September 28, 2014

Can’t sleep

by jhon baker

I’ve been restringing guitars and inspecting all of them to see which ones need to go to the luthier for a check up. Listening to Jazz and wishing everyone was awake and I had a flugelhorn to play certain songs, maybe I can learn to play flugelhorn and trumpet at the same time out different sides of my mouth. – why not – most people speak that way.

I’m not getting to where I want to be fast enough and I know that this is just me being hard on myself. I no longer want to participate in anything that isn’t directly related to my art. This isn’t the time to criticize my life or measure my successes. Nobody can see themselves by the drear light of five in the morning.

I am typing by the light coming from off my screen. Touch typing with several mistakes. It is a good test to see how my skills have progressed. I would practice guitar but I am not wearing shoes. This is an important part of it and I will not explain.

I am a waste of a human right now and not tired at five am but I must sleep soon regardless. Even if the clowns get me.

September 24, 2014

There is generally nothing interesting on Facebook

by jhon baker

I’ve spent the last several minutes or half hour scrolling on FB to no avail. The most interesting thing is my cup of coffee and this cigarette that I should not be smoking. I am over medicated but still crazy and dedicated. Several of my guitars need the attention of a luthier and I am out of ideas.

(What I initially wrote here is too personal for a personal public blog.)

I have no new poems to offer. Haven’t written one in about six months but I have not been idle. Or I have been idle, whiling my time away on trumpet and guitar. There is only one discipline I can concentrate on at a time. Fine Art, Music or poetry – I don’t know why I cannot intermingle them but, alas, I cannot. I feel as though I can no longer call myself “poet” as I no longer call myself a painter – these things require the action of the brush or pen (or IBM selectric III as it tends to be) and I am Hors de Combat.

I think that’s right.

In a general state of needing new shoes.

and another cigarette. I’ve quit it three times this year and am always drug back down by weakness of one moment and then the roller coaster of addiction. I can’t stand the way it smells or tastes and this time I find myself brushing my teeth several times a day just to get rid of the mouth feel. The next time may be it. I like myself better when I don’t smoke and I like that I don’t get headaches as often either.

A shout out for Leonard Cohen’s new album “Popular Problems” – he kills it.

I’ve started on the e cigarettes – I like them but for the weight that I am not used to holding in between my fingers. I don’t count this as quitting or staying quit. but yesterday I did the dishes and gathered the garbage making my son clean out the cat boxes and take the can to the curb with the help of my wife of many fine years. Last night I contemplated (while not being able to sleep, again) going down to my writing room and banging out a letter or a poem if one would present itself but I reclined on the couch with a cat that hates me and thought my way through the map of a fretboard. And right now I am waiting for a water company to come and tell me whats wrong with my renters house water system. I’ve a feeling that this is going to cost a lot.

My son tells me the best way to rid myself of writers block (which I don’t think I have) is to go to the coffee shop and people listen and watch. This is not something I would opt to do. Not that I am unwilling to look like a wanna be writer with his laptop open typing away – that part doesn’t bother me. It’s the sitting there, spending money on coffee when it is already paid for and cheaper at home. It is the people part really. I don’t like them much. Or it isn’t that I don’t like people but just like it better when they’re not around.

He says it is the noise that does it. To not sit in a quietude. But I don’t – I write to Jazz and the classical station. I go into my mental spaces and try out combinations of words until it hits. then I go.

that is my process.

And, normally, I don’t like capitals when I can avoid them.

six hundred and eleven words .

right then anyway.

August 25, 2014

the books you carry with you…

by jhon baker

I was recently tagged in a challenge to list out ten books that changed me or that I carry with me or some such nonsense. I thought of the following 21 – I present them in numerical order but in reality they could be in any order as they are all books that at one time or another I’ve read more than once, they changed my life, turned me on – made me want to be a better, more well rounded round person.

1. god is not Great – Christopher Hitchens
2. Middlesex – Jeffery Eugenides
3. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Persig
4. Tao te Ching – Lao Tsu
5. Moby Dick – Melville
6. The Picture of Dorain Grey – Oscar Wilde
7. Desolation Angels – Kerouac
8. Howl – Allen Ginsberg
9. Any book by Federico Garcia Lorca
10. Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame – Bukowski
11. Malcolm X – Malcolm X
12. the Singing Mouse Stories – Emerson Hough
13. Miles – Miles Davis
14. The Complete Poems – John Berryman
15. Ariel and other poems – Sylvia Plath
16. Hell’s Angel – Sonny Barger
17. the Complete Calvin and Hobbes – Bill Waterson
18. Symposium – Plato
19. Animal Farm and 1984 – Orwell
20. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – D Adams
21. The Razors Edge – Somerset Maugham

 

I should also add:

22. Paradise Lost 23. Ovid’s Metamorphosis 24. the Trial 25. nearly anything by Shakespeare but specifically his sonnets I guess and the list could really go on and on and on and on.

August 21, 2014

writing lyrics is harder than I remember.

by jhon baker

So, I’ve been mostly talked into getting a band I was in back together for the purpose of recording some of the stuff we never got a chance to record. This means that I am writing new lyrics to old songs that I like the tunes of but having outgrown the lyrics. Writing lyrics at my age is harder than it was when I was a tenor. It must be because I am out of practice.

I’m a slow writer – always have been. I take no issue with this as Leonard Cohen takes no issue with it.

and now – a poem that has nothing to do with anything.

 

 

some poems

 

some poems take years to write

some only minutes

every other poem is in-between

and none so far has taken more.

 

like Bukowski, Williams, O’Hara

I am a writer of poems

short poems

long poems

most a few in-between

like all creatives I am

disgracefully unreliable in action

chasing down the inspirations

with a stick in one hand

a pen in the other

months of missing my prey

and weeks of eating well

and growing fat

 

but I write on this IBM Selectric III

and drink coffee like it was religion

no longer getting drunk or drugging

my days away

and slipping into the nightgown of poetry.

now they all come fully dressed

with ten fingers typing

furiously in fits and starts

mostly done during the day.

 

I am nostalgia interrupted

a willful resemblance of another time

before my iMac and laptop dominated

my final drafts and submissions

email rejections or acceptances

 

I haven’t stamped an SASE in years

or walked to the mailbox hopeful or dreadful

waiting to throw away another poem

such as this.

 

- Hoc Scripsi

July 24, 2014

quote of the day

by jhon baker

“if voting made  a difference – they wouldn’t let us do it.”

- Mark Twain

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