Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Poetry Today: Trends and Traditions 14
Compiled and Formatted by Anthony Servante




Welcome, readers, to Poetry Today: Trends and Traditions, in what is this our 14th venture. Ofttimes I am asked what the "theme" for the month is, and I am inclined to answer, Whatever the poems say. In Poetry Today 13, however, I did pick a theme, and that was to let the poets talk about their own work. As a rule generally I prefer the poems to speak for themselves, but last month, I wanted to allow the inner voice of the poet to speak up for the poems. This month, our theme is a common one: That song lyrics can be read as poems. For this type of venture, we need songs, and for those, I asked five music talents to submit a poem or two from their song lyrics that they would consider worthy of poetry.




Steve Palmer, of the band MOOCH, selected A Samhain Mask, from the Stations of the Sun (2013) LP. Steve Scorfina, of Pavlov's Dog and SOUL STEEL, offers us LATE NOVEMBER and NATCHEZ TRACE from his Pavlov's Dog days. Bridget Wishart, former singer for the band, Hawkwind, picked Czaritsa (June 2007) and Make Believe (From the CD Bloodlines by Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart on Floating World Records). Dave Lambert, guitarist for the Strawbs, folk-rock band, gave us a peek into a work in progress solo album, THE VISIT, while I included The Winter and the Summer from the Strawbs LP BURSTING AT THE SEAMS. Bill Mumy, from BARNES & BARNES fame, as well as AMERICA, and let's not forget he played Will Robinson on the iconic Science Fiction TV show from the 60s, LOST IN SPACE, shared his song MAN WITH A GUN

To get a sense of the poetry, read the lyrics first and then listen to the songs. And here we go.

********

 Steve Palmer


Steve Palmer


The Biography:

Stephen Palmer is the author of eight novels: Memory Seed (Orbit 1996), Glass (Orbit 1997), Flowercrash (Wildside 2002), Muezzinland (Wildside 2003), Hallucinating(Wildside 2004) and The Rat And The Serpent (Prime Books 2005). In 2010 PS Publishing published Urbis Morpheos. In 2014 Infinity Plus Press published his surreal slipstream steampunk novel Hairy London. Ebooks of Muezzinland, Hallucinatingand The Rat And The Serpent are available from Infinity Plus, who have also published the ebooks of Memory Seed, Glass and Flowercrash. His short stories have been published by Wildside Press, Spectrum SF, NewCon Press, Mutation Press, Eibonvale Press, Solaris, TFQ, Unspoken Water, Kraxon Publishing, Tickety Boo Press and Boo Books. Further short stories will appear in 2014.

Stephen lives and works in Shropshire, UK.


The Lyrics:





A SAMHAIN MASK: MOOCH, STATIONS OF THE SUN, 2013

The mist is closing in and it is time for, the embracing, of a mask.
The face you had upon you during summer, isn't single, there are more.
You only have to clothe yourself anew.
You only have to find which mask to choose.


The wind is biting cold and it is time for, the displaying, of a mask.
The other personalities within you, can be lively, if you want.
You only have to clothe yourself anew.
You only have to find which mask to choose.


The rain is pouring down and it is time for, understanding, of the mask.
Your friends will want to see the one who'll surface, if you'd only, look within.
You only have to clothe yourself anew.
You only have to find which mask to choose.


The mist is closing in and it is time for, the embracing, of a mask.
The face you kept presenting during summer, wasn't single, there were more.
You only had to clothe yourself anew.
You only had to find which mask to choose.


********


Steve Scorfina


Steve Scorfina


The Biography:

Known as the Founder of REO SPEEDWAGON and PAVLOV’S DOG, Steve Scorfina has come a long way. In 2009, the documentary OLD DOG, NEW TRICK follows Steve in his early years helping to form the roots for Alternative Rock and strengthen the growing Progressive Rock movement of the early 70s to his new group Soul Steel.

The Lyrics:


ALONE ON THE BRIDGE
Model: Lidia Savoderova
Photo Model: Anastasii Mikhailov
Art Work: Gonzalo Villar 


LATE NOVEMBER 
Steve Scorfina and David Surkamp 

Oh, she wants, she wants it badly
And I, I can't believe all she said
Because she's cool, yeah she's cool
She's just like lightening
Take her home, keep her warm in late November

I can't say why she's so strange now
Why did I always believe all she said
She's came down, held me close
Came down from night skies
Take her home, keep her warm in late November

She just goes to show you never know
What's in your heart, what's in your soul
She just goes to show you never know
What's in your heart, what's in your soul

She's home now, but far away she flies
But she don't know how she came
Or how she leaves
'Cause she's cool, yeah she's cool
She's just like lightening
Take her home, keep her warm in late November

She just goes to show you never know
What's in your heart, what's in your soul
(Repeat to end)






NATCHEZ TRACE 
Steve Scorfina 

All I can hear is wind shouting though the forest
All I can hear is the sun as it's shining
I wish I was home but I'm lost
They say she's waiting by the Natchez Trace
In all the silver thread and cold black lace
When she put you in your resting place
Would you take my gold or leave my soul unscathed

All I can hear is the howling wind and a haunting woman I know
'Cause all the angels in heaven, devils in hell
I think I'm caught in this rock and roll
She's waiting by the Natchez Trace
In all the silver thread and cold black lace
When she put you in your resting place
Would you take my gold or leave my soul unscathed

You got to leave me alone
You got to leave me alone
You got to leave me alone

No, no, no, no
If the woman don't get ya the snakes will
This road is so long and so dark and so cold
She's one bad woman, one bad woman
Waiting for me, get your hands off me
She's waiting by the Natchez Trace
In all the silver thread and cold black lace
When she put you in your resting home
No, no, no, no

Oh, no, she's one bad woman
You got to leave me alone
You got to leave me alone
Oh, no, she's one bad woman




********


Bridget Wishart


Bridget Wishart


The Biography:

Bridget Wishart; Singer/Songwriter

Bridget Wishart might be best known for the many talents which she brought to legendary space rockers Hawkwind during her tenure with the band in the early 1990s, providing her vocals, poetry, mime and dance, and playing a major part in rejuvenating their sound and vision for a whole new generation of fans, but that’s only a small part of her story.

