Saturday, October 17, 2009

Living in Brooklyn

After another stay on second avenue and 28th street at frank's for a month, i am now in brooklyn, back to the first borough i lived in when randy dana and i moved to new york in 1983 and lived in what is now affectionately referred to as carroll gardens. this time it's bensonhurst, a foreign land to me, looking for grocery store, health food, etc., and close to the bay with a promenade......

looking for a job and an apartment at the same time has been hell.... but now i have both, and with a job or without a job it can still be hell, but i am grateful to be working even if it is a temp job. it too will come to an end.

having trouble writing in a new space, at a desk with my back to the door, i can't stand it, this feeling of an open space behind me. was a shot in the back in a previous life? i know many feel uncomfortable with this sensation; it is quite palpable. any one else feel it too?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The neighbor who called

I saw the woman who reported the possible break in at Prof Gates home give a press conference. She was crying and said she just wanted to help, that she is not a racist. How is it possible to live close enough to a house and see a possible crime in action but not know it's the guy who lives there?

Are we really so isolated from each other that we think we should call the police to protect the property, anyone's property -- even property we don't know the owner? Is it more important to protect property over people?

We should know our neighbors. We should say hello or at least wave to our neighbor. Some people will not wave back, so keep waving.

Today I'm in Canada on a lake where neighbors wave to each other all the time, even if we just waved an hour before. I know exactly what the neighbors look like three and four doors down on each side. I also say hello or nod to those I pass when I'm out for a walk. Some people do not say hello back, it's rare, but it happens. You never know when you may need a helping hand. Here I never worry, friendly neighbors are always close by.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cops acting stupidly

This is getting really boring. First Obama says something that makes sense: cops act stupidly. Then he tries to clarify it and cool his comments. The truth doesn't need clarification.

No one should be arrested in their own home for doing nothing -- even if Professor Gates yelled and screamed, the police were wrong to handcuff and arrest him. Isn't it the job of the police to know how to deal with these moments? To understand people freak out when they haven't done anything and you try to arrest them? And what about the charge and the fact that it was dropped? Why be defensive now? The police are missing out on an important opportunity here to make this right, rather than being defensive when caught with their racial pants down. Just because they carry guns after a few weeks of training, they think they are certified bullies.

How come you always hear that cops are cops because they can't be firemen. Do cops resent firemen because they have to be fit to do their job? And why don't cops have to be physically fit? Should all public service jobs require employees to be healthy? Surely all those donuts are rotting cops' hearts as well as their colon.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ginn'd Up

I watched the Obama Press Conference on July 22 and was stopped cold when he used the words "ginned up". He said.....(we or I) not going to get ginned up about it.....
What does it mean?

Does it have southern roots? Black roots? Is it a reference to the cotton gin? Does it mean the same as don't get your finger caught in the wringer. If the origin is from the cotton gin, which separates cotton from its seeds, is "ginned up" separating your mind from your body? heart from soul? Somehow I don't think it has anything to do with drinking gin.

Whatever it means, I like it. I think I'll try it out at the next family get together and see what kind of a reaction I get. (Not that anyone in my family pays attention to anything I have to say.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Back to Canada

After Key West I traveled to Detroit which is looking better than ever. It is a beautiful city, full of life and memories.

Now I'm back in Belle River, the town of my childhood in Canada where I am spending time helping out around the cottage and writing new songs.

While working on the suicide stories, I thought I would post one of my earlier suicide writings, which is also a monologue in my solo show, "The Drunk Monologues."
But I have yet to figure out how to make it larger.

LPJ says just click on it.
Thanks Leonard!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Mile 0

Mile 0 at Whitehead and Fleming, the cottage where I stayed for an additional week and where the conch train goes by every half hour and where tourists line up to take their picture with this sign.
No tourists at this moment because it is happy hour.

Virgin Mary at Paint Ball Field

Looking for the virgin mary at the paint ball field.
Salt Ponds. Key West

looking for the virgin mary in the sea

Paint Ball Field

Last Hours in Key West

On my last day in Key West I had a chocolate dipped key lime pie (with crust) on a stick. Frozen of course.

I began a new work: a noir story about a suicide that takes place in the creepy salt ponds with creepy inhabitants while baby boomers disco dance in the clothing optional bar.

Here I was able to meditate and write from a private pool perspective.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bike near White House, Key West

Seen around the corner from The Little White House, where President Truman spent half the year, swimming, biking, fishing, lots of fishing.
what does it mean?

Mangoes go Bang the middle of the night, the mango tree sways in thunderstorms dropping ripe and green mangoes on the upstairs terrace and in the morning ripe mangoes arrive at my doorstep along with Snowball, an all white cat who only wants me to pet her for a moment, then she keeps me company or not. The early mornings here are the best, when a cool air comes through the windows and the fans whirl keeping the heat at bay. I am fortunate to be working so much, long days of writing in the patio, on the couch, at the table, although the mangoes are so ripe now, I have dodged a few on the head and computer.

