A Wednesday poetry reading /or/ The Artful Blogger

santabarbara2
Guess they gotta good grip on me

Answer to my critics

This popular idea today of writing is something of a distraction. It is hard to escape it’s trappings. Form, style, punctuation, bow down to them and we will love you, publish you, sing your praises. But to write as art is different than all that. Telling you just where to stop and start, which words or syllables to emphasize would be like telling you what to see in a painting. Words have notes, and colors, and scents. They can be drum beats, or paintings, or melodies when put in a certain order. You can taste them, or smell them, even breath them. Sometimes they are sharp and loud and unsettling, other times smooth and flowing. Editors are looking for something that sells, the same ole same ole. I am looking for something that moves, that lives, or dies. Warhol didn’t need a canvas the size of the Sistine Chapel to reach into peoples soul, Jean-Michel Basquiat could intrigue an entire generation with a few letters on a wall, Patti Smith could move a whole city with just one set.  But what my writing means to me is of little importance, what it means to the reader is what counts. All I hope, is that when I am done with one of my works it hits you like the opening riffs to Sweet Jane, or Honky Tonk Women. Or like Kevin Blanch saying “they’ll be calling you a radical”. Now that moves me!.
Love is the answer!

1 Corinthians 13New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

US FESTIVAL 1983

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Here we go again, another true adventure from years ago. As always the main thing to remember is that this is a true story.
The year was 1983, and this time I am sure about it. The radio station in New York that I listened to at the time announced this spectacular concert that was to take place in California. Something called the US Festival. It was being put on by some Apple computer guy, which to be honest I had no clue who he was back then. But who cared, a three day concert in California that had all the great bands of the day and David Bowie was gonna do a set. They told me it had been years since he had toured so I was in. Of course I also had about the same amount of knowledge of California as I did of Apple Computers so you can imagine how well this is going to come together.

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Now I would go anywhere for a concert, but California was quite a distance from The Bronx. This was going to require some skillful planning. First up was securing tickets at the closest Ticketron outlet which just happened to be in the Travel Agency located on the ground floor of the building I was living in at that time. Dale, a bud of mine said he would go, and I figured we would be able to get another victim also so I went in and arranged for the tickets to the show along with the required round trip plane tickets. When to my surprise the agent asked if I would be needing a rental car at our destination. I had not even considered that since we just took the subway or busies around the city anywhere we need to go. Turns out it would have been impossible to get around where we needed to in California without a car. In fact it turned out even with the car we almost didn’t make the show, more on that later. But when asked of course I said ‘sure’, mind you now I barely ever drove, just the work van for deliveries, and also I didn’t even have a credit card. After asking all the questions and filling out some forms the kind lady asked for my credit card at which point I replied, I’ll just pay in cash if that is alright?”. Sure, she explained “we will put it on our card, but we will need to get a deposit in cash now also”. Fine, how much, three hundred no problem, but make sure I have the full insurance coverage with that, good another hundred no problem. And with that the deal was done notching to do but wait the two months until the concert took place.

So that’s the lead in, I will try to get the rest written tomorrow if there is some interest. But this one is a real killer adventure, airplane rides on acid, cops holding shotguns to our heads, bloods crips, magic mushrooms, Van Halen, David Bowie,and a rental car disaster. I mean mud and blood and beer, sunburn, lost in the desert, aliens, it’s like Prego…it’s all in there.

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crowd shot from across the lake
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Talking Heads dust storm

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http://ultimateclassicrock.com/the-us-festival-remembered-30-years-later/

http://www.setlist.fm/festival/1983/us-festival-1983-3bd6b840.html

 

 

Oroville Dam UPDATE !!!

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/02/is-failure-of-the-oroville-dam-possible/

Is Failure of the Oroville Dam Possible?

February 11th, 2017 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

“The last couple of days have not made me very confident in the predictions of engineers associated with the Oroville Dam.

While I am a climate researcher, and not hydrologist, it took me less than an hour midday yesterday (see comments here) to estimate that the emergency spillway would be breached around 9 a.m. PST this morning. I was off by an hour…it was breached at 8 a.m.

But engineers were leaning toward the lake level never getting that high (901 ft.)

This kind of calculation isn’t rocket science. As long as inflow into the lake exceeds outflow (both of which are monitored hourly), the lake level will rise.

Why were engineers reluctant to predict the (admittedly historic) event?”

