Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pacing on the Last Night

For the past two nights, I've sat here drinking wine at the end of a day of music by Patty Griffin and Bruce Cockburn which ultimately ended with two Cockburn tracks being repeated repeatedly--Pacing the Cage and Last Night of the World. Here are the lyrics which kept me coming back for more. You can listen to both songs and more of his best at his website.

Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it's pointing toward
Sometimes you feel like you've lived too long
Days drip slowly on the page
You catch yourself
Pacing the cage

Sometimes the best map will not guide you
You can't see what's round the bend
Sometimes the road leads through dark places
Sometimes the darkness is your friend
Today these eyes scan bleached-out land
For the coming of the outbound stage
Pacing the cage
Pacing the cage


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I learned as a child not to trust in my body
I've carried that burden through my life
But there's a day when we all have to be pried loose
If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?
The apocalyptic romantic genre was probably created and certainly mastered by Jackson Browne with his Late for the Sky album, but the combination of these two songs from the Anything Anytime Anywhere collection hits that sweet spot as well.

I signed up for that worldview long ago. As much as anything, it's who I am. Recognizing the futility, but never quite able to embrace it, I've raged against the cage and slowly walked the stagecoach road. Wherever it's led me, whatever depths I've reached, it's been better than suburbia. But there hasn't been enough prying loose, nor enough champagne.

If the last night of the world comes while I'm at Yellowstone, there's someone here I'd like to share that champagne with. We'll see how that goes down.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Write Like

Here's an amusing site which claims to analyze text you paste in and tell you who you write like. I'm not sure if it actually analyzes anything or just randomly picks an author, but I could do this all day. When I have time, I'll reenter some and see if I get the same results.

I stuck in a few old blog posts and have gotten 3 Dan Browns, 2 David Foster Wallaces, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, P.G. Wodehouse, Jack London, and James Joyce. Some of those aren't bad company, and for the others, I can only ask, "So where's my royalty check?"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Scratching the Surface

It's a new blog, nothing like the old blog. Here I'm looking to explore the creative, the emotional, the sensual, the repressed, the ignored, and the blocked. I hope at various times it will be experimental, self-indulgent, erotic, offensive, playful, open, honest, and witty. And I hope that at times you won't be sure if it's fact or fiction.

While I search to see if I have anything of my own left to say, it seems a good place to begin might be by looking back at some of the creative works which struck me hardest and deepest in times gone by. Some were works of the moment, such as dance performances and music concerts--these live in hazy memory of the impression and emotion and sometimes drug of the moment. More were turned into products to be purchased with the benefit of being easily reread, rewatched, reheard, reexamined, and reinterpreted. Many of these were books and films, but most of my copies have been resold now and the rest are in storage.

Which leaves the digitized music on my computer as the easiest choice to start with, the former compact discs which were former tapes which were former albums. The obvious drawback of discussing songs you may never have heard is that you miss the context the music provides the lyrics, and often in those golden days, the context the album provided the song. When I can find them, I'll provide links for listening. But in the end, this is likely to be more about memoir, some real, some fantasy, than music anyway.

Taking a look at some of the music I have, I might be writing words inspired by Ben Webster, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bruce Cockburn, Cat Stevens, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Danny O'Keefe, the Doors, Fiftymen, Fred Eaglesmith, Jerry Garcia and bands, George Harrison and John Lennon, Greg Brown and Jackson Browne, Kris Kristofferson, Nina Simone, Patty Griffin, Paul Simon, Richard Thompson, the Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Tom Waits, Utah Phillips, War, the Waterboys, or Willy DeVille. The starting point for each post may be a song, a mood, or a memory.

Realistically, I don't know how often I'll be working on this writing now, and it will be even less frequently that I'll post something here. I'm not in the best of circumstances to work on this at the moment, and I mean that in both a good and bad way with both many wonderful distractions and also limited privacy/solitude. When the second factor improves, there will probably be a lot more action here. For now, I mostly wanted to steal the blog name, which comes from a Patty Griffin song (Mad Mission), before anyone else did.