Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Holidays

"All You Need is Love".. Project Red CD that I picked up at Starbucks led me to this. More here...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

New Avett Brothers Video

Directed by Jody Hill. The intro is a bit too long for my taste but song is worth the wait. I need to write some more instead of posting videos. Took a bunch of notes on airplane rides yesterday, especially the 4 hour flight from Hartford to Dallas.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I have been playing this cd driving all over Connecticut. Can't recommend highly enough.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


A more relevant song.

Happy Thanksgiving

A little tinny but I am considering it my new anthem. Making a few Turkey Day resolutions and one is to write more here at least.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Double, double toil and trouble..."

The three witches, casting a spell
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I [Round about the cauldron go]
by William Shakespeare

This is also the recipe for the last night of Kandy Land this Saturday with Halloween, karaoke, daylight savings time etc... should be equally unpalatable but unforgettable as well.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

"Inherent Vice"

I never finished his last novel this one has grabbed my attention though.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Levon Helm's "Electric Dirt"


I’ve been beating my head all day long on the same six lines,
Snapped off and whittled to nothing like the nub of a pencil
Chewed up and smoothed over, yellow paint flecking my teeth.

And this whole time a hot wind’s been swatting down my door,
Spat from his mouth and landing smack against my ear.
All day pounding the devil out of six lines and coming up dry

While he drives donuts through my mind’s back woods with that
Dirt-road voice of his, kicking up gravel like a runaway Buick.
He asks Should I come in with that back beat, and whatever those

Six lines were bothered by skitters off like water in hot grease.
Come in with your lips stretched tight and that pig-eyed grin,
Bass mallet socking it to the drum. Lay it down like you know

You know how, shoulders hiked nice and high, chin tipped back,
So the song has to climb its way out like a man from a mine.

by Tracy K. Smith
New Yorker, September 21

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wilco IMU 10/01/09

Still need to get my ticket. Should be great.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yes I am being lazy but it's still a good column....

(Random shot E-mailed to me from friend back in Connecticut.)

American Life in Poetry: Column 231


This column originates on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and at the beginning of each semester, we see parents helping their children move into their dorm rooms and apartments and looking a little shaken by the process. This wonderful poem by Sue Ellen Thompson of Maryland captures not only a moment like that, but a mother’s feelings as well.

Helping My Daughter Move into Her First Apartment

This is all I am to her now:
a pair of legs in running shoes,

two arms strung with braided wire.
She heaves a carton sagging with CDs

at me and I accept it gladly, lifting
with my legs, not bending over,

raising each foot high enough
to clear the step. Fortunate to be

of any use to her at all,
I wrestle, stooped and single-handed,

with her mattress in the stairwell,
saying nothing as it pins me,

sweating, to the wall. Vacuum cleaner,
spiny cactus, five-pound sacks

of rice and lentils slumped
against my heart: up one flight

of stairs and then another,
down again with nothing in my arms

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School

American Life in Poetry: Column 230


It’s been sixty-odd years since I was in the elementary grades, but I clearly remember those first school days in early autumn, when summer was suddenly over and we were all perched in our little desks facing into the future. Here Ron Koertge of California gives us a glimpse of a day like that.

First Grade

Until then, every forest
had wolves in it, we thought
it would be fun to wear snowshoes
all the time, and we could talk to water.

So why is this woman with the gray
breath calling out names and pointing
to the little desks we will occupy
for the rest of our lives?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

"The Angel's Game"

It's got me hooked...145 pages since I awoke.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My mojito patch with rose at my now former residence. (I will return to harvest when I go back and get my bike and Weber grill.)

I think the author took an extended holiday from the blog. The book meme tag from facebook had me returning to some familiar haunts. This is one of my favorites.

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

by Elizabeth Bishop

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Unfriendly Skies

If I recall Loudon debuted this song when he played at the Englert. A friend just sent me the link and I had to share.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Eurotrash Guy

I found this a long time ago on the web. I am putting the only version I could find up here. Where is my Eurail Pass?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Calexico-El Gatillo

I really need to see these guys again soon. A friend just saw them up in Minneapolis with the Decemberists. Jealous!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nouvelle Cuisine

photo ©2009 geoff stamp (from File)

I was browsing the new poetry shelf at library and found a few worth taking a deeper look at. One was Denise Duhamel's most recent, Ka-Ching!, and a book on how to write poetry, Ordinary Genius by another favorite poet of mine, Kim Addonizio. The third was a collection of recent poems from Tin House literary magazine. I hope to keep this blog a little bit more up to date and will post a few of the poems I like as I come across them..

