adventures in dysthymia

Monday, May 31, 2004

The Lad is back from his weekend of Florida Folk Festival frolicking. And he is plumb frolicked out. I'll try to write about it later -- I will say that Arlo Guthrie was fabulous -- but today I have errands to run and chores to catch up on and maybe a nap if I can fit it in. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Well, the Big Weekend is here, the 52nd Annual Florida Folk Festival, running Fri thru Sun, 12 stages/workshops/jam tents plus all the other displays and food vendors and craftsmen and old friends and new ones too, I hope. White Springs, home of the Stephen Foster state park wish hosts the festival, is only a little over an hour from my home, an easy enough daily drive. Were circumstances different, i.e. I didn't have my duties here, I would try to camp there with all the performers and volunteers.

Naturally, I would hope to be one of the former rather than the latter. I must apply for a performance slot next year. If I and my friend Karen ever get our act together we could also apply as a duo and maybe she could as a single. That gives three shots at acceptance right there! This will be her first trip there; she had just moved south a little over a year ago and didn't know this was held in her backyard.

But then, neither did I until my former LTR, Sue, introduced me to the folk scene. Wouldn't be surprised if I bumped into the Suester this weekend. Not too hard, I hope! But I'd rather be seeing some of the friends I've made over the past three years or so, the Makley family, Carl Wade and Barb Schaefer, ET Morris, the energetic (and pregnant, I hear) Shana Banana, and so many others. It's going to be a great weekend!

Bandages

Bandages-- that's what we are,
you know, the bandages on each other's
heart. And if we stop the bleeding
for a while, is that so bad?

Ah, but you will find, too soon,
all too soon, that I must stab
myself again and yet again.
There is no cure in your kisses--

only these moments of forgetting.
You will learn this and who, then,
will bandage my fresh wounds?

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Reach

All my dreams, stacked up,
never reach far enough.
The star atop the Christmas
tree, when I was small,

sang beyond my grasp.
My heart yearned to hold,
to keep it for myself--
so many other stars since,

so many elusive stars.
My arms and my dreams
have grown tired; I'll reach
so far no more...ha,

until tomorrow night
when more stars fill my skies.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Happy Meals

If only happiness came in paper
wrappers from McDonalds,
'Happy Meals' for our souls--
If only happiness was as easy
to find as the nearest drive-up
window with bags of hot
fast-food bliss and little
packages of ketchup.
But we never catch up, do we?
Happiness is the wild animal
our forebears pursued and speared
with the joy of their blood.
Roses on the snow,
Roses on the snow--
We no longer hunt that beast,
no longer wait, hidden
where it wanders, where it feeds.
We buy empty bags
and go to bed hungry.
Hungry.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

life is that itch
in the middle of our back
we can not reach
on our own~


A few minutes ago I wrote that as a response to a post in my writing group at Yahoo (link is to the right, drop by if you wish). It was just off the top of my head but, you know, it's true. I tried to scratch my own back for too many years.

Let's forget the fact that I'm limber AND have long arms and can physically reach anyplace on my body! It's a metaphor, folks! :D

Wanna know yer mob nickname? Go to:
http://www.rickmelfi.com/sopranos.html

Mine wuz the Hobo Clown...how'd dey know?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

some notes toward a song of the folkie persuasion--

Miles and Years

From here to there
Is the length of a road,
Miles and years,
Miles and years;

All we can carry
Is the weight of our load,
Miles and years
to go.


From dawn to dusk
Is the span of a day,
Miles and years,
Miles and years;

And birth to death
Measures our way,
Miles and years
to go.


From lover to lover,
From husband to wife,
Miles and years,
Miles and years;

From a man to a woman
Is the distance of life,
Miles and years,
Miles and years,
Miles and years
to go.


Stephen Brooke ©2004

Friday, May 21, 2004

Simpler

(a cinquain)

Next time
we fall in love,
why not with each other?
It would make everything so much
simpler.

Stuck in this holding pattern.
Is it time to land
somewhere else?

yeah, another quinzaine -SB

Thursday, May 20, 2004

This was posted at a message board I frequent and I had to share it--

Who's on First?

ABBOT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den, and I'm thinking about buying a computer.

ABBOT: Mac?

COSTELLO: No, the names Lou

ABBOT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.

ABBOT: Mac?

COSTELLO: I told you, my names Lou

ABBOT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOT: Do you want a computer with windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look in the windows?

ABBOT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOT: Software for windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What have you got?

ABBOT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?

ABBOT: Yes.

COSTELLO: For my office?

ABBOT: Yes

COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOT: Office.

COSTELLO:.Yes, for my office!

ABBOT: I recommend office with windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office and it has windows! OK, lets just say, I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

ABBOT: word.

COSTELLO: what word?

ABBOT: word in office.

COSTELLO: the only word in office is office.

ABBOT: the word in office for windows.

COSTELLO: which word in office for windows?

ABBOT: the word you get when you click the blue w

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue w if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?

