Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Rock'n'Roll Aura

It surely has taken me a long, long time to get to be the man that I am today. It sure did happen quickly.

I don't mean to get all Stephen Fostery on you here. Who knew that all those things they tell you about how quickly it all goes by were true? When you get right down to it I'm scared and I'm sad.

What am I scared of? I don't know. That's what's so scary.

What am I so sad about? Whatta ya got?

There is so much that I can't write about right now. Me, the guy who always boasts about having no secrets; the one who claims he'll tell anybody anything.

The only treasure is love.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Chicken Feed

Living alone, you forget how to fight. Maybe that's a good thing, huh? I can't say that I recommend it. It's only in the last year that I've learned just how rare an open heart is. No wonder. 

If it weren't for fighting with the cable company two or three times a year I would have no active conflict in my life.

In the big picture, war is business. On the home front, couples fight. Unless it's Father Knows Best or Ozzie and Harriet.

A lot of folks never get over a broken heart. Some of us never get over hurt feelings.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rubber Saddles

Do you feel like you've ever completely loved? Do you feel like you've ever been completely loved? I've been haunted for as long as I can remember with the idea that there's more. Just more. Someone recently posited to me that unrequited love is the best. It's complete. Total. It's not dependent on expectations. Reciprocity. There's no score to keep.

My romantic history started with unrequited love. Maybe I should have stuck with it. All I ever wanted to do in life was to play in a rock'n'roll band. Let's face it- I was born a solo act.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Long Fuses

My heart opens and I find it easier to see the beauty and the truth in all people that I come across. Mankind seems desperate to destroy the earth and everything on the earth, mankind included.

I write those two statements and I have a problem matching them up. The darkness in people I don't want to see. Cable news is always there to remind me. So are the great novels from the last two centuries.

If I sit quietly in meditation seeking peace, it doesn't stop any bombs falling in Syria.

The pieces of the puzzle are obvious to me. Love. Greed. Compassion. Ignorance. Empathy. Intolerance.

Technology gives one side the edge. Always has. The one with the rock and the big stick prevails. The army with the nuclear weapons wins. The enemy with the spyware drills into the culture and dominates its politics.

We give the brilliant scientists peace prizes for their achievements. Politicians commandeer the technology and put it to use in order to feel better about their manhood. Captains of industry manufacture a surplus of weaponry and bribe "elected officials" to purchase all that rolls off the assembly line.

I didn't elect any of these officials. They don't represent me.

In my country we find car bombs evil and deplorable. They are. We consider rockets with warheads and bombers longer than football fields defense. Isn't it obvious that they're evil and deplorable, too? When a little megalomaniac rolls his toys out north of the 38th parallel and the crowds cheer, it chills our blood.

Either we speed up the evolutionary process or we watch the doomsday play out.

May I suggest that we stop allowing idiots to make these decisions? Do those folks represent you? I didn't think so.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Inherited Karma

What if every penny that we've spent on war since the end of the Civil War had gone to infrastructure, healthcare, scientific research and education? Why don't we tax individuals who inherit fortunes on debt to pay for people cheated as the fortunes were built?

Do we have big problems facing our society? You bet.

Do all solutions have to revolve around billions for a military machine and reducing taxes for the wealthy? The answer is yes if you ask the only two political parties allowed to participate in the process.

If we make ourselves vulnerable to evil forces waiting to dominate us without a gargantuan arsenal, then why isn't China raiding Switzerland as I write this?

This is where demigods come from.

Personally, I don't believe that all capitalists are bad, evil, selfish. I do believe that those two Koch brothers are. All politicians aren't slimy, degenerate scumbags. Donald Trump is. So is Vladimir Putin. Ted Cruz, too.

Not all socialists are good guys. The historical Jesus seemed to be a pretty fine fellow, though. Buddha before him, too.

Those clowns in D.C. try to keep us from considerations like these with fear. Dividing us into camps facilitates the ruse.

The questions are complicated. The answers are not.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hold This

In the end it's all about the end, isn't it? I would make the decision to be happy but I'm too busy being blue. I don't suppose I was ever really careful what I wished for. It all came to me like magic. It never lasted.