When Bridget joined the Hawks, she was already well-known to the free festival crowds as having been the singer for The Demented Stoats and, mostly notably, with the all-girl punksters The Hippy Slags. Although those alliances were, sadly, never committed to vinyl, her time in Hawkwind (for which she left her job teaching ceramics at Bath’s Prior Park College) delivered up albums such as Space Bandits and Palace Springs, an appearance on the television music show Bedrock and a number of DVD releases. The epic magnum opus, ‘Images’, which she co-wrote and provided lead vocals on, is still a live favourite for the Hawkwind faithful, whilst her evocative vocals on the Native American-influenced ‘Black Elk Speaks’ is a high-point in 90s Hawkwind output.

Leaving Hawkwind in 1991, she moved on to contribute dance and choreography with Techno Pagan and then in 1995, along with Tim Carroll, formed the UV design company, Temple Decor, who, amongst their credits, provided backdrops for the WOMAD festival.

Having left the music scene in 1997, little was heard from Bridget until she was, thankfully, lured out of musical retirement in 2003 by American composer/musician Don Falcone. Since then, she’s worked with Don and his space rock collective, Spirits Burning, on three full-length CDs, Earth Born, Bloodlines (on Floating World Records) and the recent (2014) double CD release, Make Believe It Real (Gonzo Records).

She has recorded with and is part of many other bands well known for their spacerock alliances such as Spaceseed (including their latest CD The Fraternal Order Of), Astralfish (Far Corners), Mooch (Dr. Silbury's Liquid Brainstem Band), Omenopus (Portents, Time Flies, The Plague and more recently The Archives and Compendium Of Souvenirs), Hola One (Lost and the ever evolving Moments), and the cult release Last Wish by Djinn (herself and Alan Davey), of Arabic-influenced spacerock.

She is co-author, alongside Ian Abrahams, of the long awaited book, Festivalized, which recounts the rise and fall of the free festival scene as told by those who were there. Recent news from Ian is that a new publisher has hopefully been found and the book should finally see the light of day.

Bridget’s ongoing live project is Chumley Warner Bros, which consists of Bridget on vocals and EWI, alongside Martin Plumley on guitar and vocals. They describe themselves as having a ‘semi-acoustic fireside sound’, harkening back to the festivals campfires of yesteryear. Catch them where you can!

Future works include further tracks on Hola One’s Moments, a second Astralfish album, a promised Chumley Warner Bros CD, guesting on Mooch’s latest CD (Mrs Silbury's Delicious Mushroom Flavoured Biscuits) and vocal and midi EWI contributions to the ‘currently in progress’ Spirits Burning Starhawk album.

Here are a couple of links...to Spirits Burning and my lyrics:
http://www.nohpoetryrecords.com/sbbwmbirwords.html
(above link is specifically the lyrics from Make Believe It Real...next link is all Spirits Burning Lyrics...lots there :-) )
http://home.earthlink.net/~falcone/sbwords.html.


The Lyrics:



Czaritsa
Bridget Wishart  June 2007
(From the CD Bloodlines by Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart on Floating World Records)

Alexandra prays for the life of her son
While Russia's boys die one by one
Alexandra fights for the life of her son
A pointless war that never can be won.

Victoria, you were victorious
In your plans for her and Nicholas
But Victoria, it’s obvious
Your blood betrayed The Romanovs
Alexandra …

Alexandra refuses to count the blows
Blocks out the cries of those
Who fight and fall
Alexandra ignores all the pain and woe
Of the soldiers she'll never know
Nor miss, nor mourn,
Alexandra …

The peasant priest
Your holy seer
Whose prayers and pleas
You hold so dear
Has helped to bring
Your family down
You lost your lives
And the Royal Crown.

Alexandra prayed for the life of her son
While Russian boys died one by one
Alexandra's life ended facing a gun
Her family dying one by one.

Nota Bene 16th July 2014
These lyrics are inspired by the life and history of Alexandra, the last Czaritsa of Russia and wife to Czar Nicholas. She was the daughter of Queen Victoria and mother of Alexei whose haemophilia came from his famous grandmother. They allude to Alexandra’s misplaced faith in Grigori Rasputin as a healer and dwell on her wilful ignorance of the suffering of her country’s soldiers. 






Make Believe
(Lyrics: Wishart)

Where dragons fly
Where Immortals cry
The castles of your dreams
Nothing's what it seems

Where Immortals cry
Where dragons fly
Nothing's what it seems
In the castle of your dreams

In too deep, too deep
(You're in too deep, too deep
In too deep
You're in too deep . . .)

Silver swords cut through stone
Golden chords don't let go
Ancient myths, mystic law
Nature's kiss, true love's cause

Make believe it real

Time grows colder
Time in endless reams
Comes closer, older
Where dragons fly
Where dragons fly


Purchase these songs here.

********


Dave Lambert


Dave Lambert


The Biography:

Dave Lambert, born 8 March 1949, Hounslow, Middlesex, England,  is an English singer-songwriter and musician who has been a member of the Strawbs at various stages of the band's career, beginning in the 1970s. Dave performs with the Strawbs on their critically acclaimed Acoustic Tour along with David Cousins, the band's founder, and Chas Cronk, another early and current member with the band. Lambert and also played with the band Fire and continues to work on solo projects. 

For a long-time fan of the Strawbs, it is a treat for me to receive the lyrics from a Work in Progress by Dave Lambert, sort of a peek into the creative mind of this music talent. But I must note here that I wanted to include a Lambert song from the Strawbs, so I added THE WINTER AND THE SUMMER from the BURSTING AT THE SEAMS (1972) LP, music and lyrics, of course, by Dave Lambert.


