there are people who do more with less talent, or that there are people with more talent?

 7.  Do you walk on moving walkways?

 8.    Should it make any difference that you knew it was wrong as you were doing it?

 9.  Would you trade actual intelligence for the perception of being smarter?

 10.   Why does it bother you when someone at the next table is having a conversation on a cell phone?

 11.  How many years of your life would you trade for the greatest month of your life?

 12.  What would you tell your father if it were possible?

 13.   Which is changing faster, your body or your mind?

 14.  Is it cruel to tell an old person his prognosis?

 15.   Are you in any way angry at your phone?

 16.   When you pass a storefront, do you look at what’s inside, look at your reflection, or neither?

 17.   Is there any thing that you would die for if no one could ever know you died for it?

 18.  If you could be assured that more money would not make you the least bit happier, would you still want more money?

 19. What has been irrevocably spoiled for you?

 20. If your deepest secret became public, would you be forgiven?

 21.  Is your best friend your kindest friend?

 22.  Is it in any way cruel to give a dog a name?

 23.  Is there anything you feel a need to confess?

 24.  You know that a group of crows is called a ‘murder of crows’, likewise a group of buzzards is called a ‘wake of buzzards’ – but what is a group of ravens called?

 25. What is it about death that frightens you?

 26. How does is make you feel to know that the answer to 24 is an “unkindness of ravens”?

 

 

MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE?

I write because I cannot dance.

Dance like nothing is impossible
Dance like nothing is impossible

Oh, I can shake a hip or two, moving my hands to suggest I know what I’m doing. But to dance, really dance would be to lift a long trim leg into the air and hold it there until you are out of breath. I want to swirl through the cracks in your heart blowing open the doors to the reality of movement. I want to leap weightless across your stage landing softly upon your consciousness and wriggle my shoulders free of life’s shawl.

 Because I cannot dance – I struggle to teach 26 letters the art of holding, swirling, leaping, landing and wriggling free of life’s nasty decorum.

ASSESSING THE DAMAGE: A Writer’s Almanac, NYT Headlines, and Triathlons

baldwin

 

In 1974, James Baldwin’s book,  If Beale Street Could Talk, was published. About a young couple who find themselves about to be parents when the young man is accused of rape and imprisoned. Baldwin was accused (by some) of sounding too bitter in the writing of “Beale Street…” I have to ask –

 How do the disparaged of the times

escape bitterness – escape even its sound –

when innocence dines at a table set

with rotting images –

marinated in vinegar ?

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 On August 2nd in 1932 American Physicist Carl Anderson discovered the first physical evidence of anti-matter. My heart stutters at the idea at measuring matter – much less what doesn’t. I am transported into last week where I read a NYT piece about a lower west side condo approved for a system of double entry: The condo association provided one door for the owners of the million dollar condos above and another entry for the affordable housing of the merely middle class.

      There are those who matter

And those who spend lives in the

Measured existence of anti-matter

They matter not to king, god, and bomb

Certainly not to those entering the golden

Archways living cloud-high quarters

Immeasurable in size and matter

There are those falcons loosed from

the widening gyre of definition

bullets spattered across time and distance

where class and doorways don’t matter

 

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Yesterday I spent the morning volunteering at a local triathlon event – my job was to count the swimmers exiting the lake

Making sure the number agreed with the number of swimmers who went into the lake

I meditated on the necessity of competition in a world awash in “my (fill in the blank) is bigger, better, smarter than your _________”.

I had to remember that I was in a town, home to an ivy-league institution, where competition is a personality cornerstone of those lucky enough to be invited to study at such an institution.

But what of the corralled mass of middle-aged male humanity standing next to me – exuding more testosterone than a Balco Lab? A heady experience for a second – until I remember the time in 10th grade when

I inadvertently entered the boy’s locker room after football practice. The smell of competitive animals doesn’t change –

No matter the age.

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Take-a-way Wisdom:

Art is a way of confronting life. Getting to the big unruled YES in a country bordered and ruled by no