late night jazz
when i was in college in the sixties in east lansing michigan there was a late night jazz show on one of the local fm stations. the dj always began his show with the words ‘this is rockwell and these are records’. one night my roommates had all gone home for christmas and i stayed behind to watch a peaceful snowfall blanket and shut down the city. there were three rooms on the second floor of the old house and the landlady was a sweet old southern bell in her eighties. her husband had been an engineering professor and had died years earlier and she had taught in the art department and now rented out rooms to lazy hippies. she did not hear that well so we enjoyed the music of the day as loud as we wanted.
not quite alone that night with ‘rockwell’ and his ‘records’. but he was teaching me jazz and a new ramsey lewis trio album was out. i had ‘borrowed’ my roommates stereo (which he never let us use) and cranked up the sound. they were playing a beatles song and suddenly the music stopped. and ‘rockwell’ told me to listen hard and check out the way this trio played into each other. my god. they were handing off the riffs to one another while they played right on with their own. amazing……..
wonderful when you can be in tune with another that way isnt it. to this day it makes me smile to remember that snowy night.
a hard days night
catching my breath
on a g string
i defy any cloud to appear in the sky
when is a little kid my grandfather bought a brand new cadillac every year. he was a boss at general motors so he knew what they would look like. what the colors would be. and he picked it up the morning of the first day they were introduced to the public. he let his young grandchildren pick out the colors. my sister was the youngest and when she was four grandpa said she could pick the color. now my grandpa was a tall handsome german man with grey hair who wore impeccable suits and shoes and looked like a million dollars. so. my sister chose pink. and so it was for a whole year with not a word of complaint. that was the last year the grandchildren picked the color of grandpas cadillac.
nothing on netflix
the complex nature
if my last breath is this one…
it was an epiphany like no other. I was sitting in the sand meditating. no breeze and the water like fresh blown glass. it was so quiet that i suspected i had left the body. i guess that is when i heard that steady sound. i thought to myself. it is so quiet what is that sound. it was the sound of my blood in my ears. not so subtle either. that is when great discoveries can be made. just me alone or the sound of the sixth avenue el. the same thing really. left for everyone to see.
the holy nature
in a small lake town in illinois
i was leaving for a ride down route 66. i stopped over at a friends house and her father was really into weed. we smoked a bit and her boyfriend came over. we got into one of those discussions that young potheads of the day got into. a discussion of material things and how money has corrupted our culture. we were right to discuss those things you know.
anyway. the boyfriend whose name i have forgotten said we should go to the little lake town nearby and try an ‘experiment’. we jumped into his car and i really should have guessed then that i was about to learn something. on the speedometer of his old beat up ford he had changed the numbers to thousands of feet and renamed it an ‘altimeter’. he swore he still knew how fast he was going. but i digress.
when we got to the little lake city we immediately took five bucks and converted it to small change. then we walked into a woolworths and bought five bucks worth of really small things such as corks string sewing needles and stuff you would use every day but have little ‘value’.
under his now inspired direction we first begin to ‘give away’ the small change. the reaction was almost unanimous. everyone we approached wanted to know ‘what we wanted’. there was an old man with a tweed cap and he would not take the change in his hands. he said he thought we had put pepper or something on it and it would burn him. then in a complete change of heart he took off his hat and held it out to us. put it here he instructed.
then we offered strangers our trinkets from the woolworths. people smiled and everyone took our corks and such and most even thanked us.
the boyfriend. whose name i have forgotten was triumphant. money he said was a medium of exchange and people assume with high accuracy that it comes with strings or maybe hot pepper. small things of little intrinsic value on the other hand are seen quite correctly as gifts. thank you is the only really polite response. it is part of the better angels side of humanity to accept small tokens with grace and we often value them more than money or diamonds. who does not have a box of small things.
returning the lost child
kisses my cheek
This video was created by Steve Hodge. He placed some of my favorite senryu into the video while he played Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’ himself in the background. I love it!
performances are seldom free. a price oftentimes bourne not so much by the listener but the performer. performers bring us their versions of truth with a cost. enjoying it we dont see the price paid. ticket stubs dont count. we laugh and smile. cry. and most often of all just feel what comes toward us. we take it into our lives and move on. if it has real value to us as onlookers the performer has just been lucky. luck cant be purchased. luck comes from trying and not much else will bring it to you. the audience pays not to try. we have our air trumpets and air guitars after all.
and soundless wind chimes
wait for luck
after the rain
by the outgoing tide
the shine of stones
of tieing rope
to a bobbing boat
the importance of