Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blessed to create culture and come alive --Post 600!

Post 600, catching with a conversation almost two weeks ago, goes out to my buddy Glenn R. Brown. If you like Dark Horse Comics or think you might, look for his artwork in a new comic book from them soon, but we love a lot of the same music, he with more r & b knowledge than ye olde cosmic/ cheese power pop writer, and a need to Funk that makes me wanna slap a bass, but good. Anyway, he needs to stay a little uncover about just how cool he really is, but his new girlfriend seems to get it, so how many things really just need an audience of ONE?


Well, lots of them, dear reader, like my farts, or even the typing of my fingers, which is occasionally enjoyed by another...it's apparently rain-like soothing to hear the music of the typing fingers.

Let me say here, you can barely underestimate the importance of being able to write, to every one of us given that precious gift by others who understood it. To write anything, from a grocery list to a text to a Facebook message to a page to a scene to a poem to a series of novels, is to share with potentially anyone who shares the gift to read; you will never truly know all the people who spent time with something born of your private musings, plus hours staring at the ceiling, included free of charge.

He and I were having a conversation about encounters with deeply gifted musicians, when we shared an acknowledgement of how tough it is to go from relative poverty and obscurity to a functioning, bill-paying success who just failed enough times for something to stick anyway.

We also discussed a big pop group's almost-done-deal revival, but that's a surprise for another time. Here's a clue: look up "Deion Estus."

On some level, I feel whatever these people's faults, there's always redemption. Music is such a powerful gift. Yes, everything that was standard thirty years ago is kinda gone.
It is a mind-blowingly horrible time to be a young band, an unestablished song writer...you have to be so committed to the power of what your creations do for you, regardless of what they come to mean in the world of Man.
you can't think about how miles it is to shore...you've got to think about swimming..and when you're tired, float...but never sink.

He concurs it's maybe the worst time...yet, there's an amazing amount of distribution possibilities for a nominal fee...if you can get it promoted! Glenn referred to it as a digital Pandora's Box.

It also means, potentially, anyone holding a phone could hear or even buy one of my songs; I may find out with a laptop someone wants to read my book, or post a drawing that maybe you remember you said you'd pay me for?

It is quite nearly a Pyrhic sacrfice to be an artist of any stripe...and here I am, soul-devoted to music, writing and art and utterly unable to stop this love affair with any of them, like a man possessed. I know...if you can't score the live shows, you go home hungry. Everyone's tied into some endorsement or they'd all be middle class at best.

Well, I won't even recount the horror stories. And all so one poor soul might find your song hung up in their head, or two people might dance an unforgettable memory. It is to crawl from one crumb to the next, even if you're not spending a dime on booze or weed or anything to make it "easier." It is the most spiritual time to create culture out of the essence of yourself. Yet potentially the most selfless, bravest souls are the ones left to create anything at all. And they, and their devotees, are all that sustains it. It is to live with no surety of one's future. it requires the sweetest gratitude. And yet, I think of all the great minds who came this way to die virtually unheard, because of prejudice, disease, misfortune of every kind...and I realize I'm on the shoulders of giants whose faces I never knew.

I had to admit, one thing that keeps me humbled ever more is the thought of some man or woman or child of any color, working so hard in a field, perhaps even for a harvest that won't save their lives after all. They had all these stories and songs and pictures of art inside them, and they died with no one knowing much what they could do, or even in the case of someone talented, perhaps only getting a chance to sing for dinner even once in a lifetime, who never maybe thought to nor expected a dollar to their name for what they did in the name of enjoying art.

I always credit the understanding of those with whom I'm conversing for the quality of what I imagine to say. Could've only come out talking to one who understands it. It was you, there to listen, that evoked it.

And that is where our gratitude lies...to the people whose openness and support evokes the greatest powers of expression to rise within you, within me, so that we might feed undying soul food to the seekers.

And that's what makes the miraculous nature of this age where material sustenance seems elusive for many. Once you reach a certain level of income, however, you're able to take a trip to the beach, or fly to Colorado Springs, or decide you ache at Mount Rushmore and start to wish you were home...or at least back in Colorado Springs. And you can do all this in a matter of days, while a year may have vanished once in the time it'd take to see Wyoming from Georgia, much less actually coming back through New Orleans. When you look at the wonder of it, is it any wonder we are occasionally either floored by the pace of life, or simply at some half-ease with accepting a numbness in your nest after a day of flying with purpose?

We're a moment in an eternal dialogue, the very power that has made human life worthwhile to carry this far down the road. We bear the burden, but are humbled by those with no fame, no comfort, who bore it before us. The idols, yes...but the men and women with lost names who created, as we do, because of the real something that beats our hearts, that ineffable cosmic love that makes man to dream of every inch of Better World we can build. Perhaps it's unique in the universe, and it exists mysteriously, for why would it even be so. Maybe we'll find out one day?


If we can evolve our sense of energetic barter, I'm reasonably certain there's plenty for survival in the foreseeable future. Perhaps we can earn an elevation of our sense of value. But just to come alive and create culture, to make stories, songs, pictures of our own...it moves on a wheel of inspiration!

As for the mystery of what may continue to prove true long after this life is through? Well, as brother Glenn said, that's the reason for this journey. You discover the purposes of many things.

And finally, the purpose of us is to choose creatively. Whatever we do in life.

Please do look up Glenn R. Brown in the upcoming Dark Horse Comics and be amazed for yourself. And thanks for joining me, however long you've been down this road with me. I hope you see the miracle of your life there in your hands, too.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ten Most Influential Books on My Life

Ten Books which most shaped who I am? In chronological order:

1. My Illustrated Children's Bible Stories
2. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley.
3.Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
4.Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
5. Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
6. Grandmaster's Book of Ninja Training by Masaaki Hatsumi
7. Invisibles by Grant Morrison
8. Don Quijote by Cervantes
9. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Doestoyevsky.
10.Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer. Next would be The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, which fits between nine and ten, and Syzygy by Tau Palamas, which came this year.
Impulsively, I wanted to list Supergods by #GrantMorrison (my present read) as it is at ground zero of my view of the present explosion of my ideas. Lucky 13.

Arguably, Ralph Denyer's Guitar Encyclopedia belongs in that list, and the vast composite of musician biographies and magazine articles cast a spell over it all. That controversial book on the Beatles back in the late '80s was massive to me.

Because it was Essays, I bumped Ralph Waldo Emerson, but reading that on my own was huge at that time in my life; Transcendentalism shaped my freshman year the way Existentialism did my California trip. I can't underestimate the value of Norton Anthology of English Literature but it isn't one single book. Steve Gerber's run of Defenders, which I discovered four years ago, dramatically shaped the way I saw writing superheroes. He was light years away from the comic books of his time, everything he wrote. If you don't read old comic books...read his. I feel that way about Starlin's Warlock, too. Cosmic. Rich with questions and tense adventure...but it was only about ten issues with a cool epilogue. Love and Rockets by the Hernandez Brothers means a lot to me: very femme-centric, funny, and sometimes fantastic and occasionally brilliantly Mexican, but never ever typical mainstream comics. Honestly, Anywhere With You by Cecil Disharoon opened my origins of my adult path in life to me in all its Romantic splendor, and I think that book would open those reflections in anyone, any age, so I recommend it.

The Illiad and Odyssey are huge to me, as are Shakespeare's plays, especially Hamlet. Sometimes a writer like Alan Watts or Poe or Twain matters in a way broader than one book. My view of life and the world was also shaped by Chinua Achebe's Things FAll Apart and The Good EArth by Pearl S. Buck, which came to my hands as I began my life as a #pedicabber surviving by the seat of my pants in #downtownSanDiego. Luigi Pirandello's Enrico Quatro and Six Characters in Search of An Author gave me philosophy-as-drama in a thoroughly modern way. Elaine Pagel's book on the Gnostic Gospels was huge for me, too. Philip K. Dick's key books nearly leap into that mix, especially Divine Invasion. I love Ray Bradbury, Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, and all those poetic short stories; I think he'll be my next science fiction kick. Dharma Bums nearly made it, as did Heinlein's Stranger and To Sail Beyond The Sunset, but they are markers of things I learned in real life from experiences with my friends in a way more influential than those books, in comparison to the above ten's actual impact, because of what the sheer choice to read those did to shape me, rather than a shared ethos already in play (i.e. I was a Beatnik before I read them; knowing Joe Day was more important than Kerouac's book; knowing Jason Megahee or Eldon Dugan was more important than C.S. Lewis's books; Jamison meant more to me than Heinlein's books). Hatsumi's book would've meant nothing without Johann Balasuriya to explore it with us, and Sensei Robert Geyer.

It's quite nearly true my high school text books mean almost as much to me as these others. Your fundamental education opens the entire world of curiosity! Human From Another Outlook (English from Farsi) is my next book read, and something from my new friends Jesse Kindred and Corella are the next stories.

I could easily write a whole blog on each of these. Maybe I should, through the course of the year. I have been meaning to assemble many of these blogs as a book or two at last, as requested by Paula Hill and others. This is a critical crossroads for my creative work; what a wonderful place to assess what brought me here.

P.S. Love Dracula and Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fictional Girls - Integr8d Soul

“Fictional Girls” Lyrics by Lue Lyron and the Marc Kane Music by Lyron

I know a girl named Tiffany Thomas
she left me a note and made me a promise
to be a pen pal while she's far away
Got her postcard in my mail box today

She made it herself-- red shirt Star Trek dudes
it's Captain Picard –is that Dr. Who?
-from cardboard and thread, with googly eyes.
Now how could I thank her?
She loves a surprise...

I love every crazy thing that she does
I'm writing this song just becuz....

Fictional girls make the very best girl friends
Marcileen, Sailor Moon, & Leia in one
You don't have to own her, and you'll never know her
Drawn into her pictures, we have lots of fun

2.She makes her name
she makes silly faces
she makes up her self
and then switches places

Tattoo 91, she colors her hair
She cartoons a creature-is she really there?

She finds her cute glasses, her hair is bright blue
I'll make her a postcard when I have me some glue

I love all those crazy things that she does
I'm writing this song just becuz....

Fictional girls make the very best girl friends
Marcileen, Sailor Moon, & Leia in one
You don't have to own her, and you'll never know her
Drawn into her pictures, we have lots of fun!

We have lots of fun, we have lots of fun (outro)

Inspired by a real postcard and a real girl who made herself up.