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.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Failure or success is a judgment given at the END of a process regarding whether a particular objective has been reached. As long as the process is ongoing, i.e. life, love, art, etc, is ongoing, it cannot be judged. As long as you live and breathe, YOU are the process.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It was a quiet night at the cafe tonight. About 4 tables had people sitting at them. It was quiet on the street in general, so I don't know if it would have been any different playing on the corner where I usually hang out on Sunday night. I played for about an hour and then sat with DDA and we discussed all things French, American and Chinese.
Usually I edit these posts, but seeing that Saturday night playing at the cafe this time is a first, I'm just going to let it all out:


Here at the cafe at 8 p.m. Not a lot of loud music now. A few people out. It was about 90 degrees today and it has cooled a little although it is still quite warm. Right now I am just putting some time in writing about the scene as this is my first Saturday night playing here, sussing out the foot traffic, the kinds of people who are around, making notes of anything different, the tone and mood and volume of the place. Overall it is a young college crowd, not too many young children and not many older people. I don't think the crowd is going to get much older or younger throughout the night.

From here, sitting at a table with my luggage wheeler and accordion suitcase, I am pretty much a homogenized member of the scene, writing in a notebook. I'm not in any hurry to set up or to play. The night and sounds will disappear from the blackened canvas of night soon enough, leaving only this ash of commentary.

Somebody down the street has hooked up his electric guitar and has started playing. Sitting here, watching the methamphetamine and Barbie-turates strut past in their hubris of tank tops and short tight skirts. I'll set up at 8:30.

At about 9:15 some obnoxious electric high end guitar noodler decided to crank up across the street. At lunch yesterday when I was playing some dude warned me of these kinds of players down here; electrified, high gear tech noodlers who don't play anything as far as songs, but are garrulous and loud. No difference in dynamics. When this occurs I stop playing. I'm not going to compete and I don't want to put anyone through this kind of disquieting cacophony. This guy across the street is so offensive with his endless jazz playing (in fact he plays the same licks over and over again without a break) that it is really funny. I know my buddy Roger would have a real good laugh. This guy really doesn't play a melody, just scales and slides and very high end treble; not even variance in register or rhythm or dynamics. If a razor blade could make a sound, this is what it would sound like. It is like an auricular paper cut.

Above the cafe is a dance club with heavy bass going. I just saw some guy mimicking the obscenity of this guitar player's sound and told his friend standing next to him that he wants to go across the street and strangle him.

The motorcycles, buses and sirens are all a part of this symphony, with the rhythmic bass from the dance club pulsing like a digesting python writhing through the streets.

It is 10:00 and the accomplice to the guitar player has shown up, playing jazz chords on his guitar. These guys are not even listening to each other. The lead jazz guy is playing the same stuff, the same way, over and over again. Not even varying his key. I think his battery to his amp is slowly losing power though. It is a waiting game at this point, waiting for him to lose more power and volume and also hoping that there is an increase in human bodies on the street scene to act as baffles to absorb and deaden his sound between him and me.

At 10:20 the evangelists have started preaching across the street with their public address system. Actually I can't discern if they are preaching God or advising patrons to hold onto the handrail because the escalator is coming to an end. In either case, I regard their message to be about the same with regard to relevance to my situation.

It is 10:30 pm and I think I'll start playing again. Quietly. For myself.

I had a long talk with a man from France for about an hour regarding everything from the cafes in France, to French politics and history since Napoleon, to the French Foreign Legion. Really interesting gentleman. He was about the same age as me. Then I went back to playing until 12:45 in the morning, when the cafe closed.

Tomorrow night, Sunday, I don't know if I will return to the street or try the cafe again. The cafe is open to 11 at night. I usually play on the street for about 3 hours, from 6 until 9 pm. Although the street is more interesting as far as stories and events that can happen, I might just try the cafe to see what might happen and perhaps even end up playing more.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I played Thursday and Friday at lunch time (11 am to 1 pm about) at the cafe. It is a lot different than playing on the street Sunday night and subsequently the venues have different objectives. Sunday night people can ignore me and walk past. In the cafe people actually can sit down in front of me and are given the chance to ignore me.