ABBOT: yes, you want real one.

COSTELLO: maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. what I watch is none of your business. just tell me what I need!

ABBOT: real one.

COSTELLO: if its a long movie I also want to see reel 2,3&4. can I watch them?

ABBOT: of course.

COSTELLO: great, with what?

ABBOT: real one.

COSTELLO; OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?

ABBOT: you click the blue 1

COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?

ABBOT: the blue 1.

COSTELLO: is that different from the blue w?

ABBOT: the blue 1 is Realone and the blue w is word.

COSTELLO: what word?

ABBOT: the word in office for windows.

COSTELLO: but there's three words in office for windows!

ABBOT: no, just one. but its the most popular word in the world.

COSTELLO: it is?

ABBOT: yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other words out there.

COSTELLO: and that word is real one?

ABBOT: real one has nothing to do with word. real one isn't even part of office.

COSTELLO: stop! Don't start that again. what about financial book keeping you have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOT: money.

COSTELLO: that's right. What do you have?

ABBOT: money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOT: it comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: what's bundled to my computer?

ABBOT: money

COSTELLO: money comes with my computer?

ABBOT: yes. no extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOT: one copy

COSTELLO: isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy money.

COSTELLO: they can give you a license to copy money?

ABBOT: why not, they own it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Prefer

I grew tired, that's all;
tired of waiting, of trying
to guess. Only in novels
do lovers wait forever.

Neither of us would ask
that of the other. Should we
have? Might a word
or two have changed it all?

No, I would prefer
to believe it makes no difference.
I would prefer to think
we were not meant to be

and sleep in peace, tonight.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

This prosey little poem is not about nor addressed to anyone in particular; it was just a thought about how things sometimes go in this world. ~SB

I am only a semi-fan of the Braves, at best, but I had to stay up and watch them last night. Watch them lose, that is, as Randy Johnson pitched a perfect game. Wowzers, he was truly overpowering. Over the years, I've tended to follow more finesse-oriented pitchers (e.g. Maddux). I appreciate guys who may not have the physical gifts of a Johnson...but that was beautiful to watch.

Ha-ha, I wonder how many times Randy Johnson has been described as 'beautiful!'

Sunday, May 16, 2004

A pair of quinzaines:

I have all new lies for you.
Could you make some up
just for me?

* * *

My dreams are sinking balloons.
Should I have put in
more hot air?

Saturday, May 15, 2004

It's been a long time since I've done music as anything other than a single performer, playing my guitar and singing as a quasi-folk musician (the ubiquitous and much-dreaded singer-songwriter, I'm afraid). Once upon a time, I dabbled in the band scene, mostly as singer. Indeed, I sang long before I ever picked up a guitar and learned to play.

I've been wanting to get back into a group dynamic of some sort; if nothing else, it will free up the playing element. Lately, I've been jamming and sharing songs with a lady and we've decided to give performing a try. Some folk, some country, some soft pop -- an eclectic act that will go over well with the average crowd. Preferably, with a good bit of humor and plenty of opportunity for me to ham it up.

Now all we need -- besides lots of practice -- is a name!

I will still be on the lookout for other possibilities...bands, duos, folk-punk, alt-country, blues, whatever.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Mortgage

Yesterday grows longer and tomorrow
far too short. I've no more time to borrow
and soon all my debts will be past due;
Life's a mortgage none of us renew.

We move from these houses, leave behind
all our suit-cases, packed with a blind
eye to death's reality. There's no
luggage carried with us where we go.

What I have, I give to you my friends;
Share it, pass it on, before life ends.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

An exercise in rhyme, mostly, brought on by a few remarks in a writing group. I find this sort of thing almost too easy; facile language, facile thoughts.

Dogs and Cats
two quotes:

'One cat just leads to another.' Ernest Hemingway

'Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.' Groucho Marx

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Wheeee-hooooo! I've finally started painting again. I knew it would just be a matter of making a start. Now I won't feel that pang of guilt when I tell people I'm an artist!

I created a page for my haibun, Tuskegee, with some photos I snapped while I was there. The pic of Ms Garcia is from the university website -- mine didn't come out! It's at a Tripod site. Please excuse the pop-ups and such, they just get worse and worse there. Go to Peripheral Vision.

Hee, hee, I thought my new old van was breaking down on me already...was dead when I tried to crank it yesterday. I assumed a bad battery, at best, and put a charger on it to see what I could do.

Well....four AM and I need to get up for a moment, look out the window and see the overhead lights blazing away inside the van. If they'd been running for a week, it's no wonder the battery was drained! I'll get the charger turned back on and should be good as used in no time. But I'll take jumper cables with me, just in case...

