Can You Take Me Back?

John, Ringo, George and Paul on their ‘Mad Day Out’ in July 1968.

For a week now, I’ve been immersed in the 50th anniversary edition of the White Album, the record officially known as The Beatles, released November  22, 1968.

It was the first Beatle album that I bought new. My sister was at the right age when the Beatles hit in 1964. I watched them on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ that February and sat front and center for A Hard Day’s Night at the theater that summer.

I liked the music, but music itself hadn’t really hit me. Not rock’n’roll at least. I was still into Henry Mancini and Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals — but that’s another story.

Things had changed by 1968 and I was ready when the White Album hit. Back then, young sprogs, our parents didn’t just buy us stuff and we didn’t get handed an allowance. The folks expected us to work for money. And since the White Album was a double-album, I’d need to work extra hard.

That fall, my parents had moved to a new house on a heavily wooded lot outside Bloomington, Indiana. They’d paid to have a few trees removed around the back deck, but the massive stumps were left behind. Stump removal was my job. My father’s going rate was five dollars per.

Owing to blisters and exhaustion, I couldn’t do too many stumps at a time. Gradually, using axes and shovels, I cleared all but a few. In order to buy the White Album, I needed to find a big bastard out in the yard.

I found something suitable and asked my father if I could have $10 for it, since it was such a large and sprawling fucker. The old man agreed. I think he knew I had the hunger to buy something that was otherwise out of reach.

I attacked that thing with the ferocity of Alan Ladd in Shane. He and Van Heflin took on a monster stump and together pulled its stubborn carcass from the ground.

Without help, I spent a day working in the back yard. When I called my father outside at dusk, he marveled at my work, then handed me a $10 bill. I rode my bike to the Woolworth’s — luckily, owing to the early sunset of November — only a half mile away. The album was mine.

I’m not sure I can make a Sophie’s Choice with Beatle albums. I’ve always been partial to Rubber Soul. Revolver still sounds great all these years later. Then there’s Abbey Road. On the day it was released — a year after the White Album — I remember tear-assing down to Discount Records on lunch break to pick it up. I held it , still sealed, in my fingers on my desktop, the envy of my social set, since I had it first.

But the White Album was something unique. It both pleased and mystified me. Every note and every sound became part of my sinews. Over the years I haven’t needed a device to play the record. It’s always there, ready to unspool in my skull.

The 50th anniversary edition — six CDs, one BluRay — is a worthy presentation for such a vital album. The Beatles always so well captured the essence of their times, and they matched the brutality and change of 1968 with an album that was chaotic and magnificent.

I not only rediscovered this great old album. I found things I didn’t know I was looking for.

The box arrived in the mail and almost immediately I hit the road for a drive to New York for the weekend. For my road music, I grabbed only the last four discs — the demos cut in the spring at George Harrison’s house, and three discs of studio outtakes, including songs that never made it on to the album, including ‘Hey Jude,’ ‘Sour Milk Sea,’ ‘Child of Nature,’ ‘Across the Universe’ and others.

The four portraits included with the White Album.

I was alone, so I played the discs one after another at thundering volume. I’d had most of the stuff on bootlegs, but the quality of this set is superior. I’ve always enjoyed these archival sets. Bob Dylan has 14 volumes in his Bootleg Series, and it’s great to hear his early takes — to hear, say, what ‘Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’ sounded like about six minutes before genius showed up. There’s a Jimi Hendrix archival set that makes his music sound ordinary, right before his brilliance caught fire.

The Beatles have not done the ‘official bootleg’ thing quite as much, but the White Album is a great place to show the anatomy of the creative process.

Here are some highlights (for me):

