Sunday, April 13, 2014
In honor of Facebook friending my cousin Randy, who I haven't seen since we were teens, & only saw once or twice a year anyway. My sister, named for his mom & a favorite of his dad, had a close relationship with them, if not with Randy.
The only thing I envied about Randy was that they had a beachfront cottage in Manasquan, nothing fancy (actually, they had two, rented out the other one), nice musty odor beachfront houses acquire. The envy pretty much went away after my grandmother retired to Atlantic City & between staying with her & our annual week vacation, I was spending nearly a month at the shore every year, including a week after Easter. Manasquan didn't have much action & you couldn't just stroll across the inlet to Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Laura Nyro - Brown Earth
I don't know if Carrie likes Laura, but this is one of my fave "being alive" songs. for her recent birthday.
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Atlantic City NJ
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Rixarcade You Tube Channel
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Come Fly With Me
It's one thing to dream about Frank Sinatra, much more freaky to dream that I am Frank Sinatra. For this dream, inventing a huge hotel/casino to wander around in, not in a city, with endless anonymous hallways, elevators with uniformed operators (do I tip them?), gift shops, strange magazine stands, even a big wedding reception in one of the banquet rooms. & I, Frank Sinatra, not even resembling Frank in my dream much less possessed of his voice, confidence, entourage or penthouse suite, wandering around after my show wondering where the hell my room is, & if I have a late or early checkout. & I constructed this edifice out of one visit six years ago to Caesar's in Atlantic City? Poet Jim Cohn suggested to me a while back that it would be interesting, possibly instructive, to talk with some of the dream inhabitants. But this requires a lucidity I didn't have last night. Because I couldn't believe I was who I seemed to be. Had I said to myself, in the dream,"OK, you're Frank, what would Frank do? Demand better accomodations! Crash the wedding! Smack a broad!" then it would have played out differently.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Saturday, March 29, 2014
The freedom to do what we wanted, in our art. This is not as easy or as common as one might think, It is closely linked to spirituality. An exasperated Russian Orthodox philosopher Nicolai Berdyaev exclaimed in one of his essays, "It is slavery in everything." So art is often a slave to something, a desire for approval, ambition, craft. Christine & met in 1972. We gave each other permission to do what we wanted in our art. Our art began changing very quickly, & with Christine, quite radically, as she was at the time the better educated & trained of the two of us, fully committed to visual art & more ready to proceed, while I was split between music & writing.
An experimental art can be capable of explaining itself as it is experienced. I knew this to be so because several composers I admired were achieving it.
Beware of irony. Irony is easy. It is also a primary agent of cynicism. Try to make a direct statement meaning exactly what you say, particularly a positive statement, no more & no less, & some people invariably believe you are being ironic. Controlling irony has been a struggle for me.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
No Snow, hopefully no mo'
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Velma, Chapter Two
I poked at Velma's smoldering cigarette butt in the ashtray
with the point of a pencil. Why do women always do that?
Velma crossed her shapely left leg over her right,
then changed to her right over her left. I didn't pretend not to look.
"Well?" asked Velma.
I said, "Velma, what part of 'I don't do divorce work'
don't you understand?"
Monday, March 24, 2014
Reviewing albums for fun & no profit
When I was writing oodles of mostly brief Amazon reviews 14 years ago (Amazon was much smaller than now), fans of a band or artist disliked my three star reviews. Three stars meant an LP was competent, a few really worthwhile songs, probably nothing outright awful, but probably nothing that would interest someone not already a fan of the group or artist, or a "completist" for versions of a classical work. You'd feel the lack of enthusiasm in my writing. Neil Young, whom I love even in his weirdest failures, got some three star reviews from me. Four Stars was an LP I liked, worth having if I were a fan, might interest others, more than half good, a few exceptional cuts or a praiseworthy concept sincerely attempted, lower your expectations a little & you won't be disappointed. I couldn't give half-stars, so if I had any doubts at all about five stars, it became four. Four was a good review. I only wanted people to stop & think before they spent their money. That is the bottom line: Who should or should not spend their money! Sometimes it's difficult to draw that line, but it's the only way you do the reader a real favor.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Atlantic City NJ
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
A NEW TAROT CARD
First the money please thank you.
This figure who rarely speaks her thoughts
prefers the old Christmas tree lights
& the routine of closing the blinds
when the sun shines through
at a slightly different time
She believes that what is best
is best left implied or unsaid.
Ancient, ancient her religion,
but no more heretical for that;
when one such as her has visions
she will always collect her emotions,
think of something else to do,
like sifting through her junk mail
or sweeping the floor, the most
Here we see her after her bath
standing wet & naked
behind a closed door.
The image on this card
may be interpreted to mean
that you pretend to keep secrets
when you have none to keep.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Van Morrison - She Gives Me Religion
Rio Grande NJ
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Ballet School Receptionist
I stared at her
Tiny girls in leotards
walked in & out
of her tiny office
A shy child needing her
to sew a tear - she closed the door
who got the best parts
in The Nutcracker
Shifting my weight
from foot to foot
pretending to read an old magazine
was my dance
Twice I went out for air
then returned to wonder
at her rice flour face
& when she walked down the hall
I admired her ass
I had heard she had a boyfriend
but was unhappy with his abuses
I wondered if she ever danced away
from those men
I was tired of dancing -
I wanted to fill envelopes
with words about the moon -
hand them out as my resume
When the ballet class ended
my niece stage-whispered
“Did you talk to her?”