At sixteen I lay in bed at night and worried about my '32 Ford. Rust, to be specific. Let's see here, now: Florida + steel = yeah, you got it.

Not exactly the master of suspense, you know where this is going. Oh, I was asked to leave the game of romance some time back. I have memories, though. We all have memories.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Love Yourself

All the gold in the world won't buy your self-respect. Turns out that I squandered the last of my libido on fantasy. That's okay. Sometimes the beauty of humanity blinds me like a left fielder losing a pop fly in the sun.

If you don't believe in ghosts you just don't dream and I feel sorry for you.

My Chicken Little rants about the demise of rock'n'roll was decades late. That horse was out of the barn and over that fence before I piped up. The seeds of fear and loss were planted in 1956 when publishers figured out that "Will Calypso Kill Rock'n'Roll?" and "Pat Replaces Elvis" covers sold magazines. I bought 'em all.

If it seems that I'm rambling here it's just that I'm not connecting these thoughts for you. It's all of a piece. I promise. 

She hopes I won't bother her again and fears that maybe I won't.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My Side Of History

No government that allows children to suffer without medicine represents me. No body of self-important jacklegs that looks the other way as mentally ill people suffer on city streets, homeless, speaks on my behalf. No group of bible-thumping hypocrites who threaten people all over the world with military madness stands for anything that I believe in.

Me? I peddle love. I don't know much but I'll always tell you the truth.

That will that I wrote on the stars across the sky- I don't have much but I leave you all the love in the world.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Badly Bent

Maybe I should have stuck with tap. My regrets don't quite reach monumental in scale. Now I dig in my heels and hold the clock hands, not quite able to achieve denial. I wait for loss. Heartbreak. 

Friends went to law school. They learned to "do something" so that when they went to cocktail parties and were asked, "What do you do?" they had a response.

I'm Ronny Elliott.

I don't do anything.

Maybe I was drawn to rock'n'roll because that's where the joy is. Funny, I've mined the dark seams for most of the last fifty five years. I seem to have specialized in broken hearts. The very idea had to be pointed out to me. It's all about the light and I've obsessed over the darkness.

I'm lucky. The work is holy. I'm lucky because I know it. All work is holy but some folks don't know it. Share truth and love hard. Don't take advice from anybody who can't tell you what he does.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Underground and Solid

You want to know where they hide the joy? Don't be tricked into money traps, status tricks, prestigious props. The joy is right in plain sight. Look into a baby's eyes. Lie on your back on the grass and look for George Washington in the clouds. Pick up a kitten. Listen to Edith Piaf or Nervous Norvus.

Now that they've closed down the government maybe we can sell off the assets and divide up the dough. Then we can throw in and feed the hungry and fix the infrastructure. Personally, I can't wait to melt down the military stuff.

Oh how I wish Buckminster Fuller was still with us so that he could be the boss. Of course he wouldn't have any interest in the job. Unfortunately, nobody worthy of the job wants it.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Back Alley Hearts

Nearly crippled over the years by her stunning physical beauty, she's alone now. They all have their stories. If you stand in the right place it's obviously the same story. The "real world" was, I believe, modeled on a Robert Altman movie. Everybody speaks at once. What is happening depends on which way you're facing. Turn around and it's a different scene.

Last night I mingled with my past.

Coming home is my reward. For now. Twelve years ago I looked into her eyes and saw her sweet soul. Now I look into those tired eyes and I see the universe and I see love. All the love in the world.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

When It Shines

Truth always seems obvious in the present tense. To the seeker, though, it's a slippery substance. I tend to see everything that's important to me pretty much as I saw it as a ten year old. I had good teachers. I had unconditional love.

Over the years I've been some places and I've seen some things. I've accumulated some souvenirs and memorabilia.

Love, now, that's different. It's not cumulative. You don't put it in a chest in the closet and get it out and play with it. Show it off to friends. The poet boasts that he keeps it in his heart but I learned in high school physiology that the heart is just a blood pump.

