adventures in dysthymia

Thursday, June 30, 2005

another tetractys~

You're
not the
first to tell
me it is fate.
Just the latest to be disappointed.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

As if I didn't have enough of an online presence already, I decided to get a spot at My Space. Not the regular profile-and-blog space, but one of the musician pages. Hey, more exposure never hurts (unless one forgets the sun block).

For the moment (might be a long moment) I posted a really, really old song from the days when tape recorders roamed the earth. The one person out there who reads this blog and has a copy of the CD is excused from listening. :D

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

MORNING SYMPHONY

Cardinal, tit mouse, mocking bird--
my morning symphony tunes up.

Enter traffic, molto vivace,
in hurried flight to the city.

How soon will mowers and chain saws
join a raucous crescendo?

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Sort of in the sijo form, though without much of a 'twist.'

Monday, June 27, 2005

Well, here I am on the 15 day DL (aw, c'mon coach, let me hit) and spending way too much time online. I suppose I ought to work on that long-promised e-mag. More likely, I'll take a day or two to sort out these stacks of papers in my office! Then, back to the fascinating field of home repair.

Speaking of which...after years (yes, years) of indecision, I've decided that I'm not going to find a better spot to move to at anything like an acceptable price. Thus, the flurry of building and repairing here. Oh, sure, if someone made a really nice offer for the place I'd get out. But it's not a bad central location for travel and I am right on the highway which helps with doing business. I do intend to build a new studio building here. Thing is, I don't know whether it will be the art studio or the recording studio or a combination thereof. Right now, the two share a room built onto the side of my trailer and that is not really satisfactory.

On a different subject: very disappointed with the Gators for losing the College World Series finals in two straight games. Not that I'm a particular UF fan or anything (a Florida Atlantic Owl here), just would have liked to see a better showing and better games.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

CLOWN CAR

ups, downs,
rides with clowns;
car’s too small.
‘nother pratfall?
therapy, pills,
fever and chills–
doing time
for the climb.

so it goes.
everyone knows
life’s not fair;
don’t much care.
why should you?
tell it true;
tell it, man.
who else can?

tell the crowd;
make it loud.
check your paint,
your restraint,
honk your horn;
it’s why we’re born,
who we are–
we ride the car.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

This sort of started as a poem about depression...then went its own merry little way. I suppose it's a metaphor for performing or something like that. Shucks, if I knew what the poems were actually about I wouldn't need to write them.

SCALLOPS

'Sposed to be a much better season this year.

Last summer was very disappointing. I just do the wade in the water bit, myself, and grab the little fellers by hand. I've done the long-handled dip net thing from a boat and, yeah, you can get more scallops faster out in the slightly deeper water but it's too fast and business-like for me. Not to mention, more expensive. Shoot, might as well buy 'em already shucked out.

boxes (not a very good title, is it?)

inclusion
confusion
need these
boxes
me here
you there
and those...
nowhere.

time travel
unravel
no place
like home
you there
me here
no future
no fear

delusion
intrusion
no one
inside
me here
you there
our boxes
unaware

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Looks like something I would have written in college, many, many years ago -- lots of bad rock lyrics which mercifully no one remembers now. Actually, just trying to not get in a rut here. My 'normal' stuff comes all too easily for me and tends to become overly facile (and boring).

Ha, maybe I'm trying to get out of my box.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

You can call me the unlucky lad for now. Yesterday, as I was working on replacing a floor, I caught my toe on a piece of loose 2 X 4 as I was hopping down between the floor joice to the ground and twisted my knee (the right one) pretty badly. Hey, if I wasn't a flexible yoga-doin' guy, it might have been worse.

(Can you believe that I can't find the word 'joice' in any of my dictionaries or spell checker? I've been using it all my life, being around construction. I'm pretty sure I'm spelling it right!)

Anyway, it's mighty sore and I'll be on my feet as little as possible the next couple days. I suppose (hope?) that it's strained tendons. Nothing new for me...I'm pretty accident prone. I do know that complete recovery could be weeks, even months. Oh well!