1991. 17 year relationship with Chtistine over; intense, unpleasant rebound affair shortly afterward (woman snatched at a poetry reading from another poet, who wasn't acting fast \enough - he never forgave me); .nearly a one night stand with a (married) friend visiting from out of town - encouraged by mutual friends. I went to work at Pearl Arts Supply in Woodbridge. I did meet a woman there eventually, together three years. Dabbled in local newspaper relationships wanted to no satisfaction. This was not how I met women. I hadn't "dated" since high school. All my other significant relationships were meet somewhere, hang out usually with friends, then go off & hang out on out own.
Monday, March 10, 2014
five minutes later her sister phones from Pittsburgh.
Sunday, March 09, 2014
Cape May City NJ
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Buddy Cole - Cheek to Cheek
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
take it to the boss
Friday the wall around the breaker box was spackled, my deadbolt lock repaired, & the pipe unclogged. Lesson: Take it to the top. I got hit with a large, unexpected rent increase due to a cutback in subsidies for rental assistance. Percentage of monthly income has always been capped at around 30%. This increase takes 38% of my income. Of course, the landlord gets the full amount. He had a small rent increase. The problem with rental assistance is the recipients tend to treat their apartments based of what they pay rather than what the landlord receives. Yes, I've been guilty of this. But some in this building, I'm certain, pay nearly nothing for their apartment. Well, the rent pinches me now, & I'm expecting better, faster attention to problems.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
A good break
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Mount Ephraim NJ
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Buddy Cole - Poinciana
From the album "Swing Fever" (1960). Hammond Organ -- Buddy Cole; Bass -- Red Callender; Bongos -- Jack Costanzo; Guitar -- Vince Terry; Percussion -- Al Stoller, Lou Singer, Milt Holland
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Somers Point NJ
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Here come The Beatles February 1964
My favorite single of 1963 was Candy Girl b/w Marlena, by The Four Seasons. two sided hit bigger in Philly & Atlantic City than NYC. I had been impressed by some of the songs, vocal harmonies, on Surfer Girl album. I thought the Beach Boys & Seasons could cover each other's songs. My favorite LP of '63 was either a movie soundtrack or Stan Kenton's Adventures in Jazz." I was fond of Martha & the Vandellas.
Some kids in my high school detested The Beatles. There was a serious Fifties hangover teen culture in my h.s., plus leftovers of the folkie hootnanny, which continued to move songs into the top 40, neither of which I much appreciated. The Fifties influence had become parody. The Beatles broke over those like a tidal wave. That's why I liked The Beatles. As a little kid immersed in the malt shop world of Archie Comics & Ozzie & Harriet, I had envied teen culture of the mid-Fifties because it had Elvis, plus doo wop & Buddy Holly. Elvis was a transformer. I must confess to also liking Bob Denver's gentle teen beatnik Maynard G Krebs from Dobie Gillis. But Elvis meant almost nothing to us in 1964, beatniks were disappearing, there were vestiges of doo wop in the top 40 but lacking the purity & ethereal qualities of the music that had enchanted me in grammar school. Occasionally a decent song popped out an Elvis Movie. The Beatles were our Elvis. I recognized that much & embraced the change. Soon enough more music flowed from England, like The Animals' great "House of the Rising Sun." Had to put up with Gerry & Pacemakers & Freddy & The Dreamers & other forms of mindless profiteering inspired by The Beatles. Bobby Vee compared to Buddy Holly. The first Beatles LP I bought was the soundtrack to A Hard day's Night with the George Martin instrumentals.
The Beatles in California smoking pot with with who?
At the end of 1964, The Beatles released Beatles '65, an LP I loved, initiating a period of about two years when The Beatles recorded & released the finest series of now classic records ever from a band or artist, from "No Reply" & "I Feel Fine" to "Help!" & "Paperback Writer," "Drive My Car," "Rain," "And Your Bird Can Sing" all the way through Rubber Soul & Revolver. Beatles 65 made me a real fan \of the band. It was when rock & roll became rock. Even the lp cover pix were cool, with the umbrellas. The speed of The Beatles' musical evolution, while under the incredible pressure of needing to produce more "hits," touring, & making two movies, was proof of their genius. Because of The Beatles, The Four Seasons made better records, The Beach Boys made wonderful records. The Beatles inspired the creation of The Byrds, making folk music palatable & hip. & The Beatles turned Bob Dylan from a rock dabbler into the greatest white American rocker since Elvis. The Stones would be along as soon as they finished urinating on the gas station attendant, or so the story went. The Stones or maybe their fan club passed out buttons that said, "Let's Lock Loins." It became getting more & more difficult for the profiteers to keep a handle on the teenybopper market. Ultimately it lead to the The Monkees. & even they became too uppity. But that was a long way ahead.
At the end of August 1964 I missed my one chance to see The Beatles live. Wasn't a sure thing, but it was a chance. Another story.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Hip Valentine Old Maid
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Long Branch NJ
Friday, February 07, 2014
Fifty years ago today they landed in the U.S.A.
On February 7, 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow lands at New York's Kennedy Airport--and "Beatlemania" arrives. It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles, a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before with "I Want to Hold Your Hand." At Kennedy, the "Fab Four"--dressed in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts--were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil.
Two days later, Paul McCartney, age 21, Ringo Starr, 23, John Lennon, 23, and George Harrison, 20, made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, a popular television variety show.