We're all obsessive and we're all compulsive from time to time. It's a disorder, as I understand it, when it interferes with normal life. I don't live a normal life. I obsess over love and I've been compulsive in love.

What do you do? 

I love.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Turn The Heat Up

As I piece together the quilt that makes my life I don't find many things that I would do differently. Oh, I wish I had said, "I love you," more frequently but I said it often enough to annoy plenty of folks.

Don't think for a minute that I'm bragging about the life I've lived. There are no gold records on the wall and my history in romance makes my so-called career look successful.

Let me say right here that I blame no one for my circumstances. I can't refer to my situation as failure if I'm telling you that I would do it all again. No record label ever cheated me. No woman ever mistreated me.

At this point I figure that life is learn as you go. The fact that I've made the same mistakes frequently could indicate tenacity. Consistency. A better guess might be that I'm stubborn. A slow learner.

I love you.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Cartoon Music

Sometimes I wish I were Irish. I'd play Ragtime Annie all night. They say that as you get older your nose and your ears continue to grow. I've noticed that your love does, too.

There's a fire in my mind and I really can't be confined here. If Marcie's right and unrequited love is the best love, then I suppose I win again. Every time I think I've heard every pretty song in the world, somebody plays me a new one. No wonder we love the mockingbird.

Dr. King decided to stick with love. I'll have what he was having.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

This Is Not A Test

What determines physical beauty? Well, biology for starters. Symmetry weighs heavily. Subconsciously all the hormonally charged youth are searching frantically for good traits for mating. At a certain point in life the scramble to physically hold back the aging process is either the funniest or the most poignant game in town. Depends on when you ask, I suppose.

Youth is beautiful and you realize that fact if you're lucky enough to grow old. 

Old is beautiful and you realize that fact if you're really, really lucky.

Just keep loving and pray that you get good at it.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Suspend Gravity

Most of my memories of buses are bad memories. The good ones, though, are really good. I remember the driver's voice on the scratchy intercom:

"Dothan. We'll be here for forty five minutes."

Grandma and I would hurry into the little Greyhound station to find a place at the counter and I would have a grilled cheese and a chocolate malt. The long trip was time that I spent with her, my most valuable memories.

Then there was the tour bus with Gene Vincent and the Coasters and Bill Haley. Bo Diddley would squat in the aisle next to me and tell tall tales of life on the road with the likes of Jimmy Reed and Etta James. Chuck Berry wouldn't ride the bus. He flew and got to the next town after we did.

The last time I rode a bus my pal, Walt, and I took the Greyhound from Nashville to Knoxville. We had only been out of the depot for fifteen or twenty minutes when the driver threatened to stop the bus and put me and Walt off the bus if we didn't quit talking. It was raining and we were in the middle of nowhere.

I hope this doesn't sound snooty but we had our own teeth and we weren't transporting poultry. I'm pretty sure we weren't talking very loud. We're both pretty low-key.

Pretty sure that was my final bus memory.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Leave It On The Curb

My memories of intolerance and hate are refreshed in my mind by the news on television tonight. Rock'n'roll saved me, saved my culture, back then. I had been brought up with a strong sense of tolerance for people and a lack of tolerance for war.

Where's my rock'n'roll now?

Every religion is founded on love and most wars are fought in the name of religion. Hypocrisy and greed are nothing new. They've been bedfellows forever.

You want more than your share of the pie? You say you want the whole danged pie and the pie plate, too?

Well, sir, there are tools at your disposal. Fear and ignorance make for a good start.

A big part of the problem is that those folks think that you want the whole pie, too. Donald J. Trump thinks that you would collude and cheat and lie, too, but that you're just not as smart as he is. I don't mean to pick on him but he's just so handy. Oh, wait- yeah, I mean to pick on him.

There are tools to fight the tyranny, too. Peace and love and truth are good places to start. That brings us back to rock'n'roll, doesn't it?

Come on, rock'n'roll, save us again.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What Does The Early Worm Get?

If the house goes up in flames, once Jamaica is safe, I'll go back into the inferno for my memories. Some of the best ones are old. Really old now. The real memories, of course, are in my heart, not some file cabinet.

