Friends Who Give Me Books

Posted in books, poetry on May 23, 2016 by furious buddha

Friends who give me books
gift me with worlds to explore
hearts and souls to adore
minds mine to peruse
& adventures to pursue

Friends who give me books
are so much more interesting
because they are always listening
& exploring uncharted depths
and seeing to infinite breadths

Friends who give me books
are friends I can trust
& appreciate them I must

Blues So Deep They’re Purple

Posted in poetry on May 12, 2016 by furious buddha

Everything is terrible
I know that it’s true
Everything is terrible
in a world without you

Her mother is terrible
and his grandma too
That baby is terrible
and that sky so blue
My breath is terrible
enough to set paint peeling
in this terrible room
with a hole in the ceiling.
This song is so terrible
that it leaves me reeling

Everything is terrible
in this world without you
Everything is terrible
under that sky of blue

This book is terrible
and the movie is worse
My day was so terrible
that all I want to do is curse.
& this song is still terrible
over in this verse
God is terrible
and so is the devil
but only one of them
is ever on the level

Everything is terrible
in this world of blue
Everything is terrible
you know that it’s true

The boss is terrible
and so is the job
but the economy is terrible
so suck it up, Bob.
The liars are terrible
but they still win elections
because the voters are terrible
at making selections
because they’re distracted
by someone’s complexion

Everything is terrible
this much is true
Everything is terrible
in a world without you.

And the struggle is terrible
but still we fight on
because nothing is more terrible
than giving up before the dawn

Purplelectric PassionRain & April WeepingSnow

Posted in music on May 3, 2016 by furious buddha

Every human being loves music; the way you can tell who the alien androids are is by their indifference to our rhythmic noises. We all love and appreciate it differently, however. My appreciation is for the singer, not the song, generally speaking. This is to say that I do not like a genre of music so much as I love an artist; that is, I’m not a fan of ‘jazz’ but I have every John Coltrane album. I don’t much like ‘country’ but I have all of Johnny Cash’s music. When I find an artist that resonates with me I cannot help but embrace them deeply and fully. Bowie was one of those artists that I followed completely, intrigued even by the turns and alleys the critics and public ignored or loathed; I haven’t written much about him because I put him onstage in my ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and that expressed my grief more eloquently than writing here could have. But I need to talk about this.

I’m listening to his last concert which is just him at a piano. It’s the tour I always wanted to see; my favorite part of any of his shows was when he would sit at the piano and play for twenty minutes to give the band a break before the big finale. Much of what has been said about him was his mastery of musicianship and ability to play all the instruments on his records but when you saw him live you realized that he was playing the whole band like an instrument. And just now I realized the reason he was finally doing this tour was because he couldn’t have fronted a band the way he had even six months earlier. He has just slipped from ‘Dirty Mind’ into an enthusiastic cover of Vince Guaraldi’s ‘Linus & Lucy’ that just broke into ‘Little Red Corvette’.

When he was twelve years old and basically homeless he stood outside of a McDonald’s to smell the food; he died forty five years later in the elevator of his mansion with an estate worth a minimum of $300 million dollars.

He’s doing ‘How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore’, a b-side from thirty four years ago and everyone in the audience is singing along. This recording is terrible, from someone’s phone in the crowd but I can hear the music and feel the show. And it’s such a great show. He actually just did ‘Girl’ earlier in the show (around 15:15 on the Soundcloud link above. Ahem.) and it blew me away. ‘Girl’ was the b-side to ‘America’, which was the last single from ‘Around the World in a Day’. I always loved it despite (or because) it sounded like a half finished demo track that escaped from the vault. But here, stripped down to its bright beautiful hook and his amazing vocal it sounds like a classic. Then ‘I Would Die 4 U’ starts and everyone in the place goes nuts.

The ten minute version of ‘I Would Die 4 U’ has been a near constant companion since I tracked down a German import of it on CD back when I worked at the Wrecka Stowe in the early 90’s. Back in those pre-internet days you had to put effort into getting music; it is difficult to explain to The Youth and even hard for The Olds to remember, but there was something very satisfying about tracking down music that you had only heard about as opposed to the empty ease of YouTube. When I found a copy of ‘The Black Album’ in a record store in Decatur, Illinois in the summer of 1988, I felt a little like Indiana Jones. I just spun it again on Saturday night at my little brother’s house at a rather terrific party. I had listened to ‘I Would Die 4 U’ on the way there. It’s a live studio performance of how he was doing the song as a closer on the Purple Rain tour; I’ve probably listened to it five thousand times and I always get chills from it.

He’s doing ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’ with Marley’s ‘I Don’t Want to Wait in Vain’. It’s seamless, like they were written as a pair. Everyone is talking about his guitar playing but  when the crowd is quiet the piano sounds like water on diamonds.

I discovered him when I was in junior high and that was it. My mom confiscated my ‘Dirty Mind’ tape but I just learned how to go underground to find Uptown. My father worried I was gay because I had his posters up in my room. I bought every album, single, and bootleg I could get my hands on. I went to shows when I could catch him and regretted every one I missed. As so many people have said in the past few days, his music is incredibly important to me.