  • Hearing John work through ‘Julia,’ the song about his mother. To hear him on the talkback with engineer Chris Thomas … to hear his voice again … chokes me up. The same happens when you hear George order a sandwich before recording ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps.’ It’s sad those voices are no longer in the world.
  • I never much liked ‘Helter Skelter’ because of its lumbering sound, and began to actively hate it after Charles Manson co-opted it. Oddly, on this set it’s one of my highlights. After blasting through it, Paul says, “Mark it ‘Fab,’” and it is.
  • I always wondered about that ditty (‘Can you take me back where I came from’)  that Paul sings as the sound montage of ‘Revolution 9’ begins. Here you hear him work through it, trying to develop it into a full song. Turns out it was perfect as a fragment.
  • Hearing all four Beatles sing ‘Good Night.’ On the original release, Ringo sings it with an orchestra. I could never decide if — since it followed the madness of ‘Revolution 9’ — the song was intended to end the album on a reassuring or ironic note. On one of the takes, Ringo sings and the other three lean into a microphone to harmonize. It’s not the greatest performance, but to hear those four voices together again is deeply moving.
  • Hearing three Beatles (Ringo, depressed, took a break during the sessions) playing ‘Back in the USSR’ in a lower key. They sped up the tape to give the song its sonic magic.
  • Hearing John finger-pick his way through ‘Dear Prudence’ and Paul do solo run-throughs of ‘I Will’ and ‘Mother Nature’s Son.’

All the way down to the city and all the way back, I blasted those four discs.

Listening to the White Album itself was sort of an afterthought for me. My ears are not sophisticated and when people talk about new remixes, I sort of glaze over.

So it was more out of a sense of duty that late the night of my return, I went downstairs to my basement office and music room to put on the remixed White Album, just so I can say I listened to it.

Wow.

Do you remember the old Maxell tape advertisement, from back in the Seventies — the windblown and mindblown guy in the easy chair? That was me as ‘Back in the USSR’ boomed from my speakers. I listened to the whole thing straight through. It was brilliant.

‘Tis the season, apparently, for expensive box sets.

Bob on the tracks

Just the week before, I’d been spelunking through Bob Dylan’s back pages. As the first victim of bootleggers, he began bootlegging himself back in 1991 when he launched his Bootleg Series. He’s up to Volume 14, More Blood, More Tracks, six discs collecting the 1974 recordings leading to his classic Blood on the Tracks.

As with the White Album outtakes, I’d had bootlegs devoted to the Blood on the Tracks sessions. He recorded much of the album on the day I turned 20 — September 16, 1974 — and ran through monstrous numbers of takes.

After a few furious days of recording in New York, an album was assembled. Columbia Records designed a cover, commissioned liner notes from Pete Hamill, and readied the album for release.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the hit parade.

Dylan had second thoughts. He played the acetate of the album for his brother while visiting Minnesota in December. David Zimmerman told big brother he could do better. Or something. But he hired a studio, found some local musicians, and got Big Brother Bob to re-record half of the album.

Columbia Records had a collective coronary and the album was delayed a month. To save time and money, the record company went with the original album cover, meaning the Minneapolis musicians did not get credited, though they had recorded half the album.

Eventually, the original recordings — some of them, at least — leaked out.

Conventional wisdom — meaning bullshit spewed by clueless fans such as myself — held that Dylan withdrew the original recordings because they so well chronicled the pain and suffering of a man mired in heartbreak and despair.  The album supposedly told the story of his abandoned love as his marriage crumbled. Dylan, his voice strained, was a testament to vulnerability. (Dylan denied this, of course, saying the album was inspired by the short stories of Anton Chekhov.)

Now, however, Dylan has shared all of the takes — they are legion; six discs worth — from the New York sessions. Alas, no outtakes from the Minneapolis sessions exist, but we do get all of the master takes, minus the echo added in post production.

Both the White Album and More Blood, More Tracks show deep-dive insight to the creative process. Both the Fabs and Dylan show us how songs grow and evolve. But these huge collections are more than mere curiosities for music geeks. These are further explorations and discoveries of this music we’ve carried within us for a half century.

Listen again to the acts we’ve known for all these years. You’ll be surprised by all of the things you haven’t heard.

In every leaf that trembles

Dylan on stage in 1980 — Fred Tackett at left, Tim Drummond at right.

I finally gave in and bought the new archival set from Bob Dylan.

If you’re not familiar with his Bootleg Series —  since 1991, Dylan has released a multi-disc collection every other year or so that explores the songs left off his classic albums.

In many cases, this stuff left off is not only just as good as the material on the original releases, it is in some cases — “Blind Willie McTell” and “Series of Dreams” come to mind —  superior to songs on  the official releases.

Dylan at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco. Photo by Baron Wolman.

