Distant Siren

Siren Song

alone is a far way to go

just to sit

by the sea

to hear a guitar’s

random chords on waves

salt numbing fingers

seagull swooping

from distant rock-face

echoing the broken string

out-of-tune with damp

humming content

up & down the reaches

of beach disappearing 

into the enclosing fog

with reason saying go

romance saying stay

till all you can see

are your feet on the trail

to the ocean’s edge

then back to the rock

claimed as temporary home

<>

seeming like hours

the fog drifts away,

you can only throw

a guitar so far

and the sound that it makes

as it hits water

as the bridge breaks on the rocks

seems more fitting

than the fingers found

with still no purpose

but some finality;

too dark now

even to watch the pieces

playing in the waves

the wind picking the trees

more moonlit howling,

it might be time now,

now that you’ve drowned

in the only gift

you felt you had to give

Nov 17/75

Another mythological reference with the title – sailors lured by the irresistible songs like the narrator here is lured by not only the music but the seduction of the romance of being alone by the waves. This is almost a movie moment of our sad hero pining away wrapped up in thoughts & emotions he is afraid to articulate. Perhaps the melodrama of the echo is all he really wants anyway.

There is some real in this piece – I have sat by the ocean, have watching my footprints in the sand washed by the waves, have felt contemplative as I was lulled by the in and out of the water. I have even wandered away from a group of friends just to sit & enjoy the image.

I had the image of sitting the rock, playing guitar & the first lines came to me. This echo of music echoes though many of the pieces in the collection as well. Thus the title Distant Music – things not quite heard, not quite seen in the fog. I still like the transition in the first line ‘alone is a far way to go’ – that takes the abstraction of ‘alone’ & turns it into a destination as opposed to an emotion.

The piece touches on the essential loneness of creativity. Often a choice has to be made between social life & creative life, a choice that isn’t always that comfortable or easy to maintain. One has to be a part of the life around them but at the same time solitude is where imagination finds outlet. I’ve written in groups, but it’s only a step to working things out alone. Unlike musicians there are no writing quartets 🙂 but musicians usually practice in solitude.

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

paypal.me/TOpoet 

Jazzy Han Har Har

Bo Hansson made a crossover foray in the early 70’s with his lp Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings. I was a Tolkien fan at the time, had read the books at least once & when I first heard this was expecting a sort of Celtic/Swedish sound with tambours, penny whistles stuff but instead it was a gentle, moody, jazz exploration of the Rings. I replaced that lp with cd in 2003. Almost meditative & forerunner of new age sooth. Pleasant & timeless. 

Much more jazz, is trumpet Roy Hargrove’s Public Eye; Habana; earfood – which I have as stand-alones. I first heard him as sideman with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride. I picked all these up, at different times, on sale at HMV. Solid jazz. Habana explores Cuban sound with a large group;

I have a chunk of sax player Eddie Harris on an mp3 collection that includes his Complete Jazz Sessions 61/62; as stand-alone From 68): Electrifying/Plug Me In; & back to the mp3 collection his 1969 lp Silver Cycles. At once time juke boxes would have several jazz recordings & Harris filled the bill with these tracks – all around 4 min, many versions of movie theme or standards – high quality cocktail jazz. The stand-alone is more of the same but with more explorative longer tracks. My first Harris was Silver Cycles which is an amazing early exploration of electronica & experimental jazz. Some track feature a wordless female quartet. I always loved it eclectic range of this lp. I added the Sessions when I found the 44 track collection on iTunes.

Also in this mp3 collection is Vinnie Burke’s String Jazz Quartet. One of my co-works in Sydney was a jazz fan & I first heard his lps of this – a couple of upright basses, cello, violin – no percussion beyond plucking & I loved it. I had an lp to cas dupe which I was happy to upgrade to mp3.

Here too is Mike Cuozzo’s Mighty Mike – fine easy jazz with some vibes for flavouring. As well as Marie-Louise Girod’s Last Year At Marienbad soundtrack. One of my all rime favorite movies with a an eerie organ soundtrack. I never expected to find this but there it was on iTunes.

Booker Ervin’s The Song Book is an lp to cd finally to mp3 that fits nicely in this collection. Ervin is Harris to the next level of jazz seriousness. For a modern touch there is Russell Gunn’s Love Requiem; Plays Miles Davis. Modern jazz but a fine trumpet player. I love his Davis homage. 

Finally for a total change is Adam Rafferty’s Gratitude. Acoustic jazz guitar that isn’t challenging nor is it relaxation music. I heard his version of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition & track it down to this lp. makes a nice break from the ‘real’ jazz.

Latino Likes Dad

I am a liar. At my age it’s hard to admit to that, but it is true. Not a big liar, but there’s no such thing as being a little pregnant. I only lie about one thing, my age. Not that it is such a big deal in the long run, but if I can get away with 10 or 15 years younger than I am then I’ll do it. We live in an ageist culture. In the gay world it is even harsher. The older men get, the more they want bodies in the early ripe of life – those sweet young things between 20 & 30. Ask a 50 year old if he finds other 50 year olds at all attractive he’ll probably snort with derision.

When I come to attraction, age isn’t the key for me. Well-preserved is well-preserved. I’ve preferred men to young guys. Once they hit 35 they are about old enough for me – seasoned but not too bitter yet.

