Thursday, October 27, 2011
As I Have Said Before
Face the lumpy one the hairy cookie
under the couch and my stone of stunning water
where I broke my ticktack camera do it
even before meat's door grows sticky with your black heads
finding an airport destination, setting and landing
on a giant empty hole known to all of us in the club
as what if not a scream to yourself into an empty hole
anyway I drew my trash thicker across my forehead
with pagination had I clutched the wheel
mumbler dazed into the windshield scummy
its holiday strips open late
my foreskin lost in towels
basins tongues watches trembling
petulant you've addressed yourself to all that surgery
I thought I'd whistle locker's throat fainter than
the key's throat but that was not the locker's throat
that was brittle nesting theory brought to you by
crossed eyes and how many open late
(from jmb of 2/24 etc.) - Blaster Al Ackerman
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Lecture on Marxism 3 – The Glory of the Lard.
I was sitting beside my bed-ridden grandmother not long before she died when we got to talking about lard.
For her beautiful, flaky biscuits she preferred the lard from Regyptus County , Mississippi , where even the livestock was virtuous.
The humans of that county were famous for a profound act of Christian charity: they had shaved off the horns of grateful Jews so the poor heathens could wear bigger hats.
Regyptus lard was used as a salve for aching horn stubs.
When she was thirteen she got work as a yolk spooner at a biscuit factory in Vicksburg , where she learned the lubricatory secrets of lard, for which she credited her landing a husband.
I asked her to entrust these secrets to me, but she took up the question of flour and the grind thereof, gave out on me and passed on.
When I entered my late middle age I started to think on death, politics and biscuits.
All I had left of my grandmother was a wooden spoon by which I mastered yolks.
Even though I lack all vibration in my dangling lobes, I listened for rumors of a certain lard.
I recalled my grandmother believed there was one particular lard that should be universally despised and yet was coveted.
It came from Clitchen County , she said, not far from Dripping Nipple.
The men there preferred to marry animals and were dying out because what offspring they had were helpless, bleating monsters.
Needless to say, the lard from there was spunky, the men having made mistresses of the boars, fucking, slaughtering and selling the remains of all they had not married.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Some of you may already know the talented, gentle Amanda Dorsey with the beaming smile from local folk duo Sea Couch, who are playing the upcoming November 4th Shattered Wig Night with Her Fantastic Cats, Kim Gek Lin Short and Bruce Jacobs. Not only can she play a mean banjo and mandolin, but she has also been doing some fine artwork and writing. Here is a poem that I love from her blog "Hello My Name Is Dreaming" at:
This morning passing
all at once--
birdseed patio galaxy
suspended in ivy
twin fig trees and typewriter
sharing far-off love
your afternoon eyes
damp cheeks of sisters
tricycling through bed sheets
watering the rug
below blue room rotary
the taste of candy corn
lingering in our mouths
lingering once again
Saturday, October 8, 2011
(Image borrowed from Mr. Topp).
Lecture on Marxism 2 – Resolution on the Current Situation, June 2011.
So the Trotskyites didn’t like the class composition at Syntagma Square .
No, composure is not entirely different from composition.
For example, I had a rabbit-headed character once – I used to draw comic books to entertain my friends – who calmed down enough to be a Marlowe-like detective.
I suppose I did mean the one who wrote “Edward II.”
Some people thought that Marlowe was a spy, which is somewhat like a detective.
Anyway, here is how people in Chengdu eat rabbit heads: after the spicy meat is gone, use the jawbones as utensils.
Once I held the rabbit head on my fingers and made it say funny things, like a puppet.
“I’m the gay King of England! You can’t find my butt!”
Nothing peeks out when you are incorporeal.
The story of the King’s two bodies was in another play in which two bloated, bobbing monarchs were towed out to sea.
I’m so sick of monarchs, aren’t you? They just swell, explode and ooze.
Swell, explode and ooze.
That’s also the three stages of socialism.
If trinity could be a verb, it would mean something like that.
Meanwhile, I have never met a rabbit that enjoys high humidity.
