Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Buckley’

Poetry In Translation

February 6, 2017

Is like taking a shower in a raincoat.

Yes.

I went and saw a movie today.

That was a line between two of the characters.

It was lyric and sweet and the sweep of it was soft and gorgeous.

I was unexpectedly free this afternoon.

I had some things come up and I had to change my plans.

I had managed to get up and go to yoga, even though I really didn’t think I was going to after the late night I had last night.

I had turned off my alarm and just planned to let myself sleep in, but I was up in time to make the late morning yoga class and I went.

I really didn’t think I was going to, even after I had gotten out of bed.

I went and washed my face and brushed my teeth, drank a glass of water, took my iron supplement and flax-seed oil and went to get dressed.

I opened the door to the closet and pulled off my yoga pants from the rack and put them on.

I almost laughed out loud.

It was just so automated, my body telling my brain what it wanted to do and just doing it regardless of the brain that was like, no, you’re not going, my body was like, sorry Charlie, as my hands pulled up my yoga pants and then my sports bra and top, I actually chuckled at myself, I was that surprised.

Sometimes I have smart feet and they just carried me along despite my brains weak protestations that I could just go at another time.

Yeah.

Sure brain.

You get me into some hot spots you know, why don’t you just take a back seat today.

The yoga was good, but hard, I mean, it was a super challenging class, but I found myself letting it be hard and doing what I could to keep up and just being there was more than good enough.

I came back home, changed and made breakfast.

I did some inventory and decided that I needed to change-up my plans for the day, but I was till going to head down to Let It Bleed and see my tattoo artist.

I need some touching up on the star tattoo I got two weeks ago.

But.

Shoot.

It’s not fully healed.

“Nope, I’m not going to touch it, the skin’s too tight, it’ll end up tearing, you’ll scar, we need to wait a little longer,” he told me.

So.

No tattoo for me today.

Suddenly having time, I called a friend in the Mission, let’s hang out, I said on the message.

I started to walk towards the Mission and decided to go see a movie before I headed over to my friend’s house.

I ducked into Opera Plaza and saw Paterson.

It was just the perfect reprieve and the perfect place to watch a matinée on a rainy Sunday in San Francisco.

The theater was actually quite a bit fuller than I had expected and it was cozy, smelling of warm buttered popcorn and the soft warmth lulled me and the movie with its fluidity of images and poetic moments, its small details and artistry drew me in.

I left happy and content and meandered a nice mellow walk to my friend’s house.

We chatted, had tea, he fed me an apple and a thick slice of brie, we caught up, compared notes about this and that, school, mutual friends, life.

It was just right.

Then I headed over to Firewood Cafe up in the Castro and had a big heart to heart with my person about the events of my day and got some suggestions and afterwards we went over to Diamond and 18th and hung out with a big group of fellows and I got to be held and it felt so good to sit next to someone who loves me and gives me perspective and also doesn’t sugar coat anything and yet advocates for me in a way I am not sure anyone has ever done before.

And now home.

Some Jeff Buckley on the stereo, I was just talking about the show that I saw him in when he was on tour with his album Grace last night with my friend in Oakland.

I love you.

But.

I am afraid to love you.

How I heard the news when he died, drowning in a river, the Mississippi to be exact.

I was setting up the Angelic Brewing Company for that night’s dinner service and had cued up Grace to play on the sound system and one of the waitresses walked past and stopped and said, “God, weren’t you devastated when you heard he’d died?  I haven’t been able to listen to this yet, thanks for playing it now.”

I gasped.

I had remembered only that day wondering when he was going to be on tour again, impatiently waiting for his long over due album My Sweetheart, The Drunk.

I ended up giving him a eulogy in my speech class that semester and crying shamelessly during it.

Music moves me.

When he sang Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah during the encore at the Barrymore Theater in Madison I just about collapsed with the joy and the exquisite pain of the music.

But you don’t really care for music.

Do you?

Things change.

But somethings are indelible on my soul and that song, those words, landed and stuck.

I have a great deal of perspective since then and have grown, moved, changed, evolved, but poetry is poetry is poetry.

And when I walked through the streets of San Francisco in the overcast grey and threatening rain I was glad for the light and the rain and the soft forlorn grey and the sweet surreal beauty of the sky over the Opera House, in the alleys of the Mission, the graffiti murals washed clean and bright in the tepid grey of the day, my heart shifted and the bloom of the umbrella over my head sheltered me and led me forward into the heart of the city that I am so-called to be a part of and belong to.