Seriously, there are a lot of differences that I will illuminate later. The similarities are surprisingly much fewer. From my perspective both are exciting to me in the unknowns that are likely to present themselves in terms of interaction and discovery. In actuality there are three venues; cafe during lunch, Sunday night on the street and Saturday night at the cafe. I haven't explored the Saturday night at the cafe yet. The differences are mainly my own personal objectives based upon the environment, with the most significant element being the clientele.

My objective, after the initial warming up period of playing Christmas carols on the street last season to playing out publicly again was never one of being an "entertainer". That would put the focus on audience perception/satisfaction with my personal worth or value of my time spent in this endeavor dependent on something outside of myself, measured by such things as response, tips, etc. Also those responses have no definite correlation to much of anything objective. People smile or tip, etc, not based on any sort of definable criteria. They may do so for the fact that they See someone playing the accordion, the song, their mood, who they are with, if you play well, if you play poorly but are trying, how you look, etc. They may withhold showing their appreciation for exactly the same reason. Trying to discern their reasons will drive you crazy and is also an exercise in futility. However, with that being said, I assume threat what I do is appreciated by at least one person and that thought is enough to hold in my head regarding that particular point.

My process, as far as playing, is more a creative pursuit, which entails more listening as it does playing. I have to interpret the environment first. My goal, simply stated, is to create a sound track for my perception of the environment. I eavesdrop on conversations, view interactions and speculate on scenarios as they unfold around me and choose what to play and how I am going to execute it accordingly (excuse the pun).

I am also aware that what I play and how I play it, subliminally or subconsciously may have an effect on the observed encounter. Even when I am playing, I try to listen, either with my eyes or ears, on the the events as they are being played out.

I do the same on the street to some extent, looking down the street to see who is approaching, speculating, watching the gait, appearance, attitude, however, the time they are in my "camera" of vision/interaction is far more brief than in a cafe setting.

The selection of music I play is varied and does have its limitations. The eye of my "inner camera" isn't as limited. It draws upon all of my experiences and my exposure to film, theater, dance and all other art forms. Sometimes a situation will remind me of a scene from an old black and white film or the style of a particular director/writer. Perhaps what I am observing is a prelude to what will be an event presented on the 11:00 news.

No event is mundane and no event can be overly dramatised for effect, either by lack of or heightened by, interpretation. By "underplaying" the event, you can also heighten it, case in point would be the writing of Hemingway, the plays of Pinter, or the art of minimalization of any art field, even the art of someones autograph or loved one's signature.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Played out last night on Main. I am consistently meeting more, uh, interesting people then I ever did when I played Venice Beach some 20 years ago. It could be that I play during the evening hours on bar row, or just that the times have changed. My tips are pretty interesting too. A lot of people don't have much money who I play for. They are homeless or have been drinking quite a bit and it is right where ASU is, so poor students as well. It makes for an interesting audience mix. Last night I got a rose made out of a palm frond, some guy who didn't have any money offered me some of his whiskey from his plastic 7/11 cup (I declined), someone offering me to roll me a Bugler cigarette, things like that. One homeless woman asked if I had the words to some of the songs I played and, after I told her I didn't, I did play "You are my Sunshine" to which she sang to. Yeah, some people have been drinking, but a lot of them also dance, which is a tip to me in itself, and, even though I don't mean to, I end up making some people happy.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MARCH 30, 2010

It has been a week now since the motorcycle incident that took the lives of my friends. A week of feeling closer to the spirits of the dead than the souls of the living. Closer to the wisdom of those gone than the words of those left living. Do we ever come back?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I have been approached from more than 8 points of the compass, once from heaven and twice from hell. The next invitation may come at any moment, may last years or may come in the final hours of breath. The tenacity of the quest will reap the vision of deliverance found in consummate conviction and devotion.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Fragment of mirrors
at our feet
You move
so I can stand where you are
to see refractions
of your universe
and how your perspective
has changed
as you've moved on
and you share
the reflections of your past
as you remember them
As we keep moving round
new ones found
Knowing in time
we'll eventually find
pieces where we were just
spent time
discovering us