They just fall out like the rest of us, lolling about in the grass, demanding to be shaved.
Well, they don’t say, “Shave me, shave me!” It’s just that everyone knows what they mean.
And then, as the harpsichords plink merrily along, a real human baby is born, or a champagne bottle is smashed against a big spaceship or a crowd of workers is shot.
That’s how it goes most of the time.
Since the Moon got popular we’ve been gathering at the riverside lighting incense and commemorating the late Michael Jackson.
Some have been grumbling, but, as I gnaw at the cheek flesh of this rabbit head, I think we have a lot to be thankful for: no King; actual Soviets; General Intellect.
- Mark Hossfeld
Friday, October 7, 2011
The change of season could be smelled in the air at night, but the last swampy tendrils of August and August, The Sequel (The Month Formerly Known As September) were still trying to snatch at our flying ragged coattails.
It was nearing the end of a pleasingly busy day when the tall thin gent with the deadpan expression, long black Prince Valiant locks and Huck Finn cap entered holding a Regal acoustic guitar with his equally tall girlfriend endowed with loose black ringlets of hair, holding a black chihuahua and looking like the head of a cutting edge ballet company.
The woman eventually passed the dog off to the gent and we talked about his dog and my dog Max. How I actually had a black chihuahua in my mind when I looked for a dog years ago, but then into my lap dropped THE GREATEST DOG THAT EVER LIVED. By a very subtle extra light that came into the quiet man's eyes I could tell that my passion for young Maxwell had not frightened him but touched him.
From dogs, the conversation easily moved to one of the other great passions of life - books. The couple also came in with a few friends and one of them had helped unionize Powell's in Oregon, one of the Promised Lands of used books.
At this point I was already a happy bookseller. Embroiled with good talk among customers who were making tidy piles of books and records. With a black chihuahua to boot. At about this point the enigmatic and beautiful possible Ballet Company Director said: "We should probably go soon Mangum".
The rusty bells of the chapel that I usually set my hunchback to each gray UK morning in the abbey finally began to clamor.
"Wait, are you Jeff Mangum, playing Baltimore tonight?" Indeed he was. The beautiful acoustic guitar should have been a tipoff, but in the mood I was in I was fixated on the dog more than a customer walking in holding a guitar. "I'm coming to your show tonight with my nephew. He and my nieces sacrifice gentle creatures in your name on handmade eco-altars each night and hold you only slightly below Buddha in esteem."
The surprising thing was that from my nephew and niece's hushed discussions of Mr. Mangum's decade of silence since "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" and some sort of possible Christian induced seclusion from the material world, I always envisioned him as a small haunted nervous man, but here he was completely in the moment and at peace in his skin and pretty damn tall and model-like.
Riding the crest of my third iced coffee I asked if he would sign something for my nephew Geff, saying that it would place me at the highest reaches of Unclehood. He went me one better, asking for a piece of paper and doing a signed drawing on the spot. Plus an additional one for the store.
At about this time said nephew himself, claiming he had received psychic messages that Jeff Mangum was in the store (true), showed up to use the can. He played it far cooler than myself and engaged Sir Mangum in subdued musical chatter. I loaded up his bag with my Origin of Paranoia As a Heated Mole Suit, Blaster Al Ackerman's Corn and Smoke and The Baltimore String Felon's CD.
I almost dropped the ball on getting my own ticket for the night of Hawk and the Hacksaw and Jeff Mangum after pulling the few strings I have left in Baltimore (thank you Todd and Tiffany!) to score one for my sleeveless nephew Homie Geff, but luckily Madame Tiffany called me a few days before saying she had one for me. I count myself a fan of Neutral Milk Hotel and a few other groups from the Athens, GA Elephant 6 collective, but I hadn't quite had my Jeff Mangum religious conversion moment until catching his show that night after meeting him in Normal's.