I need to figure out all the buttons in that Chrysler so I know what turns on what. Now, I feel kinda dumb but a whole lot happier! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Kneads

No machine for me:
I must feel the bread
in my hands, close
my eyes and caress it,
make love with just
the right force
and the right tenderness.
And yes, I need to knead
with the yeast of four hours
rising, the sweet essence,
rising about me, a promise
of the feast to come
as the kitchen cools,
later. I do not count
the minutes, do not
watch the clock, only
feel when the time is right
to let go, to let rest.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Yeah, this is bread baking day at Steve's place

It's two in the morning, God.
Can't you talk to me
tomorrow?

It wasn't really two when I jotted down this quinzaine, just a little after eleven. and I saved it for morning in that I'd already turned off the PC for the night -- I rarely write at the keyboard, almost always a pencil and paper person.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Rock

This rock,
heavy, insensate,
has lodged where once
I kept a heart.
It is less the burden
than that damaged organ,
a trouble so long.
Now I need only carry
a rock.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

just some late night first-draft jottings. off to bed...

Friday, May 07, 2004

A quinzaine--

The actor became his role.
Should he find a new
part to play?

I was introduced to the quinzaine form a couple years ago (more or less) by my very good friend Sherrie. Since then I've become a bit of a quinzainiac. I find it much more suited to my personality than haiku and other short form poetry.

Oh, I decided to name the new van 'Pearl.' I have to name things. All my guitars have names. Except the newest one; just can't think of one that's appropriate but I know she will name herself someday.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Lad finally has wheels again! Some may know that The Shadow, my beloved Thunderbird, met an untimely end a few months ago when someone pulled right out in front of me on the highway. I guess Shadows are hard to see! And I am thankful that no one (not least, myself) was injured.

Well, I almost bought a new Bird. A new old one, that is, not one of the recent two-seaters. Not that I wouldn't like to have one! But instead, I found a nice mini-van...yeah, that's a bit of a change. It's a Chrysler Town and Country, full luxury version. It should be very nice for traveling as well as for transporting my father.

Explanation for those who don't know about that situation: I am in a care-giver role for my 90 year old dad, who is wheelchair-bound and suffers from dementia. As long as I can take care of him, he will NOT go to a nursing home. If he had, I doubt he would be alive now. Yeah, they do their best there but they can't give him the attention I can and there is always an increased risk of picking up infections in those institutions. This van will be a much better way to get him around than trying to get him in the front seat of my work truck.

It's purty...white with gold and silver trim and wheels. Very classy. I've long lusted for one of those classy white Les Paul electric guitars with the gold hardware. I guess this will have to fill that desire for now! :)

But it needs a name...

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Want to know your Hobbit name? (you know there is some hobbit ancestory in all of us, right? At least the nicer among us) Go to:
http://www.chriswetherell.com/hobbit/

I'm Mungo Chubb.

Monday, May 03, 2004

The show must go on...went up to White Springs for the monthly "Cracker Coffeehouse" on Saturday night. I had hoped that soon-to-leave folk-life director John Kay would be there hosting, but I had missed his last appearance, last month. I hear he will still be there for the Florida Folk Festival, so perhaps I'll have a chance to say goodbye then.

Anyway, Lance Lazenby (what a name, eh?) was there to handle hosting duties. Lance lives down near Gainesville; grew up down there though he spent a good bit of his life in Nashville, doing sessions and stuff. Probably exaggerates it, like all of us who spent some time there! :) The crowd was smaller than normal and there were only four of us (including LL) who signed up to perform. Soooo...Steve, who only had practiced three songs, was called on to do a couple 15 minute sets.

Good thing I had done my Cowboy act the weekend before in Panama and had some stuff I could pull out. I did the four traditional songs on my album -- even yodeled, despite the fact that a real yodeler, Lucinda Makley-Maynard (of the Makley family) was there. Sang a couple of my own silly songs...couldn't remember any of the serious ones! Did 'Whisky in the Jar' and 'Keep on the Sunny Side' and 'I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago.'

I reckon I'll go there occasionally (it's the first Saturday) of each month, though it's not the same. Even the usual flock of older Southern ladies weren't there to man, er, woman, the refreshments table. Instead, a ranger with a cash register...and he charged us sales tax! Gosh!

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Toy

I am God's broken toy,
passed on to his younger brother.
He dresses me in motley
to be the fool in his puppet shows
then forgets me.

Yesterday, I learned a song
from the roaches in his closet.
It goes "hmmmmmmmm."
Sing with me.
Hmmmmmmmmm.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

--and don't ask me where this one came from...I think I'd rather not know!

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Well, I'm off very shortly for a day of music. I'll drive up to Thomasville first to play some with my new friend and blues-woman, Ms Karen Polka. If the weather's nice, maybe I can manage a dip in her pool! Ulterior motives, Steve? :D

Then we'll go down to White Springs for the Cracker Coffeehouse at the Stephen Foster state park. This will most likely be the last one hosted by departing folk-life director John Kay and I want to be there to say goodbye. Reckon I'll do a cowboy song or two that I practiced for last weekend.

I hope that a few folks I know show up, but with the Gamble Rogers festival going on this weekend in St Augustine, I suspect not.