adventures in dysthymia

Sunday, November 30, 2008

CHOICE

I choose to think there's meaning to life
But fear I am mistaken;
I want to hope peace follows strife
And though we dream, we'll waken.
I try believing all we're told,
That now leads to forever;
Faith's the only glue to hold
That house of cards together.

When the storm eternal rages
Any roof must do;
When we huddle in our cages
Every word rings true.
When the sole alternative
Is to embrace despair,
What choice is there but to live
Life as if we care?

Stephen Brooke ©2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'LL BE taking off for Tennessee first thing in the morning, to spend Thanksgiving at the James' place up there. Back by Friday night, most likely. We'll see how well my mom holds up to a little travel -- this may well be the last time I can attempt anything like this, as she becomes increasingly frail and continues to slip away mentally.

As soon as I return, I MUST get busy recording. At least some demo stuff, maybe another entry for the Willfest competition (if at first you don't succeed, try again...and again...and again...). Still haven't quite decided how to do the ceiling in the music room -- I'm thinking cloth-wrapped rigid fiberglass insulation, creating a very large 'bass trap' above it. Though I do like the look of the open rafters, it will be quieter, easier to heat and cool, and probably have better acoustics if I do this -- pretty echoey right now. Otherwise, I would need to extend a couple of the walls upward and still install some panels for control of the acoustics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HOT-DOG ZEN

The Zen Buddhist orders from the hot-dog vendor:

"Make me one with everything."

The vendor hands the Zen Buddhist the hot dog and the Zen Buddhist hands him a twenty dollar bill.

After a minute, the Zen Buddhist says, "What -- no change?"

And the vendor says, "Change must come from within..."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WHEN I WAS A KING

Down in southern Ohio,
Back in the Hocking Hills,
Where the pulp wood grew
To feed the paper mills,
And the creeks ran milky white
From the overflow,
There I was a boy
Many years ago.

I was just a youngster
Wandering the woods;
The tree-lined hills and hollows
Were the best of neighborhoods.
I'd climb the sandstone cliffs
To look out over my realm,
For I was a king in his kingdom,
A captain at his helm.

A box of photographs,
One flint arrowhead,
Are all that remains
Of the life I led.
These are now my treasures,
The memories they bring,
But once I had much more,
When I was a king.

I swam the ice-cold creeks,
Explored forgotten caves;
Found buried arrowheads,
Lived through some close shaves.
The ways were steep and slippery,
It was far too easy to fall,
But I'd climb up to my throne
For I was king of it all.

Stephen Brooke ©2008

Intended as a song, not a poem -- the third stanza would be the chorus. Although I did live in such a place for a while as a child, the story here is largely extrapolation rather than autobiographical.

I cannibalized some of this from a different song that had sat stalled in my notes for a while, about 'the hermit in the hollow.' I finally realized that there was no real story there so I jettisoned the hermit and changed the focus.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

IGNORE

If I ignore the world
might it go away?
Could I sleep through the dawn
and so deny the day?
Here shall I lie, curled,
in my own cocoon,
until all else is gone
and I hear my own tune.

If I ignore tomorrow
might it never come?
Each time I add my days
I reach a different sum,
and so find I must borrow
another piece of time --
a loan no one repays,
another petty crime.

If I ignore the lies
might that make them true?
All evidence now mocks
everything I knew.
Any knot unties
yet it still may bind;
every door unlocks
but who knows what we'll find?

Stephen Brooke ©2008

feel free to 'ignore' this mediocrity of a poem

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who seeks a hero's death
More insistently
Than he would be lord
Of his own destiny?

Stephen Brooke ©2008

I suppose one could call this an epigram. Or something sort of like one.

I've been pretty much ignoring all my friends this past week. Just so much keeping me busy around here. And when I'm not busy, I have to take time to worry some!

Thursday, November 13, 2008



The Ultimate Color Test



When you are at peace, you are:
Thoughtful and sensitive

When you are moved to act, you are:
Confident and optimistic

When you are inspired, you are:
Creative and productive

When your life is perfectly balanced, you are:
Connected to nature and the world

Your life's purpose is:
To change the world




You Are Checkers



You are very logical and rational. You are able to understand what is and isn't a factor.

You're able to compartmentalize and focus on the essentials.

You appreciate simplicity. You can see the layers of complexity and beauty in anything.

You are also playful and good natured. You don't take life too seriously!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NO ONE ELSE

Made my blunder, all went wrong;
Now I wonder where I belong.
No one to blame but me.
Lost my bet, out of luck;
I can't get my life unstuck.
No one else I could be.

Got to find a brand new look;
Try to bind a new page in my book.
Someone to help me see.
Cast your part, find your equal;
Make a start on my sequel.
Someone to set me free.

Let our song fade too soon;
Played along till I lost the tune.
No one to blame but me.
Knew the words but not the why;
Saw the birds but not the sky.
No one else I could be.

