Saturday, September 30, 2017

Patron Saint Of Lost Causes






Too many ants in the ant farm, not enough love to go 'round. Me? I'm saving boxtops and green stamps, trying hard to believe in the goodness of something. 

There was a time when it was all soul music. Phil, as you will recall, had been cheated. He had been mistreated. They sang like angels. They fought like dogs.

Loss is cumulative, it seems, and joy is one knock-knock joke at a time. I'd give myself to the ghost of rock'n'roll but I was promised to a hopeless cause.




                                        

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tricks, Dirty and Otherwise






It's all about making the love stay when you get right down to it. You grab one of those beautiful soap bubbles and it's gone. There's not even a flat bubble left. It's just gone. You put a couple of those lightning bugs in a jelly jar. Light grows fainter. No matter how many holes you've punched in the lid, the delicate little bodies are lifeless by morning.

Rock'n'roll made the love stay. For awhile. A long time. 

Shoulda' punched more holes.

Happy birthday, Killer.







Thursday, September 28, 2017

Punks and Pirates






My insignificance is a source of delight for me. I'm aware that I would never have made a very good famous person. Neither do most famous people. We all love a scandal, don't we? The fall of the mighty is exciting in the same way as a NASCAR debacle on the six o'clock news.

If you want ghosts to visit, all you have to do is believe. I should say that's the first thing you have to do. When I was a kid I believed in ghosts. That's what kids do. I was afraid of them. Not terrified, probably because of Casper, but uneasy about their presence.

By the time that I pretended to be a grownup for four or five decades I had dismissed the concept. You know, kinda' like when you quit playing in the rain and licking the spoon with the cookie batter.

Recently, and that now means ten minutes or twenty years ago, it occurred to me that ghosts exist in our imagination. That, sweet friends, is entirely different from me telling you that ghosts don't exist. Lots of things exist in our imagination. Let's start with love.

Those guys in the lab coats can talk about dopamine and serotonin till the cows come home but they can't make love in the laboratory. Oh, they can fuck each other silly but you know what I mean.

Love certainly exists. Most of us can agree on that. It's my favorite. In fact, believing in it is the only requirement for seeing it. You can't make it happen and you can't bottle it. Well, there were those ads in men's adventure magazines for "Spanish fly" when I was in the sixth grade but there were ads for "sea monkeys," too. I mean you mailed the money and you got something but it wasn't really love and it wasn't really a monkey.

The best thing is that you can always give the love away. Makes folks happy. Animals, too. Hokey as it is, you'll never run out.

Look here- I've run off on a tangent. Imagine that!

My pal, Ed Brown, visited in my dream last night. He was as real as could be. He walked through walls, too. I suppose I dreamed about love and ghosts.




Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's To Become Of Us?






Oh for the days when my mind played something that jumped in 4/4 time and hurricanes were rare. These are certainly not the best of times, are they? I don't know anyone who's very happy about a new interest in politics.

We all have our own idea about when things began to crumble. Dose it matter?

American exceptionalism? Remember that? 

Let's argue about civil war statues for awhile as one of our colonies goes another day without drinking water. 

Does anybody any longer doubt that this guy will go to war with North Korea, or Venezuela or Nambia, if indictments seem inevitable?




Tuesday, September 26, 2017

News From The Colonies






Ah, the illusion of being in control. All my life I've heard that history repeats itself. I've used the line in songs. I like the sound of it. Now, as I read over the correspondence between Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, one thought sticks in my mind:

If one bunch wants war and the other wants peace, war wins.

Yeah, rock always breaks scissors. Paper always covers rock. Scissors always cut paper. They're not likely to give me a Nobel Peace Prize for figuring this out. I'll have to settle for a broken heart.

You don't ever quit fighting, though. You don't ever quit loving.