So I lie about my age because those guys at 35 aren’r ready for well-preserved, even when they claim to be, as they do on those web sites devoted to bringing older and their younger admirers together. 

As they say the web we weave can get sticky, as I have different ages on different sites but so do some of them. I know what works where. Not that I get much action anyway, but the web has been more productive than bars clubs or sitting around coffee shop gleaming manically over a triple espresso. I hooked up with Juan from, I think, I Dig Daddies, which I can’t help but think of as I Dig Graves, but that’s another story.

His handle was LatinoLikesDad. His profile was straight forward. A couple of clear photos. Plus he contacted me. I like that. He arrived for our first playdate, on time & eager. Ditto for the second. He was in many ways just what I was looking for except he had strings, or rather wanted strings. He didn’t say that but I could tell. I on the other hand am what one would call polyamorous. The more love you invite the more you have to share. I am not a slut.

Not that I’m all that active. Quality has always been more important to me that quantity. More than one on the go always made me happy. Something I never hid from any of them. If they can’t deal with it such is life. But when I’m too old or too young I tend to take that personally for some reason. Such is life.

So this is be third time Juan & I date. This time a real date not just a clothes off, slobber on each other opportunity. A date is all foreplay and the more of that the better. Coming isn’t the point of sex, it’s the end of it.

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Roy Buchanan

On the jazz shelf I have by Roy Buchanan: A cd combining his first two releases: Roy & 2nd; Guitar on Fire: The Atlantic Sessions; and Deluxe Edition. All stand alone’s & all stand outs. Filed under jazz as these are mainly instrumentals but his style is blues/rock, not say, John McLaughlin or Wes Montgomery jazz.greyday01I had a cassette of his 2nd for decades – one of those rare cassettes that never stopped working either – one of the reasons I was eager to move from cassette to cd was that cassettes would lose tension, unspool or fall apart way too often. But the switch to iPod was even smoother – no more carting around endless cd cases or wallets when I was out for the day. To think at one time I had a cd wallet that held up to 100 cds when I was travelling – now all I need is my trusty iPod & a recharger.greyday02

Back to Buchanan – that cassette was too short but his playing was astonishing – I may not have been crazy about his spirituals but I loved his originals Dirty Teddy etc. When I began to upgrade to cd I found the paring of that with his self-titled first release. greyday03

Then came time to add more & I found other two easily enough. On Fire has some astonishing playing where one would least expect it – his guitar work on Green Onions blows my mind – his take on Neil Young’s Down By The River gives me chills. Very Pink Floyd.greyday04

Deluxe is a compilation from his later studio albums – some great work with Otis Clay but parts of it suffers from the overlay of strings that an idiot producer thought would give Roy more commercial appeal. The booklets with each of these is excellent. Like most brilliant guitarists his history isn’t pretty. If you aren’t familiar with him start with Guitar on Fire & be prepared to be amazed.

sample

Contents of Table

I’m often surprised that I don’t feel any more pain than I do. The bends have been at my joints for as long as I or anyone can remember. The bends support the load of my world. Gentle but firm curves that have held in place without question or hesitation.

Hard hollow steel joints. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones to have only these four bends, to have this comfortable wooden covering that shields my thin bones from much of what I do get to hold.

I’ve seen the wooden ones suffer over the years, kicks, scrapes, chips, splinters that have lead them out of the room, into the beyond. I shudder to think of what lies beyond. I shudder to think of life outside in that room with no walls, no ceiling. How small one would be.

Here I have a purpose that is the same, yet changes with each user. Some place books, pamphlets on top of me. Other cover me with frilly cloth to hold their milk and cookies and sandwiches.

Occasionally someone stick blobs of sticky sweetness on my underside. The blobs tickle at first but slowly harden in to gradually shrinking lumps that itch.

Sadly my underside goes unseen or cared for for long lengths of time. At least my top and sometimes my legs get stroked, washed with warm soapy water, made fresh and clean. I am sorry to have lost one of my little plastic shoes. The scrapping of that foot across the floor sends shudders of startling loudness across my top.

Then there are the long hours of just sitting alone in the dark. It can be days before I find myself pulled out of a stack of other tables for use. When I am not of service the endless bend of my joints pulls my attention to it. Not that it is an ache but a friction, a constant tenseness that leads me to wonder what would feel like if I didn’t have that bend. If my bones were just straight, perfectly straight. Then I realize that would mean my underside would press flat against the floor.

How horrid that would be.

Now I have some distance between me and that floor. But to be pressed so close to it would be obscene. Once I recall my top being flipped over to touch the hard endless surface of the floor. If my legs could have shaken they would have at that disgusting moment. It felt so unnatural, unwholesome to touch the floor when one is meant to face the ceiling. I’d rather face the uncomfortable expanse of the sky.

It is a life unlike any I might have had, the life I was brought into and for the most part it is good, as long as I keep my feet firmly on the ground.soon

October 24 -Saturday and  October 25 -Sunday attending: Ellen Bass Poetry Workshop: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Harbourfront CentreEllen-Reading-1

Bass Poetry Workshop

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
nano15

http://nanowrimo.org/

November 18, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

novhot

https://www.facebook.com/events/1159635767386461/

money

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy more music – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

suit03

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