A note about the writing: a residency can bring an awareness of self in a very short time. I don't have a phone and have no distractions, other than hunger. This is a time for a lot of writing, more than I had hoped for. Finishing an old draft from a year ago I was able to find a reason to complete a story about a disabled girl's sexual awakening with her Maori boyfriend and her drive to be independent despite her disability. It's another suicide story in my series of "the Suicide Monologues." However, they are not monologues; they're stories about other people.

When the work is done, there is always time for a swim, a bike ride, a walk. Taking notes now on my environment, it is rich for the future.

Friday, May 15, 2009

It Will Never Go Away

Duvall Street, Key West

Filled with fans and offspring spawned by the original fans, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is still a big draw, with its brand name store next to the bar/restaurant -- like other bars on the Duvall Strip. But unlike other bars that offer live music played by the locals, Margaritaville has a large video screen; last night it was playing hip hop.

Dead: I told you I was sick

Key West Cemetery

Not the most beautiful plaque in the cemetery, but the funniest. You have to admire BP Roberts' (1979) family who have passed on a family joke to the living.

GM bailout on Duvall Street

It's hard to believe someone is in there, but he is, complete with goggles, this full sized car made it's way down Duvall with appreciative nods from both sides of the street.

Kew West Cemetery

Key West Cemetery

What was Arichibold Yate's relatives thinking when they erected this nude bound woman at the foot of his headstone (1966). Or was it picked by him personally, was it is last wish, like another Key West resident -- who was 40 inches tall -- who had one last wish - to be buried in a full adult sized coffin.

Tourists Gone Wild

Key West. Mallory Square. Sunset.
At the exact moment the sun sets at this SW location, tourists bolt from Mallory Square like extras running from the blob and I move against the crowd towards the sound of a woman's voice coming from a microphone. On stage: three stools: a man with a guitar, a laptop computer with top opened, and a woman behind a keyboard. She turns on the computer and a loud, familiar dance beat is heard, heads in the crowd bob, some people cheer holding up their drinks, arms extended in appreciation. The singer plays electronic keyboards with a high-tin sound; the guitarist joins in, adding a needed real musical instrument sound. People dance in front of the stage, men and women holding on to their bags, cameras and drinks, wearing very little clothing. I wouldn't call it dancing but there's no other word to call tourists gone wild in Key West. It's like they are doing a dance to the objects they are holding.

After a few verses, the guitarist begins a solo, sounds like it's going to be really good when the singer jumps back in much too soon and the guitarist backs off. In the twilight the harbour view is inviting, sailboats have left the docs for their nightly cruise and a photographer hangs photos of tourists on a fence, hoping they will like what they see when they return from their sail. Hopefully a few will go wild and tip him.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Key West

If this is May, then I am at The Studios of Key West. where I am the May visiting artist living in the Mango Tree House where each morning i am greeted by falling mangoes for breakfast and where a white cat greets me. The Studio is a performing and studio space for artists, writers and musicians; it offers workshops, classes and sponsors events and artists such as myself. The Director Eric Holowacz has done an amazing job to make this place part of the community and the staff here are also wonderful. A few artists have told me that they wouldn't stay in KW in the summer (this morning at 8 a.m. it was already 80) -- if it wasn't for The Studio.

I took a life drawing class and the Painting Bootcamp Class with Rick Worth. In only two hours I have a painting of KW complete with palms trees. Rick is a local artist originally from Missouri who has been in KW for over twenty years. He teaches the class every Tuesday night.

KW is a rich environment and I am in my second week working on a collection of pieces about suicide. Pics soon to follow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tribes 12 is out

I have the very good fortune to be staying in a loft in soho to care for two gorgeous cats. This place also comes with high speed internet, something I have not had in a very long time.

The reading at the Tribes Gallery for the Gathering of the Tribes Issue No 12 this past weekend was great although Steve Cannon was in hospital from a falling down the stairs accident (but is doing well now.) I was happy to see my poem, "Where Do I Begin?" included. The publishing process is very long. I submitted the poem to the editors five years ago.

It's not on the website yet, but it was edited by Bruce Weber, Susan Sherman and Chavisa. Many writers and artists were included in the book (Bonny Finberg, Carl Watson, Jill Rappaport, etc.) and it looks great and feels great; although I don't understand the choice of the photo on the back of a scowling woman laying in bed inviting the eye to look up her bum. There were many beautiful and challenging works of art in the book that would have made a more representative bookend to the issue instead of another boring offer of a woman in compliance of degrading herself sexually as art. Even if it is a guy dressed as a girl, it is far from cutting-edge photography and art today, some of which are inside the book.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


A friend told me a story.
The banks are protected by law to criminally steal money from the credit card holder.

Visa Household owned by HSBC Bank will change the apr to 29.99% (30%) after one late payment. And, the payment was late because they changed the due date without notification. And, the due date changes every month. They keep this high apr until you call them. Then it stays there for 6 months and after this time reverts back to the original apr.