Monday, September 25, 2017

Hank and Jesus and the Boys






This hate, this division- it all seems so biblical this time around, doesn't it? Complete with better villains than the most expensive Batman epic. I mean who does the makeup for Trump? What genius at central casting found Mnuchin? How about Beauregard? Dang.

Natasha in stilettos. Nazis with torches. Russians everywhere you look.

War? Seems to me that the generals are out to take over for the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. Only problem is that the business model seems to be based on the Washington Generals instead of the Harlem Globetrotters. Probably has something to do with the name, huh? Washington Generals- cute!

This isn't meant to be a political rant. All the lunatics have bombs and there is nothing that makes sense about handing out flowers to "very fine people" in Dodge Chargers.

I have frequently mused here about how I wish that I believed in heaven. I wish I believed in hell, too.







Saturday, September 23, 2017

Whatever Happened To Alphabet Soup?






When the rough get going, I go home. Sometimes I wonder just how easy I am to forget. I miss kids from my third grade class. Oh, I'm not nostalgic. They're all the good old days. 

The very idea that we're bossed around by men who threaten each other and us with atomic bombs amuses me in some perverse fashion. Man's arrogance has always fascinated me. This level of hubris changes everything. Has anyone shown these bozos photographs of themselves. Slapstick heaven would be watching Donald J. and Mr. Jong-un chase each other through the House of Mirrors.

In other news my dog has figured out that walking is a waste of time when you have a perfectly fine automobile at your disposal. Jamaica won't go for our regular walk until we go for a ride around the neighborhood. She wants the radio up loud. The air conditioner, too. She seems to like it best if Hank Williams or Wynonie Harris sing. Loud. She's not happy if I try to cut short the regular route.

Now my mom always prepared a meal for her little poodle that included green beans sautéed in a very particular fashion. I remember asking her impatiently just exactly how Honey had ever figured out how she liked her beans prepared.

This has been a lesson in karma.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.







Friday, September 22, 2017

Paper Covers Rock






Alright, let's roll. It's time to finish some songs. I'm dying to play. Is there any reason to put together a record, a CD? Nothing comes to mind. If radio's not dead it's certainly on life support. How do I know that folks don't buy CD's? Because I don't buy them.

In the past I've put out records to give myself an excuse to finish songs. Now what?

The play, that's what.

"What do you do, Ronny?"

"I write plays. Musicals. Transcendental smut."

Stay tuned.




Thursday, September 21, 2017

One Leg At A Time






Coincidence? Everything that Grandma told me when I was three matched what they told me in Sunday school. By the time of the Summer of Love it was all old hat to me. Turns out I was a hippie just waiting for hippies. Peace and love and rock'n'roll. What's new?

I've cast my lot with Jesus and Buddha. Brigitte Bardot and Lord Buckley. Bucky Fuller and Rosa Parks and Mr. Rogers and Al Einstein.

You want intellectually stimulating? You've come to the wrong place. I preach the obvious.

Peace and love and understanding.


 




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Stir Occasionally






Cable news seems to be taking a toll on my emotional well being here lately. Not the news shows- the content. The bad kindergartners have taken over the classroom. The really bad ones. While they pull down their pants and threaten each other with nuclear annihilation, Mother Nature keeps getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

Now the morning air is getting brisk and I can see a sky full of stars when I first go out in the morning. That always gives me the blues. If I knew why, I'd tell you.

The blues never seem to last. Nothing does.







Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Little Bang






Read more than you write. Listen more than you speak. Love without expectations. 

Why would you listen to me, a small fish in a small pond? Why not? I'm not selling anything. Sometimes you're happy and sometimes you're sad and that's just the way it goes. Always tell the truth but don't hurt anybody's feelings. Most of us don't ever get over hurt feelings.

How much you suppose they pay those guys who write fortunes for cookies? 

"What do you do?"

"Well, I once wrote hillbilly songs. Now I freelance fortunes for cookies."









