Lyrical Love: Step Right Up

Art by Kingsley Wallis

Now don’t go getting too excited about a tax-refund shopping spree. First have a listen to this beat/jazz poem-song by Tom Waits, written in 1976, and you might think twice about how to spend your money. Or, the snaky salesman might successfully tempt you into trying the miracle product. “It finds you a job, it is a job… It sanitizes for your protection, it gives you an erection, it wins the election…” Read More

Cobbling

Photo by Beorn DuPont

Breakfast beating at the hunger hour. The cobbler ate clams and drank Meritage, and Charlie from California called us all ‘homies’ while the phones kept buzzing. Bzzz, and Tim with his mandolin and Levon with his grooving views on duty and Dao while the ball of sun-dried tomato/basil whipped butter sat there wuwei… They were billy goats gruff and I coveted their lack of sensibilities. Merv, that ancient free spirit of a shoemaker, wandered town as a troll at SnowDown and asked around about “them hill-billies.”  Read More

Tesserae

Frederico and his band playing, me and Jashy happy with jazzy stuff like Crakkity Adam’s Apple banging the drums, a waitress called Bonita, and ice cubes. The once in awhile soft glance the two of us share like the low breathy break Read More

Comrades

 

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Art by Amaya Engleking, pencil on paper

Mason Zhang and I in the alley last night with the laobaixing salt-of-the-earth, including the cook who proudly performed his version of ‘ABCDEFG’ for me last week.  His friend—a taxi driver in his fifties, though by appearance I’d have guessed at least seventy, by his sunken face with a bulge under the right side of his lip—didn’t smile when he said he was pleased, nor did he do so when he sang.  He took the old revolution songs seriously and lifted his left leg to motion a guitar while his foot tapped the beat. Read More

Alamogordo

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Art: Michael Copeland

Hey you over there it’s my birthday come have a beer don’t mind the Doberman, name’s Prince, and I’m RD and that’s Paula, Tom, and Chris, was best man in my wedding. –It’s my birthday tomorrow,– that’s when Geronimo died. He’s my people. –So you’re his seed still running around.– You’re sexy, I like your hair. Don’t see that except on TV. Yeah, RD, tell her how that song goes. Anaawakoto matabalula laRead More

Ginseng Root

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What is freedom without discipline? A sloppy mess, like a Warhol painting. Piss with a little bit o’ oils. “Ooh, the quintessent frame of culture. Your urine streak there across the titanium white looks like a vice lord sitting legs crossed in a pew, twirling his thumbs while the priest breaks the communion bread. Then the drunk walks into the confessional and calls to the guy next to him if there’s any paper in that one.” Art at its most flamboyant. Read More