Monday, November 7, 2011

In a room
in another room
in still another room
in a house.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A few months ago I parked my blog in an orbit of an undiscovered planet, writing down the quadrants to post on my frefrigerator back home when it was time to return. I figured I would just pour myself into one of the cardboard quart missle cartons of milk in my fridge and launch myself back to this creative floating amorphous ectoplasma when it was time, before the expiration date.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's been an interesting week. I just got back from the flooded areas of upstate New York with tropical storm Lee did a substantial amount of damage to my home town area of Binghamton and the Triple Cities area. Spent my 50th birthday in a shelter and stayed there for 3 days.

I've been away from blogging for quite some time, due to life distractions and trouble getting into this blog to do updates, but I am back now. Will be posting more pictures/drawings and probably do some writing. Some of these things will be a repost from my facebook site. I like facebook because I can post a whole slew of thumbnails, which is cool. I have to figure out how to do picture posting again.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More hassles with security. I set up at 6:30. At 6:50 a guard came up to me and asked me to not play until 7:00 as that was the rule. I said I had been through this all last night and tonight "Kumbaya" was not on my set list. She said that she would have to call her supervisor. We are talking 10 minutes here, just so she could flex her authority. She said she would have to call her supervisor. I told her to skip the supervisor and to just call the cops because that is the only way I am not going to play. People passing by were yelling at her to just leave me alone. I started playing. She kept talking. I ignored her. She walked away. The cops never came of course, nor did her supervisor. After that, I had no problems and didn't see them the rest of the night. I'm glad this art event is over this weekend and I won't have to put up with these silly encounters anymore.
A guy I met last weekend who I talked with about music came by and introduced me to his future bride. I thought that was nice of him. We spoke of the Christmas spirit, how times are tough, and that he has a couple of prospects coming up next week in regards to work. He is a real nice guy and I really thought it was nice of him to stop by and say hi again. More children dancing to Christmas carols. That is perhaps the thing I love the see a new generation dancing to the same Christmas tunes that made me so happy to listen too when I was a kid.
Last night the most upsetting thing was them giving a hard time to an old woman who was sitting at a public bench at a bus stop. She listened to me play before they came over and told her that she had an hour to move. No buses running, she had no place to go, she just wanted to hear me play. She wasn't loud or obnoxious or bothering anyone. She came over and told me her story. Homeless and harassed. She was just sitting there, a right others had but, because of how she looked, was denied by this privatized militia.

I am also a security guard. I know that, unless deputized by law enforcement, their job is to observe and report. That is it. They have no more rights nor legal responsibility than does the average person on the street. They cannot detain nor arrest. Even if those hired tell them to do such things. The sponsors of an event cannot usurp the laws.

I see a lot of beauty and ugliness here on the street. I play music here and observe and occasionally report.

Friday, December 3, 2010

So they have the Tempe Arts festival this weekend, December 3-5. It runs from 10 a.m. to dusk. I went down to play on the street at 6:00, definitely dusky enough. All of the vendors had their booths canvased up and the streets were blocked off. They hired a local rental security task force, Team Security, to watch the booths as there are a lot of bars in the district, being a college town. I set up like I usually do. It is quiet, with no traffic, but pedestrians only. One guy comes over to me from this security task force and tells me I can't play. I tell him that this is still public property and I have just as much right to set up as the pedestrians do traveling on the sidewalk. He says that I cannot have a sign soliciting money. I tell him no where on the sign does it say anything about money. It says "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and Thank you." Tempe police department has never given me any hassles and, in fact, cleared this with the department long before I started doing this a year ago. This security guard goes on his way. Five minutes later two more security guards come up to me and tell me that I cannot play with my case open. They say that is soliciting. I tell them they are wrong, that an open case does not constitute solicitation, it merely constitutes an open case, like an open coat. They start in and I tell them to call their supervisor.

The supervisor shows up and says that I cannot keep my case open because, if someone throws money in it, their act encourages other to do the same and, therefore, invites solicitation of money. I tell him that this is ridiculous logistically and I use the example of a person who jumps off of a bridge as a mass stimulus for suicide. Of course, he does not follow the analogy. He says that I can play and then starts with his condescending tone about how unique the accordion is, blah blah blah of which I just cut his pandering short and ask him the name of the event coordinator, as well as his name, which I write down. He leaves. It take the small amount people have already given me in the first 10 minutes and dump it at my feet. I close up my case.

I play Christmas carols for 4 hours. By the end of the night I have more money at my feet than I have ever made playing in a single day and night. No case open. The only thing missing was the sign wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and happy holidays and the only way I had of thanking them for listening.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

There are similarities between the melody lines of Dylan and the parables of Jesus. Both are highly subjective to interpretation and personal experience.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Susan the violinist set up at the post office before me so I found another spot that was actually better, under one of those old-style street lamps. With the full moon and more foot traffic walking past, it was a beautiful night to be playing out on the street. After my first two nights my shoulders and back are BEGGING me to do this with a guitar though! Everything would be different if I did, and I'm not sure I want to make the trade-off. I've seen and heard the guitarists and they don't get the interaction that I get - most of it being because of the instrument.
I had one drunk tonight that was really getting to be a pain. He sat down in front of me with his one upper front tooth and long hair and acted like he was conducting me, coaching me, saying things like, "hold that out...PERFECT!" "That note was a little flat..(WTF? You can't suddenly get a flat note on the accordion!)" I then stopped playing, took a break and he is saying things like, "You're good and you know why you are good? Practice. Don't lie to me. It was when you were young and all those hours you put in, trying to get the right tone, listening to Deep Purple (WTF is he talking about!) sitting by the furnace late at night, practicing for hours and hours until you would fall was your patience and perseverance, the struggling...on and on. Finally I picked up the accordion again and started playing and he kept talking until I finally stopped playing and said, "Look, I can't play if you talk. You can sit here but please try to be quiet." He finally shut up. Bored without the music of his own voice, he finally left.

