Monday, June 29, 2009

Why did the black bear cross the Bucks County road?

Yesterday we were near Springtown in Bucks County, Pa driving to some awful place when I saw a bear stroll out of the woods and onto the opposite lane in front of me. He was about three feet at the shoulders and just slowly walked on out across the road, into the lane in front of me and off into the woods. I slowed down when I saw him and made sure he got well off the road before I went to pass by.

It was quite the unusual event. Bears are fairly rare in Bucks County, I think and its not often that you see a bear outside complete wilderness areas out here. I was shocked, to say the least, but have to say - these critters are pretty impressive. He was very powerful looking and fairly big. I was glad he kept moving, too.

today's lunch poem is the formulaic anti-poem, "nothin' funnier than a dead beat"

nothin' funnier than a dead beat
a dead beat down by the escheat
beat down the dead with dead meat
meet you at the borderline in a dead heat
the dead beat the beat dead
and the dead dread the dead beat meat head

meat the dead beat in dead beat dreadlocks
the beat goes on but funny you said dead seriously
that the dead beat in the track meet with two feet
compete in the catbird seat and all is meet, aw-reet
there is nothin' funnier than a dead beat in retreat

did you meet the dead beat when in came the fleet?
sleet on the sheet sprayed with deet up the street
keep the mesquite, it seems replete with sakrete
don't cheat the dead beat with the reaper's sheep
nothin' funnier than a dead beat who can't keep the beat

thank yew verrrrrrrrrrrrrmush

Pencil Topper / Shoe on Laptop Masterful Phone Photography For Absolute Lummox Enjoyment

Yes, the things that fill this world are wondrous indeed. Walking or writing, you needn't be hindered by a lack of complete lunacy. As you can see, I am not. Picture yourself attending a business meeting wearing lovely footware much as such and sporting a pencil with a keen pencil topper such as much. You will not regret yourself for having been dud so.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ha, today's lunch poem is about.....the UNICORN!

What possible manifestations

Has the Unicorn?

rapidly coursing full tilt through the ruined monuments of time

all in liquid, muted motion soundlessly rushing

That horn, that flashing of brilliant white in moonlight

where eagles fear to tred

(as if eagles could walk

or Unicorns fly in the eagle's eye)

how far has the Unicorn come or will he go? I am not to know

& is this something I have seen or have I dreamed

for the Unicorn is will made flesh, not sorry for his state or mine

watch for him now and see if you know

anything you thought you knew
think what you do, think what you don't

for if you do, I have another better story for you

if all things fall within the depth of the Unicorn, what lies without?
what mystery of night does the Unicorn know about?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lunch Poem 6/25/09

Today's Sermonette
re: "The Vagaries
of The Hideous Sun Beast"
applies to all

The Hideous Sun Beast
occupies a place
betwixt Life and Death
and, therefore
has transitive emotions
his Tomorrow is Yesterday

I bid you: Think On Him.
Listening to the music of time
he neither erodes
nor accretes
he is Whirling In A Vortex of Pain
experiencing all in short bursts of sight
like pulses of electricity
rumbling in his mind

note to self: this poem isn't as glorious as it seemed while I was writing it. Still, is that reason to give upon on a strong concept like this? Nah, just push it out there.

Rubber Man vs Super Rubber Man

Interdimensional Beings Stole my Corn Chex

The Interdimensional Beings Stole My Corn Chex

This morning I got up, put the leashes on the little dogs, took them outside for their morning constitutionals and tried to assimilate my head. Something was a little bit off, some fluorescent green footprint traces outside and all of that.

Inside, I feed the dogs and cat and go for my Corn Chex.

Where is my CornChex?

Dad blast you, Interdimensional Beings!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

All Groggy on The Western Front

One of my least favorite mental states is "Groggy". This is where you sort of feel dazed, tired and unable to think clearly. Additionally, you seem to yourself to be just following some old dead script, not really doing anything. You want to "snap out of it" but can't. You say things like "wuhhh" and you stare at things while trying to remember what it was you were...... It really kind of sucks, so you drink coffee but still I, uh, the uh, uh ......

Friday, June 19, 2009

I can't believe its been 10 years since Amanda, Maureen and I went to see the band Gong

more Seurat

Here is the Seurat, in Chicago's Art Institute

I guess the version I'm planning is bigger than the original

Mike Bloomfield

Mike and Al: "The Blues Singers", by Norman Rockwell.
I kinda hate to blog about my favorite people, because I just can't do them justice in this cramped format.

