American Idyll

yes, the river knows

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Roaring Silence Of The Diamond

Grateful Dead: Bird Song ...6/22.73

I wished
I could explain it
to those I loved,
my mother, to Japhy,
but there just weren't
any words to describe
the nothingness
and purity of it.
Is there a certain
and definite teaching
to be given
to all living creatures?

was the question
probably asked
to beetle browed
snowy Dipankara,
and his answer
was the roaring silence
of the diamond.
--Jack Kerouac
The Dharma Bums

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Step In The Right Direction


Max Romeo: One Step Forward

And a step backward,
after making a wrong turn,
is a step in the right direction.

--Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Had A Dream About You

I had a dream about you. It's been a while since I could remember any of my dreams, and still, this one has left me with such a strong impression. Even now, when I am fully awake, your face flashes before my eyes. It's a face I can totally relate to, as if it wasn't any more yours than it is mine. Terrifying thing, you know? I can't say I've felt that sort of intimacy with anyone. For a moment you knew all my secrets, without me even having to tell them. For a moment I even knew them myself...

While I was looking into your eyes, I suddenly started to realize things about myself that were unspoken for years, like fragments of my inner life that were deeply repressed. It’s hard to distinguish if they were buried inside because dealing with them was such a dirty work, or if leaving them unnamed meant that it was not possible to define them precisely enough,
so they would keep their true meaning. Perhaps, all this life that I've known
so far was in fact no more but a dream about living. The only thing that has kept me in touch with reality was you...

I know it comes as a surprise, and you may be wondering why it took me so long to come clean. You also may be wondering how come you've never noticed before. I've tricked you on purpose, yes, and you must realize it really has nothing to do with you.
It’s always been me. This is why, seeing you in my dream like that, came out as a shock.
You also must forgive me.
You must forgive me because
I know how it looks like, that everything we ever shared
was a lie, and it wasn't...

Chet Baker: My Funny Valentine

I am more of an illusionist than a deceiver, but it all comes from being in fact, a very private person. Even if it was true that you knew me better than anyone, I’d never admit it. I’d rather dig my own heart out, with a rotten spoon, than admitting it. I may let people in my own little world occasionally, but I would never let them be aware of it. I don’t throw my intimacy in front of others, especially when I care. The more I care, the less I give away, and this is something for you to understand, and grant me your forgiveness. I didn't play my tricks on you in order to deceive you, but rather to save myself, and maybe even deceive myself as well. I’ve had hidden my feelings for you so deeply that I've learned to live with them, as if any other casualty. I have done wrong to myself as much as I did to you, and I don’t know if I can forgive myself. So now I wonder, could you forgive me without feeling sorry for me? I certainly don’t deserve your pity. Especially not now that I am awake.

--Aleksandra Ninkovic
Dreaming is for lovers

Miles Davis: My Funny Valentine

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Roaring Forever Down

Kate Wolf: Like a River

Sharon Allen: Like a River

The torrent, swollen by the melting snow, plunges into a tremendous abyss, from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house. The shaft into which the river hurls itself is an immense chasm, lined by glistening coal-black rock, and narrowing into a creaming, boiling pit of incalculable depth, which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip. The long sweep of green water roaring forever down, and the thick flickering curtain of spray hissing forever upward, turn a man giddy with their constant whirl and clamor.
--Arthur Conan Doyle


Sunday, February 04, 2018

Amanda, Did You Choose Your Tune?


John Cale: The Endless Plain of Fortune **


Old Taylor said
Old Taylor meant to cry---oh my
Field Marshall meant
Field Marshall went away again
watch out below---the tides
lean heavily like wine
we are all innocent
in spite of you and me

then Martha went
yes Martha went away again
down in Transvaal
where crocodiles and men fight on
they would have played all night
even with loaded dice
it's gold that eats the heart
and leaves the bones to dry

Segovia watched
gendarmerie and all---that's all
the radio man
Amanda, did you choose your tune?
she walked away in time
she walked a crooked line
so gracefully she turned her head
and smiled---away


