I remixed my poem "waiting," a track from my Just War CD, and one of the poems in HOME FRONT. I've gotten new equipment and am more adept at software usage. I still tend toward the organic in my work, however.
I hope you enjoy this remix. I think it came out pretty well. I also created a video poem out of this work, so check out the video HERE.
The interesting thing about recording has to do with all the little "accidents" that occur! The "pulse" of this recording is actually the sound of a train whistle that blew just after I said something ending in "s." I clipped the word, keeping the "s" sound at the front of the whistle and just looped it as a kind of timeline for the background.
In Consequential Ballad
This is one of the poems in my newly-released book, HOME FRONT: Poems of the Bush II Years. It appears, sung, on my “Just War” CD. You might recall “Laura’s Rendezvous,” which was Laura Bush’s invitation to certain American Poets to attend a February 12, 2003 symposium celebrating the works of Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Langston Hughes. Keep in mind this was as GW Bush was gearing up to invade Iraq. Whereas some poets merely declined Laura’s invitation, poet Sam Hamill put a call out for poems protesting the impending war which resulted in some 20,000 poems of protest, some of which were delivered to the White House. This poem of mine, "In Consequential Ballad," was written as a poem, first. Only the opening lines, "She said the pain of massacre gets into the land…" kept ringing in my head with the exact tune you hear in this recording. After a year, the same tune still heard in my mind, I decided the piece was telling me it wanted more. So, here it is, "In Consequential Ballad," from HOME FRONT, and on my Just War CD….
As for Laura Bush? Well, she cancelled the event....
Monocle Man (Music Only)
The story behind the musical background for Monocle Man is much like all my music: It just comes to me. Sound easy? Well, not exactly. It’s not about easy, it’s about practice. It's because I keep practicing, and that’s what it’s all about: Practice.
Outwardly it seems as though things just come to me—and in a way that’s true, but it’s more than that. I know it’s a culmination of years of ongoing practice. To help me in that practice I keep a Suzuki quote in mind: "If you lose the spirit of repetition your practice will be difficult." This one little sentence has proven applicable to most aspects of my life, whether practicing writing, drumming, guitar, yoga or working the garden.
So, briefly, this is what happens: I hear music in my head, something that won't let go—and then it occurs with a particular poem in mind. Something about the poem that feels like it wants more, so I let it all be, and somewhere in me it percolates, and then a rhythm might come, and I might record it on my hand-held recorder, and then maybe a week later something else happens, I accidentally bump something or touch something, or I tap a kitchen knife on the counter one morning waiting for my toast and the ringing, the vibration, the pitch of the knife’s tone catches my ear…. It really could be--has been!--something like that, and then BAM!! It strikes me: This could be something. And I’m off, recording things, trying things, flying headlong into another CD track, not knowing, like when I begin a poem, how it will end, until I end it—until it tells me: This is it.
The title poem to my e-book, HOME FRONT. This recording is on my JUST WAR CD. In fact, all the poems on my Just War CD are selected from the HOME FRONT manuscript. I like this particular version of the piece....
To read the story behind this poem, please read my blog entry on April 11, 2012.
2008 GUEST POET KFAI RADIO
This 2008 audio file is 23 minutes, and excerpted from two radio programs in which I was a guest poet on KFAI's "Catalyst" show. It features me reading my poems published in the anthology, COST OF FREEDOM, as well as poems from my JUST WAR CD, all nestled in between Martin Luther King, Michael Frante, Howard Zinn, Spearhead and Sweet Honey in the Rock.