Now excuse me, I need some more ibuprofen.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

from a forum I frequent infrequently:

King Arthur and the Witch:

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighbouring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question?

What do women really want? Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer. But the price would be high, as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.

He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur. He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus: What a woman really wants is to be in charge of her own life.

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared. And so it was, the neighbouring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day....or night?

Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

What would YOU do? What Lancelot chose is below. BUT....make YOUR choice before you scroll down.

~

Noble Lancelot said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself. Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life. Now....what is the moral to this story?

The moral is this: if you don't let a woman have her own way....things are going to get ugly!

some rough lines that came to me while I was out doing a mowing job this morning -- whether a WIP or just a couple throwaway verses, I don't know...

You can cozy up to the soundman,
Make the bartender your friend,
But there's one and only one
You can count on in the end.
No, it's not the manager,
the waitress who thinks you're cute;
At the first sign of trouble,
They're all gonna scoot!

The bouncer! The bouncer!
The bouncer is the guy!
He's the one who's there
When beer bottles fly!
Compliment his muscles,
Give him a free tee-shirt,
(Extra-extra-large)
And never treat him like dirt!

some truth to this, and some personal experience...in the 'old days' I'd be working out in the gym with the same guys I saw bouncing in the evening...the fellow you give a spot in the morning may give you a hand that night.

If
I wrote
a love song
only for you
would you complain that I sang it off-key?

Miss Sherrie's poetic style-of-the-month, a tetractys.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Well, I was right...there was a song in that quinzaine I posted last week...

THE PERSONALS

chorus 1
I saw your picture in the personals,
Right there on Yahoo.
Said you’re looking for a man;
‘Bout anyone would do!
I thought you told me you were mine
And our love was true;
So what are you doing in the personals,
Looking for someone new?

verse 1
That picture of you looks so familiar –
Wasn’t I by your side?
You cropped me right out of the photo;
Darling, that hurts my pride.
And here’s another little thing
That leaves me mystified:
Why are you listing yourself as a widow
And telling folks I died?

repeat chorus 1

verse 2
You look real nice there on the screen,
Have a winning smile;
Wondered what you’re looking for
And read through your profile.
I see you’d like a guy who’s loaded,
Maybe has a private isle;
Why can’t you just be happy with
A trailer park lifestyle?

chorus 2
I saw your picture in the personals,
Right there on Yahoo;
You ask what I was doing there,
What I was planning to do.
Maybe I was only curious,
Maybe just browsing through,
Or maybe I was in the personals
Looking for someone new!

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Patience, part two....

Didn't strike me when I was writing it -- I was concerned with getting my 3 stanzas with 3 lines of 3 stresses -- but 'Patience' is very close to being a sijo in form, right down to the twist in the last part. I could change the line breaks and pass it off as one with little or no other editing.

two for the price of one (okay, I was too impatient to go through two separate entries)

PATIENCE

Patience is a virtue
only for those with time
to wait. Time to waste?

I never had the patience
of a fisherman,
equipped with bait and hope;

No, I'd rather throw
that stick of dynamite
and eat well tonight.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

I wouldn't really throw dynamite in a pond...but I can be mighty impatient at times!

PERSONAL QUINZAINE

She tells me that she loves me.
Why's she still in the
personals?

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Something I wondered about a former girlfriend for quite some time. 'Course when we broke up, it was all much clearer...hey, maybe this should grow into a song...

Friday, June 17, 2005

Why?

Why do men's hearts beat quicker, why do they go weak in the knees, get dry throats and think irrationally when a woman wears leather clothing?



