Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Needle's Landing

It's on Friday.  JoeMama and Rez are worth seeing, a pleasure to promote, and an honor to know.  

Max is considering pop music lately.  You get over to it yet?  


I don't keep up in the way I used to with music (did you know I was a "Music Industry" major before learning how to read?).  I tend to buy one or two CDs a year, and those are usually by bands/artist I've come to depend on, like the Dandy Warhols or Tom Waits. Really, I get regular audio-fixes from SGM, take those in with the oldies or folk music on the radio.  What does any of this have to do with anything?  Well, it leads me to believe that, though I'm not a patient person in most situations, I seem to be fine giving new stuff time to sink in.  

I put music on in the background.  I click play, then do other things like reading, writing, doodling, whatever.  It'll take a while to make up my mind about it.  I think what Max is getting at is not what's happened to the excellent pop music, but what happened to the excellent pop music that seamlessly makes the transition to some kind of dependable classic status, al a Michael Jackson or the Beatles?  It seems to me that an album that came out last week and seems to blow might be pretty interesting in a year or so when the musical landscape it was released within has changed.  Examples for me are the Warhol's Welcome To The Monkey House, or Take London by Herbaliser.  One day, after the context's changed, the content has a way of resonating like it didn't before.

Isn't poetry the same way?  How many books did you pick up at AWP, and how many were really good when you read the in the hotel the next morning while your roommate was still passed out, but seem to have lost some luster in the last 9 months (you could have had a kid by now...some people you might know have).  Or how many were impossible on the flight home, but have since wrapped you up for at least a few nights?  And some were weak then, and are weak now.  Every art seems to have it's pop stars.  Re-play value.  

Reading journals feels like listening to the new top 40 radio station.  I listen to a lot of lacking attempts on the radio in hopes of hearing a song that makes me move.  I read journals for the same exact reason.  The album to buy is the book you'll pick up soon.  

For music, I trust the good DJ to dig up the old stuff I thought I'd never miss--or missed all together--and let it move me.  I don't know if there's a place for that kind of trust and confidence for the poems.  Which I think just means we'll have to keep our eyes open for ourselves.

A little somethin' from the ol' school, some early Milton

On The University Carrier

Who Sicken'd in the Time of his Vacancy, Being Forbid to go to London, By Reasons of the Plague

Here lies old Hobson, Death hath broke his girt,
And here, alas, hath laid him in the dirt, 
Or else the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
'Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known,
Death was half glad when he had got him down; 
For he had any time this ten years full,
Dodg'd with him, betwixt Cambridge and the Bull.
And surely, Death could never have prevail'd,
Had not his weekly course of carriage fail'd;
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
And that he had ta'en up his latest Inn,
In the kind office of a Chamberlain
show'd him his room where he must lodge that night,
Pull'd off his Boots, and took away the light:
If any ask for him, it shall be said,
  "Hobson has supt, and 's newly gone to bed.


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