The Woven Tale Press

My short piece The Parable of the Matador and the Juggler was published this week in The Woven Tale Press (Volume II, Issue 6). You can follow the link to view this impressive magazine filled with writing, photography and artwork or you can check out the embedded version in the right sidebar of this blog.

Even Further Adventures of Joe & Skirl – Flash Fiction Friday

The small round lights above the stage provided neither warmth nor illumination. The crowd, such as it was, supplied only indifference, which was preferable to hostility but vastly inferior to the adulation Joe felt was his due.

Joe saw two options:
1. Plow through their performance
2. Slip out the back door when nobody’s looking

Skirl saw a third option:
Improvise a new set on the spot.

Skirl felt the set they’d rehearsed was a little stiff for the room. As he looked out at the assembled death masks staring at the stage, Skirl was inspired to improvise some new material. He’d had a song tickling a soft spot in the back of his skull for days and he was genuinely concerned that if he didn’t perform it right now it would be lost forever to the shifting winds of could’t-give-a-fuck that surrounded his every move.

Joe liked the idea of plowing through the performance they’d rehearsed. He liked the flow of up-tempo and mid-tempo numbers, especially when they were mixed with a couple of ballads that showcased Skirl’s vocals and his keyboard wizardry. Unfortunately for Joe, Skirl was the front man and he called the shots.

“Riff on a G, slow, like Duh, duh-duh, duh-duh,” Skirl hissed into Joe’s ear as they hit the stage.

Happy Belated Birthday Walt Whitman

Belated birthdays suck. They’re usually a way of showing that you care about somebody, just not enough to remember their birthday. As one of the multitudes whose lives have been changed over the last 195 years by Walt Whitman I want to wish it anyway.

I can tell you from personal experience that poetry is a dangerous business. I’ve only attempted it in the last couple of months and it’s already cost me dearly. Not that that should discourage anyone from trying. You might have better luck.

“These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing or next to nothing,
If they do not enclose everything they are next to nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing,
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.”

Walt Whitman put his heart into his words and those words have tumbled down all these years, losing nothing in the journey.

“Because you are greasy or pimpled – or that you were once drunk, or a thief, or diseased, or rheumatic, or a prostitute – or are so now – or from frivolity or impotence – or that you are no scholar, and never saw your name in print….do you give in that you are any less immortal?”

Time plays cruel games with the human body and mind and soul. Some people resist or even occasionally win at these cruel games. Walt Whitman was one of the winners.

“Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun….there are millions of suns left,
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand….nor through  the eyes of the dead….nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.”

I used a few of Walt Whitman’s words as the final lines of my new novel Lost and Found:

“Youth large lusty and loving….youth full of grace and force and fascination,
Do you know that old age may come after you with equal grace and force and fascination?”

Thank You – Mike’s Musical Monday

I wrote this song last week. Gratitude isn’t something you shouldn’t keep to yourself. So, thank you.

For the time you made me smile
When you were crying all the while
For the time you helped me see
That other man who I could be

I want to thank you
I want to thank you

For the time you held my hand
When I had nothing but who I am
And for the time you said to me
“It’s OK. Don’t worry.”

I want to thank you
I want to thank you

All You Need Is Love

Paul McCartney is joined here by Queen, Brian Wilson, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Tony Bennett, Ozzy Osbourne, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bruce Hornsby, and a full orchestra to perform All You Need Is Love. This version also interpolates She Loves You and the British national anthem (replacing the French national anthem from the original). The lyrics are inimitably John Lennon’s:

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game

It’s easy
All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time

It’s easy
All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be

It’s easy
All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need