Stephen Brooke ©2008

Yet another song that had sat around, partially written, for a while. I had thought it was going to be a metal-ish rock song all along but once I got to finishing it found that it a fairly straight-forward minor blues. Not that it couldn't be performed either way...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

THREE WORDS

refrain:
Three words suffice in any tongue,
Amor, comida, dinero,
Known by the old, known to the young:
Love, food, and money.
Three simple words will get it done,
Amour, aliment, monnaie,
In every land beneath the sun:
Love, food, and money.

verse 1:
Love is food for the hungry soul,
Food will keep the body whole;
Every journey has its goal
And every road must have its toll.

repeat refrain

verse 2:
Each of us needs a love of our own,
For man does not live on bread alone;
But bread is better than a stone,
Sometimes we must ask for a little loan.

repeat refrain

verse 3:
Money can not buy love, but still,
We have our appetites to fill;
How much is enough we won't know until
At the end of our feast comes the bill.

repeat refrain

Stephen Brooke ©2008

The 'three words' is an idea I've had in the back of my mind for years. Finally found its way to the front, though I consider this lyric to still be somewhat rough. I'm not sure if it's a waltz or something samba-esque at this point; should work either way.

A few minutes later: It's definitely a waltz!

And even later: my first thought on this was to plug in a couple different languages on each repeat of the refrain, rather than just the Spanish and French. Obviously, I'd have to be confident that my usage was proper and correct before I would do that. Maybe I'll attempt it eventually. In the mean time, if I perform the song (it is finished and ready to go public) I may use only the Spanish -- from the start, I had a sort of mariachi sound in my mind anyway.

Monday, November 10, 2008

THE MEAN MARY CHRISTMAS VIDEO:

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'LL KEEP IT TO MYSELF

(verse 1)

I know that I bore you
When I say I adore you,
And since I would do
Anything for you,
I'll keep it to myself.

(verse 2)

I've tried to know you
Tried even though you
Ignored all I do
And since I can't show you
I'll keep it to myself and...

(chorus 1)

I'll be your friend, anytime;
Someone to depend on, anytime.
Call and I'll be there;
I'll have time to spare,
And I'll be your friend, anytime.

(chorus 2)

I'll be there for you, anywhere;
Help you see it through, anywhere.
Stand by your side.
Face the rising tide,
And I'll be there for you, anywhere.

(bridge)

Oh, I'll keep it to myself,
I'll keep it on the shelf;
My love shall never cease
But I'll keep my peace.

(chorus 3)

I'll be your amigo, any day;
Forget my ego, any day.
Simply hold your hand;
I'll make no demand,
And I'll be your amigo, every day.

Stephen Brooke ©2008

For all those confused by my usage of 'verse' and 'chorus' here: this song lyric is in the format often used by the classic songwriters of the 20s and 30s, with an introductory verse or two -- what we would probably call an 'intro' now -- followed by 'choruses' that would now, most likely, be referred to as verses. Got that? ;)

Anyway, I have a fondness for the songs of that time. Cole Porter, Johnny Burke, etc, etc! Although the lyrics are often witty yet somewhat meaningless, that's still better than most contemporary 'pop' music which doesn't even manage the wit part.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

SO, it seems I now live in a 'blue' state, albeit a rather red (or redneck) part of it. It occurs to me that yesterday's election was the triumph of Star Trek: the Next Generation over the original ST, with Obama being the considered Capt Picard and McCain the impetuous James T Kirk. I'd have been OK with either at the helm of my starship (but Kirk needed a Spock as second in command).

I'm a lot less OK with my state voting to ban 'gay marriage.' I suppose that is a civil rights question, in part, but I see it more as a business matter. I know that marriage is more than a civil contract but that's the only part of marriage that the government should be regulating, the contract of partnership between two (or more?) individuals. Any consenting and competent adults should be able to enter into a legal contract. The rest of it is up to religions or whatever to recognize or reject, as they see fit.

Well, today I need to get back to my many projects and, in particular, to finish getting the 'salon' (as I like to refer to my music room/recording space) into order. Time to record some stuff more or less professionally; maybe a song or two for this year's Best New Florida Song competition, despite the lack of success in the past. Even though these contests always say that the song is the important thing, I do think that more polished production helps. A lot, maybe.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

THE LATEST -- and somewhat slight -- edition of Peripheral Vision Magazine is now online and available. Enjoy the Fall 2008 issue...and all you thinkers and creators, start thinking and creating with an eye toward Spring 2009.

I've reached a fork in the road.
Might it puncture one
of my tires?

Stephen Brooke ©2008

another go at the quinzaine form

I'm putting the final touches on the new issue of PV Magazine. Depending on how how many distractions come along, it should be online tonight or tomorrow.

Now lets start thinking about next Spring's edition!