Don't Get Cocky Ice Farmer!

You were proud that your ice was finer than McKee's.
Then the weather got warm and the hose was left on 
and a puddle formed that caused a creek 
and fissions while refreezing,
And McKee's? 
Fast and smooth as glass.

OMatty, one of the rink's guest maintenance officers giving himself a Buddhist pep talk.


Sounds of Summer 2014, A


I will make mud
I will make mud
While the grass is growing
I will make mud
I will make mud
While the grass is growing
I can make mud
I can make mud
Where the grass is growing
I can make mud
I can make mud

Where's somemoremud Mama?
What's that?
Where's some more mud?
You need some more mud?
You can get mud by the back of the garage.
By the back of the garage?
In the back of the garage, yeah.
I will come out with a pocket of mud
a pocket of mud a pocket of mud
I will come out with a pocket of mud
a pocket . . .

Doing a video!

No I'm not.

A pocket of mud.  See Mama? Look it.

It's audio which means it's just sound.
But I hate sound I only like with no sound that's why I don't want a video.
Hey, what do you think this is?  These are, we planted these last year
I think these are like our garlics that are growing again.  Look at that we're gonna have these really nice garlics that's awesome
O.K. But I don't like garlic that much
that much that much

Where is the strawberries that we were growing
I thought we were growing strawberries


While the grass is growing


While the grass is growing growing growing growing growing growing!

Mama I don't want it

Whoa.  I must put a little seed in there.
I wanna bury a seed
I wanna


Dear Frank Rippl

You asked if kids play in the sandbox anymore.  Judging by this one, right on your own block, I'd say yes!  Thank you for the inspiring lecture on improvisation.  You expressed so succinctly, so many thoughts that have been flying around in my head.  I particularly like how you describe improv as the original music.  

Who was the first person to blow through a reed and make a song?  Who was the first to accidentally cover a hole and play a new note?  Why have we moved so far from improvisation as a serious form of study (serious in all its humor and surprise) that people fail to grasp that one practices it just as we practice classical music?  Is our ability to improvise (or not) cultural or inherited through the genes? Why are we encouraged to play with paint freely, the way we play in a sandbox, but with music we are presented very early on with strict rules?  Is our insistence that learning how to play classical (white, European) music as the best foundation for a musical education, a racist construct or a truism or just what we've learned to say?  What about the improvisational acrobatics that is classical East Indian music?  Would those musicians benefit from learning the rigidity of our classical music first?

I used this photograph to illustrate a post awhile back, trying to show how strange it would be to introduce playing in the sandbox the same way we introduce music.  My mom for one, thought it was about how to play in the sandbox.  So maybe this proves the woman's point who said these tendencies are tired to general dispositions.

Here's a link to the post:

Frank Rippl at All Saints
Improvising on the pipe organ
and discussing improv techniques at the piano

What I played on our out of tune piano when I came home:


I Was Wrong

Feeling Blue?

a tiny song:

tad neuhaus, guitar
joanna dane, vocals

Listen and visit the Feeling Blue? gallery at The 602.


Being Marianne Moore

Ranger and Dominica at The 602 Club

it is not easy to write like Marianne Moore
plucking up the strangest collection of images,
random intellectualizations and
contextualizations and upon fine paper,
a little sculpture of words, a little
daydream of a song written in an
ancient language

poetry is not easy, intimidating
undulations of non-sequiturs, loosely conjoined
by the whims of a gnarled mind, so
compelling the puzzle, theoretically, but the
shining sun calls and the book falls
and the conundrum disintegrates into

Blue Bug she starts with
a photograph of an “eight-pony portrait”
and lands upon, (halfway down)
            I’ve guessed.  I think.
                        I like a face that seems a nest.
and then refers to her tricorne hat, I believe
given the “pitchfork-pronged ears” and
Arthur Mitchell (appearing on page 27
            Slim dragonfly
            too rapid for the eye.)

And on the very next line we are
in China with
            . . . a thirteen
                        twisted silk-string three-finger solo
and then after some pivoting and slippery
elaborations she lands us with an acrobat
                        cup on head not upset—
            China’s very most ingenious man.
And yet she declares her burning desire to be explicit!

Listen as she bemoans herself “beset always,
however carefully I had written, by the charge of obscurity.”

It takes me four readings to catch her drift.
But when it clicks into focus, how I love
this funny woman who finds levity in such
activities there is nothing more serious than taking
oneself too seriously
might she agree

and here, another theme
of how we make meaning from
random things like in her poem about marriage
the words having entertained her and her wishing not to lose them,
conjoined them “as best I might.”
intending nothing more than this
when she calls marriage an “enterprise”

and again this coincidence
as I was recently thinking about the connections
between empathy and writing
and here on page 21, she writes
Defamation, denigration, ridicule, are easy compared with the ability to portray magnanimity—defined by a commentator (via Webster) as “loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, disdain revenge and make sacrifices for worthy ends.”

these things happen
we have premonitions
we talk to a woman in a tricorne hat
to discover she’s dressed as Marianne Moore
which she spells for me seeing
I’m not capable                 
and I look up Marianne Moore
and draw Marianne Moore’s portrait
and check Marianne Moore’s books from the library
and sit in front of the fire
my recent days bisected
by the precisely free
wandering words, Marianne Moore’s delightfully
confident doubt, enough doubt to spring from dragonflies
       so many contagious gems,
              peacock tails,
                     star-tipped wands.


Save the Date for A.D.C.P.!

Art Day, City Park


Saturday, May 30th, 2015


celebrating neighborhood, creativity, collaboration


Be Present.  

Get to Know Your Neighbors.



Strange Porch Blues - Weird

Weird turned the perfectly good station wagon her parents gave her into a car-thedral complete with flying buttresses and catacombs.  Weird collects hair and finger nails and lint.  Weird carries an old banjo everywhere she goes even though she doesn't know how to tune it.  Weird has three pet squirrels.


Mundane Things

After taking a break, it is difficult to get started again.  It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  The relatives are gone.  I am reading randomly from The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard.  He writes a diary of mundane things, what he had for breakfast, the details of sunbathing and going out to eat by himself.  For reasons I can not explain, I like to read this, more than I like reading some beautifully rendered fiction.  He writes about smoking and drinking coffee.  I am drinking coffee and eating chocolate.

I am not sure why, but it is difficult to get back into the creative spirit after not being in the creative spirit even for a day, let alone four.  Yesterday, I forced myself to wake up very early because I didn't stay out late with A. and S. and should have because J. and C. came to the club and played music to weird videos and that sounded very fun.  But instead I went to bed at 9, so I made myself wake up early and sit on the couch in the dark writing what might be some lyrics.  Then I fell back asleep until the grandmas woke up.

Later, when I was feeling bad about not staying out the night before, I thought maybe those lyrics will turn into a great song and then it will be worth it.  But reading over the lyrics, I see they aren't that great.  But sometimes, there are great surprises.

A. said maybe different art forms are just different - that people don't accept playing around with musical instruments the way we accept playing around with paint and clay because they are different. My mom suggested that most people give up on their lessons because they realize that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication and that they don't have the time or desire to include that in their lives. And many people, I suppose, take a break and are never able to get started again because so often what we encounter is so mundane.