I am.

Even when the day was different then what I expected.

The open window lets the rain in.

The open heart lets the love in.

Thank you San Francisco.

I do so love you.

I do.

Thank you for loving me back.

It has not gone unnoticed.

No.

It has not.

 

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Friday’s Class

September 2, 2016

Fuck Friday’s class.

Fuck reading for Friday’s class.

Fuck caring where Friday’s class is on campus.

Fuck Friday.

heh

Oh.

Fuck me.

Friday is tomorrow, is like in less than an hour and I’m wide awake.

Because.

I slept eleven hours last night.

ELEVEN.

Holy cats man.

I can’t remember the last time I slept eleven hours, without being intoxicated into doing so by way of a super bad hang over.

I mean.

Really.

The grey foggy morning helped.

The ringer turned off on my phone definitely helped.

The lack of sleep from being at Burning Man, the absolute clincher.

I have no recollection of what I blogged about last night, in fact, amazed that I blogged at all.

I woke up pretty groggy and pretty much ready to go back to bed after relieving the bladder.

I glanced with little care at my phone to see what time it was.

11:15 a.m.

Oh shit.

Getting up.

Getting up now.

Not that I couldn’t have slept longer, but it’s not the best idea for me to ruin my sleep pattern by staying in bed that late, I would have shot myself if I had slept past noon.

Again.

Not because I had anything pressing to do today.

Except get to the Mike Doughty Living Room Show that I just got back from attending.

So good.

I laughed a lot, clapped a lot, sang under my breath to the songs a lot, he was recording the show and since it was so small it felt utterly inappropriate to sing along to the music, even though I found myself mouthing along silently to many of the songs.

I also found myself in tears twice.

First, when he did an acoustic version of Sweet Dreams of Wichita.

Oh God.

That song, it still slays me.

I can still be transported right back to the house on Franklin Street where I lived with an ex-boyfriend and two other guys, two cats and a small hydroponic pot farm growing in the hall closet.  I can feel the wood floor underneath my feet, the summer night warmth on my body, and suddenly being transported by the music to another place, swaying in front of the double tape cassette of the boom box on the table in the living room.

I remember that was the year I got turned on to Jeff Buckley and to Soul Coughing, both of whom I got to see in concert.

Funny that.

Doughty talked about Jeff helping him move into a place in New York and eating a bucket of KFC in a U-haul at the show in regards to a question that was asked from the audience.

He, Mike, had a clear plastic jar that you could scribble down a question on a post it note and he would answer.

I asked what was a favorite line of poetry.

He recited the first bit of Xanadu by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Fucking swoon.

It was a great show.

I was able to chat with him afterward, we have some mutual friends, and I was shy as a kitten and perhaps, well, perhaps social anxiety is the best for me.

Even should I have wanted to have said what I wished I could have said, I really couldn’t have said more.

He did sign a birthday card for my friend who was at the show and, a friend who might be a bigger fan than I.

Might.

It felt good though.

So good.

All the things, the way the Universe connects, these places and parts of me, these heart shaped words pressing agains the back of my throat with a longing wild and slow burning to be seen.

And I was.

I feel that.

And I didn’t need an autograph for me, but one of my friends did buy me a poster as a thank you for getting the tickets to the show, so I got the signature.

It may be the only autographed thing I have.

It is enough to have the music autographed on my soul.

Stitched into the memories and the placing of who I am in this world.

Time stamped on my heart.

True Dreams of Wichita is not about Kansas for me.

It is about Iowa and it is also about running away from home when I was young and stupid and naive, God damn, so naive, but gratefully so, had I not been, I would not have had all those adventures.

And mis-adventures.

So many experiences and stories.

The soundtrack came with the music after.

I had never heard the sound track to my story until then.

There are memoirs I have written, years ago now, and they have these sound tracks.

The music that was there for me to lean into and the music that was on the stereo, the cd player, the record machine, the tape cassettes, the sound track to my young, raw life.

It is a good one.

And I realized.

Yes.

I will re-write some of the memoir, I will tighten it up, and I will also screen play it.

And some day, far, far, far away, but someday, because I can, because I will, because I manifest, I will have Doughty’s music be the soundtrack to the film.