Monday, March 8, 2010


When we first met we flew off the hill with a vagabond abandonment. Laughter was an envelope of warm current of air that lifted us, gliding and drifting in the reminiscing and sharing of our pasts. With each flush of discovery, we would sail upwards, until the time came when our feet would gently caress the earth once again. Gathering our memories, we would ascend lightly up the next slight hill, only to joyously leave the top and soar over the plush cushioned meadows beneath. Over and over we would do this, half the time of every hour would be spent flying. Then, as the weight of familiarity and those hardships of the road up the hill increased, the hills became harder to climb and seemed more steep. After years we asked ourselves is this all there is, the climb, the throwing over the edge, the long walk up the hill. Somewhere we decided it wasn't worth the daily climb, that the thrill of the fall was gone, and that the next time we made it to the top we would just stay there and make it comfortable. Until the day of the accident and I awake falling, either having been judged or by turning over in a dream. Frantically clawing the sky, not remember this feeling and how close panic is to ecstasy.
Sunday morning, and you woke up alone.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


She tells me about a dinner that she had with a
and it sounds so animated, and she is so full
of life
and color

Tells me about some of his many
-no doubt many-
whimsical observations of things that occurred
that they both shared
and I wonder if she ever shows the colors that
we shared

And I feel
and envious
of this friend
and her color

She, repeating lines
Me, crossing them
with crayons.

Monday, February 22, 2010


The guide at the museum said that,
in the art world
Friedrich Schroder-Sonnenstern
Henry Darger
Simon Rodia
Clarence Schmidt
Karl Brendel and
Antonin Artaud
are still considered

Sunday, February 14, 2010


A friend of mine wanted me to paint his portrait. "Trouble is, I don't know if I want if of just me, me and my bike, or me and my new girlfriend. What do you think?"

"Well", I said to him, "Bikes come and go..."

Sunday, February 7, 2010


We no longer fear
for we are intelligent.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I like and welcome all kinds of feedback on my work, so I thought I'd post the latest. It comes in response when I was looking for a referral for a computer tech...

"I just checked out web site, not too thrilled to see that site. It leads off with "Spiritual Leader" which does not set very well. I do not like You Tub or visit sites like that, so may not be of any help."

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Sea shell comb in her hair
organic peasant blouse
recycled jeans
and at the end of her arm
a braided hemp leash
attached to a pug puppy

She said, "I saw him and thought
he was so peaceful
and content
I had to get him.
I named him
after a great spiritual leader."

Around the world
in the early hours
while multitudes bow
to the East
and others
sing in pious praise
and earnest prayer

I awaken
to the shriek,
the muttering,
the stomping,
the muffled thwap,
and the yelp
of Buddha.

Monday, January 25, 2010


This is a music box I carved for Jeannette. It plays 6 different songs:

Somewhere my Love
Singing in the Rain
Dance Ballerina
You are My Sunshine
The Anniversary Waltz
Over the Rainbow.

I designed a "stop" pull switch for each one. It even came with a little music book I carved! When the pig kissed the penguin the back of the piano opened up, revealing a place for a ring. It had secret compartments and even secret compartments in secret compartments. I used about 5 different kinds of wood and each key on the piano was also cut.


...then I was going out with this dude named Darnell. He was a speed freak who liked to cut with acid. One night I came home and all the lights were off in the kitchen, an empty blender was going and the electric hand beater thing was flipping around in the sink. It was the only thing I could see in the moonlight. I flicked on the light and went down the hall to the bedroom calling, "Darnell!, Darnell! You home?" I go into the bedroom and ther's Darnell, candles lit all over the place, sitting bolt upright against the wall, cross-legged on the futon, chewing on razor blades.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Slow foot traffic night on the Ave tonight. Saw my homeless friend from last week (not the crazy one). I was playing a waltz and I heard someone clapping after I played it. He was at the corner and he clapped. I spoke to him last week, he was a victim of a traumatic brain injury. Walks with a limp. Wears white high tops. Nice guy, but gets confused easily. Thought I was from Scotland. You can tell he wants to talk, but, as he is easily confused, gets frustrated because he gets confused easily and doesn't remember all that well. I enjoy his company when he comes over to talk. So innocent. Just wants to relate, to have that contact, and who doesn't?