Now, I never smoked and I'm just not much good at drinking. I have put this old heart through the wringer, though. It's been broken so many times that I'm not sure it will ever be right again. 

That's alright. I've got t shirts that I haven't worn in twenty years because I worry about wearing them out. I've gotten really good wear out of the heart.

There are little pieces missing but it serves me well. Sometimes I wonder if I've loved just to have something to sing about.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Neon and Glitter

If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have known much. I've wanted to be loved. I suppose everybody wants to be loved. At this point I'm happy that I never bent much. I don't have much to brag about but, then again, I don't have anything to complain about.

To say that I have been put out to pasture is to understate my situation in life. My guitar player and co-conspirator in rock'n'roll asked me last night if I had retired.

"Not that I know of. How could I tell?"

I suppose I would go away so that they would miss me but I don't have anywhere to go and I don't have anybody to go with me. Who are they anyway?

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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fools' Table

Now I wonder why they write all the sad songs about the rain. All except "Singing' In The Rain" that is. Love will make you think that you'll live forever or at least it will take your mind off mortality for a bit.

It's raining here.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Keep It To Myself

My life has been about as perfect as a life this long can be. When I think back about my dreams as a twelve year old, I've pretty much had it all. You never get used to loss, of course. Now I've got less to lose.

If I ramble even more than usual these days it's because I have so much in front of me that I just really can't seem to talk about.

What about the death of rock'n'roll, Elizabeth Taylor's love life and the time that you had to ride from Yeehaw Junction to Miami, flat on your back in a U-Haul trailer, you ask?

Well, I'll get back to the misadventures of a misspent youth that lasted for several decades too long here soon. For the time being I'm trying to pay attention and I'm trying not to. 

My only advice to you is to love just as hard as you can.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Genius Count

Rock'n'roll has always been my connection to the present. Here. Now. My search for truth always led me right to me. Right? Wrong? When I've done the wrong thing I've known it. I don't need a law library or a holy book to know the difference.

My crystal ball is love.

Even my dreams get lonely.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Storm Before The Calm

Waiting is the worst and it's all waiting when you get right down to it. All things come to him who waits? I'm not really interested in all things. Meanwhile I cling to all that I love and memories. The cold wind makes sad sadder and the wind whispers in your ear, taunting.

Oh, the memories get sweeter with time. The loss never really goes away, though, like the coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup.

They say that nobody's passion lasts forever. They lie.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Life's Work

Well, at least I didn't put all my eggs in one basket. I've scooped mud from the hulls of barges, run real estate companies, written automotive columns and played rock'n'roll. The rock'n'roll was always just a little ahead of the fashion or some good little bit behind. Seems as long as I didn't risk being fashionable, it didn't matter.

None of my roles ever justified my existence, never earned me a title. I was never a scooper or a writer. Most days I struggle to make human. There are women out there who would suggest that I might struggle harder.

My struggles to be a decent human being have always dominated my mind, not to mention my time. I've wanted to save the world since I noticed it needed saving. I don't seem to be doing a very good job of it here lately.

This gibberish reads so pretentious and self-important when I read it but it feels so obvious and simple as I continue down my path. I tell myself that I'm here to fight evil. I know all too well that the real enemy is loneliness and loss.

Maybe I would have been a great songwriter if I could make it all rhyme. Maybe I would have been a fine drunk if I could hold my liquor. Maybe I might have made a great lover if everything had worked out differently.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Bet On The Bad Genes

What if I told you that we were gonna have a contest? One contestant would have to play by strict rules. The other, the cheater, could play by any methods and means that seemed relevant to him in the game.

Which contestant would you bet on?

I've just explained the basics of genetics I'm sorry to say.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

What Little I Know

Maybe suffering is relative. Empathy comes with a price. Nothing that I see has any intrinsic value. Weeds, flowers, diamonds, broken glass- it's just all stuff isn't it? The value comes when somebody wants it. 

Now time, that's different. I can't see it but it's the most valuable commodity that I know about. Funny thing, it's free. You'll never have enough.

If love is the currency, time is the commodity. I shoulda' been an economist.