Even if it’s small and indie, because the material is not mainstream.

But.

It will happen.

I had hoped, fantasized, come on, let’s be real, to kiss him, to linger at his knee, to look into his musician’s eyes and make woo woo faces.

Of course.

Real life being, well, real.

That did not happen.

But I saw an artist.

I was inspired.

I was moved.

And I got a hug.

“We meet at last,” he said with a smile.

I am seen.

I am recognized.

That, well, in my tiny, wee little way, was very special.

Thanks Mike.

Thank you for the music, for the memories, for the joy of seeing how far I have come from being that scared nineteen year old girl on the run from all the horrors of life, horrors I was so used to that I didn’t even know they were terrifying.

I got through, in no small part, by listening to you.

So.

To get to say thank you to an artist who has meant so much in my life felt very special, unique, privileged and it was just a plain honor to bear witness to the artistry of the man.

Especially with my friends.

Life is so good.

School starts tomorrow.

And though I will be sleepy.

I will be there.

Happy and replete with the soundtrack of wistful longing embossed upon my dreams.

Thanks again, Mike Doughty.

It was awesome.

Seriously.

 

Impromptu Dance Party

May 14, 2016

My date cancelled.

And then.

I got my period.

It’s a Friday night.

And.

I’m at home.

AND I DON’T GIVE ONE FINE FUCK!

I finished my Clinical Relationship paper.

It’s done!

Done!

Done!

Oh sweet Jesus, the relief.

Excuse me, I just had another impromptu dance party in my chair.

Happy, happy.

Joy, joy.

11 full pages.

APA format.

References, title page, all the things.

Proper like.

3,744 words.

Thank you.

Thank you very fucking much.

Lucky one.

I am two.

Lucky three, the one for me.

One, two, three I’m on my knees.

Oh my god.

I’m in tears.

This music.

I get high.

I was listening to Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Surfer Bus, twenty years ago.

Twenty.

In that house on Franklin Street in Madison, my roommates were my boyfriend Justin–he and I shared the big back room–we had a couple of Bengal leopard cats and a tabby (Mia, Tiger, and Porkchop)–and a king size water bed (giggle), Matt, Justin’s best friend, and Naboja–the heroin junkie from Serbia.

God we were wild.

Pot growing in the closets, cats running ruckus throughout the house, Matt’s girlfriend and I were arch nemesis (why?  I have no idea, but something to do with drinking the last of my milk and leaving the empty container in the fridge), Justin playing chess and smoking bongs, Naboja running in and out of the house with nefarious friends and black tar (God I was naive).

Justin cheated on me twice in that house.

And I stayed for five years.

(five years of no writing, no poetry, no words, no journal entries, note to self you die when you aren’t writing)

Oof.

The things I put myself through not knowing there was a way out.

However.

It was not all bad, there was sweetness and light and just as I introduced him to classical music and Blues and jazz (he became a total jazz junkie) he introduced me to Soul Coughing and Jeff Buckley, we saw them both in concert together–Buckley touring for Grace at the Barrymore and Soul Coughing on tour for Ruby Vroom at the Eagles Ballroom.

He made me listen to Sleater Kinney–saw them too, at the Union South of all places on campus, tiny little space and they slayed it, fucking killed it dead on the floor revived the bitch, then killed it again.

We saw Annie DiFranco at the Civic Center.

I think Justin was the only man in the audience who was straight.

Although his hair was so long from behind he could have been a girl.

We saw Primus, fucking loved Les Claypool so hard; he turned me on to Sepultura, although I had to be in the mood, once in a while, well, I was.

We saw Beck, Morphine, Cake.

So much good music.

He found a stained glass artist at the Farmer’s Market one sunny Saturday morning, I had closed the Essen Haus the night before, a crazy German restaurant and brew hall I worked notoriously long hours for, and he’d bought a pair of earrings from her.

They were long, almost a tear drop shape, navy blue, with small striations of sky blue and robins egg blue and white at the tips.  I eventually found that artisan again and asked her to make me sets of those earrings.

I don’t have any of them anymore.

Maybe I should look her up again.

They were gorgeous in their simplicity and when I wore my hair up and the sun hit them.

Magic.

That was what there were to me that day.

Magic.

Sex and love and passion and music and youth and beauty.

God.

