I survived birthday #57 intact on Sunday. My wife made a delicious brunch, and we had a few friends and family over. In the afternoon we met a couple of other friends to see stage play The Odd Couple. Last night my good friends from Quick and Dirty Poets celebrated my birthday too. I'm the "old man" of the group - our next oldest member is 50 next month, and three of our members (and one unofficial member) are 30 and under. I told them last night that hanging with them makes me feel 29 again. We're planning our annual summer reading series, which we call "Hot & Sticky" - we'll be featuring poets Kathy Graber, Tammy Paolino, and Gina Larkin. (If you're local to me, the readings are at the Daily Grind coffee house in Mt. Holly, NJ, and the first two are scheduled for Friday June 13, and Friday July 11, at 7:00.)We will also resurrect our lit mag, Up and Under: The QND Review this fall, when we will begin to accept submissions.
Music: Two of my sons treated me to a concert Saturday night for my birthday - Poi Dog Pondering was at the TLA. Great band, but I thought the sound system was jacked up too high, to the point that it distorted and muddied the music. Before the concert I stopped at Repo Records on South Street and got two used CD's: Wee Tam by Incredible String Band (a hard-to-find 1968 album from the British psychedelic-mystic-folk band. I also got The Clash's London Calling, which, believe it or not, I never owned on record or CD. It took me 28 years to realize what a great album it was.
Poem of the Week: The writing prompt for the 13th was to write a poem about a song or based on a song, and use a line from the song as an epigraph.
The First Time I Heard "Tomorrow Never Knows"
Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream…
- The Beatles
And I did that,
as I lay on my bedroom floor
between ersatz headphones,
the boxy speakers of my portable stereo.
I slipped downstream
as sped-up tape loops keened
like fantastic creatures,
and otherworldly flora sprang up on the banks.
John’s voice, the psychedelic gondolier,
poled me through this riverworld,
unprecedented to my 15-year-old ears,
and when the closing strains swirled away,
I got up, opened the door,
and walked in.