Monday, September 18, 2017

Prayers and Poems






Call me a sentimental fool. No, really- call me a sentimental fool. I try as hard as I can to unlearn every grownup notion that has seeped into my repertoire of stupid adult tricks. I want to love everybody who needs my love and pet every dog and cat. I want to sit at the kids' table for holidays and I want to take a nap in front of a big fan. I need pajamas with feet and I want to lick the spoon when cookies are made. Of course I want cookies made often. 

I want someone to be there when I wake up from a bad dream. I need someone to remind me to share what I have and to hug me when I do.

Naked, of course, is naughty and I want to dance naked and I want to laugh. I want to laugh till milk runs out of my nose. Oh, I want everyone else to dance naked, too. I don't want to stay up too late. I need for someone to tell me that I'm a good boy.




Sunday, September 17, 2017

She Turned Over Once






Well sir, I wouldn't sell you a car that had three hundred thousand miles on it. I just wouldn't. Now, I suppose that some folks lie and claim that those zeroes represent just one trip around. It's easier to get away with that today, especially if the interior is clean. Spray some of that stuff from the auto supply place and it even smells "new," whatever that means. Oh, it may have some more life in it but, then again, it may not.

Patina is fashionable and I love the look of rust. Marble seems to take on character with cracks. Plaster walls, too. Persian rugs bore me to death until they get those paths worn into them.

New songs come on the radio and I'm thankful that folks still pour every bit of their soul into those three minutes. It seldom does to me what a scratchy old Beatles record does, though. 

Like the rest of the world, I can watch puppies and kittens on YouTube all day. Babies, too. When push comes to shove, nothing moves me like the love in the cloudy eyes of an old dog.

Old hearts that have been broken again and again and have turned over more than once probably have some use. They're not gonna use them in a transplant. I wonder if that Organ Donor thingee on your driver's license expires?




Saturday, September 16, 2017

Land Of Plenty






There's plenty for everybody. There should be a heaven and it should be right here. There's enough money for you and everybody in your neighborhood. There are enough hospital beds for everyone ailing. What hillbilly evangelist lied to your cousin about Jesus being a socialist? Of course he was. Jewish, too. An Arab. 

Those radio waves don't belong to some government agency to sell off. That oil under the Gulf of Mexico doesn't belong to BP. Nobody asked me about selling any mineral rights.

Ol' Sam Walton may have worked hard to open a store and I'm glad that he did well. That doesn't mean that his great grandchildren should enslave a bunch of folks who live with no dreams of a future. For themselves or their offspring.

This world, this government, this culture censors folks like me. They marginalize us. Mock us. They can't arrest us. Not here. Not yet. I don't threaten revolution. Not with guns. I hate guns.

Oh, we have heroes. They just don't get on cable news very often.

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”  R. Buckminster Fuller





Friday, September 15, 2017

Rope Burn






It's a mean world out there. Terrorists, fascists, cheaters and worse. Realizing that the ones around me  have always considered me bohemian, beat, hippie pleases me and makes me proud, somehow. I've always skittered outside the ant farm.

As life rolls on and on it becomes obvious that it's not money that corrupts. It's not power, vanity or greed. It's all about genetics, isn't it? Evolution.

As I've shamelessly boasted here before, I was raised by women. Good women. Strong women. Sweet women. 

Oh, I've run across some mean women out there. You probably have, too. I've encountered more than my share of kind, gentle, thoughtful men, as well. A few of them have been president in my lifetime. Let me say that without the other two branches representing peace and love, not much gets done. 

Don't let me lead you down a blind alley blathering on about government. I don't have much use for government, personally. Same with the music business, the game of religion, philosophy, art or professional sports. 

My only role in this life would seem to be shouting, " The emperor has no clothes. I love you. Let's dance."

Hey, somebody's gotta do it.







Thursday, September 14, 2017

Seven or Eight?






You know what? All my joy is back. What I do depends on my heartache and depends on my joy. Maybe it takes a hurricane to wash away the blues. I don't know. 