The Lyrics:




THE VISIT
She came to my door and I asked her inside
her face had a beauty like nothing I’d seen
She was looking for someone she’d met long ago
He lived in a house by the old village green
The name that she mentioned meant nothing to me
I’d moved from the city a short while before
And I knew very little about people round here
Sorry but I couldn’t help any more
Stay away from your windows and lock all your doors
Don’t let your children alone
I looked in her eyes and I said I’m not sure
I don’t think he lives here no more
The story was straight from a girls’ magazine
They met by the river and talked for a while
He was fishing for salmon and dreaming his dreams
She paused for a moment and started to smile
They walked out together for weeks in that summer
The memories could never be taken away
Of the picnics on Sundays the taste of cool porter
Times before innocence started to wane
I told her I envied her youth in the village
How often I’d dream of myself in those days
A time when the people had care for each other
A time that our progress has quickly erased
We sat there in silence and looked at each other
Slowly her features were starting to fade
There were many more questions I wanted to ask her
But only a feeling of sadness remained





The Winter and the Summer

Looks around with angel face
She does everything with amazing grace
She wears smart clothes but no-one knows
She's got nobody waiting at home.

She is not the only song I sing
Though I sing them all for her
There is something in her melody
That I've never heard before.

The winter and the summer
Need never come again
The winter and the summer
Need never come again
In my life there is no season
No reason.

She is not the only book I read
See her pages are not torn
And her story is of loneliness
Though her memory still war.

The winter and the summer
Need never come again
The winter and the summer
Need never come again
In my life there is no season
No reason.

Every now and then I'm sad
Thinking what we could have had
If we'd met some years before
Would we now be wanting more.

She is not the only sound I hear
Though to hear her lights my day
There's no picture in the gallery
That has half as much to say.

The winter and the summer
Need never come again
The winter and the summer
Need never come again
In my life there is no season
No reason.



********


Bill Mumy





The Biography:

Bill Mumy is a multi-talented, prolific artist who entered the arena of professional entertainment at the age of five. He has worked on over four hundred television shows and is best known by fans around the world for the creation of his memorable roles as the heroic boy astronaut "Will Robinson" on the long running classic series "Lost in Space", “Anthony Fremont” from The Twilight Zone and “Lennier” from in the popular science fiction series "Babylon 5" which he co-starred in for five years.

Bill is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been in eighteen feature films, including "Dear Brigitte","Rascal", "Bless the Beasts and Children", and "Papillion".


The Lyrics: 



Man With a Gun
I was in my car on the way back home
When i heard the news on the radio
Sixteen dead at the shopping mall
Some crazy kid done killed them all
With guns he bought at a sporting store
The helmet, mask and vest he wore
Sixteen gone but many more to come
Man with a gun
And we send our children off to school
In a bus or a bike or a folks carpool
And we sweat and save so that they can learn
How to put the fires out we burn
But it seems like very month or so
The children don’t come home no more
Families cry in vain out to the sun
Man with a gun
Man with a gun       

Man with a gun
Far across the world they're hungry too
And the want the same things that we do
Some peace of mind and a piece of land
To get along as best they can
But something’s coming up the hill
The dogs and horses can’t stay still
Before the moon is high it’ll all be done

Man with a gun
Man with a gun

Man with a gun
On the video and TV screens
Bloody murder heinous scenes
Pay your money stand in line
It’s all a part of God’s design
It’s destiny   it’s only fate
It’s natural for us to hate
How do you think this land of ours was won?
Man with a gun
I was in my car on the way back home
When i heard the news on the radio

words and music by Bill Mumy
© So Boss Music  Ascap


Purchase ILLUMINATIONS CD here.

********

We often ignore the beauty inherent in the words of songs because music dominates the senses. Reading is more a private matter, more passive than participatory. It caters to the intellect alone. Music prefers the listener to tap their toes or bang their head. Poetry delights the mind. Music seduces the body. Then there are lyrics, the bridge between music and poetry, at once cerebral and celebratory. And it was a pleasure reading and listening to the lyrics of our fine musical artists today. Thank you, one and all, for sharing your songs with us today. And thank you, readers, for joining us again for Poetry Today.

To submit poetry, send a few samples of your work to servanteofdarkness@gmail.com. If you have any artwork you'd like to share to accompany the poems, submit those as well. 

********


Fine Art America
Where You Can Find the Artwork
of
Brande Barrett

For the finest in artwork, visit Brande Barrett - Fine Art America fineartamerica.com
Surreal Digital Photography Landscapes Seascapes and Sky

********



Andrew D. Blacet (Words) Brande Barrett (Art)

Buy this fantastic poetic journey here.

Description: Here are poems for those who prefer to linger among the ruins, to listen for ghosts in leaning doorways or the driplines of caves; for those who appreciate the incipient dread of long shadows, the dark flourish of root and branch, the reflections of stars in wet sand. These are poems for the reader who does not require every puzzle to be solved, every monster to be dragged from its well and thrust into withering light. For those seeking reassurance from the familiar or mundane, look elsewhere. These are the thud of moist earth on the lid of a casket, the suggestion of half-formed faces budding in the boulders of a cliff – these are the occupants of the ditch.

********

For information on how you can place your ad here on Poetry Today or on the column or interview of your choice, contact Anthony Servante at servanteofdarkness@gmail.com.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014



Cinema Cinema Interview
with Anthony Servante


Cinema Cinema


Introduction:

On May 31st, 2014, I saw BLACK FLAG in concert at the Anaheim House of Blues. Opening act was the Pop-Punk band Dollyrots, a band that should be headlining shows by now. The next band up was a duo called Cinema Cinema. With a guitarist/vocalist and a drummer, the band assaulted the HOB with an experimental fusion of Death Metal, Industrial, and early Progressive, especially the sound of King Crimson on the LP Islands. The crowd was mesmerized. Save for the last song, the group did not announce the songlist and instead played a jam quality set that sounded like one long continuous piece. For me, only the best LPs achieve this quality of sound, where the entire album plays like a unified symphony, with movements, highs and lows, crescendo and sustained fades. The transitions were seamless.




After the show, I tracked the band down and invited them to interview for the Servante of Darkness Blog. I was thrilled when they accepted. They are still on tour, but they were kind and professional enough to answer my questions between concerts. So, let's get to it.




The Interview:

Anthony: Can you introduce yourselves to my readers?

Ev Gold: Hello, my name is Ev. I play guitar & sing in Cinema Cinema. We're a loud/crazy experimentally inclined, duo comprised of cousins.. born & raised in Brooklyn, NY!

