"Language freights its history, its culture, inside itself. Its structure is the bare-bones blueprint for a mindset. Know one, gain insights into the other." --CJ Cherryh, Explorer.
No one who has studied German, or French, could doubt the above. I love languages, as anyone who knows me is aware; my latest repertoire addition is a tango, sung in French. (I had some expert help with phrasing and pronunciation.) Learning another language improves one's English, just as learning another art improves one's music, or poetry (just ask Joni Mitchell).
So here's what I've been up to, broken down into mostly the same categories as this website: live music, art, poetry, bottlenecks, and some general news, as of late Winter/early Spring 2016. First, LIVE MUSIC. My most regular gig, now approaching the 4-year mark, is my every-other-Saturday afternoon session at the beautiful Beachcomber/Bayside, an organic cafe on Old Arcata Road. There I play a mix of originals and classic/Elizabethan music, on guitar and voice with harmonica where appropriate, avoiding anything copyrighted. It's a well-kept secret around here, but it keeps me in practice . Next one: March 5, 12:30-2:30 PM.
ROAD GIG: on May 20, in BERKELEY, at Redwood Gardens, about 7 PM, I'll be playing (with Hali Hammer, who set it up) a "Spring Peacemas" concert. I'm excited about this, though of course road-gigs involve all the logistics of getting myself there, a 500-mile round-trip, with my equipment...details TBA.
ART: not much big news, except that a week or so ago, with help from computer professional Ruben Botello, I managed to update the Art Page to this website, posting the three latest pieces I've produced. They are an oil painting, "The Drunken Boat" ("Le Bateau Ivre," named for the Rimbaud poem, and exhibited at last year's Humboldt County Fair); an acrylic painting, my niece's wedding portrait, now hanging in her foyer; and a "found" forged-iron rose from "Berkeley Forge," framed and painted and restored. Check 'em out, on the Art Page!
BOTTLENECKS: basically, I have retired from the business. I still have a supply, but make few attempts to add to it, and have only been supplying the two local stores (Wildwood in Arcata, and Mantova's in Eureka) and the occasional retail customer, by request. The business is still for sale, with equipment and sales lists. Inquire via this website or just call (707)445-8242. The recycling centers are harder and harder to access, the best one (Arcata) being closed by corporate/political hostility after a years-long struggle.
POETRY is still at the center of what I am, what I do, and is at the heart of my music. I've now published 15 pieces in the local entertainment weekly, the North Coast Journal, circ. 21K, which publishes one poem per week. Here is the latest:
Another barn down--
what is it about rubble
that so wanders my eye
from the road?
Is it the latent carpenter in me,
the joist salvager,
or just the itch to fix
what might not have been lost,
Or the treasure hunter,
seeking old gold rings,
jumbled tools and jewels,
Or yet again the pen-and-ink artist,
salvaging a last jagged line
from its final throes,
this tumbledown, strawbaled room?
And here, as a Blog Bonus, is my latest, the long-awaited 4th poem in the Cowboy Haiku series:
COWBOY WANNABE HAIKU
I'd ride the prairie
if there were still a prairie
in moseyin' range.
EXTRA BONUS ESSAY: the following remarks are by longtime friend Cathy Rohm of Greenwood, CA, in a letter to the Sacramento Bee:
"It5 was with shock and horror that I read of Rep. Tom McClintock's ideas for "management" of our Federal lands, especially Yosemite National Park. Politicians, and Republicans in particular, seem to have no regard for the truth nor the public's interest. Outrageously saying that John Muir would agree with him, McClintock unabashedly states that our precious old-growth forests should be logged before they burn. This is idiotic at best. If McClintock and his ilk have their evil way, we will have no glorious parks to visit. What we'd have would be "forested malls," filled with commercial concession stands and nothing more. I can only hope that people are paying attention, or there will be no public lands for, as Republicans love to state, our children and our children's children to enjoy. This insanity needs to stop."