O, Donny Boy, Your Gripes, Your Gripes Are Galling

I’m really not a fan of slam poetry, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway, something to do to while away the interregnum. 

Look up at your TV screens, it’s a turd, it’s a pain, it’s Donald Trump, reality TV star President who has lowered the bar on truth, justice, the American way, a fat-ass Superman wannabe, who can’t stand up straight, much less fly, doesn’t care if we live or die, calls the pandemic a gimmick, has updated the leech with bleach, this snake oil salesman extraordinaire (who claims to be a billionaire, but is drowning in debt way over his head while flooding the nation in blood red ink). Think, he can’t even drink a glass of water with one hand, shuffles down that ramp like a senile Diogenes without a lamp, spreading the seeds of dishonesty, a living embodiment of depravity, in a gaslit nation in need of a vacation. His. It’s way past time to concede.

Return of the Singer/Songwriter Soapbox

Image by George Alan Fox

After a week off, Chico Feo’s Songwriter’s Soapbox returned in fine fashion. George Alan Fox, our inimitable host, bookended the extravaganza with a sampling of original tunes. This one’s my favorite, the brilliant “Figurin’ It Out,” performed at the end of the evening.

Pernell McDaniel laid down some country tunes he had recently written:

Alas, I didn’t get to record an outstanding set by Captain Philip Frandino, whose song “Compromise” speaks to our times. I promise to get him next time he performs.

Here’s a second or to of my occasional poem on Georgia flipping Democratic:

What an easy act to follow, especially for a talented songwriter like Gracie Trice, who, believe it or not, just started writing songs last month.

OMG, as the young people say, get a load of these spoken words by Brianna Stello:

Brother Fleming Moore did a set ending with a gospel tune.

Alas, I also failed to record Jeff Lowry, whom I also promise to video next time he performs, and, even though I did video Jason Chambers, I did so on his phone and don’t have access. It’s a big ass file, and I’ll add it if he can transport it. Lastly, several other performers were outstanding, but I didn’t catch some of their names.

What fun, y’all. Whitney Wienmann was there, celebrating her birthday, along with Caroline Tigner Moore. In addition, a Who’s Who of Folly illuminati made the scene: Surfer Phil, Tyler, Greg, Jesse, Matthew, Dan and Becca (who did a duet early in the evening with Becca on banjo) – the list goes on and on.

A shoutout to bartenders Rachelle, Katie, and Gavin. I also believe I saw a hatless Solly lurking on the periphery.

So if you’re in town, next Monday, head out to Chico Feo. Open Mike starts at 6PM.


Post-Election Electrification

Post-Election Electrification

For Stacey Abrams

There’s a chain gang on the highway
I can hear them rebels yell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Bob Dylan, “Blind Willie McTell”

Back in my wilder days of manic
Boppa-bop-a-bebop – PAR-DEE,
I’ll admit I got arrested a couple of times,

blinded by them PO-lice lights
swirling and stuttering blue
in the nightscape like a UFO landing.

I’ve survived slope driving in suburban Atlanta,
not looking both ways before crossing streets,
trafficking in whatever to make ends meet,

have tossed and turned a couple of nights in jail,
which amounted ultimately to next to nothing,
except for experience to cross reference and relate.

I once told my late wife’s oncologist,
“Doc, I guess you’ve never spent a night in the clink.”

His blank stare a tacit no-he-hadn’t.

“But that’s what it’s like in the middle of the night,
when you’re waiting for the biopsy
to drop the next day.”

Experience to cross reference and relate.

Nowadays the Boppa-bop-a-Bebop – PAR-DEE,
rarely sparks in my nervous system circuitry –
except it actually did yesterday –
when James Brown’s Georgia,
when Otis’s Redding’s Georgia,
when Little Richard’s Georgia,
when Ray Charles’s Georgia,
when Ma Rainey’s Georgia turned a very light shade of blue.

Blind Willie McTell himself
Had limped past the President.

So I stepped outside on the deck,
took in a deep breath,
opened my mouth,
and scat-bellowed at the top of my lungs into the wild blue yonder:

Geetchie geetchie yappa yappa – woo!

On the Corner of Skid Row and Main

Painting by Ben Barker

On the Corner of Skid Row and Main

And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.

AE Houseman “Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff”

The cost of trying to make it go away
Is the post beer binge sour bloated belly.
Pushing my cart along Savannah Highway,
It feels as if my heart is pumping jelly,

Not blood, thick sludge. Dehydrated, ever thirsty,
Broke and broken, palsied, badly in need of a drink,
I have my cardboard sign at the ready,

Acid reflux, crackers for lunch. How about a handout?
Unfriendly faces roll on by. If stopped by a light,
Most avoid eye contact, though occasionally they shout
Obscenities at me, cursing the depressing shambling sorry sight.

Marvelous Night for a Moon Dance

brought to you by Foxy G’s Smoky Goodness!!

Here are some brief videos chronicling a bit of what went down at the Songwriter Soap Box last night on the Edge of America.

The first clip features singer/songwriter Fleming Moore accompanied by bluesman Robert Lighthouse on guitar and an unnamed percussionist.

Next, Robert Lighthouse solo, laying down some blues.

Here’s an excerpt of Jason Chambers reading one of his poems.

Too, too short of a clip of the incomparable Danielle Howle.

Sorry, I couldn’t provide videos for all of the performers who included George Alan Fox, Pernell McDaniel, Toomey Tucker, Charlie Stonecypher, Pete Burbage, Eric Barnett, Jeff Lowry, Jamime Crisp, George Honeycutt and Bobby Sutton, Eliza Novella, and Leon David.

The Ravages That Time Had Wrought

The Wesley Moore at Yeats’s Tower 1979

What shall I do with this absurdity —
O heart, O troubled heart — this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog’s tail?
WB Yeats, “The Tower”

While Webster was much obsessed with death
And saw the skull beneath the skin,
Yeats was obsessed with the aging process,
The hollow cheek that drank the wind.

Fastened to a dying animal, his soul
Sought solace in a Martello tower
Where he climbed its winding stair
To compose swan songs in his waning hours.

Retrospective poems, autobiographical,
That rehashed old loves and battles fought.
Attempting to come to terms at last
With the ravages that time had wrought.

Yet Another Nursery Rhyme from Ayn Rand’s A Child’s Apartment Complex of Verse

Delousing scene. Detail of a painting by Jan Siberechts, Farmyard

There’s no such thing as Santa Claus,
No such thing as God,
No such thing as Old King Cole,
No Wynken, no Blyken, no Nod.

There was an old woman, sure,
But she didn’t live in a shoe.
She didn’t practice contraception;
That part’s certainly true.

She had so many children.
Her homelife was quite wretched
Because the Catholic Church insisted
She practice the rhythm method.

So now her children’s stomachs growl
Cramped in subsidized housing.
Instead of playing hide-and-go-seek,
They spend their days delousing.

There’s no such thing as Santa Claus,
No such thing as God,
No such thing as Old King Cole,
No Wynken, no Blyken, no Nod.