Paul Claro: This is Paul, drummer and one of two cousins from the aforementioned loud/crazy experimentally inclined duo!


Ev, left, and Paul, right.


Anthony: Is the song-writing a shared job?

EG: Yes, 100%. As a duo, we work our best when allowing the other the chance to fully express themselves in song/jam. Together we review all the new ideas that filter in from playing together so often (we've done 400+ shows since our start in JAN 2008 & also keep a steady rehearsal schedule) and refine the ones that we feel strongly about into "songs" in the practice room.

PC: We are lucky to have an amazing musical connection that translates to easy communication during song writing. We're also lucky that almost anytime Ev has a guitar in his hands, a potential idea is born! So if it's something we jam on for a while and feel good about, we'll try to find other parts that work well with it. Definitely a collaboration. 





Anthony: What were you guys doing before you got together in 2008?

EG: Trying to find committed musicians to form a band with who would make it a priority in their life and work hard at it.. and not having much success in doing so whatsoever.

PC: I was in another band at the time that really wasn't working for me. I had always looked up to Ev as a musician, and honestly hoped to play with him one day. He came out to gig I was playing with that previous band and afterwards asked if we could jam. We've been doing Cinema Cinema together full time ever since.




Anthony: What was the musical impulse that kept you guys to forming a duo?

EG: How effective & full we proved to sound at our very first practice together as a duo, on January 11, 2008... that was a poignant moment. We realized right then that we could execute as a two man operation just as strong as a "full band" and with less drama/issues by staying economical and adding no one else into our equation.

PC: I think we just truly enjoy playing together. We enjoy the freedom that we offer one each other by being in this type of band. We're really able to communicate so easily as duo, which allows us to explore and experiment with our jamming.






Anthony: I hear so many influences in your music, I could list a hundred bands and artists, but I’d rather hear from you: Who were your influences in Rock, Jazz, etc?

EG: Bad Brains, Black Flag, Django Reinhardt, Fugazi, Benny Goodman, Frank Zappa, Swans, John Coltrane, Wire, Miles Davis.

PC: I was actually the drummer for my high schools Jazz band, so Jazz is a very important part of my playing...especially Buddy Rich! We are also devout RUSH fans, as well as Daniel Johnston who is an endless source of inspiration for us.





Anthony: Describe your sound for our readers, who can go buy it after they read the interview.

EG: Rather than use my own words, here are some press quotes:

"raw, unrestrained insanity" - ABSOLUTE PUNK

"a mind-bending thrill ride" - PopMatters

"gripping & grueling" - Big Takeover Magazine

"Cinema Cinema = Black Flag + Babes in Toyland + Hella" - SLUG Magazine

"raucous, fast-paced, muscular punk with noise and math rock influences" -
The Deli Magazine


Anthony: Is your music growing? Where is it headed?

EG: Yes, hopefully in directions we can never predict!

PC: Our playing style grows as we grow as musicians. It's an integral part of who we are as human beings. So if we keep down the path together, the sky's the limit for what we can do in our music.




Anthony: My brother mentioned that when you played guitar back-up for Black Flag, your guitar work really shone, like the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Do you ever plan to add more members to the band? Why or why not?

EG: That's very high praise! Tell your brother thank you!! haha. It's always great to collaborate with other musicians.. it's a great source of learning.. But for the present future I can confidently say that Cinema Cinema will not be adding any members officially.. actually, i can guarantee that we will NEVER add a 3rd official member to the band, its duo until we die.





Anthony: Can you let the readers know where they can buy your CDs or MP3s? Links here would help.

EG: for ALL merch needs please visit http://cinemacinema.bandcamp.com

Anthony: Can you give us a Top Ten List of songs, either your own or another band’s, that has made your music what it is today? And could you tell us a bit about each song?

EG: I think since we are currently on tour ALL summer long with Black Flag, it would be appropriate to name some of our favorite songs from their amazing catalog. 5 of my fav's are:

1. "Rise Above"



2. "My War"



3. "Black Coffee"




4. "Retired at 21"





5. "Beat My Head Against The Wall"






PC:

6. Rush - Spirit of Radio 

Whether it's the start of an 8 hour drive to a gig or the end of night race to the next one, we put this song on and it just fills us with joy.





7. Rainbow - Man on the Silver Mountain

I bought a Rainbow disc on the road when we passed through Chicago. It's pretty much all we have listened to since. Dio is such the man!!





8. Daniel Johnston - Walking the Cow

Favorite song by one of our favorite musicians.






9. I'd Rather Die - Good For You

This is a killer track from Greg Ginn and Mike V's other project. They play this as part of the current Black Flag set and it's always a highlight for me. 




10. The Changeling - The Doors

Just an amazing track that opens the Doors LA Woman album. It has been played on repeat many times while on the road.



********

UPCOMING JULY/AUG VICTIMOLOGY 2014 TOUR DATES
(all dates are with BLACK FLAG)
Jul 11 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
Jul 12 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theater
Jul 13 - Memphis, TN @ Young Ave Deli
Jul 14 - Knoxville, TN @ The Concourse at the Intl.
Jul 15 - Louisville, KY @ Headliner's Music Hall
Jul 16 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
Jul 17 - Muncie, IN @ Be Here Now
Jul 18 - Lombard, IL @ Brauer House
Jul 19 - Springfield, IL @ Donnie's Homespun
Jul 20 - St. Paul, MN @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Jul 21 - Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
Jul 22 - Aberdeen, SD @ Slackers
Jul 23 - Rapid City, SD @ Sports Rock
Jul 24 – Billings, MT @ The Railyard
Jul 25 - Butte, MT @ Evel Knievel Day Festival
Jul 27 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
Jul 28 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Jul 29 - Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater
Jul 30 - Cheyenne, WY @ The Drunken Skunk
Jul 31 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theater
Aug 1 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Rawkus
Aug 2 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
Aug 3 - Lubbock, TX @ Backstage
Aug 4 - Fort Worth, TX @ The Aardvark
Aug 6 - San Antonio, TX @ The Korova
Aug 7 - Corpus Christi, TX @ House Of Rock
Aug 8 - McAllen, TX @ Metropolis

For more information, visit these sites:
http://www.cinemacinemaband.com
http://www.facebook.com/cinematwice 

*********

Thank you to Ev and Paul of Cinema Cinema. But we are not through here. Our modest duo did not share one of their songs with us. Now I expect you to visit http://cinemacinema.bandcamp.com and pick up some of their music. But here is a small taste of the dynamic assault you can expect from this pair of synchronized Rockers. Remember, you are only hearing guitar, vocals and drums. It's an amazing combination. 

