Friday, April 28, 2017


I'm walking in the cemetery Calvary Cemetery, trying to dance, it's been a while, right when I enter in a lady in a hatchback an old Russian woman pulls up next to me and tells me not to listen to my headphones, because it will hurt my ears, I said thank you I will keep it down, she said, no, even then, not a good idea to jog with headphones on. I said thank you. She drove next to me for a while and watched me and then slowly moved ahead, but very slowly watching me in her rear view for about five minutes. Then bothered by my own commentary on a friend's poem on Facebook I stopped to change it, and realize the more I try to change my comment the deeper I'm digging myself. then I see a sculpture, relief, inside try to dance again but I stop when I see a relief on a gravestone, it's the likeness of a young girl who died at seven years old in 1939, and I see all of the pain of the father there, it is too much to bear, just then I get a text from Quinn saying I thought you might like to listen to this, it's a DJ set from WFMU. The first song is an exhortation to check your mind, over and over again, check your mind, I am checking my mind and it is not as sound as usual, and so I am leaving the cemetery, I am walking away and suddenly there is a loud terrifying sound behind me, a horn, I turn around and it is a cart full of cemetery workers, and there was no reason to honk, they could have easily driven around me, it was just a form of violence. Check your mind!

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Tuesday, April 25, 2017


This morning I put Hot Chip's "Coming On Strong" onto the record player. Then I used it as a background to sing over, mostly with Sofia's stories of persuasion. It was a kind of spontaneous art.  I was being an artist.Then I listened back to the entire album with my vocals over the top and danced to it. I was dancing to my own art. 

   leaen arto!

   note in this persuasive letter Sofia is thinking of her friend and winter, then imagining it is summer and she is playing on the beach with her friend, which all leads to a beautiful interpretatio of the sun.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


5 AM. 

I dreamed last night that Third Man Records had invited me and some other poets to read after a Jack White Concert in an old Masonic theater. It's a big deal so all of my family is coming, including Great Grandma Betty who has made a special trip. 

Jack starts playing early so I scramble for a seat. I sit high up on the left side of the theater, nearly in the rafters, next to a blond bearded dad and his 3 kids. We chat and become quick friends. I see my grandmother being wheeled in on the other side of the room by my mom and uncle. I wonder what she thinks of Jack's guitar playing?

My new friend points out to me the sayings written on the walls of the theater. They are theories of life written by children. I read a few, nod, and tell him that I have been formulating my own theory. "There needs to be a new name for love," I tell him. "It's confusing because love is the name of two opposite things. You love what you are attracted to, which is really a kind of selfishness, but you are called to love the unattractive, that's real love."  My friend whispered back, "Or you can just be present with whomever you are with." "Yes," I said, "clarity. That's another way of looking at it." 

Just then a song ended and a Jester dressed for Carnevale made his way through the crowd. All eyes were on him. To our surprise he made it all the way back to our seats. Two tailors followed him and they took out tape measures and began to size up the feet of my blond bearded friend and me. Jack announced from stage that we had been chosen by raffle to be fitted for new handmade Italian socks. Wow, I thought, that's perfect, since I recently bought a turquoise blue Giudi Italian wallet on my ten year wedding anniversary trip in San Gimniano. And I still have the white Armani tie I bought for the wedding too. I guess I am well on my way to owning an entire Italian suit, I thought. Wach piece will have its own story.

That's when I woke up. 

My first thought upon waking was that I should send my dance journal to Third Man Records.

And of course the music for today's dance had to be to The White Stripes.

   The graffiti a block from my house, on Barnett. A hidden Queens' treasure.

   Barnett graffiti. 

   Kind of pretentious title for an album, but I like the ambition

Thursday, April 20, 2017


If Knausgaard can do 5 pages a day, I can do 1.

All morning long I have been listening to the end of Karl Ove Knausgaard's “Man In Love.”