Anyhow, lately there's been a rash of Mike Bloomfield news, sort of. Sundazed reissued two of his most popular albums on audiophile-quality vinyl and that's amazing. I think this is the first 21st century vinyl re-release for Mike, outside of a minor disc that Sundazed already released. Next, I'm hearing that a two-fer disk, of "Live at Bill Graham's Fillmore West" and "My Labors"(released under Nick Gravenites name) is being released. I have "My Labors", but I don't think "Fillmore West" (which I have on vinyl) ever got a release on CD up till now. The Sundazed releases are "Supersession" and "Live Adventures", both recorded with Al Kooper (they guy on the right above - (btw, read his book "Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards", its really great.) Check these two discs out at

So, who is Mike Bloomfield? Probably you have seen him playing with Dylan on "No Direction Home"when Dylan went electric at that folk festival and on "Highway 61 Revisited". He's the guitarist on both those deals. Dylan talks about him in the recent Rolling Stone interview he did, how he wished Mike had stayed with him and hadn't died, how he could play anything on the guitar and all of that. Mike was a rich Jewish kid from New Jersey who was a blues guitarist on a par with BB King (or maybe better). He was like just ridiculously good and played stuff that was so good, so high up that the only (rock) contemporaries heeven recognized as worthy were Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. He didn't think much of Clapton and mostly said of everyone else, "Man, those cats are lame!" Mike really made that Les Paul talk the blues.

My favorite album by him is really hard to get - you have to scrounge the vinyl bins for or get a Japanese import and its called "Its Not Killing Me". (It was killing him, btw) Its not held in high regard by most of the folks "in the know" because it favors his singing over his guitar playing. But, to me, this is his finest album. Its just so funky and beat and blues-worthy. Its like a great old Bill Broonzy album or something. I rank it up there with "Oar" by Skip Spence and "Hot Tuna" as great lo-fi, beatdown records) You would think it was recorded during the depression, not the seventies. Its all blues stories about weird characters and stuff, like R Crumb set to music. I think I wrote a bit about it here:

So, you know, the good they die young and I think Mike kicked it around 1980 or something. Bad. By then, he was scraping bottom, but releasing demonstrably great slabs of vinyl to a very small audience on Rounder records and other small connoiseur labels. I was listening to one of these the other day, "Cruising For a Bruising" and its just flat out awesome and one nobody ever heard but a few of us creaky old fans of his who went all the way back to his work with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

I dunno, I'm not doing the guy justice. He was a complete Giant, you know. A great spirit and somebody who really communicated when he played. He had Soul, like they say. Check him out in that Dylan film -when he played he was all of the way into the music, not holding back anything, hitting ridiculous high notes with ridiculously vocal-sounding tones.

Oh, before I forget, "Supersession: Albert's Shuffle" you've probably heard this track and is just Mike Bloomfield in a capsule. The guitar playing on this is Beyond the Pale. It made all the guitarists want to quit when they heard it.


My first encounter with the playing of Mike Bloomfield was on Paul Butterfield's first album (which is still a good one to listen to, good rocking Chicago blues). Bloomfield was the scruffy looking guy on the cover and the over-emoting guitarist on the back. Inside, he was just absolutely blazing away, apparently at that point on a Telecaster. The playing was tight, dynamic and virtuosic and didn't really strike me as being like much else I'd heard up till then - he was already in full-on Mike Bloomfield mode and was fresh from playing on Highway 61 Revisited, where Dylan hadkept him on a short leash.

In the Butterfield band, nobody was restraining him any more and now he was in a band with four soloists just ripping away. Those first two Butterfield albums are worth looking up: "Paul Butterfield Blues Band" and "East/West". Sure, I wore out a couple of copies of both of them. I can re-play the lead guitar on many of those songs in my head still. I was just aurally visualizing "Blues With a Feeling" right now and yes, that is a ridiculously righteous guitar line.

The next two things Bloomfield did were amazing. First, he formed a gigantic horn band called "The Electric Flag" with Buddy Miles on drums. This band was unprecedented, audacious and amazing. They played the Monterrey Pop Festival and as David Crosby said, "If you didn't hear Mike Bloomfield's new band, you're out of it." Hendrix got all of the buzz after the festival, but the talk during the festival was Bloomfield and the Electric Flag. They did the soundtrack for the movie, "The Trip" (you gotta see that, its nuts) and one really great album called "A Long Time Comin'" that was one of the standout, major big hippie dippie albums of1968, along with a bunch of great trippy hippie dippy albums of that year.

Then, he got thrown out of his own band (for being an intolerable a-hole, Ithink) and he recorded Super Session with Kooper - which just blew everyone out of the water. So, 1967-68 were crazed years for Bloomfield - he over-achieved, took the music world by storm and after that, he sort of imploded.

Just when things were getting really big he started becoming really erratic and had only one big success after this with "Live Adventures" (the cover is above) the next year. He still played great, but he released "It's Not Killing Me" which bombed, I guess and then sort of screwed around for years until he died, intermittently releasing great stuff to an indifferent world. One problem was junk, I think. That will make you erratic, I guess up until it kills you.

