Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Zombie Music

Is it just me or does this sound like it should be performed only when there's a full moon, only in a graveyard, and only by a backing band consisting of brain-hungry zombies?

Friday, January 25, 2013

And When She's Dreaming Sometimes She Sings in French

She's always been so hard to get around...

The stories cascade down, shaken loose from part of my brain.

The girl with the scratches from her cat who wore bandaids all over her face.

The impossibly beautiful girl whose smile lit up the back room of the restaurant at the party.

The girl with hair so long it could wrap around her body three or four times.

The summer I was working in the library and noticed that there were four women who worked there who seemed normally sized in most ways except for their insanely large posteriors.

The pre-internet spread of misinformation.

The post-internet spread of misinformation.

The misunderstandings.

The misappropriations of affection.

The way the rain prods the part of my mind that leads to dreaming.

The memory of certainty that is so much stronger than the certainty of memory.

And it coalesces. With a sudden realization.

That maybe the complexity of the girl you loved so long ago was all in your mind.

Maybe she wasn't that hard to figure out. You were just looking at the wrong thing.

And maybe, just maybe, she was mumbling gibberish, not singing in French.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Love and Wisdom and Compassion Toward One Another

Non-Musical Digression

In case you've never heard this speech, it's worthwhile. And if you haven't heard it recently, it's worth another listen.

A few quick thoughts for today, which marks both the (public) celebration of a Presidential Inaugural and the (official) celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

May we all rise to the challenges we face.

May we all remember who we are as individuals whose choices matter. And as members of the community of human beings.

May we have the courage to speak from the heart and rise to the occasions as they arise.

And may we all realize that we are all flawed, but that our past (however good or bad) need not keep us from greatness.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Yelling at the Kids in the Back

Time is short and here's the damn thing about it

There's a catch in the voice. A slight hesitation. Nerves, maybe.

Let the feeling linger. And it grows.

It gets bigger than it needs to be. Bigger than it has any right to be.

Every decision either makes it bigger or smaller.

And every decision is questionable. Could go either way.

Any one decision is justifiable. It's just when you put them all together, well... it's not a pretty sight. It's not something you ever want to see.

And maybe the first one could have gone either way.

But by the time you get to 10,000 it's more difficult.

Much more difficult.

And by the time you realize the feelings that once helped you are hurting you, they're implanted. Ingrained. Hard-wired in your brain.

And the effort required to turn that wiring around gets more and more daunting as time goes on.

But what's the alternative?

Change or don't, the universe doesn't care.

But you do.

And even though it's daunting, each day brings a new chance.

A new decision.

A chance to forge new neural pathways.

And let the voice grow stronger. The nervousness get smaller.

Because if something's gonna linger, shouldn't it be something good?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One Quick Thought

If hindsight is 20/20, does that make our (very faulty) memories some kind of cosmic Lasik surgery?

Hat tip to JB from The Hits Just Keep on Comin'.

And for good measure here are the other songs:

And this one formerly sung by "an old estranged fiancee named Paul":

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Missing Avenger Plane

Let it ring in the air...

A packed church. Overflowing.

A Thursday afternoon. Cold and windy.

Speaker after speaker. Trying to capture something that was gone.

First the lionizing. Which might be comforting to some.

Then hints of humor. And a few less than saintly anecdotes.

Attempts to bring all these different parts together.

Attempts to make sense of what happened.

My mind wandering. Thinking of the story of the blind men and the elephant as the service continues.

Late afternoon sunlight pours through high frosted painted windows.

Outside, trees sway in the wind.

Squint and it looks like someone trying to look inside.

Squint and it looks like the dead man everyone is talking about.

Squint and it looks like God.


Look closely and it's gone.

Look closely and the parts appear. Separate. Unconnected. Messy.

Leaving us to make sense of it.

Or at least try.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Color Green Is Oh So Lovely And Obscene

You'll Never Have the Damn Thing Out...

There's a story that goes with this.

I'll tell you one day.

But not today.

Today is for this.

Friday, January 4, 2013

He Got a Tattoo On His Arm That Say Baby

Running From the Man in Oklahoma City With a 500-Gallon Tank

"You should ask her out," they said.

I don't know. Doesn't she have a boyfriend?

"Yeah. He's on parole."

For what?

"Nothing violent. Nothing serious. But he gets jealous easy."

What is it with girls and bad boys? Wait, what happens when he gets jealous?

"Before he would've beat the shit out of you. But that doesn't seem likely now. He's on parole. He has to watch himself."

She's kind of cool... but I don't know.

"You should ask her out. It's not fair that all the assholes get all the cool girls."

Yeah. But also... no.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sir Gawain, Green Knight Pays Extra

Bob and Wheel

I was reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. And the girl on the bus noticed. And she commented on it.

Said the Green Knight was a feminist parable. That the metaphorical beheading of womankind and the subsequent return in a year and a day was clearly a reference to menstruation.

Went on to describe the way each of the battles in the poem represented a different dysfunctional romantic relationship.

She spoke in great detail and with sharp command of the text. Each of her major theses was supported by multiple references to specific stanzas. And argument, like each stanza, was laid out so it ended with a bob and wheel. The "bob" was a short line, followed by the "wheel," a longer line infused with internal rhymes.

I don't even remember why I had the book. It must have been assigned reading for some course I was taking. I can't imagine I would have picked up the book on my own.

But I don't remember any of that.

I remember her necklace -- an oblong piece of jade on a silver chain.

I remember her scarf -- purple, with green stripes.

And I remember her description of the appropriate punishments for each of the metaphorical sins committed by the men represented in the dysfunctional romances she felt were represented in the poem.

And I remember how she smiled after she finished her analysis.

And how she gave me her phone number.

After her discussion of beheadings and combat, and sword-fueled menstrual cycles.

I folded the paper with her number in it. And I put it in the paperback. And I read the rest of the poem.

And lost the book.

Exactly one year and a day later, I was back on the same bus.

I remembered the conversation and looked around for the girl.

She wasn't there.

Which, looking back years later, is fine by me.