He writes five pages a day. How can I keep up with that shit? I can't even keep up with my own mind. Knausgard is living it, living literature. Not by trying to, but by writing about it and giving it that second extra layer, outside looking in. So yeah, Knausgaard. And it’s a great book. Man In Love. Stand alone great. The best account I know of of the vast difference between falling in love and staying in love. I mean from feeling it to not feeling it to learning to feel it in a deeper way. All the way to the end. Shit, Knausgaard. He really did it. Brought artifice to his life and vice versa. That book is a mother. I mean, the first one, about his childhood and the death of his father was good. It was good enough that it felt like my own memory by the end. And it also presages memories to come (of my dad dying.) And then there is a third layer, as it spins back out to history, and with Knausgaard''s idiosyncratic takes on art.

This is long winded. I’m not sure I have that much wind left.

So, this. I'm a few minutes into "War Dogs." Black screen with the words in white, "All the money is made between the lines" and the opening notes of the guitar riff to Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" begins. Fills the air of the movie and of this room, simultaneously. Brings back 6th grade. The skating rink. And then, in a whole new way a few years ago, 2015 when I was following the new daily Banksy piece as part of his October residency.

(This writing is going to keep me alive. This and dancing. 1001 stories. Spare me, merciful King!) I’m going a little crazy. My head and arm are going numb. I’m not thinking quite as clearly as usual.

Still writing though, so… yeah, Banksy did this piece on Halloween in Soho, a giant grim reaper riding a bumper car around in a fenced cage in Lower East Side, with flashing lights and mayhem as “Don’t Fear The Reaper” blared on giant speakers. I stood against the fence in the cold with a dozen others and watched the little electric bumper car go around and around, the reaper flailing like a madman. I thought about the song, about death, about fear. I think I cried. Yes, I cried. It was on halloween!

Time to dance. Chuck Berry’s "Blues" album. All day. Feeling better.

Nada Gordon says on Facebook that she doesn’t go to poems for comfort or wisdom. It’s brave in a way. But bring me both.

Weirdness, ideas, words, electric vibrosis.

Chuck Berry all dayalong.

Sudden weird sense of self as weird version of Jason Segal’s weird version of David Foster Wallace in biopic as he is dancing in church basement.

“I want don’t you to work all day. I don’t want you to be my slave.
I don’t want you because I’m sad and blue. I just wanna make love to you...”

Chuck Berry just about sums it up.

Basic reasoning behind, "Money can't buy you love." Basic problem of the world.

Abrupt tone change. Weltanschauung shift.

Now Segal is making love to his Apatow buddy Jonah Hill. Because Jonah’s in War Dogs which started this whole rant. Fat awesome Jonah. That's the circular thought that brings me back around to the film. And to that brilliant piece of music by Blue Oyster Cult.

The black fades to a bald kid with a guitar, playing the song. He begins to sing, “All our times are done/ Here but now they're gone” The camera does a 180 and we see the audience, All ancient old people scowling. The kid is performing his twee version of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” at an elderly home.

Poor kid, the owner’s nephew it turns out, is now milk toast. Terrible song choice for a nursing home, but great choice for the movie, the way it conflates the awesome and pathetic. I’m already there.

It’s a poignant mise en scene joke. A perfect commentary and set up for the following scene. Sums up why the movie is good.

More dancing. Got all the way there with Berry’s “All Aboard.” So glad I got to hear that song before I die. Before other planets discover it (via space probe.)

Berry knew he was competing with Beethoven, but there’s no comparison. What 16 year old would rather listen to mad king Ludwig "go go go?" Teenagers are here to stay.

Ah jeez. Maybe I’ll put on Beethoven next.  Yes, the piano sonatas. Roll over, Chuck Berry.  

But first let’s listen to Chuck Berry one more time. While we pick up the house
And turn it around.

I like the way Keith Richards puts it... “out in the woods, where the Chuck Berries grow.”

Berry is number 27, as he says in his final interview, "and Muddy Waters was number 26." By that rubric
The Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Hendrix are all number 28.

None of them could pop that weird voodoo rock and roll swing note like he could though. Maybe Hendrix.

Back to the old folks home. It’s the kid, trying to make money off selling high thread count egyptian sheets. But lizard skin doesn’t need to be wrapped in cashmere. So he has to find something sexier: Enter fat awesome Jonah Hill and gun running.

Skip the rest of the movie.