Two Riders Were Approaching

Two riders were approaching on hogs and wearing leather. “Let’s stop here,” said one to the other, “for a cool drinking beer.” They passed the time on songs that ofttimes rhymed. On the trail or in the big city. They parked the hogs in the gutter. At the bar the one he uttered,“What’s that youContinue reading “Two Riders Were Approaching”

Current Conditions, Fall Walk on Mount Tabor

For this Fall walk on Mount Tabor, I took the same paths, photographing the same trees and views, as I did on a walk in Spring of last year. This week’s Rolling Stone magazine sports a good psych-brain article on the difference between fear and anxiety. One difference is that fear appears to be aContinue reading “Current Conditions, Fall Walk on Mount Tabor”

Anti-anti-anti: The Deviancy of Poetry

The most deviant of poets stops writing poetry, like Rimbaud, or tries to change the game, like Nicanor Parra, whose “Anti-poems” must contain the seeds of their own destruction. If poetry is already anti-language, what is an anti-poem? Deviant < Latin: “a turning out of the way.” To turn away from, as great musicians mayContinue reading “Anti-anti-anti: The Deviancy of Poetry”

Bob Dylan & Clarice Lispector: Bewildering, Transfigured, & Redeemed

Perhaps no star’s luminosity glows murkier than Dylan’s in his interviews. Louis Menand, in “Bob on Bob: Dylan Talks” (New Yorker, 4 Sep 2006), a review of Jonathan Cott’s Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews, comments on the absurdity of taking any Dylan interview as a gospel light. Menand opens by comparing Dylan’s interviews to Elvis’s, “whoContinue reading “Bob Dylan & Clarice Lispector: Bewildering, Transfigured, & Redeemed”

Hootenanny Revisited: Photo Essay of Old Songbooks

“As Woody Guthrie advised those who heard and sang his Songs to Grow On, ‘Now I don’t want to see you use these songs to divide nor split your family all apart. I mean, don’t just buy this book and take it home and keep it to yourself. Get your whole family into the fun.Continue reading “Hootenanny Revisited: Photo Essay of Old Songbooks”

On hasty writing and reading

I was struck by Louis Menand’s comment in his review of Douglas Brinkley’s biography of Walter Cronkite (New Yorker, July 9 & 16, 2012), that “…’Cronkite’ (HarperCollins), is long and hastily written… (88).” I wasn’t surprised, though, for US culture is Menand’s turf, and his own output, if the measurement means anything, is dwarfed byContinue reading “On hasty writing and reading”

Where we go from Greil Marcus to Humpty Dumpty

I bought two books at the Rose City Used Book Fair last Saturday, the Li Po of the previous post, and “Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘N’ Roll Music,” by Greil Marcus (1975). The Marcus is a first edition hardback in excellent condition, though it’s apparently not worth much to a book collector;Continue reading “Where we go from Greil Marcus to Humpty Dumpty”

The Happy Humanists of Main Street (a Fragment)

The Happy Humanists of Main Street (a Fragment): College Humanities now post their letters from Desolation Row. Yet on Main Street, the happy humanists go about their business. Lawrence, the locksmith, time on his hands, having just come back from unlocking Mrs. Tenderness’s pick-up truck, for the third time this week, so she wouldn’t beContinue reading “The Happy Humanists of Main Street (a Fragment)”

Honor and Shame: Born Again Off Maggie’s Farm

When Huck decides to help Jim at the end of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he really does believe he’ll go to hell for his actions. Yet he’s awakening from a cultured sleep; he’s being reborn. First, he’s accepted the responsibility of a decision; he must act: “I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide,Continue reading “Honor and Shame: Born Again Off Maggie’s Farm”

We Ain’t Gonna Wait In Maggie’s Line No More

The line to the Dylan, Edgefield concert Saturday afternoon wrapped around a hilly path lined with Oregon blackberry canes, around the old, defunct jail, its octopus arms marked with letters, A thru H. We climbed the hill and got in line above cell block A, a lovely view overlooking Edgefield, in the distance the ColumbiaContinue reading “We Ain’t Gonna Wait In Maggie’s Line No More”