BECAUSE SHE SMELLS LIKE A NEW TRUCK!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I put up a couple fairly high-quality mp3s online a few days ago for a possible client to check out. Thought I might as well share them. One is a choir and the other a pianist, neither of which I will name here. Be warned -- they're pretty big files.

http://insolentlad.com/music/swinglow05.mp3 (choral)

http://insolentlad.com/music/lynrags05.mp3 (piano)

Monday, June 13, 2005

All-righty! Communicom finally came and replaced my cable run and some of the hardware out on the pole so I have reliable (I hope, I hope, I hope!) high-speed internet again. No more hour-long up-and-down loads over a dial-up connection. Maybe I'll go ahead and network this place now.

Hey, and the television reception is way better too!

BOW

What bow has set me to this futile flight,
Has sent me arcing to your armored heart?
Dare I trace the journey of that dart
To some willful archer of the night,

Some jokester god who, laughing, took his aim
At a mark no man might penetrate,
Leaving me to curse both love and fate?
No, I will myself take all the blame

And know I was a fool, as are men all,
For we choose to fly and, spent, must fall.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

a bit of pastiche, done purely as an exercise -- have to keep my chops up

Saturday, June 11, 2005

There's a little essay on reading (and publishing) poetry on line here at the site of Poetry Magazine -- thoughts that might be interesting to some of you.

I was a little surprised and amused in reading their submission standards that PM considers any poem that has appeared online to be 'published' and will not accept it. Considering that most of what I put up is first draft stuff, I don't think of it as publishing so much as documentation. I would not hesitate to submit poems that have been posted at a Yahoo group or Authors Den as unpublished work; if it were accepted by an online mag, that's a different kettle of iambs.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Well, looks like I'll have an exciting weekend of watching it rain as the Tropical Storm Arlene heads up this way. It looks like she'll stay west of us, so there shouldn't be much wind, but all the precipitation is out on this side of the system.

Starting to get myself together to record the new album. The last one, the EP, was supposed to have a quick follow-up but here it is more than a year later. The title, at least tentatively, is Deadman Bay. For those who don't know, DB is the body of water directly to the left of me (that would be the west) as I type this. That's where the Steinhatchee River meets the Gulf of Mexico. And yes, Steinhatchee River is redundant in that 'hatchee' mean 'river' but so it goes.

Anyway, Deadman Bay is one of the songs I've chosen for this one. I have a list of fifteen titles and will probably stick with them. I am going to try to keep a running diary of the recording sessions and all that at my new-ish Xanga blog. I am hoping to get someone other than myself to play on this one! But just in case I can't, I'm learning the mandolin. :)

SQUAD

One by one, these dreams
take their turn at the wall.
Fire,
fire,
fire
comes the inexorable command.

No mourners here; only
forgotten seekers of dawn.
Fall,
fall,
fall,
and let the earth take you.

Who are you? it asks.
Who are you?

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

More about Pug Dogs...

Well, glad that everyone likes my Pug Dogs, including the owner of the pug that inspired it. Not surprisingly, it grew from a silly poem into a silly song. The chorus goes "Pug dogs, pug dogs,..." etc for 16 bars!

It is NOT going to be on my upcoming CD.

MORE FFF

My article about the Florida Folk Festival is up at Carolina Potpourri:
http://www.opalrose.com/magazine/fff.html

Good job, Sherrie! Be sure to check out the rest of her online magazine too. More and larger pictures of the festival are posted at:
http://groups.msn.com/Spatterings/fff05.msnw

Monday, June 06, 2005

Too silly to post anywhere other than here. And yes, pugs do walk around in little circles, it's a distinguishing feature of the breed.

PUG DOGS

When pug dogs dance they go round and round
Pug dogs are built close to the ground
Pug dogs don’t want to go to the pound
Pug dogs just go round and round

Pug dogs like you to scratch their tummy
Pug dogs love their dad and their mummy
Pug dogs will beg for something yummy
And pug dogs want you to scratch their tummy

When pug dogs walk they sorta shuffle
When pug dogs breathe they snort and snuffle
Pug dogs are small enough to fit in your duffle
But when pug dogs walk, they sorta shuffle

Stephen Brooke ©2005