So Mike Bloomfield - a few people are still trying to represent for him -Dylan, Kooper, Sundazed records, but its already a long time ago in the dim and receding past. I'll tell you what though, I've got a lot of his vinyland CDs and I listen to him maybe more than any musician including Jimi and Bob - the guy just brings a smile to my face with those outrageous high-note solos and crazy singing. In a perfect world, he and Jimi would still be alive, maybe making music together once in awhile and showing the Claptons of the world how its supposed to be done.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, by George Seurat

Okay, I like this painting so much that I'm thinking of painting a 15'x8' copy of it on a jumbo canvas on a wall of my house.

Its a good idea, yeah? Should keep me off the street awhile. And, when I'm done, I'll have something really worth having.

Guess, I'm a little obsessed with this - but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

What's so great about this painting? It's pointillism for starters: millions of tiny brush strokes to create a light-infused painting of a summer day in Paris. Other than that, I have so much history with it that its pretty ridiculous. I first encountered it in the Art Institute of Chicago in 1962 and it was one of the most momentous encounters of my life. The damn thing just absolutely overwhelmed me (and still does). Seurat never did a lot more that anyone remembers, but this one really takes the cake.

The original of this is indeed about as big as my copy wants to be. It dominates a fair sized gallery at the art institute and I have probably visited it 100 times or more. I used to go regularly at lunch when I worked in Chicago and when I was a student in Chicago. In High School, I was always getting together and driving down to go to the Art Institute to see this thing. It put like a big ? into people's heads. I'd be blase, like "Oh, yeah, look at this thing." and watch as faces turned into rubber.

So, reproducing this on the wall promises to be a ridiculous challenge, but I'm not looking for 100% accuracy, just my take on the thing, in an amount of detail that I can live with. I'm either going to have to work with a projector or draw the thing out in sections from a small copy, but I think this might require a trip to Chicago with a digital camera to get the physical sense of the thing with the points of light and all.

Here's another picture that I met the same day in Chicago that was also overwhelming.

I'm not so sure about copying this one, but I do have a paint by number version that would be pretty happening to complete, so maybe I'll get to that, too. This one I later had the advantage of studying in college, as well, hearing lectures on, reading books about, etc. It's a pretty happening deal, too. American Gothic, by Grant Wood if you're keeping score at home. A couple of years ago we went to DC to a Grant Wood exhibition and took in a lecture by the author of the book "American Gothic" and came back the same day. Yeah, a little obsessive, I guess.
I guess I'm just getting around to understanding the importance of this stuff, but don't really get it yet. I probably ought to figure all of this out one day, but then again, eh.

Storm King Art Center

We went to this Storm King Art Center just over the Jersey Line somewhere in New York and it was pretty happening. Its like this big rolling park of 100 Acres or something with enormous sculpture all over the place. Its so big you have to take a tram, like DisneyWorld or something and listening to annoying people yammer about how they can't figure out what sculpture was done by who.
The place is really great, but the guard told Steve not to climb on this big boulder next to the long boulevard in the center of the place, which we thought was an unnecessary fascist intrusion on our "happening" we were happening to have.
It was a sunny day, not blurry at all - although some of my cell phone pictures were. My favorite sculpture was this white thing that looked like a row of picture frames set on a hill through which you could see other gigantic sculpture. Nice.
Actually, I like the collossal sculpture - if anythings worth making its worth making gigantic in an Olympian setting. I think it would be worth having a sculpture park as big as one of the National Parks with stupid amounts of sculpture, not just Mt Rushmore, you know something like 80 square miles of enormous sculpture. You would really have something then, correct?
We also did other great stuff, like go to Guy Jones organic farm where he gave us some heirloom tomato plants. Dude, that place was off the hook, like Weird Old America or something. We ate brunch in this really rustic farm setting overlooking a creek. It was crazy good.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blow Brain Clogs Free With Mental Dynamite!

Are your BRAINS CLOGGED? Thoughts won't flow? Ideas are painfully constipated in the center of your brain-stem? Staring into space without blinking trying to wonder if you can ever have another thought?

That's right! Eat Mental Dynamite if you're a Mental Dwarf and your mind will explode into millions, billions, trillions, dodecadillions or directions at once.

"But John, what is mental dynamite?"

Well, its the finest solution of mental ex-lax ever developed by brain chemists, that's what. Once you take it, you'll be thinking so much so fast so brilliantly that you won't have time not to think any more. You'll have Brain Diarrhea.

Thinking so much you can't move? Stuck in one place for hours while ideas pour through your brain like whitewater over 1,000 foot waterfalls into swirling, bounding, ponderous, powerful seas? Thinking so fast that you are drooling with a dumb smile on your face?

You have BRAIN DIARRHEA! That's what.

Take some MYSTERY MESS, it will slow those thoughts down to a crawl, slower than molasses.

sign of the 3 eyed men

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the schnozzlers stole by ham steaks

the schnozzlers stole by ham steaks

and the stumpwood is all burl

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Woman Named Echidna

she is long, she is tall, she has the features of an insect

sitting in the garden eating her lunch
with mantis-like precision, is echidna,
her dark black eyes are shining through

the mist and dust forming a swirl of mud around her
as the wind calls "Echidna, Echindna"