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I wrote two poems last night. Sometimes a piece comes almost perfectly formed and other times a piece will take ages to get it to the state I feel comfortable with review. After the fact, I think it was because I immersed myself in some of the best writing ever. In this case it was poems and songs, but I don’t think the medium matters. Read really good writing, listen to really good writing, visit art – that’s the key to pulling your own muse out from under the basement stairs.

I watched Tavis Smiley’s interview with Joni Mitchell on the PBS Roku channel. (Thank you inventors of the technologies that make “internet TV” possible!). Joni looked so amazingly cool still – she’s 71. After the interview I put on her music, cranked it up, and sang along for an hour or so. I can do that. “I am a woman of heart and mind with time on her hands, no child to raise.” Or is it, “Just another silly girl when loves makes a fool of me”? Probably both.

Here is one of the poems from last night. 

The Arts

I thought I was a play

the simple story of a life

wherein the actor

survives the shifts, the plots

in the scuffle for the front of the stage Read the rest of this entry »

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Golden Retriever Postcard from Zazzle

Golden Retriever Postcard from Zazzle

IMHO, good lyrics are poetry. For example, I’m listening to Paul Simon this morning — his song, Father and Daughter has a wonderfully poetic image in it, “I’m going to stand guard, like a postcard of a golden retriever.” Also, the song always makes me cry; it came out the year my father died and, of course, I still miss him. A great song, like a great poem evokes a response.

My favorite lyricist is Joni Mitchell. Her lyrics can stand on their own as poems in almost every case. Who has ever written a better line than, “I could drink a case of you and still I’d be on my feet…”? While I’m not a drinker, I can appreciate the binge image. Additionally, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp (underappreciated), and Warren Zevon also come to mind for complex, evocative lyrics.