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Up Until This Morning

Bob Dylan; Tangled Up in Blue

The senior wizards of Unseen University stood and looked at the door.
There was no doubt that whoever had shut it wanted it to stay shut.
Dozens of nails secured it to the door frame. Planks had been nailed right across. And finally it had, up until this morning, been hidden by a bookcase that had been put in front of it.
And there's the sign, said the Dean. You have read it, I assume. You know? The sign which says "Do not, under any circumstances, open this door"?
Of course I've read it, said Ridcully. Why d'yer think I want it opened?
Er ... why? said the Lecturer in Recent Runes.
To see why they wanted it shut, of course.
This exchange contains almost all you need to know about human civilization. At least, those bits of it that are now under the sea,
fenced off or still smoking.
--Terry Pratchett

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Great Things Decide To Approach Us

Bill Evans Trio: Some Other Time

What you encounter,
recognize or discover
depends to a large degree
on the quality
of your approach.
Many of the ancient cultures
practiced careful rituals
of approach.
An encounter of depth
and spirit
was preceded by
careful preparation.

When we approach
with reverence,
great things decide
to approach us.
Our real life
comes to the surface
and its light awakens
the concealed beauty
in things.
When we walk
on the earth
with reverence,
beauty will decide
to trust us.
The rushed heart
and arrogant mind
lack the gentleness
and patience
to enter that embrace.

--John O'Donohue
Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

Monday, January 22, 2018

She Sails Away With The Pirates

I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people's cars. I didn't care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn't know me and I didn't know anybody. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddamn stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone.
--J.D. Salinger

Judy Collins: Pirate Jenny

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dreamed A Dream By The Old Canal


Ewan McColl / Peggy Seeger: Dirty Old Town

Townes Van Zandt: Dirty Old Town

Music has always
been a matter
of Energy to me,
a question of Fuel.
Sentimental people
call it Inspiration,
but what they
really mean is Fuel.
I have always needed Fuel.
I am a serious consumer.
On some nights
I still believe that a car
with the gas needle on empty
can run about fifty more miles
if you have the right music
very loud on the radio.

--Hunter S. Thompson

Pogues: Dirty Old Town


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

From Every Direction

Kate Wolf: Desert Wind

From every direction,
the place is under assault--
and unlike in the past,
the adversary is not
concentrated in a single force, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, but takes the form of separate outfits conducting smaller attacks that are, in many ways, far more insidious. From directly above, the air-tour industry has succeeded in scuttling all efforts to dial it back, most recently through the intervention of Arizona’s senators, and is continuing to destroy one of the canyon’s greatest treasures, which is its silence. From the east has come a dramatic increase in uranium-mining claims, while the once remote and untrammeled country of the North Rim now suffers from an ever-growing influx of recreational ATVs. On the South Rim, an Italian real estate company recently secured approval for a massive development whose water demands are all but guaranteed to compromise many of the canyon’s springs, along with the oases that they nourish. Worst of all, the Navajo tribe is currently planning to cooperate in constructing a monstrous tramway to the bottom of the canyon, complete with a restaurant and a resort, at the confluence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado, the very spot where John Wesley Powell made his famous journal entry in the summer of 1869 about venturing “down the Great Unknown .” As vexing as all these things are, what (Martin) Litton finds even more disheartening is the country’s failure to rally to the canyon’s defense--or for that matter, to the defense of its other imperiled natural wonders. The movement that he and David Brower helped build is not only in retreat but finds itself the target of bottomless contempt. On talk radio and cable TV, environmentalists are derided as “wackos” and “extremists.” The country has swung decisively toward something smaller and more selfish than what it once was, and in addition to ushering in a disdain for the notion that wilderness might have a value that extends beyond the metrics of economics or business, much of the nation ignorantly embraces the benefits of engineering and technology while simultaneously rejecting basic science.
--Kevin Fedarko
The Emerald Mile


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Somewhere Else Instead

Halfway down the stairs,
is a stair, where I sit.
There isn't any, other stair,
quite like, it.
I'm not at the bottom,
I'm not at the top;
So this is the stair,
where, I always, stop.
Halfway up the stairs,
isn't up, and isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery,
it isn't in the town.
And all sorts
of funny thoughts,
run round my head:
It isn't really anywhere!
It's somewhere else instead!
--A.A. Milne

Satie: Gymnopédies

Satie: Nocturnes

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