Archive for loss

“Con Te Partiro”; With You I Leave (Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in Art & Culture, Art Lover, Livin' La Vida Frida, Style & Fashion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2010 by alphabetfiend

When you are far away I dream on the horizon and words fail, and I do know that you are with me, with me, with me. You, my moon, you are here with me. My sun, you are here with me, with me, with me, with me. With you I will leave.

As you may already know, I’ve been a most irresponsible ringleader. I’ve only recently returned to Cream Scene Carnival after a long hiatus. It wasn’t until I returned that I learned I had any “real” readers and now that I know, I’ve promised no more extended absences.

But can a gypsy-carnie with a history of wanderlust really make such a vow?

Well… yes.

Some time away doesn’t seem like such a big deal except for when it comes to one reoccurring post: The Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel. The column I obsessed over and that no one ever read (besides The Reliable One) but he loved it too so I forged ahead with the idea. The idea?

A temple built of alphabet & musical notes, a church constructed of code, a sacrament of song.

I call it “The Punk Rock Gospel” though only some of the song choices are officially “punk rock.” It’s our attitude that’s punk rock. 

We’re outside the religious main-stream but still ass-kicker omen-seeker mystic-minded mutants who are looking for a moment of holy meditation but on our own damn terms.

No nun to rap our knuckles, no priest to diddle us under our choir robes. No bigot to tell us who to love or hate. No big-mouth phoney with his pants down and his hand out. No saintly soul with her lips pursed & judging our upblown skirts as we smirk all Tinto-Brass balls-out saucy. No one luring our loved one to the woods and striking her down because she is beautiful and he wants her which makes him hate her. (RIP Ronnie. The Robot-Boy misses you.) No one to tell us which hotdog to eat. No one to chop at the genitals of our babes. No one to shame us for unabashedly loving eachother and ourselves.

Now watch as I pass out pastels and ooh and ahh as you draw chalky caricatures of Muhammad on the sidewalk.

No one to kill us afterwards.

Down with the dogma! Up with the dada!

When I started Cream Scene Carnival, I had high hopes for the punk rock gospel. I wanted people to read it, to love it, to listen to the songs and then to come back again. And again.

It seemed as if it would never happen. Now, almost out of nowhere, my hopes have been realized. Y’all are reading the punk rock gospel! You’re coming back the next week and the next week too! I’m so happy I could fly my own heart like a bright red kite.

Which is why I MUST find my way here every single Saturday night or early Sunday morning (Monday at the latest?) Either that or I must initiate others to serve as Gurus of Garage Rock or Mofos of Funk for those times when I am unavailable in any of my holy guises: High-Priestess of Tom-foolery; Trickster Fox Fortune-teller; Lipstick Shamaness. Finding a sacred sub is really the perfect solution as it means a fresh perspective or a whole new kind of song on a special kinda Sunday.

This week is in that spirit, even though I am here (having hauled my butt to a late-night diner to surf their wireless.) So it’s me whose typing these words today but it’s a reader — and new interwebby friend, Alice — who chose this video and song. She sent the link to me after a recent post on Frida Kahlo’s 103rd birthday. Maybe, if you are lucky, Alice will contribute her own thoughts/”gospel” in the comments. Although I’ve noticed that a normal modest person with decent goodness and the appropriate level of humility doesn’t take easily to the idea of writing “gospel”. I say, Phooey! and Screw that chicken til the feathers fly! I say take the word “gospel” and make it work for you. I say that God was created by us and is ours to recreate.

Of course there are those who will gasp — aghast! — and call me a hell-bound heathen. But the way I look at it, I’m keeping my heavenly options open. Wide open. I’m after an all-access pass! If I wanna smoke a stogey with the Devil after a day of wind-surfing with Jesus but before a long night of drunken club-hopping with Artemis and Venus, well then, so fucking be it. These are OUR MYTHS and we should be able to interact with them freely.

On that note, I’d like to open up the Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel to all of you because it was my gift to you and now it’s yours. That doesn’t mean I won’t keep writing week after week but it does mean that I am open to song suggestions or topics of discussion. Anyone interested in guest-hosting a punk rock gospel (choosing song, video & theme, as well as writing the text) should raise their hand with a hell yea! or a why the hell not!?

This week’s song is Com Te Pardis or “With you, I Will Leave” (also known as “Time to Say Goodbye.”) The song is sung by Andrea Bocelli and was “chosen” by Alice who “gifted” it to me after a tough couple weeks in which I wrestled with issues of loss, grief and death. As Alice and I discussed, there’s always that shamanic meaning within injury, illness or trauma.