Till next time when we talk with another talent from today's pool of music makers and leaders in the experimental field, I leave you with these clips of Cinema Cinema.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Poetry Today: Trends and Traditions 13
Compiled by Anthony Servante




Introduction:

Welcome back, dear readers, for our 13th venture into the poetry of today. For our latest visit for our guest poets, I invited them to talk a bit about their poems. Usually I am adamant about letting the poems speak for themselves, as is my academic wont and training, so when Drew Arnott, singer and songwriter from the 1980s New Wave Progressive band "Strange Advance" brought up the question of what the effect on a poem (or in his case, a song) has when its writer tells the reader or listener why he wrote it, I decided to make that this month's theme. Think about it. In the song "American Pie", if the writer Don Mclean told us what each line meant when he composed the piece, would it affect how you've perceived the song all these years? Does it dilute or enhance your enjoyment of the song? I mean, there are 7,360,000 hits when you Google American Pie Meaning. Now the songwriter tells you the one meaning. Do we still say the song is about the plane crash that killed Richie Valens and the Big Bopper?

Well, that's the question, isn't it? Each poet was asked about his poem(s), save for Drew, who came up with the idea himself. So, I thank him for making this month's poetry column unique. Our guests today areLemmy Rushmore, Geoff Brown, Michael H. Hanson, Philip LoPresti, and Drew Arnott discussing the song “We Run” from Strange Advance's second LP 2WO. We'll also be looking at some new poetry books that I recommend by Kim Acrylic, William Cook, and A. D. Blacet. And I'll be talking a bit about my book, Urban Graves: 13 Poems from the Machine. 

We begin with Lemmy Rushmore.


Lemmy Rushmore


Lemmy


Biography:

Lemmy Rushmore is a mechanic by trade and father of three who occasionally dares dabble in the world of words.Until recently unpublished,his pieces touch on many topics,but tend to lean toward the darker side of those things encountered daily.Ranging from emotionally dark to horror,some of his work can be seen in the anthology We are Dust and Shadow released by James Ward Kirk Publishing.He also has pieces included in two more soon to be released anthologies also from James Ward Kirk Publishing,No Sight for the Saved,featuring the superbly dark art of Niall Parkinson and Demonic Possession.Both are set to be released in July of this year.His newest work can be viewed on the Facebook page,the P.R.S. Project as he is currently involved in a unique collaboration with the extraordinarily talented artist, Niall Parkinson and an amazing writer/poet by the name of David Slater.

Links: 




The Poems: 





on a raven's wing....

I think I might know the answer 
they whispered it while I slept 
I know why each night they haunt me 
why into my darkness they have crept

they bring word from the one I once loved 
back they've come on a raven's wing 
they speak of the fields Elysian 
and a lock of hair from my love they bring

they offer me safest passage 
say it shall come with the simplest act 
say no more shall I wander lonely 
through those lands that love left cracked

on and on they shall lead me further 
right there on a raven's wing 
at least that's the picture they've painted 
in all those songs they now cease to sing

so on a whim I'll make trade with the whispers 
upon this snake's poisoned tongue I shall kiss 
and I'll hope that it's truths that they're selling 
as I trade it all for the one that I miss....

Copyright © 2014 Lemmy Rushmore All rights reserved.



The Inspiration for the poem "Vessels..."


vessels....

pure carnage incarnate 
the right hand of the beast 
unburdened by souls 
and upon you unleashed 
forked tongue of the tainted 
the true spreader of lies 
be not fooled by our form 
we are but one disguise 
we are the vessels 
and through us evil shall creep 
into each crevice 
into every pore we shall seep 
these rotted remains 
in which we still roam 
for years they have caged us 
so long been a home 
locked here to linger 
for as long as we may 
housed here by the harmed 
in hopes that we'll stay 
contained to these corpses 
in which we now reside 
they see the good doctor 
what they don't see is Hyde 
much more now we are 
than these forms that we wear 
with a shed of these cloaks 
at pure evil you'd stare 
we are but vessels 
grotesque beauty beheld 
you grasp not the concept 
or the power we weld 
bathed in the fires 
and bred the unclean 
with us comes the beyond 
and such sights to be seen 
we are the portal 
so that evil might dwell 
we are mere vessels 
but we bring with us hell....

Copyright © 2014 Lemmy Rushmore All rights reserved.
********


Geoff Brown


Geoff...


Biography: 

G.N. Braun is an Australian writer and Australian Shadows Award finalist-editor raised in Melbourne’s gritty Western Suburbs.
He is a trained nurse, and holds a Cert. IV in Professional Writing and Editing, as well as a Dip. Arts (Professional Writing and Editing).
At graduation, Braun was awarded ‘Vocational Student of the Year’ and ’2012 Student of the Year’ by his college.
He writes fiction across various genres, and is the author of many published short stories. He has had numerous articles published in newspapers, both regional and metropolitan. He is the past president of the Australian Horror Writers Association (2011-2013), as well as the past director of the Australian Shadows Awards. He is an editor and columnist for UK site This is Horror, and the guest editor for Midnight Echo #9.
His memoir, Hammered, was released in early 2012 by Legumeman Books and has been extensively reviewed.
He is the owner of Cohesion Editing and Proofreading, and has now opened a publishing house, Cohesion Press.


The Poem:





Untitled

I sit in this room, the shadowed memories flying behind my eyes like moths darting at the flames of an open fire.
High, vaulted ceilings rise above me like a narcissist's self-regard.

I remember...

Alone, I feel a tempest of recollection bursting at the seams of my mind, twisting it like taffy in a sideshow arcade and trying to come forth, to break free of the mental constraint that is me.
Books lie scattered everywhere, a field of fallen dominoes waiting for another chance to inspire.
I wish they could.