About four volumes back, he began releasing deluxe editions of the Bootleg Series. He did Another Self Portrait (Volume 10, if you’re keeping score) devoted to what had been regarded as a leading candidate for his worst album. This was 1970’s Self Portrait. Greil Marcus’s review of the album in Rolling Stone famously began, “What is this shit?”

Another Self Portrait turned out to be a fascinating rediscovery of the work and was on heavy rotation in my home. There was the standard two-disc Bootleg Series release, but the record label tested the waters with a deluxe version that featured two more discs, including the first official U.S. release of Dylan’s 1969 show with the Band at the Isle of Wight. Dylan, that perverse imp, skipped Woodstock — which was in his ‘hood — and performed  in Great Britain instead.)

The next Bootleg Series release was a full exploration of his Basement Tapes period with the Band (then still known alternately as the Hawks, the Crackers or the Honkies.). Over the six discs of The Basement Tapes Complete, we heard every belch, wheeze and fart and listened to great musicians drilling to the core of American music. It was one of the best purchases I’d ever made. If you got the two-disc abridgment for the casual fan, you really missed out.

With three of his great backing singers

Whoa! Bob was just getting started.

Then came The Cutting Edge (The Bootleg Series, Volume 12), which covered the titanic 14-month period that produced Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.

The Cutting Edge offered a fascinating look at Dylan’s creative process.

One whole disc was devoted to “Like a Rolling Stone.” The four tracks were separated, so you could hear just Michael Bloomfield’s guitar on one track, Dylan’s voice and harmonica on one, the rhythm section on the other, and the keyboards on the fourth. Man, was that instructive.

Again, The Cutting Edge was available in a two-disc set, but for the Full Bob Experience, you needed the six disc deluxe edition to appreciate the angry majesty of that music.

With Clyde King

I’d long wished the Bootleg Series would explore the most controversial period of his career, the so-called gospel years of 1979-1981. During this time, he released Slow Train Coming, Saved and Shot of Love. I’d heard bootlegs of his performances with the gospel band — real bootlegs, not these official releases — and been in awe of the performances. If ever a period needed review, this was it.

Despite the huge commercial hit he took from an audience that turned away from him for being “too preachy,” Dylan never really renounced his new Christian faith. If anything, he appeared to have found some sort of accommodation between Judaism and Christianity. He just stopped being so overt in his songs. (But the Bible had always played a role in his music. John Wesley Harding, from 1967, was heavily steeped in Christian imagery and lyricism. Scratch dozens of Bob Dylan lyrics and you’ll find Christian references underneath.)

So I was happy to hear that The Bootleg Series, Volume 13 would be devoted to those years. But Holy Shit (and I do mean holy) — then I learned the price tag for the deluxe edition: $174.

With Tim Drummond

I looked over the track list and saw multiple versions of some of his gospel songs — “Slow Train,” “Gotta Serve Somebody” — and convinced myself I’d be able to get by with the two-disc set for the casual fan.

Jesus, was I wrong.

The two-disc set merely whet my appetite. And then God — or somebody — dropped a couple of unexpected freelance checks in my mailbox and so I justified buying the nine-disc deluxe edition of Trouble No More. (Plus, God had dropped the price by $50.)

I’m here to tell you that it was money well spent. This music is impassioned and hypnotic. Dylan sings with such finesse and fire and has surrounded himself with a hugely talented set of musicians. This comes as no surprise. He’d always done that. But these players are largely unheralded in rock history — Fred Tackett on guitar, Tim Drummond on bass — though a few of the players (Spooner Oldham and Jim Keltner) are better known and there are superstar players (Mike Bloomfield and Carlos Santana) on occasion.

But it’s Dylan’s show and no one overshadows him. Well, maybe his backing singers do.

Some fans were put off by Dylan’s sermons between songs. None of these are preserved on the live recordings featured in “Trouble No More.”

Dylan was led to Christianity, in part, by the women he employed to sing behind him: Clyde King, Regina Harris, Mona Lisa Young and Carolyn Dennis, who became his second wife and mother to his daughter Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan. (He dedicated his 1990 nursery-rhyme album, Under the Red Sky to her: “For Gabby Goo Goo.”)

These gifted singers push Dylan to do some of his best singing on record. We learn — again — about his creative process through the multiple and vastly changed version of some of his songs.