Let us be the ones to look for those gifts which aren’t showy or jewel-encrusted.

Let us be the ones to love being alive and to never ever be too cool, too hip or too busy to (know) show it.

Let us be the ones who find a new spirit in the rubble of religion.

Let us be Lizard Kings! Let us be everything!

Livin’ la vida Frida!!

Con Te Partiro; With You, I Will Leave

(With you, I leave)

Quando sono solo sogno all’orizzonte e mancan le parole
(When I’m alone I dream of the horizon and words fail)

si, lo so che non c’e luce in una stanza quando manca il sole
(Yes, I know there is no light in a room when the sun is absent)

se non ci sei tu con me / con me
(If you are not with me / with me)

su le finestre
(at the windows)

mostra a tutti il mio cuore che hai acceso
(show everyone my heart which you set alight)

chiudi dentro me la luce che / hai incontrato per strada
(give to me the light / you found on the street)

con te partiro
(with you i will leave)

paesi / che non ho mai
(countries which i have never)

veduto e vissuto con te
(seen and experienced with you)

adesso, si, li vivro
(now, yes, i will live them)

con te partiro
(with you i will leave)

su navi per mari
(on ships across seas)

che, io lo so / no, no, non esistono piu
(which, i know, no, no, no longer exist)

con te io li vivro
(with you i will live them)

quando sei lontana sogno all’orizzonte e mancan le parole
(when you are far away I dream on the horizon and words fail)

e io si lo so che sei con me / con me
(and I do know that you are with me, with me)

tu, mia luna, tu sei qui con me
(you, my moon, you are here with me)

mio sole, tu sei qui con me, con me, con me, con me
(my sun, you are here with me, with me, with me, with me)

con te partiro
(with you I will leave)

paesi che non ho mai
(countries which i have never)

veduto e vissuto con te
(seen and experienced with you)

adesso, si, li vivro
(now, yes, i will live them)

con te partiro
(with you i will leave)

su navi per mari
(on ships across seas)

che, io lo so / no, no, non esistono piu
(which, i know, no, no, no longer exist)

con te io li rivivro
(with you i will relive them)

con te partiro
(with you i will leave)

su navi per mari
(on ships across seas)

che, io lo so, no, no, non esistono piu
(which, i know, no, no, exist no longer)

con te io li rivivro
(with you i will relive them)

Io con te!
(I’m with you!)

********************************

*The surrealist pieces Angels of Death & Infinity are by George Gris and are available as prints.

I love how the Angel of Death has the rowboat which she sails in the song: “With you I will leave, on ships across seas, which, I know, no, no, no longer exist, with you I will relive them, with you I will leave, on ships across seas.”

I’ll be all gypsy-wild & on the road after this is published so there may be some delay in answering comments. But I’ll be back. Be assured.

Grieving Harvey Pekar

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Art & Culture, Books & Writing, Cinema & Filmmaking, Fame & Celebrity, I Heart Funny Fellas, Movies & Movie Stars, Technicolor Pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by alphabetfiend

That brilliant pecker, Harvey Pekar, died this week. Bummer.

Pekar was the author of the auto-bio comic “American Splendor” (which was made into a great film of the same name.)

He was also a frequent R. Crumb collaborator.

Harvey Pekar was 70 and yet it feels too soon.

I always feel profound sadness when extraordinary talent departs the planet Earth.

I hate to see Harvey go but maybe now he’ll get to experience a whole new expanse of splendor.

Roam in peace, Pekar. You’ll be missed.

Check out this radio interview with Pekar.

Death Don’t Have No Mercy (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in country music, Lipstick Shamaness, Music & Life & Sundays, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2010 by alphabetfiend

This weekend — shadowy due to the solar eclipse perhaps? — has been morbid and over-wrought and thus Devo’s Fresh really wasn’t gonna hit the spot.

 

Due to the ache of the last couple days — Nightmares, Roadside Tragedy and other Ick — I really don’t have my usual Goof-given gratitude and all-around zest for life. And yet I do. You bet I do. It’s just that I’m all too aware of how easily that life can end in a split-second convergence of circumstance, timing and (bad) luck. 

Okay, fine, I’ve got gratitude and zest, sure, but no words. My eyes are red and my sockets are dry from too many tears. Every tear I shed took one word with it and now there’s no words left.

Rather than “Fresh” by Devo, I’ve chosen the blues classic “Death Don’t Have No Mercy.” Actually, I was too spent even for the making of choices, but after I read my last post aloud to RB, he suggested I do “Death…” as it’s one of my all-time heart-wrenching favorites and unfortunately apt. Of course! “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” indeed.

