Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010

Sitting on the porch last night with the kids eating popsicles looking out at the yard and the tree and all this outside I have to myself for the first time in years, I commented that the Buddha statue my mom gave me had become nearly obscured by overgrown grass. Ambrose said it didn't matter because he was just, you know (he smiled tentatively; was he unsure he had the right word) meditating. Ezra asked me if I could "teach him Buddhism." "Two things" I told him, "Pay attention, and be nice."

He gave me a look like I was kidding him. How could it be so simple. Wasn't it an arcane system of gestures, words, rituals. And part of it didn't make sense, or maybe sounded too pedantic: "Pay attention?"

"Pay attention means like, listen to somebody when they're telling you something," Ambrose said. "Yeah that's part of it," I said, "It also means notice things. Notice the grass. Notice the tree. Notice the taste of that popsicle. Notice the sound of the birds. Notice that squirrel running across the wire." (Ambrose, who had been smiling, laughed).

This was a really trite and tired way of saying it, I know, however true it might actually be, but that moment of last night in that single pristine moment they seemed to get it. After all, all they had to do was look around.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I have to go away.

It's very hard to get any work done in a coffee shop when "Father & Son" is playing, what with the lump in the throat and all.

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14, 2010, 10:40 a.m.

Stopping by the kids' school to drop something off and ending up making tie-died shirts with your kindergartener outside on a bright, cool Spring day is one of the many good reasons for getting laid off.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just like Jelly Roll.

Listening to Astral Weeks this morning in the car it was wet and the streets and parks and buildings outside the streaked, dropletted glass were ranging like the expansive continual unwinding feeling of this album which is soul music like Van's other albums but soul unthreaded. More spaces between the notes. Like the windows are open on a rainy spring afternoon, blue notes but coming from another room down the hall or up the stairs where someone's got an old ray charles record on.

I got a home on high / in another land / so far away / so far away.

I felt that way a long time walking around with my eyes closed looking for something invisible. But music, any kind of music, even blues with its love and loss and being broke, is a way of remembering what's right here.

Dear Mr. Morris. has been six months since we broke up. I'm happy to say that at last, I don't miss you every day. I don't miss the foul-smelling hands and clothes. I don't miss brushing my tongue, gargling mouthwash, and scrubbing my face hands and arms every time I want to kiss my lady. I don't miss doing the same shit to hide from my kids the fact I'm doing something I hope they never do. I don't miss going out in the cold. So, please stop sending me emails. I don't want to read them anymore. Cut it out with the embedding sexy pictures of yourself into movies and TV. Yeah, your sultry blue curls are enticing but I know what kind of baggage you bring with them. And please, stop sending your friends to stand outside and blow on me with your familiar perfume. I don't want to smell you anymore. Check back with me in six months if you want, but I suspect I'll feel the same. Besides. I have a new intimate friend now named Caffeine. Regards, Eric.

Friday, May 07, 2010

"I'd like to dedicate this song to anybody with hearts, any kind of hearts, and ears."

-Jimi Hendrix' intro to a cover of Like a Rolling Stone he did at Monterey Pop Festival.

Me and the Heron.

I heard just the opening of this one morning on the clock radio and that was enough for me to know I had to track it down and when the DJ said it was Gil Scott-Heron it added even more urgency to my needing to find it. (The whole album is available on emusic).

The spoken word on this record will make you want to write poetry even if you're not a poet. It reminds me the few times I tried to compete, badly, at the Nyorican Cafe but it excites me the way the idea of spoken word once did and I'm trying to write poetry again so thanks, Gil, for yet another indelible contribution to American culture and to my life.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

May 6, 2010

Ezra and Ams sang together in the car this morning, Ezra teaching his brother the words to a rainforest song from school, which he belted out full volume as Ambrose tried to keep up with his own sweet little voice.