And it was a fertile period for him as a writer. Much of Trouble No More consists of songs he’s never officially released. I’ve had “Ain’t Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody” on bootleg for years, and it’s the kind of song and performance that made me long for a complete exploration of this period of his career. I should have never balked at the price of this set.

Click on the cover to order.

I’ve been playing this non-stop for the couple of weeks that I’ve had it and when I’m not around my stereo, it still plays in my skull. I can’t get enough.

It’s great to hear the various versions of not just “Slow Train” and “Gotta Serve Somebody,” but also radically different takes (with different lyrics) for some of his greatest songs, “Caribbean Wind” and (especially) “Every Grain of Sand.”

What beautiful lyrics:

I don’t have the inclination to look back on any mistake
Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break
In the fury of the moment I can see the Master’s hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand
I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand 
I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me
I am hanging in the balance of a perfect finished plan
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand
(C) 1981 Special Rider Music

 

Bob: I’ll never doubt you again. Go ahead and put the deluxe edition of Volumes 14, 15, 16 and 17 on order.

Click on the covers below to order deluxe editions of the most recent volumes in the Bootleg Series.

Out of the sandbox

The Boys at Zuma Beach, 1967. Left to right, Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine, Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Dennis Wilson.

At the beginning of 1967, Brian Wilson was on top of the pyramid.

In the previous year, he’d made Pet Sounds, one of the most influential albums in recorded history, then produced a stunning, shimmering song called “Good Vibrations.” With Brian Wilson as producer-arranger-composer, the Beach Boys had become America’s pre-eminent rock band.

The word was that Brian Wilson was a genius and that he was to American music what Magellan was to world travel.

Most of this ‘genius’ speculation was based on Brian’s work-in-progress, an album to be called Smile that would serve as his “teen-age symphony to God.” Brian’s idiosyncratic music, paired with the intense and playful lyrics of Van Dyke Parks, were the stuff of rock-critic legend. Reporters chronicling the making of Smile gorged on Brian’s eccentricities, including his filling his dining room with sand, so he could move his piano into the room and wiggle his toes as he composed.

As I say: at the beginning of 1967, he was on the top of the pyramid. By the end of the year, he’d tumbled from those staggering heights.

Brian Wilson

Lots of reasons, but the one that seems to have earned the most favor over the years: The Beatles surpassed him. The British group produced Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and left the Beach Boys in their stellar wake. Since Sgt. Pepper strove for — and achieved — grandiosity, Brian probably thought Smile — with its celebration of small moments of joy — might not stand up.

Whatever the case, he cancelled the album after Pepper‘s release and withdrew the band from the Monterrey International Pop Festival. Those two events are seen as crippling the Beach Boys as a significant rock’n’roll band.

(Though tragically unhip in America, they remained revered in Great Britain, where they were arguably more popular than the Beatles.)

To recover, other members of the band coaxed Brian back to life on the ground. They built a studio in Brian’s house and cocooned him, which kept him away from the great studios — Western Recorders or Gold Star — and the session players history has dubbed the Wrecking Crew.

‘Smiley Smile,’ released September 1967
‘Wild Honey,’ released December 1967

Instead, Carl Wilson helped his big brother to make “music to cool out by.” The other members pitched in. If their musicianship was not at the level of the session pros in the Wrecking Crew, then so be it. They worked toward a simpler sound. For some reason, Brian had his piano detuned, so it sounded like the kind of thing you’d heard when friends got together in the basement after a few beers.

In place of Smile, the Beach Boys produced Smiley Smile in September 1967 and Wild Honey in December 1967. And ‘produced’ is a key word there. The earlier Beach Boys albums bore the ‘Produced by BRIAN WILSON’ credit. Now the jacket said, ‘Produced by THE BEACH BOYS.’

This music was the antithesis of Sgt. Pepper or The Notorious Byrd Brothers or anything by Jimi Hendrix (who sealed the doom of the band’s hipness with his “may you never hear surf music again” hidden lyric on “Third Stone from the Sun”). As Roger McGuinn of the Byrds said of 1967, all the artists were trying to out-weird each other.

The Beach Boys had done weird, with Smile, and found it not to be suitable.

Click on the image for the remastered “Darlin’ ” from “Sunshine Tomorrow.”