Opening act A Hawk and A Hacksaw (the core of which is pictured below) didn't hurt. They played crisp charging Balkan music that had my limbs stirring and made me want to call my old pal from Furniture Falling Down the Stairs and Little Gruntpack, Scott "The Swede" Larson. The things that Jeremy Barnes (formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel) was doing to the accordion would have had Scott drooling expensive imported beer into his rustic wiry beard. And Heather Trost on violin was impeccable. I hope to live and remain married to Kim Jong Ev another 9 nines at the least and to have a lot of money so I could hire these folks for our 10th wedding anniversary. By then I most likely will only be a pair of gray eyes floating in magic water inside an old Cracker Jack box, but still.....
After a blistering set by A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Sir Mangum quietly took the stage with a few acoustic guitars and a music stand. The atmosphere he created and nurtured was truly blissful. The crowd was so far into his songs that they sang along very ably with most of them and did some nice background on others. And once again I was surprised because his live voice was even stronger and clearer than on the records.
Among all his by now classic songs he also did a moving version of Daniel Johnston's "True Love", which local duo Sea Couch also covers. It was beautiful and reminded me of how happy I was in my own life having found Everly and how just a few years ago I'd lost all hope of my heart finding a home.
And then, as if I wasn't already floating on air from the Zombies show the week before, Jeff Mangum and crew hanging in the store and then catching his great show that night, someone yelled "Where have you been?" "What do you mean?" Sir Mangum asked. "Like today? Today I hung out at Normal's Bookshop."
Thursday, Oct. 27th. 8PM at Normal's - 425 E. 31st St.
Baltimore, Cultural Capital of the Known World
Suggested donation of $5 or $6 for musicians
The Violet Hour
Alicia Jo Rabins and Aaron Hartman
Local duo The Violet Hour who played an amazing Sunday afternoon here long ago return to enchant and introduce their touring friends Alicia Jo Rabins and Aaron Hartman (pictured above), who play "post-biblical art-pop" .
Leonard Cohen meets Owen Pallett with Violin looping; lyrical songs about leprosy, betrayal, and love.
Here are some rave reviews from top guns:
"Hauntingly lovely" -- LA Weekly
"Dynamic folk-rock" -- New Yorker
And here are their sites to check out:
Also on the bill will be Jefrey Brown of Jackie-O-Motherfucker and Evolutionary Jass Band fame.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Okay, I finally send something that I think I haven't sent before. Don't be fooled by the title: Lectures on Marxism.
But it is kind of funny: I actually gave Lecture One at Dian zi ke da (University of Electronics, Science and Technology of China, where I teach) to a roomful of bewildered students and got paid for it. The things a foreigner can do around here!
I copy it here in the email and as an attachment:
Lecture on Marxism 1 – From Chengdu , Sichuan .
I just stole this pen from Rupert over there.
His reply was, “Property is theft.”
The happy philosophy which instructs me to cheerfully steal from my good friend – who knows when I’ll be able to do that again – also proves my beard-worthiness through exceedingly apt quotation about sulky submissiveness and how it just ain’t right.
But even these lofty ideas came to grief when the high-spirited became:
!). The professional and finally, fatally, the credentialed.
At this rate, the stately, graven system will grow hard as a hoof day before yesterday.
No more about it then.
That’s like looking for the soft side of an axe.
Speaking of which: the dashing Che, who all the girls cooed over, where are his hands?
Why, they’re safe in haven, that little opening to the sea.
Where is Dietzgen in his leather apron?
Gone, gone; pinched down to the size of a Fukushima particle.
That particle is the narrowest, privatest portion of collectivity, by the way – private because some things become the memory of just one person only.
Watch as it gets inhaled: length without breath, air without the little poky bits, shrunk back into their molecular scrota – even the fossils lie screaming up for more.
Who has the microscope that can find me out in the vast tracts of my nothingness?
Out of nothing I came, nowhere near rich, yet I was nonetheless formed a pauper princeling, idling my childhood in a castle by a lake.
There are dragons at the bottom of the Lake of the Saline Women.
Rheumios dipped their dicks into the skirts of the lake and the game of spoons glistened over girls’ knees.
It was a golden age, for there is no need to be somber when you know how dumb you are.