Friday, November 19, 2010

First night back playing on Mill and 5th Ave and probably the most interesting night regarding tips I ever had: 2 pairs of new socks, 5 little green plastic army men, 2 P&J sandwiches, 6 bananas, 2 apples, pretzels, Fritos, 2 tubes of toothpaste and 2 toothbrushes, packages of travel kleenix They layed the bags of treats at my feet as I played, after they asked permission - it was pretty unusual - then they all took pictures - but they weren't laughing) and a story that wouldn't seem so complicated probably if I only had a translator for the 8 women who wanted to talk to me all at once - then they were gone! I also got 2 Snicker bars and 3 red twizzlers, which covers all of the major food groups (except beer). I'm still trying to figure it out. I was playing "Happy Christmas" by John Lennon at the time. I think they were from Russia. One of the woman said something about Russia. Maybe they thought it was a song by Lenin? I really don't know...I'm grasping at straws.
Anyway it was good to play again. People ask me questions, and I get to ask them questions. I never got this kind of interaction playing clubs or reading at poetry circles. Toddlers dancing because they simply feel like it, spontaneously. People from all walks of life just coming up because they want to share, who want to connect just as much as I want to connect to someone normally outside of their day to day realm of people at work and friends and family. It is so spontaneous, improvisational, organic, yet so miraculously satisfying.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Repainting my motorcycle gas tank this weekend with blackboard paint because my life has never been chrome, distorting reflections, blinding to what you came to see, what you came to be. The reflection I do is deeper than veneer of simulation. I'm going to a place where they trade diamonds for Kevlar, Windows for Doors, and I'm going to ride -ride, ride, ride - faster than mascara.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Lightning has two sides:
positive and negative
right and left
top and bottom
inside and outside
...-you and me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I knew it was going to be one of those days when the shop owner TOLD me to move from in front of his store and I sensed attitude from him and I felt mine rising up in me when I said no. He said he was going to call the cops and I told him to go ahead. I played for 2 hours there, no cops. Unfortunately it ended up that I would see a lot more cops than I had thought I would later in the evening....and all around me.
MAY 15, 2010:
So glad to be on the street instead of the cafe! First incident: Homeless family on the corner got involved with a personality-challenged drunk person who smashed his wine cooler bottle in the street. 3 bicycled cops responded. The guy was right in front of me when they showed up. At first they approached the guy I was having a friendly conversation with and told him to "step away from me" as they wanted to talk to him. Then they realized he was NOT the person, and went for the person who had started yelling to the trees. They penned him off with their bikes and questioned him extensively and he was quite animated, going from bowing and bestowing prayers on them to questioning their authority, and then bowing some more. He really had to put on a show, complete with Nazi salutes. He was dangerously insane. They asked him to put his stuff back in his backpack. When he finally picked up the last piece, a candle, and then decided to chuck it into the street, that was the last straw. I knew it was trouble when ALL put on their rubber gloves. He did not "go gentle into that good night."

Homeless family later came over and apologized, as it cut considerably into my playing time and they felt responsible. No harm no foul I told them, but thanked them for their concern. Apparently homeless father got into it and had to grab homeless girl child as homeless pit bull puppy was useless in dealing with crazed personality/mentally challenged drunk person.

Second instance involved a car with 2 suspects, 6 bicycle cops, 1 motorcycle cop, 2 mounted horseman and eventually a paddy wagon. Again, this happened in front of where I was playing. Bicycle cops had hand on guns and immediately took the passenger and driver to the ground and cuffed them. Stripped the car right there on the street. Again, all of this right in front of me.

Polka anyone?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just figured it out, gangsta/outlaw economics 101:
If you have a: $200 gun + $100 in ammo, this = greater than $300.
I guess you could rap it, but the sirens always seem to sing it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The bird released from the hand is free, but also so is the hand after that point.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It is not "seeking" wisdom that is important, but cultivating the recognition of it,and not just in words, i.e. a baby's laugh, dogs playing in the sprinklers on a hot day, etc. Awareness and interpretation are the things we can actively control.

Who could denounce the wisdom seen in a chipped bowl? Does this marked experience diminish its purpose? What person has not been marked by experience, good or bad, yet we continue to live and, by doing so, fulfill our purpose to ourselves and others as a vessel of offering.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I don't seek wisdom from books, sages, conversations, etc. True wisdom is personal and comes from inside and is ever present. The only things these provide is an articulation and perhaps a tangible definition through the use of language of what is already within yourself.

It is not just limited to manifestation in the literal sense, it is in the arts that speak to you in that medium, or in nature, or in any of the senses we use to receive communication, even without language or sound. It could be touch, smell, taste. The feeling from watching playing children, experiencing the vitality a particular flower in the desert, that can hold your particular "truth" that, for some reason, speaks to you, that awakens that which is already within yourself and makes you aware.

The main point is that the outside manifestations serve as a stimulus to that beauty, wisdom, etc that already exists within you.