Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Heck With Titles

I managed to retain a few sentences from the mixed bag of pseudo-sensible nonsense that clicked and clacked from my keyboard at various intervals yesterday. Just exactly how long they will remain intact in my 'current' file is questionable, but my avowed intention is to keep (and not delete) the entire contents of this file until selected items can be incorporated into what--for lack of a better name--I have been calling my novel.

Here is one of those sentences:

Of course one man can make a difference; Adolph Hitler made a difference.

Here is another:

Sometimes as a last resort you just have to split yourself into two distinct entities and become both Strong Guy and Weak Guy; Strong Guy constantly reassures Weak Guy that Strong Guy will always watch out for, care for, and sustain Weak Guy.

. . .

Last night on the Writer's Almanac website I read a poem that I really liked, titled:
two nights before my 72nd birthday
by Charles Bukowski

It's the last link on the above marked site's list of his poems.

Maybe the reason that I liked it is because next year my own 72nd birthday will occur.


Another poem on that list -- a place in Philly -- might be of interest to at least one of my readers.

Or not.

Charles Bukowski reportedly said (or wrote). "The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn't interest you. This situation so repelled me that I was driven to drink, starvation, and mad females, simply as an alternative."

Imagine that.

. . .

The lyrics of an old song titled Don't Fence Me In have been bouncing in and out of my consciousness for the last couple of weeks. If my memory is correct, this song was the very first one I ever heard, from the very first record, played on the first record player my parents ever owned, back in the early 1940s. Here are those maddeningly-repeating lyrics:

“Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in."

--Cole Porter

Click HERE to hear Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters sing the complete song.

Or, if you prefer, Willy Nelson sings it HERE.

And Ella Fitzgerald sings it HERE.

Additionally, Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars perform it HERE.

I heartily recommend that you listen to all of these, especially those of you who are under 21 years old and not yet overly cynical, and also those older than 50. who have probably progressed beyond the bonds of pompous cynicism.

. . .

You have a great day now... ya' hear?

1 comment:

  1. I love the Philly poem, Gene. Perhaps you cannot fully imagine what I see when I read Bukowski's words. I see the memory of my own youthful and romantic dreams of becoming a writer. I see those traffic light reflections, spotlight fairies, bouncing round the high ceiling of a red-brick row home on Pine St. in South Philly. I see handwritten first-draft pages, written in haste and flavored with a conviction that I owned a poem inside me. I see my bearded face, dark and narrow, staring back at me. And yes, with a sense of fondness and regret, I see those bottles of cheap Italian wine lying side-by-side with a troop of dead soldiers. I now understand that dead soldiers kill.

    Thanks much for leading me there this morning.

    And by the way, you must realize the obvious connection between Bukowski's poem and Cole Porter's song, no?