Dogs don't much like snobs. I've about had my fill of 'em too. Everybody's special. Kindness still brings happiness. Remember- lie down with fascists and you get up with cooties.

Hey! "Up With Cooties!" I think I'll get to work on a new musical.




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dark and Stormy







Sitting in the dark for awhile clears the mental sinuses. By the time the power came back my life view had dwindled to this:

You live for awhile, then you don't. If you're lucky, somebody, or something loves you.

Cable news would have me believe that there's more to it. There's not. I love you.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Waiting' and Hopin'






Sitting here waiting for a storm that is taking its sweet time gets me to thinking about the idea of staying safe. We're all just waiting to die, aren't we? I mean- I don't ski 'cause it's wet and cold and I can't afford to go. Sonny Bono's fate doesn't enter into it.

That knowledge of mortality, that's the drag. Evel Knievel would have been just another showoff trying to impress the girls without it. That's the only thing that keeps me off motorcycles altogether. I just wear the t-shirts. Same with surfing.

Somehow I suspect that Irma has folks in my little area thinking about the kinds of things that I do routinely. We're all crazy for the time being. I'm writing because I worry that I won't have access soon. Remember that I love you.




Water Proof





The joy of dogs just makes man's arrogance that much more appalling. Maybe my problem with people is knowing the potential. I'm not that interested in doing more. I'd just like to do better.

It's damp here but it's about to get a lot wetter.

Women and children first, mate. Women and children first.




Saturday, September 9, 2017

Surges, Storm and Otherwise





They're all good days I suppose. That old dog and I are just sitting around waiting for a hurricane. It's hard to imagine but I'm pretty sure she knows how much I love her. I know I tell folks things that I shouldn't, things they don't want to hear. I'm doing my best to change that. Don't take any bar bets on me. What's that they paved the road to hell with?

A few hours sleep and I wake up to find that we're pretty much in the center of the projected path for landfill for Irma. Did I mention that she's back to a Category 5 hurricane?

Jamaica is nervous now even though it's eerily calm outside. Me? I'm feeling too lazy to take care of all the little chores that are necessary now. If I don't write for a bit it doesn't mean I don't love you.




Friday, September 8, 2017

Whoa! Waiting' For A Storm





The World Book Encyclopedia was my world wide web as I was growing up. My mom couldn't afford the luxury so I would sit for hours on the floor in the living room of our next-door neighbors, the Gunns. The Romanovs, sling psychrometers, the great pyramids and leprosy colonies in Hawaii. It all fascinated me. Still does. Lord knows I was never trying to learn anything.

My sex education consisted of ogling darker titties in National Geographic. 

My musical background came from records that my mom brought home for me. Wynonie Harris. Hank Williams. Johnny Standley. Nat King Cole. Fats Domino.

Sunday school supplied the important stuff. To this day I can't quote you much scripture but I know right from wrong. I don't really want to discuss my neighbor's wife. Thanks anyway.

When the head of the geography department asked why I was interested in a degree from his department the first thing that came to mind was The Whole Earth Catalog. Wrong answer. Too late. I dragged throngs of hippies through their program by the time I had my degree.

My politics were formed watching corruption and graft up close working for the government. I don't have much use for the government today.

My vocation- I write hillbilly songs. Nobody buys them and I brag about it.

Try to sit next to me at the dinner party. I'm socially awkward but we'll have a lot to talk about.



                                       


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hillbilly Flair






If rock'n'roll was born in 1947, which I have insisted tongue in cheek for years, it looks like I'm gonna outlive it. Oh, I've wrung my hands and whined about the demise for years, heck- decades, but it seems to have passed away peacefully in its sleep with no obit in any of the major papers. 

Don't go writing me about how it will never die, blah, blah.

Hey, I'm the one who bellyaches about country club snoots asking, "What do you do?" while pumping my hand way too hard, gazing sincerely into my distrusting eyes. It has taken me this long to recognize that my entire self-image has centered on rock'n'roll.