For local Iowa City denizens there there should be a good turnout at Kandy Land tomorrow (Fri) night for several local bands including Liberty Leg. See you there.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jay Bennett

I ganked this video from I AM FUEL blog. Jay was a crazy freak but he was all about the music. He played here in town a couple years back.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Belated Memorial Day Tribute

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Untitled Poem [“Speciously individual ...”]

Speciously individual
like a solid piece of spit
floating in a cuspidor
I dream of free bravery
but am a social being.
I should do something
to get out of here
but float around in the culture
wondering what it will grow.

by Alan Dugan

I found this on Poetry Foundation website. It fit my mood at the time.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

I was listening the bonus cd from Bob Dylan's new album. The cd is an entire show from Bob's XM radio show Theme Time Radio Hour. It is great to hear Bob introduce some of the more obscure tracks that he clearly loves. One of the songs was Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Bob suggested to You Tube her and check it out. So I did.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beautiful without Money

Flowers in the yard before the winds came and beheaded them all.

Another poem from Poetry Daily, as N.P.M. winds down. I have to brag about some scores made at the book store in the public library. I found The Oxford Book of American Poetry for three bucks and a signed copy of T.C. Boyle's Drop City (endorsed to Ed). Although an unsigned Boyle might be a rarer find in this town.

Beautiful without Money

Suddenly fatigued among French
women in the Roman

Empire rooms of the museum,
I fall out of circulation

on a bench. Bronze
heads, helms, a Byzantine

spoon, sixth century, engraved,
attributed to Virgil: O handsome

youth, do not believe too much
in beauty; you cannot be

beautiful without money ... women fall,
tucking skirts, onto my bench,

being suddenly flesh and scent,
and do not speak to me.

T. Zachary Cotler

The Paris Review
Spring 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?"

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It's all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author's name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, "Shhhh."

Then start again.

Ron Koertge
from Fever, 2006
Red Hen Press

This is from the Poetry 180 website hosted by The Library of Congress started by Billy Collins while he was Poet Laureate.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hold Steady Live

Since I missed the show here in town I will have to settle for this new live album.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"This is a collection that seeks to mark how women poets made a poetry that, in two decades, altered the face of American poetry forever.... A new language began—not a language that was linguistically new (although there are scholars who make that argument), but a language new to them. New to us, I should say, because in the process of speaking what was hidden, we began to identify with one another as women, to become a 'we.'"—Honor Moore

This is the latest volume that I received from the Library of America's American Poets Project. Poetry Daily is highlighting this volume by reprinting the entire introduction by Honor Moore on its website as a weekly prose feature as part of its National Poetry Month celebration.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Goldfish Are Ordinary

At the pet store on Court Street,
I search for the perfect fish.
The black moor, the blue damsel,
cichlids and neons. Something
to distract your sadness, something
you don't need to love you back.
Maybe a goldfish, the flaring tail,
orange, red-capped, pearled body,
the darting translucence? Goldfish
are ordinary, the boy selling fish
says to me. I turn back to the tank,
all of this grace and brilliance,
such simplicity the self could fail
to see. In three months I'll leave
this city. Today, a chill in the air,
you're reading Beckett fifty blocks
away, I'm looking at the orphaned
bodies of fish, undulant and gold fervor.
Do you want to see aggression?
the boy asks, holding a purple beta fish
to the light while dropping handfuls
of minnows into the bowl. He says,
I know you're a girl and all
but sometimes it's good to see.
Outside, in the rain, we love
with our hands tied,
while things tear away at us.

by Stacie Cassarino

From the website celebrating National Poetry Month. I am little behind in reading them. An email delivery option is also available. Not be confused with Poetry Daily which has its own thing going on.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

I really dig the Arcade Fire tune too.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Sit, Ubu, Sit"

A toy that S. bought for her nephew. The cats were wary at first but since it did not chase theme around the house and try to eat them like the last dog that they saw did they ignored it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Dead Weather

Jack White's new band. Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First flower to show up in the yard. The tulips are making progress though.

Spring is like a perhaps hand


Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

by E. E. Cummings

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Picture of a beam in the Guinness storehouse in Dublin from Wikiepedia.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Joshua Tree

from File magazine. (just keeping my page alive). I think its been 20 years since I drove through the park.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Girl You Lost to Cocaine

I picked up this record by Sia at a Starbucks when I was traveling for work. One of the music blogs (Pop Matters) posted several of her videos so it was a pleasant reminder to go back and give it a listen again. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"I need a camera to my eye, reminding which lies have I been hiding"

To paraphrase the words of Matt L., "Between you and Churlita taking pictures the other night at the Dublin I am surprised no one had a seizure from all the flashes."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go. "

in Just-

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan whistles

E. E. Cummings

Friday, February 20, 2009

"It's a semi-automatic, Believers are ecstatic... "