Had a woman come up and asked if I the song I was playing was "Country Gardens", an old English dance tune. She was correct. She was so happy. She came back later and the name of the song I was playing. I told her it was an original. She seemed so disappointed, like I just denied her the chance to play the next round of Jepardy or something. "And Jerry, what do we have for our fine members of our studio audience today?" Yeah, thank you for playing. lol.

Spoke to another guy whose mother used to play. I explained to him how the bass buttons worked. He was also a musician. He hung around a while.

Another couple of kids came by that were really a pain in the ass. "Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me..." while I'm playing. "Can you play Smoke on the Water"? Actually the riff of that song does sound good on the accordion, especially with effects, but it was just the fact that they were drunk and I thought he was going to fall on me, and was bugging me in the middle of the song that kind of pissed me off.

Otherwise it was a really quiet night as far as foot traffic goes, and I didn't have much energy and played only for about 2 hours. Haven't had time to work on any new stuff this week.

Stuck to waltzes; lowered the brim on my hat and watched the pavement, emersing myself in the study of women shoe fashions, the behavior of toddlers, little children and dogs. Some would make the claim that this is all there is to life.

The black pond of January, waiting for a bus,
to take me home
propped up against the road sign, like some
urban scarecrow
with the heart of a tin man, pumping smoke
a black man passed behind me, clutching a box
in his desperate hold
chains hanging off of it, chaffing their gold
asking me how I'm doin', not breaking stride,
Can't complain
How are you?
Awful man
Gotta sell these necklaces and chains
Gotta sell 'em man

Turned his back to face the wind and walked
I kept on leaning, waiting for the bus that
never came

Monday, January 11, 2010


The troops were advancing
and it was inevitable
we were to fall
when an old woman from the village
approached me
took my arm
and led me to the forest
where I met a man
not of my tongue
who motioned that I must follow him
and that I have been
summoned to her.

The woman made provisions
and we left the forest
through the desert
over mountains
Occasionally messengers would come
with news of her
and what was ahead
and speak to the guide
of the adversaries
we would encounter
of other customs.

Years passed
the guide and I never spoke
but communicated through the seasons
and the elements
never knowing if the next forest
the next moon
would be the last one
that I would see
without her.

The evening came and he led me to her
and my greatest challenge still lay ahead
For this journey and the traveling was all I knew
now I had to abandon the traveling
and not look back
or it would continue
for eternity
never to be satisfied by any destination.

From my mentor's scabbard
I drew his sword
and my arm
guided by my lone heart
laid his purpose
and the quest
to rest.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Busking 1/10/10

I performed Kahlil Gibran's poem "On Friendship" with the accordion tonight. Improvized, but it went okay. I like the piece, so I hope to get it stronger.

Tonight an older gentleman from Romania - an accordion player, stopped by with his wife and he struck up a conversation about his accordions. He asked to try mine and I obliged. he played and sang some boisterous song that had more verses than any Dylan song that I know. I think it was the history of Romania. I don't know. It wasn't in English.

When he finished the third act he let me have my accordion back and asked me to play something spirited, lively. I played the only polka I know and then he started dancing wildly on the street. Now that was really entertaining. Thought he was going to hurt himself. Nice guy. His wife was pretty embarrassed though.

Monday, January 4, 2010

This week I started using a microphone and an amp and doing poetry along with the music. It was really taking a big step. No longer hiding behind the accordion, playing Christmas carols and other recognizable songs. I had music already sketched out for Frost's "Road less Traveled" and Dylan Thomas' "Do not go Gentle into that Good night", but decided to improvise instead and "That has made all the difference."

This is a really unique experience and you never really are sure what will happen. A homeless person gave me a really nice new sweatshirt someone had left at the train station. A group of college kids sat behind me and listened for an hour, lighting incense. A couple of college students seriously waltzed in front of me for a couple of songs. A blonde Betty slowed her stride and blew me a kiss as she walked past. I get notes in my box from other musicians offering to to come down and jam with me. I love the notes, the interaction.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


The January cold just held the ghost
of motorcycles tearing streets apart,
when every avenue and boulevard
would rip this town with sound-
right on that seam.

In May the devils' wind cuts east and sharp
and streets resound with the brapping, grinding wails
awakening desires to slough the tarp
beneath which hides the chrome and iron dream
to steal and ride again with asphalt thieves.