Wednesday, March 28, 2007

follow yer nose


5 o'clock in the afternoon and there's still light left--amazing. Lately I've been doing a time management trick where I commit to working in the front yard for the length of time it takes to listen to a whole cd. I open the garage door and put the purple boom box on the work bench. Last week it was Richard Hell and The Voidoids. This weekend it was Swell Maps. Today it was "Guest Host" by Stew. I do it because weeding is hard to get started...and listening to a whole album is a rare thing anymore. You can pull alot of weeds in an 45 minutes or an hour. (A free-floating MP3 is to an album what clipping a coupon is to dinner?) With bonus tracks you may even prune the butterfly bush and get cosmos started. Actually it isn't so much a time management trick as a "get tactile!" trick. When you feel like the golden goose that got it's guts pulled out, "get tactile!" When Rumi describes the interior of an RV and not a mystic poet "get tactile!" Get tactile! Bermuda grass is goin' nuts out there. I am working on my "get tactile!" self-help book, with an astroturf front flap and buffalo hide on the back.

Yesterday Mr. Random let me spiel on his show on KWVA. I played a couple tunes, spun a couple tunes off the new one, and plugged our show tomorrow. I've known Mr. Random since we worked together at the grocery store 15 years ago. He was the dairy stocker and I used to yell non sequitirs through the rows of yogurt and milk and sing him a song: "kenny kenny, poppin' bennies" (I was reading William S. Burroughs or something. Mr. Random didn't do drugs once he quit working at Dunkin' Donuts. ) On the show I plugged Dr. Nathan's blue Les Paul into my Fender Sidekick. It sounded really good, to me. I really can't figure out playing acoustic guitar anymore. The only place they sound good is at home sitting on the side of the bed. On the other hand I am lazy about changing strings. Get tactile, man!

I started reading The Collected Shorter Poems of Kenneth Rexroth this week. I've read a few things, some translations of Japanese poems, but for some reason always had him filed away in my encyclopedia of Dan's assumptions has "the Beat poet who wore suits and wasn't as goofy as the rest of them." Well, these ones feel like cosmic archaeological prayers, like Neruda, and that is goofier than red wine and long hair, if you ask me, suit or no suit. No look-at-me-I'm-free. Zen poets have centuries of spiritual shorthand to work with. Heirs of Whitman have the testing of sexual mores and the great self-perpetuating image bank of Americana. This stuff is a really wild but personal point of view, an undiscovered country, stony, like Aztec artifacts.

I borrowed this book from Deborah Dakin about ten years ago. In college I was the go-to babysitter and they had a kick ass library. They also had the Smithsonian Country Music box set.

So after weeding with Stew, I got into a Trader Joe's DiGiorno knock-off and went into a pizza coma until the phone rang. Feeling a bit flat, you might say.
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