adventures in dysthymia

Friday, August 31, 2007

Wednesday, I spent the day at the beach. Not having fun, oh no...I was working!

Yeah, working. That's my story and I do intend to stick to it. We were shooting video for my appearance on Cafe Americana (channel 19, Nashville). Steve was there with guitar, aloha shirt and his usual abundance of wit and charm (which only shows up when I have an audience -- I am terribly shy normally -- social anxiety, really, to the point of sometimes having panic attacks). I think the shoot went well enough; there should be enough usable footage to patch something viewable together. I'll look sunburned 'cause I was by the time we finished.

Back at Peanut Road: finally got my fire pit dug and the bottom covered with the recycled concrete slabs. I'll need to arrange those rocks I toted over from Steinhatchee around the perimeter now. Reckon I'll have a bunch left over to use for something else, somewhere else. Btw, speaking of Peanut Road, I started a second blog here under that name. It's going to be music-oriented and more specifically, about recording. Mostly, anyways.

Eventually I'll post pics of some of this stuff...when I get 'em out of the camera and developed. Yep, I still use my 35 mm Minolta, in that digital cameras are the work of the devil. (Hey, they eat batteries, dead batteries are pollution, pollution is evil. Oh sure, all those chemicals used to print photos are pollution too, but we'll just ignore that, okay?)

Friday, August 24, 2007

SO...

a while back we (well, not me personally) invaded Iraq, supposedly because they had a corrupt and oppressive government and alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Now....

China seems to have a corrupt and oppressive government and certainly has more than enough WMDs. Yet, all we do (including me, sometimes) is invade our local Wal-mart to buy their shoddy goods.

Obviously...

I don't get politics. I think I'll go back to writing navel-gazing poetry.





STEVE,
SIMPSONIZED

Monday, August 20, 2007

COUNT

I have loved too little and too much,
knowing not were you my sun or moon;
craved to feel the enigmatic touch
of nightfall even at the golden noon.
Your mirror eyes tell me not whether such
be seen for visionary or buffoon;
but I, as any dream-filled fool, must clutch
at my reflection, lest it fade too soon.

My fated path is plotted on this chart,
constant to your moon's erratic flight;
hold no silent promise in your heart,
make no wish upon the eve's first light.
Who knows the tides on which our ships depart?
Who hopes to count the stars before the night?

Stephen Brooke ©2007

after that last piece, I have to remind folks that I'm a Serious Poet. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

WISDOM

When my girlfriend left me it was
the happiest day of my life;
Now if only the same darned thing
would happen with my wife.

Seems that putting things off too long
always leads to sorrow;
I need to stop procrastinating...
gonna start tomorrow

A kitchen can have too many cooks
but never enough cutting boards;
They’ll spoil the broth, cut their fingers
and cause culinary discords.

So you think you have a chance
with that girl at the bar?
Man, I reckon you’re only as old
as she thinks you are.

I could let you all believe
I worked real hard on this song;
fact is, I’m just making it up
as I go along.

Stephen Brooke©2007

notes toward another silly song...the order of stanzas is quite random

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some words about the subject of that last poem (as always, I discuss my writing more fully at my 360 blog and generally just post stuff without much comment here). That subject being (in part) Modernism and that fact that many who consider themselves 'cutting edge' and up-to-date are mired in styles of poetry from an half-century (or more) ago. I see this quite a lot in little literary magazines, both print and on-line -- an aversion to rhyme and meter, e.g.

Well, the Modern poets pretty much explored doing away with those aspects of verse and it is time to move on, folks. No, I'm not saying poems need to rhyme! I only occasionally rhyme and that is usually in song. And although I fall into meter fairly naturally, I don't consider it essential...but I certainly don't consider it anathema, either! English is a pretty strongly stressed language and I like for English-language poetry to reflect that fact.

I suppose this sort of thing, as much as any other factor (and there are others, of course), is why I feel there may be room for me to start up my own little magazine. No, I am no great arbiter of taste, I have no manifesto to promulgate; I just feel there is room for poetry that is neither rehashed Modernism nor Romantic pastiche (I must admit that most of my stuff that has shown up in magazines falls very much into that latter category...hey, I was learning my craft!). So I intend to be very open about what I'll publish. It just needs to be good! :)

In other news: in about a week-and-a-half I'll be doing a video taping for Cafe Americana, to be broadcast on their television show. We're doing it on location rather than me going to the studio in Nashville. I'd better practice some, though a bit of editing can make even me look talented.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

PM

Modernism is no longer modern --
beat poets and abstract expressionists
seem quaint now, old fashioned, and existential
angst has learned to poke fun at itself.

We were an earnest bunch, back then; I mean,
we poets and artists, not that I
was one of them. Far too young; of a birth
with this Post Modern they all talk of now.

Post-this, Post-that; do we wane
toward the rise of our new moon, abiding,
filling the emptiness with empty art?
Yesterday's shadows are still too long.

Stephen Brooke ©2007

pretty rough and little more than a thought, really -- this was supposed to be a bit of an essay or comment but it morphed into a poem of sorts...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sheesh...I've only had the new MySpace account for a little over 24 hours and already about 30 young ladies want to be my 'friend' and show me their web cams....aren't I the lucky one?