 

http://www.kcra.com/article/oroville-spillway-outflows-increase-as-damage-continues/8701837

The latest releases have caused even more damage widening the hole and cutting away at the side of the hill. The lake is at about 95% so they have to keep releasing I would suspect. This is an earthen dam and if this thing goes it will be a major catastrophe. If you live in California stay alert you do not want to have all that water and earth coming at you.

here is a short video:

A video posted on YouTube shows big trouble at the dam, as the spillway has developed an almost 200 ft. hole. For the earthen filled dam this may turn out to serious, though officials are saying there is no danger at this point. .

According to Wikipedia this is the most important water source for the California Department of Water Resources’ State Water Project.

“The Oroville-Thermalito Complex is a group of reservoirs, structures, and facilities located in and around the city of Oroville in Butte County, California. The complex serves not only as a regional water conveyance and storage system, but is the headwaters for, and therefore perhaps is the most vital part of, the California Department of Water Resources’ State Water Project, the world’s largest publicly built and operated water and power development and conveyance system.”

Courtesy: Richard Winterrowd

Richard Winterrowd

CBS13 reports,

“Operators increased their water releases at the dam on Tuesday as a significant storm rolled through Northern California. However, as peak water releases started happening around noon, people started noticing some concerning signs”

In terms of a catastrophic failure besides the residents below who could lose everything and the immediate lose of life, there also could be major impacts throughout California in terms of water and power.

This is something to definitely keep an eye on.

PSALM 31

 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.

Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.

Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LordGod of truth.

I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.

Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.

12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

14 But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.

15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.

17 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

CASH OR CLASH NO ONE RIDES FREE

 1981 was the year I believe. WNEW the NY rock station I listened to most of the time had just made the big announcement. They always pumped it up a bit….”stay tuned we have a big concert announcement coming up at so and so a time”… So tuned in I was, when it was announced that THE Clash would be playing several shows at Bonds International Casino in Times Square. Now you have to understand that rock concerts were really my thing back then. It was not that unusual for me to go to Madison Square Garden to see a show even if it was by myself, I could have a blast anyhow. So with the few dollars I had I headed to catch the 6 train downtown and get me the 2 tickets I could afford. When on my way I ran into Joe Mac. from Archer St. I always liked Joe, we went to HS together at Christopher Columbus HS, a block or so off Pelham Parkway. We both liked the same sorta stuff back then…if ya know what I mean?….
 Any way Joe decides to go downtown with me cause I guess he figured he didn’t have anything better to do that day. Well we hop off the train a 42 St. and climb the stairs to the street. Hmmmm? nobody around, maybe we are gonna be the only ones get here this early, so we go around the corner toward where the ticket booth would be and can’t believe what we see, hundreds, no a thousand at least, people on the street, cops putting up barricades, I mean pandemonium!
Image result for the clash at bond's casino Image result for the clash at bond's casino
 So over the course of the next several hours me and Joe, through some slick maneuvering had managed to get pretty close to the front when they began selling tickets. Now the police had the barricades set up like a funnel so as you got closer to the ticket window you worked down from about 20 people wide to 1 or 2 wide.
Several minutes before we got to the window the scalpers were asking how many tickets each person was getting, as they were in line also. I can’t remember what the limit was for sure, but it may have been around 8. When we got asked and said we were only getting one each, dude peels off a bunch of bills to each of us and tells us get the limit and he will give us a little something for it when he gets through the line also. Slowly as things tightened up this dude is further and further back from us jammed in 20 deep and way back there when I hit the window. I get my limit and see that he is stuck in the crowd so being the sinner I was and having my little bit of money left I take off toward the train hit the corner and book it. About 2 blocks later I ditch into a bar grab a beer and sit by the window.
 Low and behold here comes Joe with the same trot, I put my beer on the bar, ok I downed it first, and catch up to him just as we hit the station, jump the turnstile and catch the train heading back to the Bronx as, the doors are shutting. Not one of my proudest moments now but then, sticking to a scalper seemed the right and noble thing to do. One more thing I forgot, while in line I opened the case that had the big poster in it, like a movie poster at the Theater, pulled out that bright yellow and red Clash poster rolled it up and had it on my wall for years.
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 If you remember anything about those shows, you know that the first night the Fire Marshall shut them down because they had sold like 7 times the amount of tickets for each night, instead of just that total for all the nights they were scheduled for. So in the end we wound up having like 7X as many tickets, because the Clash said they wound honor all sales and wound up playing shows for a lot longer than expected……true Rockers that they were….loyal to the fans.True story!  Sometimes I miss those days, but at least I can still give a shout out to Joe on Facebook wherever the thought arises and Joe..he’s always ready to say hey man , Love ya Joe!

