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Tag: Charles Simic

Friday, May 24th

basement jukebox

Herbie Duncan with Red Wells and his Caravans from St. Louis, “Hot Lips Baby” (H. Duncan), 1958

 

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lagniappe

reading table

I believe in the soul; so far
It hasn’t made much difference.

—Charles Simic (1938-), from “The Old World”

Wednesday, March 26th

alone

Günter “Baby” Sommer, live, Germany (Dresden), c. 2007


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musical thoughts

Who has more fun than drummers?

*****

lagniappe

reading table

Back to Mandrake the Magician,
The man of mystery often seen
In the company of swells and
Denizens of the underworld,
While mother kneads pie dough
And sways her hips to the radio,
And the fat, bow-legged dog
Drools over a red rubber ball,
When there is a flash of lightning
Followed by a roll of thunder
And sudden darkness upon us all.

—Charles Simic, “Memory Train” (New Republic, 3/24/14)

Tuesday, May 14th

There is, it appears, a new addition to the list of activities that threaten national security—channeling Whitney Houston, badly.

An American Airlines pilot was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger refused to stop singing Whitney Houston’s hit song I Will Always Love You.

The solo performance began shortly into the flight from Los Angeles to New York and her crooning quickly became too much for passengers and staff on the domestic flight last Thursday.

The pilot was forced to change course halfway through the six hour flight and make an unscheduled stop at Kansas City so officers could escort the woman from the plane.

Daily Mail, 5/13/13

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lagniappe

reading table

“Pastoral Harpsichord”
by Charles Simic

A house with a screened-in porch
On the road to nowhere.
The missus topless because of the heat,
A bag of Frito Banditos in her lap.
President Bush on TV
Watching her every bite.

Poor reception, that’s the one
Advantage we have here,
I said to the mutt lying at my feet
And sighing in sympathy.
On another channel the preacher
Came chaperoned by his ghost
When he shut his eyes full of tears
To pray for dollars.

“Bring me another beer,” I said to her ladyship,
And when she wouldn’t oblige,
I went out to make chamber music
Against the sunflowers in the yard.

Wednesday, March 27th

What I love about the ’net is that sometimes, like yesterday, when I happened upon this, you find yourself being lifted out of your seat by something you didn’t even know existed two minutes ago.

Ned Rothenberg (clarinet, alto saxophone) & Samir Chatterjee (tabla), “Interstellar Duo #3,” live, New York, 2009

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lagniappe

reading table

The more I read, the less I understand.

—Charles Simic, “Serving Time” (New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012)

Friday, 1/25/13

You can only hear with the ears you’ve got. And the ones I’ve got came of age in another era. But is it merely reflexive nostalgia to ask: Is there anything today—anything at all—that can compare with this?

Otis Redding (1941-1967), with Booker T.  & the M.G.’s* and The Mar-Keys,** “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (O. Redding & J. Butler), live, Monterey Pop Festival, 1967

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lagniappe

reading table

What advice would you give to people who are looking to be happy?

For starters, learn how to cook.

“Questions for Charles Simic: In-Verse Thinking,” interview by Deborah Solomon, New York Times, 2/3/08

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*Booker T. Jones, organ; Steve Cropper, guitar; Donald “Duck” Dunn, bass; Al Jackson, Jr., drums.

**Wayne Jackson, trumpet; Joe Arnold, alto saxophone; Andrew Love, tenor saxophone.

Friday, 1/4/13

My heart’s on fire . . .

Nona Hendryx (with Ronny Drayton, guitar), Philadelphia, 2012

“Temple of Heaven”

*****

“Rock This House”

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lagniappe

reading table

Her life, she said, was an out-of-tune piano played with passion.

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This evening I sat listening to five presidential candidates offering their imaginary solutions for a country that doesn’t exist.

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“Imaginary maladies are much worse than the real ones, because they’re incurable,” an old friend who walks with difficulty was telling me.

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Much of what our eyes see and our ears hear is lost in translation.

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 “An alarm clock with no hands, ticking on the town dump,” is how he described himself.

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They gave the nice old gentleman I met at the bake sale several medals for the misery he caused in some country that no one could find any longer on the map.

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I bet all our elected representatives in Washington spend a great deal of time in front of mirrors admiring themselves. They lift their noses and chins, stare straight ahead without moving an eyebrow or a muscle, then nod their heads gravely and smile to themselves as they go out to meet the people.

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He sat on a bench in Washington Square Park whispering something extremely confidential to his dog, who sat before him with ears perked, wagging his tail cautiously from time to time.

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The crosses all men and women must carry through life are even more visible on this dark and rainy November evening.

—Charles Simic, “A Year in Fragments” (excerpts), New York Review Blog, 12/31/12

Friday, 12/23/11

where I’d like to be tonight

Po’ Monkey’s, Merigold, Mississippi, 2010

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lagniappe

reading table

Charles Simic, “1938”

*****

random thoughts

Life’s often said to be too short.

Too short for what?

Monday, 2/7/11

You weren’t there Saturday (neither was I); but, hey, we’re here now.

North Mississippi Allstars (Luther [guitar] & Cody [drums] Dickinson [sons of the wonderful Jim Dickinson]), “Let It Roll,” “Ain’t No Grave,” live, Atlanta (Criminal Records), 2/5/11

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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lagniappe

Keys to the Kingdom (new album)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

*****

reading table

Country Fair

If you didn’t see the six-legged dog,
It doesn’t matter.
We did, and he mostly lay in the corner.
As for the extra legs,

One got used to them quickly
And thought of other things.
Like, what a cold, dark night
To be out at the fair.

Then the keeper threw a stick
And the dog went after it
On four legs, the other two flapping behind,
Which made one girl shriek with laughter.

She was drunk and so was the man
Who kept kissing her neck.
The dog got the stick and looked back at us.
And that was the whole show.

—Charles Simic

Simic reads this here, beginning at 2:08:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
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