But it was also a long time ago, when apples had skins like polished furniture and everyone had recently escaped a breached Bastille.
Then there was thunder.
Omens are like that, they grumble that nothing’s happened yet.
Then there was wind and rain and hail.
Smart black cats scurried under carports.
Millions of humans put on their ponchos and revved their motorbikes.
Machines labored on, lashed by the weather.
I called my family after the storm – the power came back – and America sounded nice enough.
Apparently a giant, metallic robot lumbered by, almost stepping in the rosemary.
The Communist President had turned out to be a disappointment, though.
I called my friend in Shanghai , who, in a hushed voice, told me indignant Spaniards were everywhere.
I called my mentor, a Greek Jew, who told me my grandfather is the dust wherein I draw a happy face with my forefinger.
He was right, I had done that.
2) My phone card ran out, so I went to my meeting and found a friendly guy who confessed he was a murderer.
I thought to myself how the letters of the law spell a tortured soul.
Thou shalt knot, from the holey scroll of punk perfection.
I said, well I hope you done give that shit up.
Turns out he had, of course, but he had taken up thieving, which was crueler, in its own way.
Crueler to him, that is.
The urge to kill good and suppressed, he was full of lust for toaster ovens, garlic mashers and sturdy ladles.
The glint of the sun on a perfect stranger’s French press was a palatine dream.
But that’s the key to understanding, he said.
It’s the sun that’s the original and despite what you may have heard, you can’t steal the fire of the sun.
The mosquitoes had found us on the roof, so I said I’d walk him home.
We walked until we heard a rustling in the ecological park.
We went in, peers in fear.
There was graffiti-scarred bamboo shouting warning and giant banana leaves darkened the place.
We saw some light on the ground and pushed the fallen leaves away until we found the glowing roots of the moon.
Them is some photons, he said, illuminated.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Shattered Wig Night is very honored to be the venue hosting the CD release party for Baltimore's loving string duo Sea Couch. Original material on mandolin, banjo and acoustic guitar with a pleasing punk edge. Plus some beautiful servings of a few old traditionals and contemporary gems like Daniel Johnston's "True Love". Part of the Loveasaurus and Soulgasm collectives, Sea Couch keeps expanding their vision and sound.
Listen to songs and view video here:
Pictured above is Her Fantastic Cats. Do not let his feet frighten you! This former Annapolis lad plays some of the most original stew of solo guitar with percussive feet beats that I've heard since Abner Jay stole my chicken cheesesteak. Part Delta blues, part post-punk angular sideways construction, part I don't know what because I'm not much of a music writer.
Bruce A. Jacobs is a poet, author, and musician. His newest poetry performances treat poetry and music as one. He founded the long-running First Tuesdays Poetry Reading Series at Irina's Cafe in Baltimore in the 1990s. He has won poetry slams in Baltimore and at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City. His books of poems are SPEAKING THROUGH MY SKIN, which won the Naomi Long Madgett Prize from Michigan State University, and CATHODE RAY BLUES from Tropos Press. His latest nonfiction book is RACE MANNERS FOR THE 21st Century. He has appeared on NPR, C-SPAN, Sirius, and elsewhere. His work has appeared in dozens of poetry journals and in many anthologies, including, unbelievably, one edited by Billy Collins. He also does a weekly Tuesday poetry blog at agonist.com and a race & politics blog at aliasbruce.typepad.com. He plays drums, poems, and saxophone. A friend has promised she will teach him how to whistle through his teeth.
Shattered Wig is also very happy to announce that Philadelphia author Kim Gek Lin Short will take our stage for the first time:
Kim Gek Lin Short is the author of two full-length collections, The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits and the forthcoming China Cowboy, both from Tarpaulin Sky Press. Her chapbook Run was the 2010 Golden Gloves selection from Rope-a-Dope, and a previous chapbook, The Residents, is available from Dancing Girl Press. You can visit Kim at a reading at her blog or in Philadelphia, where she lives with her husband and daughter and co-curates General Idea.