The memories grow...

Grotesque images plough my senses: the smell of beast after a sudden fall of acid-rain, the colour of viscous viscera fermenting in a vat of vomit.
These appeal to me in ways I cannot begin to define.
I can hear the silence: the echo of my pain, like claws scraping down a fleshless spine as the spider-webs cling to the ceiling, drifting like dandruff from a diseased scalp; that, too, appeals to me.

Was I going insane?
Or am I already there, all this an imaginary friend that's not very friendly at all?

I can taste the dust settling onto my skin.
It tastes like dry, dead beetles; scarabs scuttling down my throat to infest and ingest me from the inside.
It tastes too good to not be true.

The three windows allow marginal light, seeming as stingy as bankers with God's own illumination. The carpet under my bare feet is gritty, more a collection of shards, splinters and sand than any man-made fibre.
I feel the same; scattered and broken.

I remember...

As I stare at the tattered pictures of fallen heroes blue-tacked to the walls, I remember the events that happened here, the terrible things that no-one will talk of.

Not to me, anyway.

I remember the things that I wish I could talk of.
I mean...it was me that suffered here, wasn't it?

Was it?

Or was it all just a dream...?


Note by Anthony Servante: The poem itself is the reminiscence of a poet describing his thoughts in stream of consciousness fashion, so there was no need for Geoff to explain the poem as the poem itself is an explanation of the poem. 
********


Michael H. Hanson

Mike at Libertycon

Biography:

Michael H. Hanson is the Creator of the Sha'Daa shared-world, horror/fantasy anthology series (currently consisting of "Sha'Daa: Tales of The Apocalypse," "Sha'Daa: Last Call," "Sha'Daa: Pawns," and the soon to premiere "Sha'Daa: Facets," all published by Moondream Press (an imprint of Copper Dog Publishing LLC).

He has written two collections of poetry, "Autumn Blush" and "Jubilant Whispers," whose second editions will soon be published by Racket River Press (an imprint of Copper Dog Publishing LLC).

In the upcoming year Michael will not only be overseeing the writing of the new Sha'Daa anthology "Sha'Daa: Inked," but he is also overseeing the writing of the shared-world novel "Not To Yield," a science fiction tale inspired by The Odyssey.


The Poems: 





Silver Fireflies
by Michael H. Hanson

'Pon noble nights, such sacred sights
enchant all mawkish mortal eyes,
in heaven's heights the laughing lights
of frozen, silver fireflies.

What silent spell did they befell
that stopped their joyous, dervish dance,
the knell of unrung virgin bell
'cross ebon floor where none now prance?

Charmed curse each moonlit eve rehearsed
in sublime, static harmony,
God's purse of sparkling infants nursed
'til morn's pallid parsimony.

Some choose the kiss of amber sun
I love the weave of stars fine spun.

Poet Comment: This poem was inspired by a memory I had of a weekend I spent at Camp Vigor (a no-longer existing Boy Scout camp outside of Potsdam, NY) one Summer during my youth. Far from the ‘light pollution’ of the nearest town, with no clouds in the sky, the view of the stars above was simply… magnificent. Like many (but certainly not all) poets and writers, I’m a night person. “Silver Fireflies” is my simple homage to daytime’s mistress.





The Golden Road
by Michael H. Hanson

Pray kiss me quickly, take my hand
and let us bolt to yonder wold
escaping this mundane wasteland
to journey on the golden road.

We'll laugh and sing each other's name
'pon amber avenues of love
free of all lame, enduring blame
that stain what every heart has wove.

We'll drink the wine of gilded vine
and dance amidst these summer trees,
an honor guard most palatine
for all we fleeing refugees.

Fear naught of forest paths not strode
and join me on this golden road.

Poet Comment: Some fantasy escapism here. A bit of a loner, and currently a divorced man who is single, I was daydreaming one lunch hour while walking on a forested walking path (not far from my workplace) and spotted a lovely woman in the distance, strolling half a mile ahead of me on the same path. Our courses did not intersect, but still, for a moment, the yearning to leave my monotonous day-job, and escape the life that late middle-age has become, felt almost overpowering. That night, after work, the inspiration hit and I wrote this piece.





Summer Tryst
by Michael H. Hanson

The sum of all my summer days
extracted in a sweet malaise
cannot compete with your soft lips
that set my very blood ablaze.

The hazy hum of summer trees
richly perfumed in loamy musk
will not defer my earthy needs
tempted to life by you each dusk.

The drizzly drum of summer rain
beating in tempo with our hearts
would not distract my warm solace
and all the joy my soul imparts.

A lover taut and adamant,
I melt into your every want.

Poet Comment: Another slice of romantic escapism. “Summer Tryst” is not about an actual liaison, but more the wish-fulfillment and admittedly passive-aggressive thought experiment that filled me one Summer afternoon while walking through the streets of Provincetown, MA (Cape Cod). I had become quite smitten with a woman I had met that Summer, but, alas, it was never meant to be (for several good reasons, not the least of them being it was an unrequited affection). All the sensory elements of that day haunted me for weeks and ultimately came out in this poem.


Predatory Love


True
by Michael H. Hanson

True beauty blooms far more than once,
showing that loveliness is rife,
a predator who haunts and hunts
throughout the seasons of one's life.

True beauty is a wanderer
whose journey crosses many lands,
a fickle, anxious sojourner
deaf to every woman's commands.

True Beauty is a cunning coin,
a treasure trove subtly concealed,
hidden from cads who would purloin,
unearthed when ardour is revealed.

Beauty is truth often expressed
when love blossoms beneath your breast.

Poet Comment: As with most of my poems, “True” wears its intentions and conceits on its sleeves. It came about from my FB-surfing habit of viewing lots of photos online. After awhile, you become attuned to people’s expressions in photographs taken of them, and it really doesn’t take much effort to see a person uncomfortable in their own skin, avoiding the camera’s eye with awkward angles of facing the smart phone lens, hiding portions of one’s face with one’s hands, etc. And I found myself contrasting such images with those of individuals who had no such insecurities, and who faced the camera head on, full of confidence, with a great big wonderful smile on their face. And this made me think of beauty, what is it, really? Where does it come from? Is it really only skin deep? And if so, just how deep? And then I formed a conceit in my mind… that beauty is merely an extension of the love one feels within themselves. That love comes and goes like a tide, sometimes emptying out of us, and other times, filling us up… that this happens throughout the course of one’s life, not just in one’s youth. And then I wrote this poem.


