Distant Coda

Song With Coda

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Song

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our voices

heard as echoes

over the windless

barren planes of speech

hope

someday to find

the end of the sentence

before they die

of no one to listen

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our eyes

seen as mirrors

reflecting dust

images of past mistakes

hope

someday to find

the quiet surface

before they are blinded

by no one to see

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our hands

used as tools

to wander aimlessly

over face & thighs

hope

some day to find

some other warm body

before they wither

from no one to touch

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our emotions

felt as fears

repressing old guilts

in search of absolution

hope

someday to find

the final tenderness

before they smother

from no way to express

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Coda

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even 

as my voice cracks from calling

hands bleed from grabbing at straws

eyes are blinded in the search

emotions are blocked by futility

I will cry out

reach out

search out

forever

until I find a way of touching you

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Jan69

This is one of the earliest pieces in the collection & as such is the most revealing of young-man excess & emotional melodrama. Nicely over-written with more force than I possibly felt at the time. It’s difficult for me to see any specific influence beyond nameless prog-rock lyricists. It makes me think of the dance pose of reaching out to some imagined horizon for the unobtainable. Sound & fury signifying the need to impress readers with the use of language 🙂

I wanted to write a poem that would make someone fall in love with me. I wrote many variations with this subtext in mind, which knowing it was an impossibility. Language can lead to connection but isn’t a magic spell.

It is another of my imposed structure pieces ‘our noun verb noun etc’ that gives each verse a pattern of theme & variation. The theme being the search for something or someone & the inner obstacles that have to be dealt with to find it. Reading it now I cannot say what the object was then – other than sounding deep & philosophic about the plight of the love lorn. Another of the closet subtext pieces where gender is avoided.

It reflects my fears of ‘no one’ because at that time there was no person who was the focus of my affections. I had lusts, longings for some but the urge was physical not emotional. Then I still believed a relationship was the way to fulfillment. Today I know relationships can be fulfilling but real fulfillment is a spiritual journey 🙂

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 

LMFAO Lorde

Occasionally I get this urge to add more contemporary pop music to my collection & these next two mp3 cd collections spring from that urge. The first includes LMFAO: Party Rock, Sorry For Party Rocking; Martin Solveig: Smash; Big Star: #1 Record; Austra: Feel It Break; Hedley: 4 songs; Katy Perry: Teenage Dream.

As you can see this is a heap of various dance, electronica with a touch of old pop. I loved ‘I Am Not a Whore’ for its sex empowerment, joyful music & great video. I was seeing a guy at the time this was a big radio hit & all he had in his apartment was a radio so I heard this song a lot. The lps are like parties, happy, dance music with empowering, if a bit druggy heterosexist, lyrics. The other song I heard a lot then was Teenage Dream & the Katy Perry lp is fun girl pop. Excellent production work sells the songs more than her vocals. This guy (who I still see) was a Teenage Dream who made me feel like a total whore 🙂 p.s. he was not a teenager.

Martin Solveig: Smash; Austra: Feel It Break: a couple of great, if forgettable electronic, dance mix lps that are great for sex or writing. Friendly, sometimes emotional. Hedley: 4 songs ep – sunny pop fodder. The throw back is Big Star: #1 Record. Legendary lp by an almost mythic band. Countryish rock with sweet harmony & heart broken lyrics.

The other cd of ‘modern’ features Lorde: Hunger Games songs, Pure Heroine, Melodrama. Lorde was raved about everywhere as the second coming of Kate Bush. She’s not, to me, but she does have a sweet, shoe-gazer-pop sensibility. Sensitive lyrics, romantic & ethereal. Her voice is more a blur in its sultriness. Unlike Christina Aguilera’s Back To Basics which is good fun, even if I can’t recall a track on it. Time for a replay, I guess.

In this collection is also Gina X: Nice Mover; Clean Bandit: New Eyes; Nick Jonas: Nick Jonas. All of which are fine, easy, dance pop. Jonas is unexceptional but he is easy on the eyes. Rounding this out are some completions of actual dance music. All old school disco. Disco Files: Compilation; Peppermint Jam Records Presents: Compilation; Whirlpool: Disco. Full of soaring gospel female goals, strings, sudden sax & the requisite bpm.