This is a postcard from a friend back in Conn. that I received on Monday. I do not want to know what he was doing in Kentucky. I spent the morning preparing slow-cooker chili and listening to the remastered version of Pavement's Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

St. Valentines Day Massacre

This bike has been chained to this parking meter for about six months now. My blog is starting to look like this bike. If it wasn't for Google Reader and my music widget it would never get updated. More effort is required in all aspects of my endeavors. I am planning on not smoking cigarettes after my birthday passes on Sunday. This will also probably require staying out of my favorite pubs for a while or at least not drinking as that is my main trigger. So enough of all that...Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fake Plastic Trees by Jeff Tweedy

I ganked this from Muzzle of Bees.

And check out this forthcoming Wilco movie, Ashes of American Flags

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Army Cats from The New Yorker

Army Cats


Over by the cemetery next to the CP

you could see them in wild catmint going crazy:

I watched them roll and wriggle, paw it, lick it,

chew it, leap about, pink tongues stuck out, drooling.

Cats in the tanks’ squat shadows lounging.

Or sleeping curled up under gun turrets.

Hundreds of them sniffing or licking

long hind legs stuck in the air,

great six-toed brutes fixing you with a feral,

slit-eyed stare . . . everywhere ears twitching,

twitching as the armor plate expanding

in the heat gave off piercing little pings.

Cat invasion of the mind. Cat tribes

running wild. And one big pregnant

female comes racing through weeds to pounce

between the paws of a marble dog

crouching on a grave and sharpens

her claws against his beard of moss

before she goes all silky, luxuriously

squirming right under the dog’s jaws,

and rolls over to expose her swollen belly.

Picture her with gold hoop earrings

and punked-out nose ring like the cat goddess Bast,

bronze kittens at her feet, the crowd drinking wildly,

women lifting up their skirts as she floats down

the Nile, a sistrum jangling in her paw.

Then come back out of it and sniff

her ointments, Lady of Flame, Eye of Ra.


Through the yard the tanks come gunning,

charioteers laughing, goggles smeared with dust

and sun, scattering the toms slinking

along the blast wall holding back the waves

from washing away white crosses on the graves,

the motors roaring through the afternoon

like a cat fuck yowling on and on.

The gun turrets revolving in the cats’ eyes

swivel and shine, steel treads clanking,

sending the cats flying in an exodus

through brown brittle grass, the stalks

barely rippling as they pass.


After the last car bomb killed three soldiers

the Army Web site labelled them “martyrs.”

Four civilians killed at checkpoints. Three on the airport road.

A young woman blown up by a grenade.

Facts and more facts . . . until the dead ones

climb up out of the graves, gashes on faces

or faces blown away like sandblasted stone

that in the boarded-up museums’

fractured English “leaves the onlooker

riddled and shaken, nothing but a pathetic gaping . . .”

And then I remember the ancient archers

frozen between reverence and necessity—

who stare down the enemy, barbarians,

as it’s told, who nailed sacred cats to their shields,

knowing their foes outraged in their piety

would throw down their bows and wail like kittens

by Tom Sleigh

Friday, January 30, 2009

Saddlebacking is the new black. Look it up.

Since I am using the person who introduced me to this band's computer to burn music I thought I should share this. First glimpsed on the I Am Fuel blog.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

photo ©2009 sharad haksar (from File Magazine)

I seem to be ignoring the blog because of facebook. I will make more of an effort here. Still reading all the Lippman and Hiaasen books I can get from public library at the moment although sidetracked by the book about the circus fire I found on discard shelf. This is probably funniest commercial I have seen in a while. (Warning: Animal balloon sex is involved.) Enjoy the new Neko single from Paste Magazine sampler. Record is due out March 1st.

Neko Case- People Got A Lotta Nerve

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My winter retreat on the Black Sea. An Iowa dacha sans waterfront. The new Odessa is Kalona.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have drifted into Kalona proper to use Internet at the library and spend time in a nice little coffee shop. The last few days I have been shacked up with a stack of novels back at the farm. I am now a huge fan of Carl Hiaasen, his book Skinny Dip, is one of the those laugh out loud Florida farces. I don't know why I have never read him before. Too many books, so little time I suppose. From there I moved on to his Basket Case, which includes lyrics of a song written by the late great Warren Zevon which was included on his record, My Ride is Here.

I have also been spending time in Baltimore thanks to Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series. Start with Baltimore Blues.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Some cows from my friend's farm where I am staying to house sit his dog while he is in Florida for work. Not a fair trade but its not too bad to get out of town and enjoy the bucolic life.