Now I remember why I closed my accounts there before!

The fact is, I am a very visually oriented person. A visual thinker. I barely spoke until I was four or so; those of you who know me personally also know that I can barely carry on a conversation even now! I never really 'got' language until I saw it on the page, at which time I became an immediate and voracious reader.

The same is pretty much true of music. I can sit down and create music in notation on a piece of paper (no guarantee it will be any good, of course) but I am totally lost in a jam. Steve is not a natural musician, at least in the normal sense. Yet I have a head full of theory and 'understand' music better than many of my musician friends. (They play just as well without theory, naturally...but I wouldn't.)

Obviously, I prefer things to be organized, as well. The logic of a page of music notation speaks to me. The same with a well-crafted poem, an elegantly-written story. Shoot, this even applies to the programs I prefer on my computer -- I'll take a logical layout over an 'intuitive' one, anytime. The idea of 'tagging' stuff rather than organizing it neatly in folders gives me fits! :)

Does any of this matter? At this point in my life, probably not! I yam what I yam and know what works for me. More or less...

I've been trying to get all my ducks in a row but they keep waddling off. None the less, I'm finally getting near to relaunching the online magazine, Peripheral Vision. There is a 'holder page' for it at it's sub-domain at my Insolent Lad site; perhaps if it warrants it, I'll spring for its very own domain down the line. I know I swore off MySpace and all its aggravations, but I did start a space for the magazine there anyway: http://www.myspace.com/pvmagazine . More as I get around to it (and get them ducks rounded up).

I picked all the remaining peaches on my little tree yesterday so it's too late to show up with a sack. :) Loads coming on the big pear tree, though. Pecans later....

I think maybe I should put in a couple good peach trees. If it's as hot and dry next year as this one, I might as well not bother; what didn't die in the Spring drought, I'm losing in the current heat. I'm afraid my tulip magnolias are shot. Did pick some stunted butternut squash and have a few more coming and the tomatillos are doing okay. They seem to hold up better in this weather than most of the stuff in the garden. I guess I should just plant zinnias and tomatillos!

Visitors coming in the next couple weeks, my niece and her husband the minister in about a week and a half. Then the next weekend -- the Labor Day holiday -- there's a good chance that a whole flock of Jameses will be showing up and possibly camping in my yard. That's not for certain yet. If they do come, I hope it's not quite so hot by then!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I can hardly believe that I haven't updated the Insolent Lad site (and its associated domains) since March. Too many things have been 'on hold' lately. Anyway, I was noting the inadequacies of the Google calendar I had embedded there (like it wouldn't display what month it was!) and I apparently can't put its Yahoo counterpart on a page, only a link button, so I installed a standalone calendar app this morning and will link it in eventually. Not much hurry, since there isn't much on the agenda at the moment...probably the list of upcoming events I had on the WordPress blog there for a while works just as well, really.

I might redo that, in fact. I don't do a very good job of updating that blog (the Insolent News) either. Oh well, I'd better go change and get off to church. They need my mellifluous voice, y'know, even if I do have to sing bass this early in the day. Maybe I can be a tenor this evening.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

THE SKY IS FALLING

or maybe it's just the ceiling. It seems that a lot of my work here has been involved with repairing (or removing) the 'improvements' made by the former residents. I reckon they were trying to 'turn' the house with minimum cash outlay and the result was a rather slip-shod amateurish job.

And they ran out of money anyway so the place was foreclosed. That's why I was able to get it so cheap! At least, I own it outright so I don't have to worry about getting things done on any schedule except my own. I'll quite possibly remain here the rest of my life (at least part-time) and keep plugging away at it.

The ceiling in my 'music room' (which I suppose y'all might call the family room) has been sagging and now the tiles are starting to fall off. Cheesy stuff and someone had applied a coat of decorative stucco over them which probably made them too heavy for the little staples holding them up. Well, I looked up into space above them and the beams and roof look quite nice. I'm just going to remove those tiles altogether and have open beams in there, I think. It will probably improve my acoustics, too. That's another chore for when I have the time and inclination to tackle it.

Right now, I should probably be recording some in that aforementioned music room. It's still not soundproofed sufficiently here to do any commercial-level work but I could get some songs archived and maybe submit some to upcoming contests and such.

The peaches are getting ripe. The pears shouldn't be far behind. I'll have a load of them; not sure what to do with 'em all. I hate to let the fruit just fall and rot but I most likely won't have time to process it somehow. Ha, come by with a bag and you can pick some!

Monday, August 06, 2007

I certainly haven't been posting much this summer, have I? Not writing much in general; I suppose there are too many other things taking my time and attention right now.

Lots of work around this old house (hey, that should be a television show!) of course. Man, mowing this much property with a push mower is a never ending chore. Good for me though. I wonder if Sisyphus appreciated all that exercise.

Although we are getting some summer rains now, it continues to be drier and hotter than normal. There is a big precipitation deficit yet to make up. This spring and summer was, after all, the worst drought in the South-east since...well, since folks started keeping track. You know, if all the global warming stuff is legit (and I suspect it is) we may see more years like this.

Maybe I shouldn't have stopped here when I moved further north. Canada is starting to look good!