The Original Selfie


Beautiful Selfie
by Michael H. Hanson

When I see you, I’m seeing me
in all of my transparency,
palpable perceptivity
and casual complacency.

When I see me, I’m seeing you
in your vulnerability,
a self-effacing ingenue
wary of all false flattery.

Each instant of a life we see
moments of fate’s causality,
an existential reverie
of all creation’s tapestry.

Clairvoyant selfies offer us
glimpses into our own essence.

Poet Comment: This poem was sparked by a selfie (a photograph taken of one’s self, usually using a smart phone) of a woman that was posted on Facebook (one of my FB friends). Not a particularly deep or complex poem… I found that in examining her picture, my own sense of self-awareness became much more acute. And I started to ponder the whole phenomena of posting selfies on FB, and elsewhere. In one very real sense, I found myself learning more about myself by looking at her photo, than I could ever know about her. For a moment I felt that all selfies on FB were just little mirrors into our own psyches. And thus a poem is born.
******** 


Philip LoPresti


Philip feverishly signing I AM SUICIDE


Biography:

Philip wants you to know: "You can get Haunted Fucking from amazon on kindle or paperback. My new collection I AM SUICIDE should be out in the next couple months.

I think it's best to let the poems speak for themselves. Giving away too much of intended meaning sort of dulls the magic of it all.

The two poems are from my book HAUNTED FUCKING."



The Poems:





"SPASM SIX
Drum with white washed bone.
Cadaver dolls hung slight
like bastard fruit.
I clenched you between teeth
and felt the taste of ditches
when a strangled bush of five
meant we were dying.
The words were written
in ovarian dust
and carved on the rectums
of eight crippled saints.
Your hymen was a light bulb
that led the way into a seven year rage.
Just forget what you came for
and bury me in the hollowed out
vessel of a blue ruin.”





“SPASM EIGHTEEN
The impossible birds
have come to rape her peninsula.
To shoot blood seeds into the nest of her guts.
To exhume sadness
from all manner of infected deserts
and spill the wad
on all forms of strange creatures.
The breathing girl has sucked me to shatters
and now lives as a skin drum in the rubella ballet.
Her husks are an ancient serene
which no language survives.
Part your lips
and lament for the moss stricken paranoid
that came gifted in brambles.
Part your lips
and let the prostitute gospel
stream out from it.
Isn’t this wonderful?
I know all the games you love to play. “

********


Drew Arnott


1980s

Yesterday-ish


Foreword:

Drew Arnott was the singer/songwriter for the New Wave Progressive "80s band, STRANGE ADVANCE from Canada. Isn't "New Wave Progressive" a oxymoron, you ask? Not in the case of SD. Their range of music included flights of ethereal ponderings with guitar work that most Metal bands would envy. They mixed the two genres of music and made it work, thanks to the writing talents of Drew, whom I caught up with while he was working on the history behind "We Run", SD's most successful LP. In this discussion he brings up some valid points about the writing process itself, which grabbed my attention. I asked him if I could use Parts I and II of the five piece article and he agreed. If you'd like to read Parts III, IV, and V, visit Drew's page on Facebook here. 

The Song:

Welcome back to the 80s.


The Lyrics: 


We Run


You're on your own and meet a friend
Who doesn't kill but wounds for life
The sun blinds you through the trees
While watching clues fall from the skies

And she smiles

At the point of the knife
You never see anyone
How the strong will survive
At the end of their gun

We Run

Frozen smiles for men returned
They never even left this place
She kissed me softly on the cheek
And a shadow cut across her face

At the point of the knife
You never see anyone
How the strong will survive
At the end of their gun

We Run

I walked for miles and miles to the sea
I know you never tried to deceive

At the point of the knife
You never see anyone
How the strong will survive
At the end of their gun

At the point of the knife
You never see anyone
How the strong will survive
At the end of their gun



We Run Pt 1

I couldn’t tell you when exactly I wrote it. Sometime in 83 or 84? I have a terrible memory and have always thought I should contact everyone I ever met and ask them what I was doing at the time.
It started with a dream. I have strange dreams. I was on the side of a hill / mountain, looking down on the harbour. It was a beautiful sunny day but strangely there was no sound or movement anywhere. I could see a large warship in the harbour drifting aimlessly. On deck were the lifeless forms of sailors. Scattered bodies lay randomly in the streets of the small town below. “Frozen smiles for men returned. They never even left this place…”

I should interject here and say this. Explaining songs to people can be a letdown. I know that when I listen to a song, I take away my own meaning. Sometime it might be just one line that resonates with me. One time a fan came up to me and told me how Worlds Away held so much meaning for him, as he had just gone through a divorce and clearly, that was what the song was about. I couldn’t tell him the real story. I wanted him to take what he wanted from it.

So, my question is:
Does learning the writers inspiration for a song help your understanding or destroy your personal interpretation?


"Worlds Away"
Song about divorce? A pending break-up?
Read my review of "We Run" and "Worlds Away"


We Run Pt 2

Okay then, on with the story.

I’m not sure what I’ve ever said about We Runs lyrics in public. One recurring theme for me is “the end of the world as we know it”. Yeah, I know. I’m a cheery guy. For some reason, I keep dreaming about the way the world will end. To be specific, how we will mess up and kill ourselves (and others) off. Lots of nuclear holocausts etc sprinkled with a bit of alien invasion!

Don’t ask me why certain imagery or words were chosen. “You’re on your own and meet a friend, who doesn’t kill but wounds for life. The sun blinds you, through the trees, while watching clues fall from the sky”. The ‘friend’ is radiation. The blinding sun - the explosion. The ‘clues’ - fallout. I’ve seen some people post lyrics that say “You’re on your own and need a friend” which is a good thought. We all need friends.
More about lyrics later.