I was so beautiful

(and fat and ugly and ugly and fat and you better do something about that or you’re going to grow up and be alone forever)

I had no idea.

I woke up tangled in the sheets on the water bed, Porkchop meowing at me, rolled out of bed and took a shower, I smelled like beer and cigarettes and rinder rouladen gravy and weinerschnitzle and schnapps and dirty dirndl.

Justin was not there.

There was no note, it was late, afternoon already, past noon, past one, heading into the golden bright light bouncing off James Madison park and the lake and I supposed that Justin was out throwing a frisbee at the park with the guys.

I showered and enjoyed having the apartment to myself.

I put on my favorite A-line skirt and a leotard, navy blue, and dried my hair into its big mass of curls.

I went into our bedroom and turned on Masters of Reality and began dancing, barefoot, to When Jody Sings (how interesting! I just realized my professor’s name for the Clinical Relationship is “Jyoti” is it odd?  Is it God? Is it counter transference?  Read my paper and find out), the skirt a soft, small print, I mean tiny, it was such a tiny print you almost couldn’t tell it was a print, of navy, red, and green plaid (it had been a house dress of my mom’s that never quite fit me in the bodice, so I ripped off the top and reconstructed it as a skirt) flaring out around my calves.

I love a skirt that flares when I spin.

I danced in the sunlight streaming through the windows, singing the song and delighting in my own self.

Justin was standing in the door way.

Smitten.

The look on his face.

I won’t soon forget.

I can still see it twenty years ago like it was this morning.

“Did you find your gift?” He asked me, smiling, his head tilted, bright eyed (high, oh so high) and lit up.

I paused in my dance, flustered, but pleased that he’d seen me in a moment (a rare one at the time) when I felt truly myself, truly beautiful.

Oh do I ache for her.

(yes, I know, I’m emotional, I got my period, roll with it please)

He walked across the wood floor, that odd way he walked sometimes, high, on the balls of his feet like he was cantilevered forward always rushing off into the future where things were brighter, higher, more rare and real, and he took my hand and led me to the window.

“These,” he said pointing at the earrings.

I had not seen them.

Hanging from the window screen, blazing in the sunlight like the ocean at sunset tonight when I rode my scooter home, thank you God for letting me live in San Francisco and see the fire of the setting sun on the water, thank you, dancing alive and dappled with shade from the oak trees rustling in the breeze.

“Oh,” I said, softly startled, inordinately pleased.

“They are so beautiful,” I took them off the screen and put them in my ears.

“So are you,” he said and kissed me.

The afternoon melted into evening and I wore them that night to work, they matched my dirndl.

And oh.

How far this woman has come.

So very far, across the country, through valleys and peaks and the lowest lows.

My voice broke tonight.

Sitting in the front row, the low lights hiding my face, the sudden tears, but nothing could hide the break in my voice as I described how grateful I was to be there.

Sitting there in that chair there, still not done with my paper (had to do the references when I got home tonight), but almost, the writing was done all 3,744 words, and though I was tired, up at 7:30 a.m. to do the work before I went to work, I was so profoundly grateful.

Who knew I was going to be this woman?

When I scootered off after school on Saturday night I snuck through Minna Alley.

It’s a one way.

There were needles and shit and homeless people and tents and crates and a woman smoking crack out of a pipe, the scent sweet, rotten, rotting, aching with the need to fill that hole that just cannot get whole.

“I was that woman, twelve years ago, sitting on a piece of cardboard smoking from a crack pipe, and now, now, here I am riding my scooter, that I paid for in cash, brand new, riding home from the graduate school that I go to around the corner,” I paused, my heart broke open.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the fucking world.

And my paper’s done.

And my heart.

Well, once again, it is on my sleeve.

Exactly as it should be.

My love.

Exactly where it belongs.

Just there.

Love.

Just there.

 

 

It’s Getting Busy In Here

October 22, 2013

I would like to say “up in here,” however that would slant my meaning a little the sassy way and that is not what I meant.

Not that I am opposed to it, mind you.

No, what I mean is that the next few weeks just got booked solid with work.

One of the dad’s picked up a contract that will go through the month of November and probably through the middle of December.

Add on to that there will be a work retreat for the two moms in the second week of November.

I am working a lot.

This is good.

Off set that wetsuit cost.

Pay some student loans.

Stick some money in savings.