Oh Jesus, he’s doing Sometime It Snows In April. When I was sixteen years old playing the Parade album for the first time sitting alone in my bedroom I broke into tears when I heard this song. It’s a sad song, but I was mystified by my own tears. Then five years later my best friend was killed by a drunk driver on April 1st and my memory of that time was tattooed with this song. It’s a great song but I rarely let it play if I was listening to Parade or if it came up on the shuffle. Then when I heard the news it began playing in my head on a loop. And it’s turning out it’s one of the last songs he ever played.

And then the first few verses of Purple Rain with Computer Blue & Diamonds & Pearls in the break and then back to Purple Rain and then the music is over.

It’s been so long…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2016 by furious buddha

…since I’ve written you. I’m home sick from the Clown Factory today with a cold/flu that is kicking my ass.

I used to enjoy talking about politics. We used to be able to have interesting conversations and arguments, but not anymore in America. The idiots have been unleashed and empowered and are laughing while they set everything they can on fire. The GOP is going to choose between an authoritarian megalomaniac or a panty-sniffing-dildo-hunter and I am not in the least bit entertained by it. My God, they both make look Mitt Romney look Presidential as opposed to the CEO that downsized your job.

It is such a strange irony that Hillary Clinton is the most truly conservative candidate by any reasonable measure in the sense that she is certainly the Establishment candidate and that she wants to keep the status quo as much as possible. Conservatives hate her with a purple passion yet she has taken positions farther to the right than any Democratic politician in decades; she has demonstrated repeatedly that she is eager to use military force and takes a hard line on most international situations (this is why the Republicans have spent so much time and effort trying to make the Benghazi incident so much more than it was, because otherwise there is very little for them to object to in her tenure as Secretary of State which included the capture of Osama bin Laden among other achievements.) and her husband’s administration passed a tough crime law that led to mass incarcerations as well as eliminated welfare as it had existed for generations. She is by far the best Republican in this race; there’s a few smart Republicans who know it.

I have a friend who read that above paragraph with disgust and I can’t help but smile; she is a Republican who loathes Hillary viscerally even as it is objectively obvious that another Clinton Presidency would be the best thing for her professionally as well as from a personal standpoint-both of the GOP frontrunners have views on women that would be laughably absurd if they weren’t so terrifyingly serious in their implications and Clinton’s intention of carrying on Obama’s policies is just being a smart technocrat. I like Bernie. I worry that a Sanders Presidency would resemble Carter’s term far too much. There is a lot of idealism there that I worry might be more concerned with its own purity than practicality and as I get older I haven’t gotten more conservative but I don’t let idealism get in the way of thinking. In any case, either Hillary or Bernie will get my vote in November; any other is being cast for madness and flames.

I actually have dozens of things I could write to you about now; that’s one of the nice things about not posting here for a while. I’ve seen movies and read books and had adventures and a few stories to tell. I’m getting ready to direct Macbeth later this year and I’m very excited. I get little butterflies just thinking about it.

I’m going to try and get some sleep and make it to work tomorrow; I actually hate not being there.

As always, more later and my unlimited love to y’all,

WD  .

 

the hot circuit

Posted in poetry on March 8, 2016 by furious buddha

dull grey flat
tungsten filament
FLASH!
the arc connects
the invisible forces
made incandescent
consuming steel
better than rust

How to Be Funny.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11, 2016 by furious buddha

Initiate
a punctuation
of the equilibrium
surface tension
contained within
a situation
amusing the observer
seeking cathartic
release from
existential
monotony.

notes & Days in the Life

Posted in days in the life on February 10, 2016 by furious buddha

I’m in one of those moments where life is whirling around me. My fledgling theater company of which I am the artistic director is about to stage our first production; we open on Friday. Julia’s father has been lingering near death in the ICU, his liver and kidneys failed and requiring a ventilator and heart pump while his body fought off septic shock for two weeks. He has however, regained consciousness and is off of the ventilator and is no longer in shock. She has been staying overnights at the hospital by his bedside. I’ve been waking up and getting Little Tony and myself off to Pre-K and the Clown Factory respectively. Also, we got a beautiful little Rottweiler puppy about three weeks ago just before her dad went in the hospital.

And really, there is so much more to the story about poor Carl that I am not getting into here and I don’t even know if I should.

Julia got in wreck with a UPS truck. Her and Little Tony were fine. The Civic did its job and absorbed the energy of the impact, protecting its precious passengers by sacrificing itself. The transmission went out on our other car.

And Julia just got back to work after having been off since her knee surgery before Christmas.

But things are beautiful.

The Clown Factory is actually not at all a bad place to work despite the demented management and frequent pie fights. Wendy and I have a morning book club where we lead the Palookas  through great work of literature. Currently, to my great delight, we are reading 1984. The Palookas love it as I knew they would but I constantly worry about being accused of being a fomenter of class consciousness by the Harlequins that run the place. In any case, their general disapproval of my work only confirms its importance to me.

I haven’t nearly enough face time with Little Tony, though, and that certainly does suck.

But our puppy is wonderful.

And I have to run to run a dress rehearsal.

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