Saturday, November 07, 2015

On Vacation

Your fumbling host is having a weekend getaway to the exotic wilds of Texas (I hope I am spelling that right - I'm not sure what language that is) this weekend, so posting here is going to be light or maybe even nonexistent (well, okay, not that).  Please excuse.  Irregularly regular posting should resume when I'm back in town Sundayish.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Self Help Radio 110315: Poetry

(Original image here.)

Ooo, Self Help Radio got all literary & shit this week, with a highbrow show about poetry.  All the pseudo-intellectuals were there.  Who was there?  Let me see.  There was me.  & that was enough!

Also: I talked to a professor who's written a book called "Anyone Can Write Poetry."  We returned to our never-popular "Talk Back" segment to hear a listener tell us why he doesn't like poetry.  & I cold-called my spiritual advisor the Reverend Doctor Howard Gently, who was kind enough to share his insights about poetry.  Of course plenty of swell music.  About poetry.  & poets.  Like I said: highbrow.

There was a rumor that listening to this show will count as a three-credit college English class credit, but I can neither confirm nor deny that I totally made that up.  I suggest you take it up with the bursar.  Or the ombudsman.  Or the registrar.  Or any bureaucratic office on campus whose actual duties are confusingly named.

The show is now at the Self Help Radio website for your listening - er, enjoyment?  Maybe?  Please remember the password information, or don't, as it's written on the page.  The show is in two hour-long parts.  What are in the parts I have noted below.

Try to guess the show's rhyme scheme!

(part one)

"Mr. Poem" Mike Batt _Mr. Poem_
"San Francisco Poet" Nikki Sudden _Crown Of Thorns_
"Poet" Sly & The Family Stone _There's A Riot Goin' On_

"Poets Problem" Blondie _Plastic Letters_
"Poets Turmoil No. 364" Anne Clark _Changing Places_
"Poems" Bo Burnham _WHAT._
"Bad Poetry" Soko _My Dreams Dictate My Reality_
"She's Never Read My Poems (7" mix)" Television Personalities _She's Never Read My Poems EP_

"Poetry Of Destruction" Andrei Codrescu _No Tacos For Saddam_
"Poet, Fool, Or Bum" Lee Hazlewood _Poet, Fool, Or Bum_
"The Old Poet" The Palisades _A Month Too Soon 12"_
"Poetry Man" Phoebe Snow _Phoebe Snow_

"It's Not A Poem" Brideshead _Some People Have All The Fun_
"Not Poetry" Milky Wimpshake _Popshaped_
"Dead Poets" Lida Husik _Fly Stereophonic_

(part two)

"Dead Poets Make Me Smile" Bubblegum Lemonade _Some Like It Pop_
"The Poet's Dead" Rah Rah _The Poet's Dead_

"Cemetry Gates" The Smiths _The Queen Is Dead_
"Sister I'm A Poet" Colin Meloy _Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey_
"The Uncertainty Of The Poet" Kurt Elling featuring Stefon Harris & Laurence Hobgood _Man In The Air_
"Physics For Poets" Patton Oswalt _Werewolves & Lollipops_
"Teenage Poetry" Suburban Kids With Biblical Names _# 2 EP_

"Poetry In Motion" Bobby Vee _The Very Best_
"Poet For A Generation" Charlie Fawn _Charlie Fawn_
"Profit In Your Poetry" Butcher Boy _Profit In Your Poetry_
"My Finest Hour" The Sundays _Reading, Writing & Arithmetic_

"Poet Is Priest..." Julian Cope _Jehovahkill_
"Chatterton" Mick Harvey _Intoxicated Man_
"A Poem On The Underground Wall" Simon & Garfunkel _Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme_
"Pop Art Poem" The Jam _Sound Affects_
"Love Poems To The Lovely Juanita Beasley" Andy Griffith _This Here Andy Griffith_

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Whither Poetry?

(I found this image here.)

Confession time: I used to write poetry.  I might even share some with you if you ask.  But it was pretty bad.  & that's okay, because most poetry is pretty bad.  I once compared poets with singer-songwriters - the vast majority of each are most probably going to be churning out god-awful material.