Oh Ma Ha

You call this living – my mother looked around my room – you really think this is any sort of a life

yeah – I answer – is it all that different from your so called life –

she raised her eyebows – looked for an ashtray for her cigarette –

no one smokes here ma 

her concerned look now becomes one of victim as if it was my fault I never started smoking & didn’t have an ashtray for her 

and my rug doesn’t need any more help – hinting that she better not drop her ashes on my floor

I see – her nose turned up a fraction as she spun on her heel and went to the bathroom

and don’t drop that butt in the can – they swell up & clog the plumbing – there are  like miniature tampons that way – enough of them and the pipes blow up

water runs in the sink – she comes out smiling with her wet butt – sorry about that –

yeah well I’m not – 

I mean about the way you living – about judging it – your letters made is seem so … so much more than it actually is

my letters made it clear it wasn’t like what I left – it is my own place – I’ve fixed it up a little but what with work – classes & travel between them there hasn’t been much time for me to do anything more around here than vacuum and get some decent furniture – found this in a dumpster last week – I sat in the lazy boy recliner that I had tossed a bed spread over to cover the stained arm 

you always said I was lazy but – I squeezed the arms of the chair and pushed myself back in it – the foot rest popping up to keep me comfortable – I love this life of luxury


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees. Thanks paypal.me/TOpoet 

Authenticity 

There’s been a recent on-line conversation about ‘trauma for points’ at slam competitions. At a Hot Damn It’s A Queer Slam – a year or so ago one of the slammers did such an emotionally charged piece they re-experienced the trauma that was the basis for the piece & ran off stage & outside. The piece was so emotionally charged it was impossible to judge – was it well written? Who knows. If you didn’t score the piece high enough were you diminishing their experience. It was one of the reason I stopped judging at slams.

Between WWI & WWII poetry underwent a psychological change in which the narrative/pastoral lost out to confessional ‘do I dare walk with my pant legs rolled.’ From Eliot’s surrealism to Sexton’s ‘I hate you Daddy’ authenticity became paramount. Poets who weren’t revealing something emotionally vulnerable about themselves weren’t authentic.

Poetry that wasn’t ‘insightful’ was considered entertainment – almost as bad as being greeting card sentimental. If you didn’t have trauma you didn’t have authenticity. If you had a sense of humour, even a sense of emotional balance one wasn’t a serious poet. This ran/runs though much of the serious writing arena & is heightened in the slam scene. Anger isn’t as point worthy as rage – rape is authentic – romance is sentimental tripe.

On a recent episode of Project Runway the designers were tasked to make a garment that reflected their ethnic culture. The Latino made a dress that incorporated the names of children who had died in custody crossing the border. His explanation was emotional & resonant – the garment was not good though – so the judges had to do this dance between sentiment & practicality. 

Slam judges often are confronted with this same dance – often though they favour the emotional as opposed to the actual use of language. They want to be nice. I was happy to stop judging because I’m not interested in being nice.

Good Idea

it seemed like a good idea at the time

everyone was so gung-ho

until they realized

they would have to do something 

to make it happen

 

expecting me to do it all

was part of their plan

not mine

sure I thought their idea was great 

but I’m not a one man show

as much as I’d like to be

as much I as I know

I would be better person

for being willing to do it all by by myself

I’m not going to even try

 

when that become clear

their energy began to wane

it didn’t seem so wonderful after all

getting active

making things happen

isn’t such fun after all

why can’t someone else 

do all the work for us

while we sit back

& enjoy the results 

the rewards should be ours 

for the thinking

 

thanks to someone being 

consistant and eager

to take each demanding task 

and fulfilling them 

to our specification

yes that gives us energy

but faced with having

to do it ourselves 

we grow diffident 

disinterested

disenchanted 

while looking for the right person

to blame 

to save face

 

the next fast flash of inspiration

will have to require 

even less than thinking

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

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 and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet