Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dreams Inside The Jumble Jar


DAY AND NIGHT BY MAX ERNST



THE COUPLE IN LACE BY MAX ERNST




Carl Jung & the collective Unconscious from the Skeptics Dictionary:

The collective unconscious is a part of the unconscious mind common to all humans. According to Carl Jung, the collective unconscious contains archetypes, universal mental predispositions not grounded in experience. Like Plato's Forms (eidos), the archetypes do not originate in the world of the senses, but exist independently of that world and are known directly by the mind. Unlike Plato, however, Jung believed that the archetypes arise spontaneously in the mind, especially in times of crisis. Just as there are meaningful coincidences, such as the beetle and the scarab dream described in the entry on synchronicity, which open the door to transcendent truths, so too a crisis opens the door of the collective unconscious and lets out an archetype to reveal some deep truth hidden from ordinary consciousness.


So here's a few lines of verse pulled reluctantly out of my head & soul as it were for your amusement :

Sharing Our Dreams:
Dreams Inside the Jumble Jar
by Gordon Coombes

Sometimes our dreams we share
strange to walk about
inside your dreams
sometimes I invite you
into my dreams
acting the part of a friend
or lost lover
coming into my dreams
as an assassin
a clown with a bouquet of balloons
a madman wielding a hatchet
acting the part of a Guru
sent with a message
from the other-side
a demon sent to sidetrack me
an angel sent to guide me
or you are just a bit player
an extra a spear carrier
adding color to my own little opera-

Sometimes I stand at the threshold
of my dreams or yours
operating one of the cameras
saving these visions seen in dreams-

We journey back & forth
sampling the dreams of others
sharing their fear & their joy
finding adventure as we travel
through an unknown world
the landscape dotted
by their private symbols
wandering around searching
for clues of signposts
of archetypes to give us our bearings
no longer lost in the wilderness
no longer lost at sea-

This is our dream time
searching for a Shaman
to heal our dreams
to remove the weight of our burdens
of the past & future off of us-

Sometimes I am the prey you hunt down
Sometimes I hunt you down
in our dreams-

Sometimes I sneak into your dreams
to bring you pain
to sabotage the prepared script
to create chaos
having become the destroyer of dreams
having become the stealer of dreams
stealing your elaborate visions
to stuff in a sack hidden
in a locked golden room
with a red door
deep in the pitch dark catacombs
of the Jumble Jar-

Sometimes in dreams finally finding love
murdering someone we hate
or someone we love too much-

Even in our dreams
we need to keep our eyes open
& watch your back
remembering nothing is
what it seems
sometimes things are just
what they seem-

Pleasant dreams,
gord

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Headless Buddhas



Here is some information on the Giant Buddhas:

The Destruction of the Statues in Bamiyan
The Buddhas of Bamiyan - Destruction - IGP - ETH Zurich


The two colossal statues of Buddha carved into the sandstone cliffs of Bamiyan, Afghanistan, were demolished by the Taleban on March 2001. The Taleban people is a fundamentalist Islamic militia that has governed most of Aghanistan from 1996 to December 2001.

Against international protests and appeals, the supreme Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar ordered their destruction as part of a campaign to rid the land of all un-Islamic graven images. The leader issued an edict declaring the statues (and therefore the ancient Buddhas) as insulting to Islam. This means that all idolatrous images of humans and animals and all those idols considered by them to be an insult to Islam had to be destroyed.

By March 12, 2001, these giant Buddhas had been destroyed by the use of mortars, dynamite, tanks, anti-aircraft weapons and rockets. Now they are nothing but piles of sandstone rubble and clay plaster

( and as the website points out )

...The Buddha is not God or even one among many gods. During his lifetime of 80 years, Buddha Sakyamuni only allowed his image to be recorded as a reflection in rippling water. Images of the Buddha himself did not appear for at least 400 years after his death and even then were created only to remind followers of their own innate "Buddha Nature."

Headless Buddhas
( written in response to the Taleban cutting off the heads
of the Giant Buddhas in Afghanistan & later in 2001 obliterating them with explosives)
by gordon coombes


Headless Buddhas watching over us
sharing pearls of wisdom
all is as it is
pray for patience
all these Empires
all these fanatics
come & go
change is never what we desire
your freedom is my loss
your loss is my freedom
our desires are lost in a waterfall
emptying out a vast lake
given enough time-

our time slows down to a crawl
speeds up
we madly dance about
whirling Dirvishes
never catching our breath
each moment twisted out of shape
by our dissecting
leading to suffering
deconstructing each hard-edged
moment -

once we called out demanded
truth revealed in a few words
with no ambiguity-

it is not so simple
truth is sometimes hidden
beneath strange symbols
under rocks & old logs
left on the ground to rot-
sometimes we are led into strange places
left wondering about Ahab's White Whale
& what lies deep in the caverns
of Thoreau's Walden Pond
against our will led into the dark depths
under the thick solid ice
somewhere deep inside the Jumble Jar-

see you later,
gord.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

" AS IF AVATARS " PART 3

" a poem should be as exciting as a laundry list or a grocery lists
or written just for the hell of it " -
ancient sage

TALKING HEADS- ROAD TO NOWHERE





" AS IF AVATARS " PART 3
by Gordon Coombes

as if a thousand Avatars of Brahma waited dreaming
deep inside of us
as if Buddha Christ Mohammad Moses Abraham
Lao Tzu & Confucius were congregated sharing their visions
deep inside of us
as if Vishnu Shiva Krishna & Kali were swirling around dancing
amongst the stars deep inside of us ‑


as if a new era were to dawn
repenting of all that we regretted
as if we could see clearly
while swimming in our mental stew
of stray thoughts & memories
wishing we were like a diamond
being totally aware
as if this were too much
as if to imagine it all in such detail
the color of the carpet of the walls
always red & white
the ceiling the bookcase
the chesterfield the fireplace
or lack there of
as if it were a textbook
as if it means nothing to you
a weekend or a decade of memories
gone in an instant
as if love were breaking its vows
a solace to some despair for others
enter & despair
as if it were a wintry Christmas day
as if it were Easter morning
the world of a child
Christmas trees & lights
chocolate bunnies & cowboy hats
as if each morning the messiah arrives
as welcome as the beloved-


as if the minimal artist
practiced his art to perfection
one day sat at his table by the window
in some out of the way cafe
exclusive to poor artists
he never moved or spoke again
the proprietor failed to notice
him for a week or two
as if he only allowed himself to see
what he needed to see
soon he would not need to see at all
to be without these impediments
seeing hearing tasting feeling
as if they were all part of the illusion
of the greatest & first magician-

as if joy & happiness
were commodities to be bought & sold
as if despair & misery were free of charge
as if ordering takeout
of one emotion or another
available in sixty-four flavours
as if we could choose
as if the past were of no consequence
as if we were a blank slate
as if we were born filled to the brim
of all that has been
as if we had arrived in that brave new world
we had always feared
as if all around us were robots
thinking machines of wheels & cogs
never regretting
their preplanned conversations
their preplanned lives
even their wild care-free days planned in detail
living it up in their college years
a hundred one night stands
a hundred bodies left behind
of those who never made the grade
who didn’t quite fit in
it’s just a bunch of sad little cliches beyond that
as they claw their way to success
insisting on the party line
of the new status quo-

see you later,
gordon

Thursday, September 20, 2007

" AS IF " PART 2 & Once in a Lifetime - David Byrne

And now for a musical interlude with a funny little ditty by David Byrne Once in a Lifetime:





As If
by Gordon

as if the indulgences & tributes you paid
as if the beasts & birds of your burnt offerings
were just another con
to make the temple priests rich
no longer able to bribe your way
out of heaven or hell
as if all these terrible phony gurus
popes archbishops ministers pastors & vicars
ayatollahs mystics were leading their flocks astray
corrupting & mangling the messages
of their prophets
the avatars of god who cry out for justice
to be kind to one another
to be as we should be
as if there were a pure religion
as if there were a spiritual need
as if we needed a new creed-

as if we feared the sudden
appearance of tanks & soldiers
on our streets overnight
deep inside our paranoid dreams-
as if a shift unseen in the scheme of things
out of fear what unseen forces are unleashed
as if death squads wandered our streets at night
in black shirts & brown shirts
in pin-striped suits & skirts
changing & bending the law as it suits them-

as if politics were outside the realm
of your precious poetry
your mediocre saccharin
maudlin sentimental verse as it were
as if a poem existed in a vacuum
as if a poem existed
without someone to compose it
to speak it to write it
for others to share-

as if some were to head into the country side
some try to fight to make a stand
using harsh language against tanks
as if so many cared only about wealth
caring nothing for the poor
as if big brother invented the tv
to keep us all pacified or terrified
left in silent awe
as if it were like almost Armageddon
as if Armageddon would never arrive
as if we were in the midst of Armageddon
as if Armageddon were part of our past-

as if no dreams ever came true
as if all dreams came true
as if beneath the rocks were hidden
the secrets of the universe-
as if we had died & been reborn-

as if the mechanism itself were broken
it slipped a cog an incident occurred
as if it could be fixed
what arrogance we have
tossing out a barrage of words
going into a rant
as if the world needed our ranting
pointing our fingers
as if we were regressing or just digressing
from what is important-

see you later,
gord

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Coleman Hawkins & "As if " part one

Anyway I put together a couple of videos of pieces by Jazz great Coleman Hawkins from his 1952 album The Hawk Flies High - a wonderful way to start the day or for late night listening -

Coleman Hawkins -Chant



Coleman Hawkins- Think Deep



And here's part one of the poem As If

As If
by Gordon

as if a hundred novels lurked just below the surface
deep inside of us
as if the world itself swirled about just beneath the surface
deep inside of us
as if our eyes contained the world becoming what we see
reborn deep inside of us -

as if mountain ranges plateaus the steppes & savannas
fields of wheat fields of snow to rocky barrens to green meadows
to atolls islands to polar ice-caps even the continents
were contained deep inside of us-

as if every word ever said from the inane & mundane
to the profound & insightful to words of anger resentment jealousy sadness
to compassionate to mean & spiteful to juicy bits of idle gossip
to farewells to see you later to bugger off & never come back again
were filed away & still breathing
deep inside of us -

as if every sound ever heard from complaining crows screeching blue jays
choruses of singing frogs to trees groaning in heavy winds
to startling sirens of ambulances police cars fire-engines
rumbling eighteen -wheeler trucks to quiet slow moving hearses
leading funeral processions to song-birds singing sweetly
to rippling roaring crashing thunderous waves of oceans & lakes
streams & rivers against rocks & sand
stirring beneath the surface deep inside of us-

as if all the dead were locked away screaming sobbing lamenting
some demanding to send out messages to the world
some gently reaching out to comfort us
some quietly meditating having found peace at last
deep inside of us -

as if the beloved were waiting just below the surface
arms out-stretched to embrace
deep inside of us-

as if sometimes the ice inside of us were too thick even to crack
leaving only the clear blue pack-ice jammed against the shore
deep inside of us -


see you later,
gord"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

" Cherry -Blossoms Falling Like Snow " & Bruce Cockburn's My Beat

So start your work week with a little music so here's a video I created of Bruce Cockburn 'S a happy little ditty - its audio only but I do like the song so enjoy -



Cherry-Blossoms Falling Like Snow
by Gordon Coombes

I
In the glow of street-lights
snow falls
melts on our skin
turned to ice
our hearts are broken
shattered by the weight of Cherry-blossoms
falling as thick as snow-

glowing hot embers
inside us
children of fire
children of ice-

brutal sharp edged
ice cold dreams & delusions
take the axe to the ice
inside
our spirit frozen over
lingering lurking
in a few thin centimeters
in the folds of mud
at the bottom
beneath a mile deep frozen ocean-

not a hint of a breeze
snowflakes tumbling down
dreaming of tumbling
& nothing else into eternity
dreaming of being immortal
dreaming before dying-

the wind through trees
pushing leaves aside
green or red or golden
nothing else
bending branches
dreaming believing
unbending-

clouds race across the sky
crashing into China-blue cracked
broken pottery
of the untutored heavens
sent into the delusions
of the stratosphere
dissipating into a thin vapor
drifting over fields of wheat
over fields of snow
over fields of sand
over the badlands
over the heart- lands
over flat-lands fading
into the horizon
slipping over & down mountains
losing their anchor
in the moment-

II
have you known love
or only a vague shadow of love
being someone else’s idea of desperation
fearing being alone-

becoming walking talking clichés
being fodder for another’s compost heap
being grist for another’s mill-

our lives but an interlude
a little romp
in another’s great adventure-

the great white whale surfaces
in Walden Pond
piercing God’s blue reflected eye
painted on the ceiling
of our sanctuary in this run-down
rooming-house of the soul-

See you later,
GORD.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

" Haiku & Zen Poems " & David Bowie & Andy Warhol



Painting by Rene Magritte " The Therapist"

And now a funny song about Andy Warhol by David Bowie from his album Hunky Dory:




Haiku & Zen Poems
by Gordon Coombes

at night
the blue glow of TV screens
alive in empty houses-

computers full of life
order servants about-

a continuous humming
the computer dreams
mumbles to itself half-awake-

waves of words
bits & pieces of ourselves
sent over the internet
falling on deaf ears-

our cries of despair & hope
scattered shattered into fragmented
binary codes-

these poems
the Great Master says
are just a distraction-

the Great Master says
the essence of Zen
is poetry-

one hand clapping
silence answers
the Great Master rises at dawn-

Amazed by tiny green emeralds glowing
in darkness droplets of bile
running through dying fingers-


lacking skillful means
lacking patience
east & west collide-

sad to say sad to see
transplanted Lotus dying
the Buddha waits patiently-

the teacher dies of loneliness
waiting for students
who have gone back to sleep-

the student wastes away waiting
returns to his world of delusions
no sign of a compassionate teacher-

no sign of a compassionate teacher
the student returns to a world
of vague shadows & hazy dreams-

Take care,
GORD.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wounded Heart - A Poem for 9/11


Wounded Heart
( on the events of 9/11 New York
By Gordon Coombes

watching thousands die in an instant
planes crashing into skyscrapers
liquid fire raining down on Manhattan
leaving a mountain of twisted metal
a memory from a nightmare
forces itself into our waking world
replayed a thousand times on TV screens
& everyone for days on end
say all the right things
sitting on a cushion cross legged
all a tremble trying to be still
images appear vivid violent
shatter our repose
our minds violated raped
needing to scream
watching crowds panic & running
through the shadow strewn canyons
being chased by boiling grey clouds of dust
tv cameras catch people as they stop
in their tracks looking back in disbelief
watching tears streaming down their faces
watching our hearts break
each time the TV replays the horror
buildings exploding against a still
perfect fragile china blue sky
in that moment frozen in time
leaving us to tend our wounded hearts‑

voices are heard speaking of the horror
the shock & disbelief
& a thousand & one cliches
our language inadequate inept
fails us cut too close to the bone
our hearts breaking
our minds in turmoil
wanting revenge to taste blood
to spill someone's blood
our primitive urges rise to the surface
our civilized rational selves overturned
our blood lust over‑powering
& those who call for cooler heads
need to be patient & keep silent
til those waves of emotions subside‑

for some it is an opportune time
to push their political agenda
to pass on their bile & hate
appealing to tribal instincts
appealing to the worst in us
conjuring up demonic powers
& magical solutions
calling for Crusades & jihads
to last a hundred years
to protect our homeland
to destroy the evil all around us
dividing the world into us & them
our society slipping into insanity
to bring on a new Dark Age
as we retreat into our fortress of fear‑

Monday, September 10, 2007

Refugees Of Bohemia

Painting The Magician By Rene Magritte

So here's another excerpt from my epic poem Café Apollinaire for your amusement :

REFUGEES OF BOHEMIA
by Gordon Coombes

dining alone on a cold supper
reading books like people
mistaking books for friends & lovers
finding passion in music
conjuring pictures & stories
a movie inside his head
watching movies for sustenance
food for thought
setting the table for an invisible guest
lighting candles
for a romantic evening
for a woman who never arrives
finally eating gruel & potato soup
night falls the walls close in
the blue round ashtray
holds the burning cigarette
upon the white oval table
propped on the red carpet
yellow light flows over it
into shadows beside the bed
against the browned smoke-stained walls
in the room of a surrealist poet
who heads for the door
to spend some time
at Café Apollinaire before it's too late-

At the end of the night
After leaving Café Apollinaire
poets & artists stroll arm in arm
along the shadowy streets of Paris
in the twinkling yellowish glow of gas-lights
inebriated by heady discussions
wine & absinthe
Fire-Dragons circle the moon
St.Denise wanders around
holding his severed head in his hands
the cynical Gargoyle Strygé
sticks out his tongue from atop Notré-Dame
returning to humble ram-shackled
cold dark garrets in the squalid slums of Bohemia
on dead end streets in rambling
make-shift cheap rat-infested
rent by the week hotels
a crazy maze new sections
added on willy-nilly
eating one meager meal a day
lighting candles stuffed in old wine bottles
dripping with hardened wax
struggling through another night
of a thousand hours
hearing a series of single gun shots
the sickening splashes of water
another poet or artist a genius
a third rater a poser
caught up in Romantic delusions
ends a life not worth living-

at the end of all our struggles
we shall be carried out
in a coffin by strangers
abandoned in a common grave
or in a grand funeral procession
a multitude of mourners
led by a New Orleans Jazz Band
through the Gate of St.Denis
to the Cemetery of the Innocents
buried left to ponder eternity-

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Despair of Baudelaire

Anyway here is a bit of my poetry for your distraction & amusement-

'Despair of Baudelaire '
...an excerpt from my epic like-poem Tales From Cafe Apollinaire:
Variations On Distilled Dreams from Season In Hell section-

There is a poet here

who echoes the despair of Baudelaire

making his own funeral arrangements

desiring to be cremated his ashes ground up

into flour for making Baguettes

his blood purified & blessed

distilled fermented made into wine

left for a year then downed

by his mourners some perform a Mass

here is his blood here is his flesh

others wearing prayer-shawls & yamakas

recite the Kaddish -



At night Surrealist-saboteurs

agent-provocateurs anarchists

of all types & brands

paint trees orange & purple

use pressurized paint-guns at random

redecorate the sky

hang paintings from sky-hooks

laying rich lush green carpeting

on the streets hang bouquets

of baguettes from lampposts

cover rocky-cliffs & mountains

in rainbow coloured satin sheets

hang bags of coal from the ceiling

of Café Apollinaire setting loose

Giant Leopard Slugs & snails

to crawl over tables & chairs

outside Vampire Bats & Vultures

circling as we eat our meal

provided by the Ancient Mariner-



The romantic poet wearing a green

absinthe-stained-shirt recites

for the one for whom he lays his heart bare

wrapped in her cloak of cool blue shadow

of smoldering cinders

of passionate mysterious eyes

whose lips speak in mauve tones

presents a bouquet of purple perfumed flowers

brings her the head of Medusa

dripping blood into a basket of pomegranates

& golden apples of the sun

fiery stallions neigh & snort loudly

dreaming of pulling the sun

stamped with delicate butterflies

all to no avail

she averts her eyes

gets up from the table

leaves without a word -

take care,
GORD.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Café Apollinaire: The Proprietor's Vision

And here is a video on YouTube which I wanted to share From: AgaKakaZai

" This is an Opera 'virtual duet' I made, featuri...
This is an Opera 'virtual duet' I made, featuring the legend Pavarotti and Britains Got Talent winner Paul Potts. A truly memorable would-be spectacle if it were to be in reality, but here's how it turns out in a computer simulation.Song: Nessun Dorma

- In the loving memory of Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007), R.I.P. "




Anyway here is the first section which follows the prologue of the poem Café Apollinaire- which is along poem which I began writing over a dozen or so years ago -

I
The proprietor's Vision of Apollinaire
TALES OF Café Apollinaire:
VARIATIONS ON DISTILLED DREAMS

Café Apollinaire is a three ring circus
a side-show of freaks
a poet dining on metaphors
an artist being eaten by painted lions
bones stripped clean of flesh
by imagined dreamed vultures
escaped from brain-fevered induced nightmares
of a starving artist
there's someone in the corner
playing spoons drawing a crowd
forming a new band playing
what is at hand pots & pans & an electric mixer-

This is the Weltanschauung
the world trapped
in the over-reaching over-arching net
tossed by the proprietor
of Café Apollinaire
in a vision says the cubist poet says
in a vision Guillaume Apollinaire
came to me in a dream
told me to dream this
through you I shall speak
through you I shall live again
in my words in your words
light a candle burn some incense
stare into a mirror of mercurial air
into a crystal ball -


Hear philosophers prophets poets spewing
power puking phosphorescent luminescent words
see acrobatic poets reciting verses
riding his favourite Hobby-horse
see foreign language poets
reading with subtitles
see chain-smoking mad poets
coughing choking on their own words
chewing gnawing on metaphors & myths
see poets dancing the tango
hanging from chandeliers
hear someone lecturing at every table
hear philosophers spouting logical nonsense
hear prophets who lost their followers
speaking of the Grace & Wrath
of a mythical drug induced God -

take care,
GORD.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Muse of The Café Apollinaire & Pavarotti " Nessun Dorma"

Here's two versions of one of my favourite arias Nessun Dorma from Puccini's Turandot performed by Pavarotti solo & then with The Three Tenors: Pavarotti died yesterday & was a great artist who will be missed by many .





And with the Three Tenors:





Poem below dedicated to an old friend of mine David Rimmington who encouraged me to keep writing & to push my writing further into the realms of the imagination for which I am forever grateful. He also introduced me to other writers & artist & café intellectuals in the literary artistic community in Halifax -all of whom kept me energized & invigorated & even a little optimistic.It is odd because I had been on the verge of giving up writing altogether & there are those literary critics who wish I had but there you go-
It was because of him I began taking part in weekly public readings at various cafes of my work & taking part in the ongoing discussions & sometimes heated arguments about writing & art .Regular readings took place first & foremost at Café Mokka & The Green Bean & The Mauve Door & the infamous Café Apollinaire though few knew its location - & sometimes there were impromptu readings while standing on a table in some noisy bar like the old Sea Horse or at The Road House from which at various times I was gently shown the door -
Especially of note were Al McPherson & John Butters & the mysterious CAT ( Charlotte Taylor )& of course my patron JP who kept me going for quite awhile til the inevitable monetary crisis which is my 'leitmotif ' as it were. During that time I began writing longer pieces like " Night of a Thousand Hours " & the legendary epic poem " Tales From Café Apollinaire " which I have continued to work on for over a dozen or so years - & the more recent Epic For Our Time : A Requiem

Dedication :

& I wish I could dream as much
as he & Don Quixote
& not feel so much the burden
& indignities of my daily forays
into this world -

earthbound angel # 2
new age angel: muse of the Café Apollinaire
edited 01/11/02


Drifting from café to café
as light as air
his presence barely noticed
judges no one
accepts everything as possible
talking from midnight til dawn
gets exited when someone admits
to being a writer he asks for samples
praises all their efforts
it's all so subjective so who can tell
what is good & what is not
creating strange eccentric short plays
& stories & poems being put upon
the chopping block but he is humble
to an extreme & always says his little
works are second rate
as he writes about a Minotaur
& the farmer's daughter
& the traveling sales man
& engages in discussions
of secret Druidic Cults
of the lost knowledge of Atlantis
& Shangri-la
of guiding angels
of mystical mental powers
for healing & talking to the dead
for flying through the air
for gaining immortality
for seeing our past incarnations
for Vision Quests & Sweat lodges
& massage therapy & aroma therapy
& the magic power of lighting candles
& the cleansing effect of enemas
& sensory deprivation tanks
for floating listening to recordings
of the sounds of nature of ocean waves
of song birds & gentle streams
& Eastern monks & sages meditating
& chanting & standing on their heads
& walking up & down mountains
at such a pace no one can keep up
living to a hundred and fifty or more
deciding to die when they've seen
& done enough Or after having
the ultimate vision
& so my friend dreams of a lost Golden Age
of pure spirituality
shares tales about Edgar Cayce
& other mediums of Madame Blavatsky
& the Theosophists
& the Order Of the Golden Dawn
of Alister Crowley & Yeats seeing gnomes
& faeries in his garden
& in hushed tones speaks
of the Egyptian & Tibetan books
of the dead
sees only the good in everyone
prays for all who are wounded or slain
fears getting too tangled up
in the everyday mundane world
of the profane as he thinks
of all these wondrous things
as he folds clothes fills & empties
washers & dryers in the Laundromat
where he labors for his daily bread -


Take Care,
GORD.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Coffee & Muffins & Nick Cave's Opium Tea

& now for a little music from Nick Cave singing " Opium Tea "- sounds like the sort of tune played at a piano bar or Holiday Inn - one of my favourite Nick Cave tunes-



COFFEE & MUFFINS:
HAVE A MUFFIN SHE SAYS
by Gordon Coombes


the cold rain pounds
against the window
and she says have a muffin -

the brown leaves are blown
to the ground
and she says have a muffin -

the darkness surrounds us
our island of light fading
and she says have a muffin -

the shadows of a thousand crows
pass over
and she says have a muffin -

the universe is winding down
as the sun goes NOVA
and she says have a muffin -

the love we had for each other is dying
just a convenient lie to get by
and she says have a muffin -

death squads patrol the city streets
the madmen have taken over
and she says have a muffin -

empires rise and fall
millions on the tv screen are dying
and she says have a muffin -

thousands roam the streets homeless
and she says have a muffin -

another friend fails in their ambition
as she strikes them off her guest list
and she says have a muffin -

take solace in your success
forget about the rest she says
as she bites into another hot buttered muffin -

a thousand mushroom clouds boiling
above the earth
and she says have a muffin -

missiles rain down upon us
and she says have a muffin -

planes crash into skyscrapers of steel & glass exploding
while she says have a muffin -

friends are rungs on the ladder to success
ditch any who stand in your way she said
and offered her guests coffee and muffins -

And no tea & sympathy from me
she added -

take care,
Gord.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Nick Cave Easy Money

Let's begin with a little music by Nick Cave singing Easy Money from the album Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus which I have made into a video without images :




And here's a little piece of verse I will offer up to you:

NEW AGE SISTINE CHAPEL
by gordon Coombes

God’s hand stretched
across the blue sky
as puffy dream like clouds float by
circles within circles
spheres within spheres
blessing the holy masses
of busy shoppers
consumed with the
act of consuming
their minds reeling
with visions of things
to buy in this concrete
and steel cathedral
of greed and avarice
in this fallen age
of the garden of earthly delights -

The V for victory of the flying buttresses
the Greek columns forced
design a mere subterfuge
to entice beings without spirit
without a spiritual home
the play of light
on the stain glass
of this new cathedral
confuses and blinds
the eye of the beholder -

Is this the new Crucifix upon which
we place our hopes and dreams
is this the Shrine upon which we burn
our candles and incense
paying homage waiting
for a blessing
as we go window shopping
in the midst of the fast food fair
we sit meditating
trying to resolve a Zen koan
or we sit starring into space
our eyes blank
soothed by these soft pastels
and take communion
with a burger and coke -

take care,
Gord.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Westray Minning Disaster- a Poem for Labour Day




















The memorial to 26 steelworker miners killed
in the Westray Mine Disaster
Pictou County, Nova Scotia, May 8, 1992

also see Local 343 United Steelworkers of America















Above : Miners at Westray - Nova Scotia

- Westray Mining Disaster -
by Gordon Coombes

in the name of greed & a few votes
twenty six men left for dead
buried beneath the smoldering rubble
of a coal turned into a fiery furnace
then collapsing in upon itself -

twenty six men dead
officials & bureaucrats wring their hands
fearing for their jobs
look so worried caught on TV
shedding crocodile tears
carrying their insincerity on their sleeves
looking for someone to take the fall
or was it just an act of a cruel mean spirited God
if not who's to blame
call for a press-conference
pull out all the stops
call for an inquiry
call for another Royal Commission
to appease the grieving widows
to appease the orphaned children
to appease the uneducated mob
who should be thankful for any sort of job -


twenty six men dead
surely the governments not to blame
surely the owners are not to blame
surely the stock-holders are not to blame
surely the C.E.O.s are not to blame -

twenty six men dead
not of much worth
just some coal miners
so what's all the fuss
easily replaced -

twenty six men barely mourned
while files & memos are shredded
in the middle of the night
to protect those public servants
& those philanthropic entrepreneurs
for the status quo must remain or all is lost -

twenty six men dead
so bring in the con men & shills
to distract & appease the masses
ignore the facts & bring on the myth
for the mine passed inspection many times
but the fix was in from top to bottom
& the complaining miners were fired or silenced
the dust & gases are too much
an accident a tragedy waiting to happen
ah well non of our own were killed
just the unskilled stuttering lumpen proletariat
so shed a few public tears & mourn the loss of profits -

Having grown up in a mining town I know all too well about the struggle of miners to receive better pay & benefits & to have better & safer working conditions - the attitude of most of the Middle Class towards those who actually work for a living is to see them as being "stupid ", "ignorant " & " lazy " & " troublemakers " who know little or nothing about how Corporations or Governments should work -

The mining disaster at Westray wasn't some unpredictable accident it was a result of a lack of enforcement of mining safety regulations on the part of the company which ran the mine & on the part of Provincial & federal government agencies who were more interested in profits & public relations than they were concerned about the safety of those working in the mine at Westray .

And yet those who were culpable were not tried for committing criminal acts which resulted in deaths ie. Criminal Negligence or Manslaughter - they were not tried because the laws were either too vague or non-existent since the belief has always been that government officials , department heads , inspectors & their lawyers etc. can not be held responsible for not doing the job they are supposed to be doing & corporations are mere paper entities which cannot be jailed or held accountable for their actions - but this is the Capitalist way of doing things - in some ways workers are not much better off than they were in the 19th century when it comes to labour relations & issues of occupational safety- what we get instead are adds sponsored by the Nova Scotia government which infer that workers are the one's responsible for the work related accidents which occur ... so as usual the Neocon Deregulators blame the victime & tell their workers that they should be thankful to have any sort of job - that these jobs are gift to them by the corporations & the Government which is merely a representative of the corporations , the super wealthy & the company's shareholders - the employees as such are of little concern to those in power - and so it goes-

