Thursday, April 16, 2015

A HOLLYWOOD POETRY: 2001-2013 playlist companion.

The playlist below is composed of songs that resonated in one way or another during the period of 1988-1997 when I was a low-level participant in the Entertainment Industry.  Look for them on YouTube and/or your favorite streaming services; they make good background listening while reading a copy of my book HOLLYWOOD POETRY: 2001-2013 available here:
http://hollywoodpoetry.com

1. HEAVEN IN MY HANDS--Level 42
2. SUPERSONIC--JJ Fad
3. PENELOPE PLEASE--Terrence Trent D'Arby
4. GOODBYE MARLON BRANDO--Elton John
5. ELVIS IS DEAD--Living Colour w/Little Richard
6. SABOTAGE--Beastie Boys
7. SURE SHOT--Beastie Boys
8. TOY SOLDIERS--Martika
9. ANGEL DRESSED IN BLACK--Warren Zevon
10. THERE IS A VOICE--Squeeze
11. LITHIUM--Nirvana
12. CANTALOOP (FLIP FANTASIA)--us3
13. MEXICAN MOON--Concrete Blonde
14. FORTUNE TELLER--The Iguanas
15. SCARED OF GUNS--John Wesley Harding
16. SPLENDID ISOLATION--Warren Zevon
17. SOME FANTASTIC PLACE--Squeeze
18. MAS Y MAS--Los Lobos

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New poem: YOU GET SO ALONE, INDEED

whatever one thinks of Charles Bukowski
as poet, lover, gambler, drinker, 
he (or his publisher) devised
one of the all-time-great book titles:
YOU GET SO ALONE
which serves as a definition
for life in Los Angeles
when you arrive
knowing almost no one
and feeling overpowered
by people pushing past you,
strangers refusing to talk
out of fear you might harm them,
cars with human voices yelling
LEARN TO DRIVE!
when you haven't mastered
the split-second timing
of yielding to oncoming traffic
before the light turns red
>
YOU GET SO ALONE
as you look for available work
to pay for rent and food
and hope to meet Angelenos
someday, somewhere
who haven't yet become granite statues
with pitiless eyes

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New poem: CONTENTS OF JOURNALS PAST

no-longer-blank books on the shelf above me
reminding me of the way I used to write poems
one draft after another in blue or black ink
until they improved enough
to be tried out at open mics
>
other items in those books
including poems given to me
by poets no longer part of the scene
plus post-it notes with names
and addresses of poetry venues
that I eventually attended
>
in those days
before I became aware
of how unaware I was

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Frank Sinatra Reprise Records Playlist.

1. RING-A-DING-DING
2. I'M GETTING SENTIMENTAL OVER YOU
3. IMAGINATION
4. PLEASE DON'T TALK ABOUT ME WHEN I'M GONE
5. GOODY GOODY
6. NIGHT AND DAY
7. COME RAIN OR COME SHINE
8. FLY ME TO THE MOON
9. THE BEST IS YET TO COME
10. IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR
11. THAT'S LIFE
12. I CONCENTRATE ON YOU
13. STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
14. SUMMER WIND
15. APRIL IN PARIS (Live, SINATRA AND SEXTET)
16. QUIET NIGHTS OF QUIET STARS (CORCOVADO)
17. SEND IN THE CLOWNS
18. LUCK BE A LADY
19. THEME FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK
20. MY WAY

My Frank Sinatra Capitol Records playlist.

1. YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO YOUNG
2. IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS
3. I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN
4. COME FLY WITH ME
5. MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT
6. AUTUMN IN NEW YORK
7. I'M A FOOL TO WANT YOU
8. A COTTAGE FOR SALE
9. ANGEL EYES
10. EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO ME
11. NICE AND EASY
12. AMERICAN BEAUTY ROSE
13.  EMBRACEABLE YOU (DUETS II version w/Lena Horne)
14. ONE FOR MY BABY (AND ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD)
(DUETS version w/Kenny G soloing)

Monday, April 6, 2015

When ROLLING STONE grades/re-grades rock artists on a curve.

Links to various album reviews that have appeared in ROLLING STONE demonstrating the magazine's determination to "come through" for artists delivering albums that aren't universally acclaimed on original release.

First, founder Jann Wenner pre-emptively strikes critics of Bob Dylan's 1979 gospel album SLOW TRAIN COMING: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/slow-train-coming-19790920

Last year, David Fricke overrates Bruce Springsteen's grab-bag HIGH HOPES:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/high-hopes-20140106

Paul Nelson's lukewarm review of The Rolling Stones' SOME GIRLS:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/some-girls-19780810

The above is later reversed by Rob Sheffield's gooey, gushy five-star review of its reissued version:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/some-girls-deluxe-edition-20111121

Greil Marcus dismissing Bob Dylan's 1978 STREET-LEGAL:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/street-legal-19780824

Jann Wenner throwing Nelson and Marcus under the bus for not bowing to Greatness:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/love-in-vain-dylan-and-the-stones-in-the-seventies-19780921

Finishing with the all-time-classic miscue of Parke Puterbaugh giving The Who's IT'S HARD five stars in 1982: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/its-hard-19820930


New poem: OUTRAGE CULTURE


it's so easy
to be angry at Famous People
(justified or not)
for perceived sins of the past
and display purifying scorn
in public forums
via viral articles/blog posts
with no need
for nuance or perspective
or historical context
>
pre-empting opposite viewpoints
and making absolutely sure
actual or imagined crimes
and dubious, outdated, chauvinistic remarks
will cause every second of their art
and/or entertainment
created in the imperfect past
to be avoided like Video Plague
by future generations
and imprisoned in studio vaults
with no likelihood of escape
(except perhaps for YouTube)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

On the subject of featured poets who leave readings early.

An interesting discussion is taking place on a Bay Area poet's Facebook feed.  She posed the issue of featured poets/writers who leave a reading early, as well as poets/writers who leave an open mic early.

First, let's hear from a literary poet, well known in California:
been on both ends. features know when the crowd is there because they want their 3 minutes of glory with the mic, not to listen to the feature. i usually stay, and like most open mics, might hear 1-3 really good poems, and a lot of really bad poetry. then i'll watch them exit with their hands in their pockets because they sure have no intention of buying a book or copy of my poetry mag. if i'm lucky, the host might give me 20 bucks for my gas and a trip to McDonald's. it's a glorious life. and the open-mic crowd wants a pieceof the action.

Another commenter:
  I think it'd very bad form to leave before the end of a reading, if you are reading yourself in any manner - unless of course circumstance compels you to leave. In which case, it's very good form to let folks know that you'll need to while you're at the mic. I generally assume that in most cases, when someone gets up to read and then leaves without mentioning that they need to, that they're only there to hear themself. Which in turn makes me disinterested in listening to their work in future, no matter what I might think of it.

Another commenter, who names Famous Names:

In the 1980s I drove some ways to Cal State Dominguez Hills to hear Robert Peters and Billy Collins, plus open mic. Pre-Mapquest, GPS, Google Maps. Found the building on-campus and was delighted by the features. They stayed for a little bit of the open mic but not the whole thing. I was sad they didn't get to hear me but not sorry I'd come. I believe Collins had been flown in for the event, and I'm sure these giants of poetry had plenty to say to each other.