They never tried to be something they were not. And what they were was three brothers and a cousin from the suburbs. So the heavy intellectual stuff and pomposity didn’t fit well. Years ago, a writer put it nicely. Wish I could remember his name or the correct phrasing, but it was something like “We are a confounding country. We can put a man on the moon but we can’t stop people from wearing spandex pants to the mall. The Beach Boys will drive you crazy that way too.”

In short, you’ve got to be willing to take the goofy with the great.

When Smiley Smile came out, it was largely panned, though it’s an excellent album. But since it was the ‘Instead of Smile‘ album, it was held to an impossible standard. As Carl Wilson said, “It was a bunt instead of a grand slam.”

A mock cover of the never-released pseudo-live album, “Lei’d in Hawaii.”

The recorded-in-the-living-room vibe gave Smiley Smile a wholly original sound. After a live album in Hawaii was discovered to have been poorly recorded, the Beach Boys took this new homegrown work ethic into a studio where they tried to fix the live album with some live-in-studio recordings. They abandoned that project and instead went back to the living room and made Wild Honey, the closest thing the group ever recorded to a rhythm and blues album.

This has always marked the beginning of my favorite period in Beach Boys music. When the mass audience and the new ruling class of rock intelligentsia looked elsewhere, the Beach Boys made music for themselves. This wonderful era is now chronicled in the two-disc history 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow (come on boys, pick a title).

What we have in Sunshine Tomorrow isn’t a collection of snippets and scraps. Producer Mark Linnett has taken these old pieces and put together a new piece of work — not just a document of a creative period in the band’s life, but something that stands up today. This is a glorious album.

‘Sunshine Tomorrow’ features 65 tracks over two discs.

Linnett sets the stage by starting with Wild Honey in a new stereo mix. He then works through some session outtakes and live performances. As brilliant as that is — and Wild Honey has some of the best Beach Boys songs ever — it’s the Smiley Smile sessions that provide some of the great delights.

Wisely, Linnett leaves off “Good Vibrations” (Brian didn’t want it on the original album anyway) and he uses the backing tracks of “Heroes and Villains,” instead of the vocal, which would have contained those wonderful but overwhelming lyrics. Linnett eases into the Smiley Smile material with revelatory backing tracks, gradually building to the wonderfully weird and stoned-out “Wind Chimes,” “Cool, Cool Water,” “Vegetables” and “Little Pad.”

From there, Linnett goes into the faux-concert album as the scaled-back homegrown Beach Boys recreate their Hawaii setlist from the poorly-taped concerts on Oahu. (Brian had come out of performing retirement to join the band on stage.) These quiet versions of “California Girls,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “Surfer Girl” are wonderful reinterpretations.

The five performing Beach Boys in 1967. Left to right, Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine, Dennis Wilson, Bruce Johnston (Brian’s stage replacement) and Mike Love.

If I never hear “Surfer Girl” again, I’d be okay. But here, it’s done in a laid-back style that renders it a whole new song. Mike Love loses his usual braggadocio and “California Girls” becomes a gentle lament. (Love’s singing throughout is reserved. He pulls back on the usual swaggering bullshit and sings with tenderness.) Alan Jardine changes the perspective of “Help Me, Rhonda,” turning the story around, so it’s more of a “Help You, Rhonda” now. They sound remarkably like the Ramones doing “Beat on the Brat.”

The real surprise is the concert-in-the-studio version of “You’re So Good to Me,” from the 1965 album Summer Days. Brian Wilson’s new arrangement is much richer than the shrill chant from two years (and a lifetime) before. If only the music business still revolved around singles, this would be a good one.

The group also does some then-current songs by other groups: “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “The Letter” and “Game of Love.” The combined Carl-Brian-Mike shared lead vocal on “The Letter” is particularly fun. (By the way, the set ends with a thrilling a cappella “Surfer Girl.”)

This was a great period for the group and to hear them and marks Carl Wilson’s emergence. Though in retrospect we can see he had the best solo voice, he was not eager to sing lead vocals. He carried “Pom Pom Play Girl,” but it was “Girl, Don’t Tell Me” from 1965 that he considered his first lead. Then big brother entrusted him with “God Only Knows” and “Good Vibrations.” If that doesn’t demonstrate trust and respect, I’ll eat my Volkswagen.