There was a conundrum I had to deal with in regards to this show, which is this: should the show be about poets & poetry, or should it be songs that are inspired by poems?  Or perhaps songs that were actual poems, set to music?  I decided to go with the former.  It doesn't mean that I won't do the latter at some point, but today the show will focus on songs about poetry & poets in general.

Will there also be an interview with someone who wrote a book called "Everyone Can Write Poetry"?  Will a listener who hates poetry get a chance to explain why?  Will I maybe decide to telephone my spiritual mentor?  What will a radio program about poetry sound like, anyway?

You'll have to listen to find out!  It's on from 4 to 6 pm on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington, & online at wrfl dot fm.  I'll archive it tomorrow at the Self Help Radio website, but it might sound more rehearsed then.  It may be more like a slam poetry night if you listen live.

(Seriously, I have no idea what I'm talking about.)

Monday, November 02, 2015

Preface To Poetry: 2200!!

Oh yaz, we have now reached post number two two zero zero commonly known as twenty-two hundred or two thousand & two hundred - & no one's really very excited about it except me.

That's cool.  I am perfectly able to appreciate the achievement ("achievement") without you throwing me a party or baking me a cake or even saying "congrats!" in the comments section of this very blog.  Just like I've gone several weeks at a time doing my radio show without a single caller.  I understand I operate in near obscurity.

Here's some news, though: the shirts for the 13th Anniversary should arrive this week.  Alas, I'll be out of town this weekend.  But I'll start sending them out next week.  I hope they look good.  I'm pretty excited.

One of my oldest friends is a poet.  His name is Dale Smith, & he may be my only close friend who has a Wikipedia page.  He's quite good, too.  I asked him if maybe he'd like to write poems for my show, & he was very sweet & wrote a very touching one for my kitchen show this summer, & the wife asked me today why I didn't involve him in my show this week.

Here's the thing: while the songs I play are usually pretty seriously about the theme, most of my airbreaks are designed to be entertaining.  (Just because they may not be is mostly my fault.)  Dale is a pretty serious damned poet.  I felt weird presenting his talent in the midst of my farce.  So I haven't asked him again.  Honestly, I think he was just humoring me the first time!  Self Help Radio is several levels below his pay grade.

The past few days I have been wondering if he'd like this week's show.  I won't tell him about it - the whole idea embarrasses me.

But!  I soldier through!  Tomorrow!  A show about poetry!  That might even feature some poetry!  But!  Today!  An accomplishment!  2200 posts on this stupid blog!

Damn it!  I should've written a poem about it!

Sunday, November 01, 2015


That's a scary future date.  Will the world be underwater?  Will it be Martian water?

It's also the number of this post.  I've written two thousand, one hundred, & ninety-nine posts on this blog.  Counting today's.  That's fucking crazy.

When I was a kid, like in elementary school, I wanted so badly to have my own line of comics books.  I would take a piece of paper, fold it, & on the outside draw a front + back cover, & on the inside the story.*  Rarely did I finish an actual story.  I remember I had named the comics line - something like GAD Comics (GAD are my initials), but I can't really remember - but I was most proud of the tag line: "We're not newer, we're just better."

There were probably no more than ten of these - many of them written & drawn hastily in-between dumb assignments in school - & naturally they were all very derivative.  I was not going to be a comics writer or artist when I grew up, not with this stuff in evidence.

The point of this little aside is that I hardly ever finished anything I started when I was a kid, & really, well into adult life.  I grew bored easily, & I lacked the patience & follow-through to commit to something that might have led to a more creative life.  But oh well.  Because:

This blog has almost got 2200 posts!  The fourteen year old me would have been astonished.

Hell, I am astonished.  Not just because of the posts here, but that I'm on my fourteenth year of a silly radio program.  Who would've thunk it?

Probably not my mom.  She would've thrown out all my tapes after I moved the show from Austin.

That last line only has bite if you've read the note below.  I am still not a very good writer.

* Oh yes, I would have gladly saved all of these, & carried them with me for the rest of my life.  Alas, I came home from school some time in the seventh or eighth grade to find my mother had thrown them all away when she cleaned out my closet.  Any bit of creativity - anything I wrote & drew before that time - was consigned to a dumpster.  No, I have never forgiven her for that.