Buy a plane ticket somewhere warm for the winter.

I am just thinking out loud here, but there are some folks I would like to see and one of the families will be in Puerto Rico for a week in January and I thought, hmmm, I have an anniversary of mine to celebrate maybe I will go somewhere that month to celebrate.

Maybe.

Just things on the horizon.

I am also filled with story thoughts.

November is the next week!

The first of the month is Friday and that will begin my month-long adventure in novel-writing.  Which just happens to coincide with the busiest work that I have had on my plate in a while and the Mike Doughty concert on November 6th.

That week is going to be off the wall.

That is the same week as the retreat.

I shall, however, have extra scratch should I want to get some swag at the concert.

I used to not think much about grabbing t-shirts and such at shows, but there have been a few times that I wished I had.

The Jeff Buckley show I saw at the Barrymore in Madison.

Soul Coughing in Milwaukee.

The J. Davis Trio out of Chicago, their show especially when they were promoting the New Number Two, definitely would have liked some merch from that.

Goldfrapp at the Fillmore.

There’s a few more shows, I have a set list somewhere from a Pete Yorn show I saw before he broke out, again in Madison, and I certainly have plenty of memories about shows.

The show were Michael Franti pulled me from the floor up onto stage and sang and danced a song with his big lanky, sweaty, body draped over me.

Being behind the booth with Donald Glaude New Years 2003, San Francisco.

Yup.

There’s some good times in there.

I am looking forward to seeing Doughty.

I have seen him once solo, at a Cafe Montmartre in Madison, which was sweet and very intimate, despite friends who were there shrooming their brains out who kept professing their love for him.

Yeah, it will be a busy week.

It will be a busy month.

The novel idea is a great idea and I did find the time in my schedule, the dribs and drabs of the hours that will come to mean so much to me as I attempt to cram one more thing into my schedule.

Because I am going to try to grab some hours devoted to working on my other book as well.

I will write the novel long hand.

I have been back and forth with this in my head for a couple of days, well, basically since I signed up for it.

I don’t want to drag my laptop around and I am leery of writing a rough draft of a manuscript on a keyboard.

It is too easy to hit delete and lose thoughts, movements, ideas or feelings.

A rough draft is the cutting of the cloth, you want lots of it to drape your suit of story from.  You don’t want to have to go back later and add stuff.  I don’t anyway.  I want a big swath of material.

Which is the thought behind writing it that way and also that I don’t want to drag around my laptop to work each and every day.

Partially because it is a little heavy and a bit of a nuisance and partially because I want to stretch the life of this laptop out.  I have been experiencing some more difficulties with it and I am getting the feeling that there may be a new laptop in my future before there is a new surf board.

The notebook is the way to go.

The only nuisance with it is that I will need to word count my book into the format for the website.  And I wonder if I will need to transcribe it by the end of the month.

I was doing a little poking around the site to see what the parameters were, but it is unclear at this time whether I actually use the site to write the novel, or I just use the site to track the progress of the novel.

Should I decide to write the rough draft in my laptop I would save it first to the laptop anyhow and then upload to the site.

In both scenarios, there is a word count.

With a notebook, there is me counting the words.

I can make a fairly good guess at how many words I get out on a page and when the fire is hot in my hands and I am a conduit of the muse, which is really always what it feels like, I sit down and the words come from somewhere outside of me, I can write about eight to ten pages long hand in an hour.

I have written so fast before that my hands have cramped to get the words out.

There is a kind satisfying adrenalin rush that comes with being overcome with the word.

It is spiritual in nature and overwhelming.

I feel a little used by it, but outrageously wonderful when it is happening.

There is a high involved.

I won’t deny it.

Even here, the tip tap typing and clack of the keyboards provides me with some sort of visceral fulfilment.

My day is not complete without the words.

The sentences stacking themselves up.

My friend mentioned last night that if I write on average 1,000 word posts (they tend to be a spot over I think, but I will go with that estimate) and I have written over a 1,000 blogs, that in essence I have written over a million words.

A fucking MILLION.

Whoa, damn Gina.

What the fuck is that?

That is not me.

Not this lazy bitch that would rather watch Breaking Bad and House of Cards then type out a story.

How I got here I don’t know, but I have to say, I rather like it.

I think I will stay awhile.

Even when it gets busy, the getting is always good.

Getting some may never have been better.

Well….


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