Baby brother Carl Wilson not only moved into the front-man role for the Beach Boys in 1967, he began his long career of trying to hold the group together.

Carl is all over Wild Honey and his love of rhythm and blues comes out in his unrestrained, fluid vocals. He does a tremendous cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Was Made to Love Her” (listen for the you-son-of-a-bitch hidden lyric) and “Darlin'” is irresistible.

As McGuinn said, everyone was trying to out-weird each other, but the Beach Boys were hanging out in Brian’s living room, singing rhythm and blues around that deliberately detuned piano. The slightly off sound of the music — and the overall dominance of the piano — gives the music of this era a resonance.

Who knew that the Beach Boys would be the harbingers of what would start happening that very month Wild Honey was released.

Tired of the grandiose bullshit (he thought Sgt. Pepper was a piece of crap), Bob Dylan came out of his 18-month seclusion and produced the quiet masterpiece, John Wesley Harding. It was Dylan’s way of grabbing rock’n’roll by the lapels and saying, “Pull yourself together!”

Soon, the Beatles were cutting out all of the studio gimmickry and promising to ‘get back.’ Meanwhile,  the Byrds and the Band were discovering what today we call roots music and Americana.

In a way, the Beach Boys were there first.

 

Bob Dylan: a job description

These are Bob Dylan’s liner notes for his 1965 album Bringing it All Back Home. I used this as the opening piece in my book Rock and Roll is Here to Stay. This is my favorite piece of Dylan writing that has not been set to music.

i’m standing there watching the parade/ feeling combination of sleepy john estes. jayne mansfield. humphry bogart/mortimer snerd. murph the surf and so forth/ erotic hitchhiker wearing japanese blanket. gets my attention by asking didn’t he see me at this hootenanny down in puerto vallarta, mexico/i say no you must be mistaken. i happen to be one of the Supremes/then he rips off his blanket an’ suddenly becomes a middle-aged druggist. up for district attorney. he starts screaming at me you’re the one. you’re the one that’s been causing all them riots over in vietnam. immediately turns t’ a bunch of people an’ says if elected, he’ll have me electrocuted publicly on the next fourth of july. i look around an’ all these people he’s talking to are carrying blowtorches/ needless t’ say, i split fast go back t’ thenice quiet country. am standing there writing WHAAT? on my favorite wall when who should pass by in a jet plane but my recording engineer “i’m here t’ pick up you and your latest works of art. do you need any help with anything?”

(pause)

my songs’re written with the kettledrum 0in mind/a touch of any anxious color. unmentionable. obvious. an’ people perhaps like a soft brazilian singer . . . i have given up at making any attempt at perfection/ the fact that the white house is filled with leaders that’ve never been t’ the apollo theather amazes me. why allen ginsberg was not chosen t’ read poetry at the inauguration boggles my mind/if someone thinks norman mailer is more important than hank williams that’s fine. i have no arguments an’ i never drink milk. i would rather model harmonica holders than discuss aztec anthropology/ english literature. or history of the united nations. i accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me. i know there’re some people terrified of the bomb. but there are other people terrified t’ be seen carrying a modern screen magazine. experience teaches that silence terrifies people the most . . . i am convinced that all souls have some superior t’ deal with/like the school system, an invisible circle of which no one can think without consulting someone/in the face of this, responsibility/security, success mean absolutely nothing. . . i would not want t’ be bach. mozart. tolstoy. joe hill. gertrude stein or james dean/they are all dead. the Great books’ve been written. the Great sayings have all been said/I am about t’ sketch You a picture of what goes on around here sometimes. though I don’t understand too well myself what’s really happening. i do know that we’re all gonna die someday an’ that no death has ever stopped the world. my poems are written in a rhythm of unpoetic distortion/ divided by pierced ears. false eyelashes/subtracted by people constantly torturing each other. with a melodic purring line of descriptive hollowness — seen at times through dark sunglasses an’ other forms of psychic explosion. a song is anything that can walk by itself/i am called a songwriter. a poem is a naked person . . . some
people say that i am a poet

(end of pause)

an’ so i answer my recording engineer “yes. well i could use some help in getting this wall in the plane”