“Death Don’t have No Mercy,” originally done by Reverend Gary Davis, has been covered many times by everyone from The Grateful Dead to, more recently, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. I’m especially partial to the version by the late great, John Martyn. Martyn did the song in the late 90’s, covering a Portishead song on the same album. (The song was Glorybox, the album was The Church With One Bell.)

I first fell in love with “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” when Martyn did it and so I was hoping to share his version with you but no luck. Nevermind.  The song is amazing, period, and both of the following versions are great. That said, I urge you to check out Martyn’s version, should you take to these. 

I often promise a less-wordy week than usual and then pull words like handkerchiefs from a magician’s pocket but not this week. I mean it. Seriously. I’m shutting up now. (If you crave the usual Sunday A.M. chatter, check out that last sad post.)

And now, the genius Reverend Gary Davis.

And now, my beloved Ramblin’ Jack Elliot.

Death Don’t Have No Mercy

Y’ know death don’t have no mercy in this land
Death don’t have no mercy in this land, in this land
Come to your house, you know he don’t take long
Look in bed this morning, children find your mother gone.

I said death don’t have no mercy in this land.
Death will leave you standing and crying in this land,
Death will leave you standing and crying in this land, in this land, yeah!

Whoa! come to your house, y’ know he don’t stay long,
Y’ look in bed this morning,
Children you find that your brothers and sisters are gone.
I said death don’t have no mercy in this land.

Death will go in any family in this land.
Death will go in any family in this land.
Come to your house, you know he don’t take long.
Look in the bed on the morning, children find that your family’s gone.

****************************

Death don’t have no mercy, but sometimes Death’ll take a raincheck, as was the case with the man who fell nearly 500 feet off a cliff and lived to respect the hell outta Senor Death. So keep hoping and keep loving, my mutant mystics, until that day when Death comes calling.

See you next week for another Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel.

Goof willing.

Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What?! (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in I Heart My Love-Tribe, Music & Life & Sundays, politics, punk rock, Rock & Roll, Spirituality & Religion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Where’s that bee and where’s that honey? Where’s my God and where’s my money?

This was one “Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel” that almost didn’t happen.  After the busiest of weeks and hours of off-line frustration in the Mississippi country-side, I said screw it all to hell and collapsed into bed with weary bones. Maybe it’ll be a Monday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel, I thought as I drifted into a deep air-conditioned slumber. Two hours later, at 4am, I awoke with a jolt to the spectres of Eddie Harris and Les McCaan. This is our Sunday, they insisted, so I reached with drowsy digits for my discarded laptop and whaddaya know?!  We suddenly (miraculously?) made contact. Now, fueled by caffeine & cigarettes, and a crazy lovely love for this song, I’m gonna knock this sucker out.

This week will be less wordy that usual, partly due to my fried-egg sunny-side up brain, but mostly because this song sings for itself.

How to introduce “Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What” ???

What can possibly be said about one of the greatest songs of all time?

All I can do is tell you what it means to me and urge you to form your own fibrous connection. And you will. You will. It’s that damn good.

When I was 15, my Dad and I took a long dusk-to-dark ride through the New Mexico mountains. Our headlights guided us around treacherous curves which my father — an expert driver and Motor City son — took smoothly, sweetly, safely. The moon was fat and the stars glittered like sugared candies. It was the kind of memory that sticks to your ribs; the kind of living that gives life texture, taste and deliciousness. It was the kind of  time that carves into your soul and (RE)MAKES you into a new configuration (concoction?) of your self. It was there, in that cushy comfy night, that I first heard “Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What.” It was also the second, third, fourth and fiftieth time. We played it over and over and over while reveling in the troubled beauty of the world.

Ten years later, my Dad was dead.

There would be no more moonlight rock-out rides; no more trading barbs over breakfast until he broke into a grin over my writerly wit; no more mounting our motorcycles at dawn and VVROOM-VVROOMing into the rising sun. 

There was no one to call when I needed to remember who it was that did that amazing fucking song. 

After all, that crazy beautiful fucker had turned me onto so many songs over the years and I figgered he’d always be around to help me keep ’em straight.

What was the song we used to play on the pontoon as we floated lazily down the Maumee River? Right. Take 5. Dave Brubeck. I remember now.

Who was it we were listening to that 3am by the fire? Ah! Buddy Holly. Duh.  

Who was it that did that kick-ass cool song that we couldn’t get enough of that night in your Lincoln, with the fat moon and her spilled candy?

Huh? Who? Hello? Dad? Where the hell you’d go? Hello?…hello…hey…hello? Daddy?

Damn that silence sucks.