PSALM 30

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(A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David.) I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

2O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

3O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

4Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

5For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

6And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

7LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

8I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.

9What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

10Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.

11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

12To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

 

Dino and the Queen Concert Extravaganza /or/ A Night At The Cop Stop

nonukes1
that’s me riding the trains

Now Dino was one of my tight buds in high school, we never ventured far from the school together, but still I liked Dino, and I think he liked me. Now as I tell these tales of my life don’t get the impression that I would approve of the things we did and said back then, and don’t think I couldn’t water them down a bit. But if you want an accurate , (or semi-accurate) account I gotta tell it like it was. Remember this is a true story.

Dino carried himself tall, wore a cut off leather jacket, or a cut off Levis jacket. Red bandanna folded neatly hanging out his back pocket, MC boots, and a long chain that hooked to his wallet. While most of us at Christopher Columbus High School had a small tattoo or so Dino had those devils on his inner forearms, one one pointing saying ” hey you” the other saying “who me?. You just couldn’t miss them there. The other thing that struck you about him was that his looks and mannerisms were a sort of cross between Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High, that kinda stoner thing, and DiNero’s subtle but sure toughness. One thing for sure if something was gonna go down I wanted Dino on my side.

As I said we rarely ventured far from the high school together until this one particular evening. Queens album The Game had just been released and they were playing Madison Square Garden in September I think it was. Somehow we decided to met that evening at the train station at White Plains Rd. and Pelham Parkway, which was about equal distance for each of us and was close to the High School.

(201k, 820x652)<br><b>Country:</b> United States<br><b>City:</b> New York<br><b>System:</b> New York City Transit<br><b>Line:</b> IRT White Plains Road Line<br><b>Location:</b> Allerton Avenue <br><b>Route:</b> 5<br><b>Car:</b> R-21 (St. Louis, 1956-57) 7132 <br><b>Photo by:</b> Mike Ormond<br><b>Date:</b> 1982<br><b>Viewed (this week/total):</b> 2 / 3032
So at the appointed time we both arrived on the street below the station. Up we went to catch the train. As Dino hit the top I saw him just jump the turnstile, and at the same time a Transit Cop reaches out and grabs him. Well, I didn’t hesitate and jumped it too right in front of both of them. Dino kinda smiled, the cop, well wasn’t so much smiling and says, “stop right there”. Now I did not want to get him mad so I held it in but I was like “dah, I’m with him and we got a concert to go to so we sticking together”. Did I say that this was a true story? Well it is.
The officer perceiving that we were not a threat proceeded to take us into the station bathroom, i figured for a beating, but he wasn’t up for it that night I guess. The first thing he did was ask if we had money to pay the fare, which we both did. Second the search began. Me first, 1 slightly large Schrade folding knife, a pack of Bamboo rolling papers, some cash, cigs, two tickets for Queen at MSG. Now Dino’s turn. Oh wait, I forgot a crucial point earlier on the street Dino pulls out a little container with microdot mescaline, or at least that’s what we knew it by. we each popped about 3 on the way up. Now Dino, one nickle bag weed, a zippo lighter, a assortment of knives,several quite large, a small plastic container with these tiny cylindrical objects of a purple color, assorted other things. First up was the weed, would your father approve of this? no sir? “I should just call him now see what he says’ “please no sir” .”and what about all the knives’ “well sir it’s dangerous on the subway at night and…” “and this what is this in this little container flints for your lighter” yes sir, yes sir that’s exactly what they are”…. “Now you boys take all your stuff go pay your fare and don’t ever let me catch you jumping the turnstile while you have plenty of money in your pocket, and spending money on Rock concert tickets”. “Ah sir, can we have our weed back we are going to the concert and all”….”right, right we are going, thank you again sir” True story.
We did as told thankful we didn’t get sent to the #5 line gulag and were on our way. To be honest I don’t remember much of the concert or coming home. I’m gonna blame it on the flints, maybe someday I’ll enjoy the show in a flashback.
Dino, I don’t know where or how you are but, love ya bud..one of the best.

buy my book with all the stories here.