And here is some info from:

Westray Mining Disaster Index

I make this pledge to the families. Westray will not be some vague memory of a tragic accident. It will be a living, active presence in workplaces across Nova Scotia. Your husbands, your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your friends, will never be forgotten. Every time someone wants to cut a corner or bend a rule, we will remind them there can never be another Westray and this government will not allow it.
Minister of Transportation and Public Works
speaking on the floor of the Nova Scotia Legislature, 1 December 1997

In recognition of the grieving families and in commemoration of
the 26 miners who were killed in the Westray coal mine disaster,
we will remember them:
John Thomas Bates
Larry Arthur Bell
Bennie Joseph Benoit
Wayne Michael Conway
Ferris Todd Dewan
Adonis Joseph Dollimont
Robert Steven Doyle
Remi Joseph Drolet
Roy Edward Feltmate
Charles Robert Fraser
Myles Daniel Gillis
John Philip Halloran
Randolph Brian House
Trevor Martin Jahn
Laurence Elwyn James
Eugene William Johnson
Stephen Paul Lilley
Michael Frederick MacKay
Angus Joseph MacNeil
Glenn David Martin
Harry Alliston McCallum
Eric Earl McIsaac
George James Munroe
Danny James Poplar
Romeo Andrew Short
Peter Francis Vickers
We will remember them.


take care,
Gord.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

HOWL -Allen Ginsberg

Neal Cassady on the bus with Ken Kessey

Neal Cassady, legendary folk hero in the Beat movement, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to a life of hardship, married three times, and was immortalized as Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's "On The Road". Cassady was a car thief and minor con-man who spent much of his earlier years in reform schools and juvenile detention centers.

Jack Kerouac joined Neal Cassady on several road trips across the United States and Mexico, writing about their experiences, sometimes as they were happening, while Cassady generally led the way. These adventures were culminated in the pages of "On The Road". Kerouac included Cassady's persona in several later novels, such as "Dharma Bums" and "Visions of Cody". Cassady reportedly appealed to Kerouac to teach him how to write fiction, but of all of the prominent Beats of the generation, he was the least prolific. His only book, an unfinished autobiography titled "The First Third", was published by City Lights Books in 1971 a few years after his death.

In the 1960's Cassady joined young novelist Ken Kesey (author of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest") on a new series of cross-country adventures as Kerouac was slipping into a state of depression and alcoholism. He sat behind the wheel of a psychedelically painted bus named "Further" on a Kesey-organized road trip to the New York World's Fair. The group referred to themselves as the "Merry Pranksters". Tom Wolfe captured the events of the excursion in his book titled "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."


From The Beat Page
























Jack Kerouac


























Allen Ginsberg & Skeletons Dancing




















William S. Burroughs meets a Mugwump
from Cronenberg's film version
of NAKED LUNCH




So here's Allen Ginsberg reading from his poem 'HOWL ' for what its worth ...




take care,
Gord.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

At The Last Minute & Louis Armstrong

Anyway for your listening pleasure here is the great Louis Armstrong playing Basin Street Blues in 1959:



And now for a few of my verses :

At The Last Minute

At the last minute
the story gets written
everything falls into place-

At the last minute
the revolution begins
the barricades are erected
the troops & tanks are sent in
at the last minute-

At the last minute
we find a scape-goat
for all the wrong we have done-

At the last minute
a few dollars arrive
from a friend or a distant relative
to pay the rent to buy some food & cigarettes
to have a late supper at a shabby quaint little diner-

At the last minute
giving up all hope
as you freeze in the snow & rain
the bus arrives delivering you to work -

At the last minute
telling me of your love affair
leaving me for another -

At the last minute
leaving a bar drunk at 3am
staggering along the streets
returning to this dismal little room
waiting for the last minute to burn itself out-

At the last minute
the phone rings
or there is a knock on the door
or a new poem falls onto the blank page
as I hold the knife over my wrist-

At the last minute
just before dawn
a friend & I go for a walk
along the waterfront smoking a joint
talking about writing & women
having made it through another night-

At the last minute
the woman of my dreams with Raven-Black hair
who roams the streets at night comes to my door
her eyes sparkle in the moonlight
saving me from despair
at the last minute-

Take care,
Gord.