This 30% apr was changed from 9.9%. What can be done? Why are our legislatures not doing something? For many it is difficult to deal with debt and make minimum payments when you loose your job, but it is impossible to get out of debt with this practice, since the minimum payment includes more apr fees than principal on the debt owed. At this rate, there is no relief. Ever.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Only in Woodstock

View of backyard from bathroom. Budhist flags torn to shreds by two grey squirrels

I am living in a one-room cabin called a carriage house a few blocks south of the center of Woodstock. Here I am close enough to nature to see deer and birds. My view of the backyard, however, is from the bathroom. There is a floor to ceiling window in the small space and the toilet faces out. Here I can watch the deer and birds and I imagine I too must appear as if I am in a glass cage on view to others. I am watched as I watch.

My "Only in Woodstock" moment came when I saw two squirrels fighting over a long line of Buddhist prayer flags. Each grey squirrel was perched at the end of a log at the rear of the backyard. They simultaneously pulled on the flags in a tug of war. Two flags hung in the middle of the line, as each squirrel tried to get hold of their own flag. One squirrel dropped his end and the other squirrel rolled the flag in its front paws as if doing the hullabaloo.

I thought about looking for my camera; but I was afraid the event would not last and I would miss out. So this photo shows what the squirrels left. It is better to have seen it then to try to capture it. It is by far something I doubt will be repeated in nature again, at least to my eyes.

Woodstock is a very groovy place; even the animals here are surprising. As the bumper sticker says, "Woodstock: everyone here is not quite there."

Witnessing this event confirms for me that when the day is done; when the belly is full, squirrels want to have fun too.

Baby deer checking me out while I am answering a call to my own nature.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Birthday Has Come

Here we go again, into the age of Aquarius -- officially. Jupiter is aligned with Mars and here we go spreading peace and love everywhere.

In Woodstock on my birthday I watched two hawks flying above me near the woods where I was walking. They are heavy birds with a wide wingspan of black and silver feathers against a clear blue sky, orange beaks pointed down, legs extended behind them tucked close to their guts. They landed in a tree and again flew above me, coming closer.

In Woodstock on my birthday I listened to Levon Helm, because he lives somewhere near by. The CD was sent to me by Jay who lives in North Carolina. Levon Helm is so full of joy, even when he sings about sorrow, he does it with a joy that makes the day go well. He gives everything when he sings.

In Woodstock on my birthday I looked for work, I listened to the news and cried and went to bed happy because my daughter called me and my family sent me cards. Dad said he knows someone who has a cheap car. A car is what I need in Woodstock, if I stay. It's so groovy here, I like it better than New Zealand, but I really miss my New Zealand friends. My new Woodstock friends say if I like it here in summer I will be ecstatic in the summer!

Friday, January 30, 2009


blah blah blah blah
in these times of enjoying silence in the country, words are precious.
There is less time to blog, less time to download the photos form my country walks; less time to put up another entry.
The Internet does not save me time; with slow connections it eats my time and steals my silence.

I wonder if people feel they have less time because of the internet? Is it another addiction, another distraction?
blah blah blah
The blog network is huge. Facebook wants to own our creativity and claims they do. What I write here is okay if it is not "literary". According to one source, what I write here cannot be published elsewhere.
In 2009 I will have something published in a very good literary journal in which the "story" cannot have appeared any where else -- including my own blog!

Soundclick Update

soundclick has removed my music illegally sold on their space.
now i'm waiting to see when. they say it was removed "some time back."
And, I'm waiting to hear how many times the music was bought.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My first record

Here is the cover of my first record, (in its sleeve)
"Potentially Dangerous" about child abuse.
My daughter and her father are both in the picture.
Posting it here to help soundclick remove the illegal selling of this song on their music store page.

Dad in his Obama t-shirt

This is the first time my parents and I voted for the same person. As I talk to friends and mention this, I am struck by a few things: that I am blessed to have both parents in my life; I am blessed to have a a good relationship with them. But I am curious. How many others experienced agreement within their family on Obama?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Artists Cemetery Woodstock

who was it that said
nothing ever happens in heaven
well maybe baby,
maybe they've never been there

i'm going to send you to heaven
i'm going to send you to heaven
i'm going to send you to heaven
send you a post card
wish you were here

give peace a chance

The peace sign is everywhere in Woodstock.
It is very groovy.
as if
wearing sterling silver peace sign earrings is doing your bit against the war

Soundclick Nightmare

Why do people steal other people's art?
How do people steal other people's art and sell it on the internet?

Susan Clone has put my songs on the soundclick music store claiming she is the "artist" and selling it. Although I doubt she is getting rich, if even one person bought one song, s/he is a thief.

I am waiting for soundclick to shut this down. I am the one that has to prove my work is original. And,
This is the second time this person has posted my music to soundclick, in August, 2006 it was removed.
Although the internet provides instant access to one's art, illegal use, stolen identity and all around annoyance is hopefully burning some old karma.


This is a colour photo of a stream not far from where I am now living in groovy Woodstock. It is lovely to see snow again after three winters in New Zealand. I'm in a cabin in the woods with no tv and slow internet connection, trying to figure out the meaning of life with my books by Hesse, Thoreu, Emerson and PD James.