Fortunately, there’s now such a thing as google. I typed in “tryin to make it real compared to what,” and was led to youtube, where Eddie Harris & Les McCaan broke my heart all over again. Then fixed it. Then broke it. It was awesome. I hit replay at least a dozen times. Oh. Such goodness. Such beauty. Such power.

My body flooded with rock & roll relief.

The song returned to me, like a gift, an act of cyber kindness, and now in the spirit of punk rock gospel, I am passing it on to you. I hope it breaks your heart and blows your mind. I hope it carves into you and sticks to your ribs. I hope it stays with you forever.

Is that too much to ask? No, I really don’t think so. Listen to it, see for yourself. Then go buy the record, download it onto your ipod, add the song to a playlist — spend some quality time with it. Let it add taste and texture to your memories… all the while striving to make it real while asking “Real?… Compared to what?”

Like a Buddhist koan, there’s really no answer but the question props your mind open.

TRYING TO MAKE IT REAL COMPARED TO WHAT

I love the lie and lie the love
A-Hangin’ on, with push and shove
Possession is the motivation
that is hangin’ up the God-damn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut (everybody now!)
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby!

Slaughterhouse is killin’ hogs
Twisted children killin’ frogs
Poor dumb rednecks rollin’ logs
Tired old lady kissin’ dogs
I hate the human love of that stinking mutt (I can’t use it!)
Try to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby now!

The President, he’s got his war
Folks don’t know just what it’s for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We’re chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me)

Church on Sunday, sleep and nod
Tryin’ to duck the wrath of God
Preacher’s fillin’ us with fright
They all tryin’ to teach us what they think is right
They really got to be some kind of nut (I can’t use it!)
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what?

Where’s that bee and where’s that honey?
Where’s my God and where’s my money?
Unreal values, crass distortion
Unwed mothers need abortion
Kind of brings to mind ol’ young King Tut (He did it now)
Tried to make it real — compared to what?!

(Music break)

Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what?

Two Gracelands — Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel

Posted in Lipstick Shamaness, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2008 by alphabetfiend

“And my traveling companions are ghosts and empty sockets, I’m looking at ghosts and empties but Ive reason to believe that we all will be received in graceland.” — Paul Simon

elvis_vid_grindarna_till_graceland_jpg_w300h281

Every time I’ve ever driven through Memphis I’ve made sure to have this song Q’d up and ready to go. Then I push repeat like 10 times at least. It’s just so great. It’s about a city, it’s about Elvis, it’s about God, it’s about heavan. It’s about the way those things blur for some of us… rock & roll redemption. It’s about a state of grace. It’s about suffering and yielding to life. It’s about love & losing love. It’s grief and it’s healing. As if all that weren’t enough it’s also a really great travel song and goof knows I love one of those.  

The first time I ever heard Willie Nelson’s version — “There is a girl in Austin Texas who calls herself the human trampoline” — I was in a Tennessee truck stop en route to Texas. I was moving to Austin actually so I was en route to becoming “the girl in Austin Texas”.  It was one of those magical moments where you feel saint-touched… a nod from the gods… ancestors saying yea, keep goin’, you’re on the right road to the right place.

Graceland

The mississippi delta was shining
Like a national guitar
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war
Im going to graceland
Graceland
In memphis tennessee
Im going to graceland
Poorboys and pilgrims with families
And we are going to graceland
My traveling companion is nine years old
He is the child of my first marriage
But Ive reason to believe
We both will be received
In graceland

She comes back to tell me shes gone
As if I didnt know that
As if I didnt know my own bed
As if Id never noticed
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead
And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees youre blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow

Im going to graceland
Memphis tennessee
Im going to graceland
Poorboys and pilgrims with families
And we are going to graceland

And my traveling companions
Are ghosts and empty sockets
Im looking at ghosts and empties
But Ive reason to believe
We all will be received
In graceland

There is a girl in new york city
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when Im falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Oh, so this is what she means
She means were bouncing into graceland
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees youre blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow

In graceland, in graceland
Im going to graceland
For reasons I cannot explain
Theres some part of me wants to see
Graceland
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending
Or maybe theres no obligations now
Maybe Ive a reason to believe
We all will be received
In graceland

*************************************************************************

“LOOK OUT FOR THOSE NODS FROM THE GODS, Y’ALL,” sez the girl in Austin Texas. “Cause I’ve reason to believe that we all will be received.”

storyville-ect-226

There is a girl in Austin Texas who calls herself the human trampoline and sometimes when Im falling, flying or tumbling in turmoil I say Oh, so this is what she means. She means were bouncing into graceland. — as sung by Willie Nelson

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