Archive for August, 2014

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.

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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

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