Now I don't do anything. 

I suppose that as long as Little Richard and Fats and The Killer are alive we've got it on life support in some cosmic ICU. 

Don't think that I'm mourning here. I don't know about you but I got my gall darn money's worth.



                                   




Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Kudzu Wine and Cornbread






That pesky aggressive gene. It will surely be the end of mankind but must we take the planet down with us? Look around you. These are the folks that we allow to run things?

We need to move towards making war illegal. That is not complicated. The first step is to disincentivize arms manufacturers, men with small penises, folks who hear God telling them what to do and other rabble rousers.

We have the brightest minds working on technology under the guise of defense with weapons of destruction ultimately in the hands, small though they may be, of self-important blowhards.

It's 1:00 am. I should be worrying about a hurricane. If I'm gonna worry at all, that is. Here I sit, making a child-like list of perfectly obvious little rules based on what I learned in Sunday School.This ain't my first list.

By the way, God doesn't help with my lists. I may be naive but I'm no hypocrite.

If Caligula had possessed the bomb there would be no more history.

Things are broken. Let's fix them.

John Lennon said that he wasn't the only dreamer. We're all dreamers now, Johnny. We're all dreamers now.





She's Got New Brakes






A couple of simpletons seem to hold all humanity in their tiny hands. Fear is more fashionable than it has been since I was twelve. 

In fact, if you judge music by the radio and movies by box office returns at the multiplex theaters, culture may be scraping a new low.

Make your own music. Your own movies. Make your own love.

Sit still.







Monday, September 4, 2017

Now What?






Here I am, the dog that caught the car. Have I had everything I ever wanted? And then some. While I can't turn back the clock, I'm rich with memories. For a man with no aptitude and a bad attitude I've seen all of my dreams come true.

We're all dreamers now. We'll fight hate with love. As Lord Buckley said, "We'll fight bombs with humor."

It's never a straight road. You sit up front here with me. 

If we hate we look ridiculous. Like they do. Worship people. Don't ever give up. Ever. Would it embarrass you if I told you that I love you? It would, wouldn't it?

I love you.



                                    





Sunday, September 3, 2017

What Rhymes With Sucked?






Closing time and the two stumbled out of the tiny Wild Boar towards their car at the edge of the parking lot. Nebraska Avenue was just a two lane road this far north in Tampa at this time and it would have been hard to miss the stretched out body, face down, in the empty lot across the street. They both knew instinctively, immediately that it was Jack.

They couldn't leave him there. Well, they could but they wouldn't.

Jack Kerouac was a hefty two hundred pounds by this time. They managed to get him into the back seat and headed south towards Gandy bridge to get him home in St. Pete to Stella and Meme´re. Realizing that they couldn't just dump him off they pulled into his favorite White Castle once they got into St. Petersburg.

Perched on a counter stool between his two pals, Jack bounced off one, then the other.

The first edition of the St. Petersburg Times was already on the street and an older priest watched the spectacle over the edge of his paper. Recognizing an immediate need for salvation, the man of the cloth approached the rocking writer and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Have you known God?" the priest asked calmly.

Jack recognized at once the source of the inquiry and replied," No but I was almost sucked by Tennessee Williams once."



                                           




Friday, September 1, 2017

Rearview Radio Signals






Looking back, I should have paid more attention to the dogs in my life. Oh yeah, I should never have spent time with anybody who didn't want to spend time with me. I wish I had kissed more hands and held more doors open.

Worrying has definitely taken up too much of my time and my energy. Everything worked out just like it would have if I hadn't worried at all.

Friends with good intentions tell me that I should have been more discreet with my so called love life. If I had it to do over, and I don't, I would love harder. Wilder, with more abandon and less thought to outcome.

Maybe I should have written more in 3/4 time and ignored rhyme.