Social Blue


Always trying to be social, always failing, I joined Indaba, a social music site. It is an excellent website for musicians. Collaboration is what it’s about. With the advent of low cost recording, more musicians are recording at home and collaborating over the net. Indaba is one of the good places. They have contests and you can submit music and do “re-mixes”. Famous groups put up the tracks for their songs and people use those tracks to make new music. Imagine getting just the drum track from a hot song and playing along with it to create something new.

I found that these members awesome and it was hard to compete but I did write a song or two and I deduced a few things about the music industry. It wasn’t just the advent of the mp3 that made the industry stumble, it was also the advent of low cost recording.

These days a studio that would make Elvis drool costs a thousand bucks and people are pulling it off more cheaply. With drums and loops from a machine and some talent an artist doesn’t end up in “debt” to a label. This creates, shall we say, an increase in the number of artists and in the volume of material available.

If you visited a friend in 1975 you’d know every name in their music collection. Today we have trouble keeping track of who is a star and who isn’t. Do we have star overload? Is there a limit to the number of famous names we can remember? We certainly have music overload.

With any art there is always the feeling of rolling a message into the bottle and casting it into the sea on a lonely beach. In my new thing I am casting songs into Itunes. It’s especially lonely in there. In Indaba it was, “I listened to you so please listen to me”. It’s about trying to get a bunch of faces under your song. It’s about singing to the choir, but Itunes makes me miss the choir.

Here is the song I wrote for some contest at Indaba. I never intended to release it, I may even have missed a beat, but it strikes a note. The outcome fitted the song, the bottle sank, but it’s still a good message. Even if no one hears it, like all art, it never quite was about them, was it Vincent?

Oh my pot farm it died one day on Facebook
Cause I had no friends in my social network
So I went to Indaba and I joined up
I picked up some old songs and I put them up

Oh the cold, cold wind it blows when nobody likes you, you suppose

Oh nobody will ever hear this little song I wrote
When they see my little picture they’ll skip right over it.
I’m just a little bird who sings mhis lonely song
I suppose it shouldn’t matter if no one sings along

Oh the cold, cold wind it blows when nobody likes you, you suppose

I should get another account so I could have a friend
And every song I sing he could press like again.
I sent myself a message, said I really like your songs
And I’ll be sure to listen when another one comes along……..chorus

Well they’ll put up with me cause I paid my fifty bucks
And I’m gonna stick around until I catch up
Cause every little bird that sings has a song all it’s own
And you can’t teach the bird to sing you can only sing along

And the cold cold wind it can blow…it can blow it can blow it can blow
Cause I have to like me this I know and you have to like you this you know

I know it’s crowded here but you were once alone
Look around you.You are as rare as the precious stone
So give yourself a break this year and rejoice in your song
And when I see your picture here I’ll try to sing along.


Ununseptium, “Periodic Table” poem by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers


Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#117, eka-astatine, dvi-iodine, Uus)
with poetry from “Tired of Trying,” from the “Depression – the singles” collection

I knew you were out there for years.
But to get you, after toiling in my Dubna lab
we had to ask the Americans
over in Tennessee
if they could send us
some of their wares,

but years passed before I could get
22 milligrams of Berkelium
so I could work in Moscow Oblast
to get you in my sights.

All that time, all I could do
was research, hope.
I’d work, I’d go
and I’d stand on my own,
and I’d leave on my own,*
wondering how long it would take
before I’d see what you might be like.

You see, I used to work at a pharmacy
at Nevsky Prospekt in Leningrad,
that’s when I fell in love
with learning about chemicals,
and that is when I wanted
to discover something truly new.

That’s when you came into the picture.

Because after years of work,
I still waited for those damn Americans
to come through for us.
I mean, we’re scientists,
we’re supposed to be on the same side,
this is all about discovery.
And the thing is,
the higher we get in our research,
the more stable we got
on our little island of knowledge.
But this waiting was exasperating —
I got to the point
that I got tired of trying to tell myself
that I had something to discover,
something to share,
that someone wanted to hear.**

Eventually, they had to ship
what I needed to get you
in five packages wrapped in lead;
it flew back and forth
across the Atlantic five times
and was rejected twice by customs.
But once I got what I needed —
oh, you were just about
the heaviest thing I could imagine.
Then again, you’ve had me
spinning around over the years for you,
so it wouldn’t surprise me
if you would do the same for me.

So I’d work while listening to the radio,
and active actions from you
would come to me in short bursts.
But I’ll take whatever I can get
in my little corner of the world.
This is research. And this is what I do

to learn what I can from you.


* “How Soon is Now,” the Smiths, 1984
** “Tired of Life”, 2012

All of These Poems

…..and was it worth it
after all
after all of these poems
dropped in the night,
images of this cat or that cat,
memories of
or just hot and sweaty,
lying there in some blog,
some rag like
sand in a shoe,
blue like blues,
red like blood,
yellow like the sunshine.

I followed the plow,
the dirt piled over the plants,
I uncovered,
and my grandfather worked the mule,
Gee for right,
Haw for left,
and I am now as stubborn as that mule
and my halter has made callouses
and I scrape my mule hoof
in the dirt
and I strain against the plow.

My grandmother brought
lemonade to the field
and rang a bell at noon.
I still listen for the bell
but it is silent
and the house is
but I remember the field
and the slap of the harness
and I can still see the water jar
wrapped in paper in the shade
of time itself.

and was it worth it after all
to have written it down in a box
on a page of magnetic spots
that glow ones and zeros like a firefly
in the night.

david michael jackson

Dylan Thomas Readings, Burton,Hopkins,Auden et al

Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems “Do not go gentle into that good night” and “And death shall have no dominion”
Dylan Thomas, also known as Dylan Marlais Thomas, was a Welsh-born poet and writer who wrote exclusively in English. Apart from poetry, he also wrote short stories and scripts for films and radio, and often performed in some of them. He became very popular in America, much credited to his sonorous voice with a subtle Welsh lilt. Thomas became famous for his much acclaimed poems like “Fern Hill”, “In Country Sleep” and “Ballad of the Long-legged Bait”.

Kerouac Reads

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose.
[tubepress mode=”tag” tagValue=”October in the Railroad Earth Jack Kerouac Reads ” resultsPerPage=”18″ orderBy=”relevance” perPageSort=”viewCount” ]

That Storm and My Cat

that storm and my cat

there I wuz
tryin’ to make music but
the sky wouldn’t shut up
rumblin’ and ravin to beat all
well I yelled back I did
Shut up I said
can’t you see I’m a tryin’ to make music in here
that’s when it started talkin’ back
louder and louder like the Battle of Stones River itself
I yelled agin’ “Back off you ol’ storm”
That’s when it started a throwin that hail at me
I jumped back an’ closed that window I did.
That is when I saw it
my cat a runnin’ for high heaven in the driving sleet.
I opened that window agin’ but she was gone she was
gone and the sleet was piled up agin the side o’ the house
like snow
and the storm she rumbled low like bass drums with
bombs a goin’ off on the horizon
an’ the sleet a hittin’ the window like static on
an old radio
It always makes me feel charged like the lightnin’ itself
when it blusters like that.
It’s like God almighty himself has allowed himself a few moments
to jus’ be angry an’
be proud of it
I jus’ hope he don’ accidently hurt my cat

that storm and my cat