Category Archives: Thoughts

More meta-drivel (or not). The poetic residue lives on.

Inspired by the poetic residue I discovered in my sketchbooks, I’ve taken to writing more frequently lately. For the past few days, after I crawl into bed I’ve doodled words into my “to-do’s” notebook driven on by my state of hypnagogic delirium. Here are the results.

Some are silly, some are elegant, and some are odd. I like some quite a bit more than others (I’ve placed my personal favorites in bold), but as I am an advocate for full artistic honesty (including disclosure) and considering that I am just as passionate about process as I am product, I’ve reproduced the past two evenings’ worth of writings below in their entirety. I consider each stanza its own entity.

an incomplete cadaver makes no sense to a vacuum salesman, and wichita
won’t support the enterprise
so let’s take down all the curtains and blast off into the millenium with arms, hugs, and kisses
And perhaps a bottle of scotch and scrubbing bubbles.

“Pull that pork harder!” hewned the rotted rancher, “They’ll believe it once they see the warts.”
Buckets of them, brought up from riverbeds where zebra clams
eat their tea and crumpets, and the walleye post their vacancy signs.
“Taxes are my middle name,” the gentleman thought to himself,
before he loudly slurped down the egg of emu and its accompanying bladder.
This is the life of a salesman.

Bleak and beyond the length of the brow, quintuplets dash and dare to death;
in fame, fortune, or urethane—
counterintuitive, rancid or fresh.
It’s smelt and dealt with chivalrous rabble-rousing gifts and cantankerous carbuncles.
Let’s sit down for some clam chowder, shall we?

Bleeding ostriches and player pianos, all up for sale in this townhouse.
Once a magic mountain fantasy,
they danced in between the lines, catching fairy dust and foxes.
Bless their hearts, for leaving this,
and bliss will wave behind them.

Curl your fingers, then your toes,
bracing for the future; left and right,
we wait for wonder to arrive.
I’m not alone in this endeavor, stealing grins and pumping hearts.
Give and gift, they all adore them, fresh dandelion tarts.

Too bad the windows don’t open,” the shouted up through the floors.
Stairs don’t tell this boy what’s shakin’, but Kentucky drivn’ through
is waitin’ for its man. My man.
We been here and there is for a treasure.

Turtlenecks and twisted swan necks,
we capture then reach, without a mere dash of salt.
Unsavory futures taken away and bureau drawers unscathed open,
sliding out and bashing as the bats burst out and holler to their brothers,
“No bears are out tonight! No bears are out
tonight! No bears are out tonight!”

Flippant threads all-‘a’-dangling from a hand outstretched,
with tendons torn from love and sacrifice, and wooing the lovelies from the inside out.
Craftily it rides the strip, from belly out to sky,
and then we feel the strings connecting, pulling
us through the shutters, and
drifting into dark soup and stars.

Tuxedos burst with bulging pockets, donkeys
tripping, and tusks embezzled. “What a dandy!”
With all that hair, who wouldn’t be? Shucks,
let’s sell all the flamingos and buy some cake! We’re going out tonight!

Right ’till dawn and dusk unite in one
hug of light’s affections. Unfortunate
that such delights are only seen and felt by the blind and curious,
listening for the right moment to pen their eyes, and
picture what’s inside them. Clasps, patches,
pouring love, and sweetness, all flavor the time,
and sighs are the universe’s welcome.

After tripping down the stairs,
all august and gilled with deuces, no man,
or cultured friday reader dares to paint these streets.
Quilted bears and pantyhose, everywheres. that’s
the catch of the season. Sell it while the crop is hot,
and ripen when your keg is cool—
no buttresses to spare in this old union town;
we’ve got spruces everywhere!

Carbide boron plates and clutter, tickling her
reservoirs. I’m no idol worshiper or wheelbarrow butcher,
I just prefer to take the quarter-horses home. Roast beef.
Roast marshmallows. Chicken lickin’ toast.

The best of the best, idolatry free Tuesdays
reign supreme. Playing ball doesn’t capture that,
only a little bird in the window.
Whisper this to me, mad starling,
“Hush, and pick the berries while they’re ripe!”

Curtains over nothing – the lead lids fall and
droop without them- and I’m a failed wrestler.
Bring me breakfast for dinner, sliding lines, and
beavers don’t know any better. Too bad we won’t.
Too bad we won’t.

Sunday brunch, stand back Stravinsky!
ROTC chariot and drenched shores‚ leave room
for the peach pickin’s — Yeah let’s think;
so marshall men, and venus scabies, pink and
tickled blue.

Juciferous blotch and mallegheny marsh-
mallows, the tinklin’ torches me timbers.
Break the fast and join the ranks,
we’re all burrowing together, fixin’
for a pitcher of Sunny Delight when ma
comes home.

Good ol’ Bertrand: Another brief jab at the historical obsession in music education

Those of you who have heard or read my ranting about how obsessed with the past music education is (especially compared to the other arts!) will not be at all surprised by my attraction to this jewel of a quotation plucked from Bertrand Russell’s oeuvre. I rediscovered it yesterday while venturing into the climes of my fastidiously-made computer backups I burned to disc when I was in high-school. In fact, though I had completely forgotten about this quotation until it surfaced yesterday, I actually had this printed, cut out and pasted on my bedroom wall for over 6 years of my adolescence. I guess my lot was cast years ago. Isn’t everyone’s?

It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather than the hope of creating the future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young.

— Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)

Some poetic residue

The nature of my creative process leaves me with sketchbooks littered with seemingly disassociated concepts. Stray idea gobs hang from folded corners, and outlines of amoebas filled with gorgeousness sit atop the pages. Sometimes I glance back, even just a few days, discovering snippets that could easily have been penned by someone else, because I sure don’t remember putting them there. This afternoon I found a few past words that struck my fancy. No clue how long ago I wrote them, or why, and although they are now poetic, I certainly didn’t write them with the intention of writing poems. Just creative residue:

limp, sickened, disfigured hands to mouth
plodding in a stench of present— The lamp inside burns,
torching, glowing and christening from with the dogged licking flames,
spewing, capturing, and defying everything below, Courage!
it has courage! to lick the sky and back again through atmospheres and life shimmering

And here’s another:

“I have my fabric”—she said, and swept me out of sight
a klezmer incognito fright-
-ened witches on the prowl, protruding legs and corpuscles clasped around the tortured toes—
we sat and watched it all explode- what a delight!


My favorite kind of rock is conglomerate. All sorts of stuff butted up against each other to make a unique whole. What a great aesthetic. Too much music assumes that to be of any import it must consist of a single type of rock within the conglomerate. “Can’t have too many ideas in one piece!” the tradition and its zealots shout from the rooftops. One thing that is certain about art (and science!) is that nobody possesses any authority; individuals can only possess perspectives or ideas that are more or less valuable or insightful.

“I was not influenced by composers as much as by natural objects and physical phenomena.”

—Edgard Varese

“Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens. Thus they might come to be stamped as “necessities of thought,” “a priori givens,” etc. The path of scientific progress is often made impassable for a long time by such errors. Therefore it is by no means an idle game if we become practiced in analysing long-held commonplace concepts and showing the circumstances on which their justification and usefulness depend, and how they have grown up, individually, out of the givens of experience. Thus their excessive authority will be broken.”

— Alfred Einstein in an obituary for physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, Physikalische Zeitschrift 17 (1916)