When a man elopes with a daffodil, you know where he’s from.

This is one of my favorite poems. Which is not necessarily saying a lot, since I mostly only read poems written by people under 12. (Don’t get me wrong, their poetry is excellent. It’s my poetry reading that is deficient.) I usually post it every spring to various social media platforms, so if I’ve shown it to you a dozen times before…..well, time to read it again.

A Primer

Bob Hicock

I remember Michigan fondly as the place I go

to be in Michigan. The right hand of America

waving from maps or the left Continue reading

Really f***ing good cake

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That is a fucking cake.

The first time I had this cake, I was visiting my parents for my dad’s 60th birthday in January 2012. Historically, he is a lover of super chocolatey things (he wanted their wedding cake to have chocolate frosting), and my mom had made this one for this birthday. When we rolled into town around 10 p.m. on that Friday night, after their dogs and ours crashed around and did their best to permanently cripple my mom, she served up the leftovers.

At this time I was just about three and a half weeks into my new year’s resolution of eating better, so I said no thanks. Who needs cake, really, at 11 at night? (OK, I know. I know. But if you’re really being disciplined, who needs cake at 11 at night?)

Anyway, I passed on my piece, and just had “a bite” of Sam’s. Lol. Continue reading

Texas: More than I ever expected, which is kind of exactly what I expected

I’ve been in College Station, TX, this week. I’ve had a very nice time. Texas is a weird place.

I’m wondering if what Europeans feel when they come to America, is kind of like what non-Texans feel when they go to Texas. The food is cheap, the Dr. Pepper is served in ginormous tumblers, the service providers are effusive….etc. I’ve also made a number of other discoveries, some more surprising than others:  Continue reading

Musical Diptych: What would they say if they ever knew?

Do you have songs that just go together in your mind, that you always think of in pairs?

I guess the fact that I posed this question tells you that I do.

I’ll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don’t seem right

For me, these pairings are usually not so much about musical complementarity (which Ben could tell you about) or the history of songwriting and recording (which Dave could tell you about), but about resolving ambiguous lyrics. Because they trouble me.

The first time I paid attention to the “Ode to Billie Joe,” for instance, I was unsettled for days.  What did they throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge????? (and I’m even more messed up now after looking at the faceless avatars in that video. Cripes!) She pushed him, right? Right? Or was it his draft card or their secret baby?

So I achieve mental quiet by finding answers that fit., even if the connection is entirely invented. For example, if I come across a song, preferably sung by a man, despairing his decision to throw something important off a bridge, that could be the pairing that would bring me peace. (Send me that song, please).

Ideally, hinging two songs together not only addresses a burning question so you can sleep at night, but gives you some new appreciation of each song. That brings us to today’s question-begging lyrics, from Tommy James and the Shondell’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”: Continue reading