For the gearheads out there, the song started life on the Roland JP8 (Jupiter 8) which is an awesome synth. When Strange Advance was first signed, the record company gave us money to live on and buy gear (you won’t see that these days). Getting the JP8 was a big deal to me. It directly inspired Worlds Away and many other tunes.

On a side note, I also fell in love with a new drum machine – the Linn LM-1. It was the first drum machine to use actual samples of drums and it sounded amazing. I’m a drummer and I couldn’t believe the way it sounded. We had previously been using an old Roland drum machine (CR-68?) so this was a HUGE step up! The only problem was, no one in Vancouver stocked them. So Bruce Fairbairn (our producer) decided to book us tickets to LA where they were in stock. (another side note – we had SUCH a nice record company. And we spent SO much money. As a matter of fact, we’re still paying them off!) So there was Bruce and I at the Guitar Center being sold an LM-1 by a salesman who tried to convince us to fly him up to Vancouver to ‘program’ the drum machine for our recordings. Now, first, it is not a complicated drum machine and second, the salesmans big claim to fame was that he had ‘programmed’ the drums for Rod Stewarts “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”. If you listen to that song, you will notice that the drums are pretty much kick snare repeated. Not an impressive resume!

So there I was in my basement, working on We Run. I think I had the song worked out when Ed Shaw came in to add some guitar.

Yet another side note! Ed Shaw and Derrick Gyles were the guitarist and drummer for an Albertan (I think?) band (or was it Winnipeg?) who Darryl and I fell in love with and stole. They were very cool, great musicians and we needed a band for touring. We rehearsed for a tour after the first album but due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to cancel it. Instead, we started work on tunes for the next album. When it was decided that we were going to record in London, the record company refused to pay for Ed and Derrick to go with us. Much to my shame, I did not put up a big enough fight and we lost Ed and Derrick. Fortunately, they landed on their feet and joined Images In Vogue, creating classic Canadian new wave tunes. I’ve often wondered what would have happened if we had stayed together…

Anyway, Ed loved playing with delays and suggested using a particular delay on the keyboard line. It vastly improved the feel. Thanks Ed! By the way, the keyboard I’m playing in the We Run video (makes me squirm to watch it. I had no clue.) is the JP8.

Now I am leaving to go to the studio. Sorry! More to come as we take We Run to London, Buttonville, Toronto, New York then back to London!

*********


Fine Art America
Where You Can Find the Artwork
of
Brande Barrett
Surreal Digital Photography Landscapes Seascapes and Sky

********

Poetry is alive and well. If you haven't noticed, there is a Modern Movement in the genre and these are the voices leading the way to becoming the writers that will reach the history and academic texts of tomorrow. So grab your copy now and stay ahead of the poetry that's turning the form inside out and making the unreachable concepts of life, love, death, and caging them in poems that demand your attention. 

A.D. Blacet is a poet to keep an eye on. He's one my three picks to enter the field of poetry and make both scholars and laymen read his works. Brande Barrett is the perfect choice to illustrate Blacet's abstract concepts as her art captures both realism and the abstract in a way that complements the words but also works as standalone art as well.



Andrew D. Blacet (Words) Brande Barrett (Art)

Buy this fantastic poetic journey here.

Description: Here are poems for those who prefer to linger among the ruins, to listen for ghosts in leaning doorways or the driplines of caves; for those who appreciate the incipient dread of long shadows, the dark flourish of root and branch, the reflections of stars in wet sand. These are poems for the reader who does not require every puzzle to be solved, every monster to be dragged from its well and thrust into withering light. For those seeking reassurance from the familiar or mundane, look elsewhere. These are the thud of moist earth on the lid of a casket, the suggestion of half-formed faces budding in the boulders of a cliff – these are the occupants of the ditch.



********

William Cook is another of my three picks for the poet to lead the way into the future for poetry.


Purchase the future of poetry here.

*********


Kim Acrylic comes from a background of music. Her poetry is from the head and heart, but these are not lyrics. They are cries of anguish in the form of irony and wicked smiles.

Read this semi-autobiographical look at the poet
through her words and ideas.
You'll get lost in the magic realism.
Purchase Kim's latest book here. 

********


Anthony Servante is a retired professor of English literature. His background is in critiquing poetry, novels, and prose. Yes, that's me. My book of poetry is about growing up in a poor community surrounded by industry: dog food factories next to human food companies. They'd haul in the cows and pigs at midnight and slaughtered them and stuffed them into metal cans, some marked for Rover, others marked for Mrs. Housewife's breakfast table. Two animals killed for two animals. And that's how I saw my neighborhood, like episodes of the Twilight Zone mixed with death's grin and beckoning finger. My poems are designed like little MC Escher drawings: the beginnings and the endings are seamlessly melded. A colleague once called this style of writing a "Servantian tangle" akin to an O'Henry story ending. I write this way because the ending draws your eye back to the title of the poem, which makes you read it again. It's a haunting little loop that's hard to break once you're caught in it. For example, one poems has a driver being tail-gated on the freeway. After some deadly road rage, the tailgater finally catches the narrator in a dead-end. When the narrator looks in the rear-view mirror to face the tailgater, he sees that =he= is the tailgater. So, pick up a copy of my book and get caught up in the tangle of poetry. It's fun getting snared in the web.


Click here to purchase. Only 99 cents. Limited time only!

********

Well, it's been another pleasant visit with you. Thank you for coming. I hope you enjoyed your stay. Remember, inside we are all poets, so submit your works for next month's column at servanteofdarkness@gmail.com. Or if you have artwork that you'd like to feature along with the poetry, send it in with a link to your website so our readers can see your other works of art. It's been a pleasure hosting today's column. Till next month, burn the darkness at both ends. 

Reminder: Your donations help keep the blog alive and well. We bring you poetry, music, books, film, and TV, with a look at the social-economic situation with ebook publishers and writers. So, donate what you can or buy a book from our ads or from our participants in the articles, reviews, and interviews. To donate, click on the DONATE icon to the right at the top of the page and follow the simple instructions. We also accepts ads for all the articles for $5.00 a month. Amazon and Smashwords ads are free of charge to link your book to my ads column on the right of the page. Thank you. 
Anthony Servante