Sol But No Rhythm

Snow Jaywalking
“Sol But No Rhythm”

For the first time in months, I sat on my balcony,
in my woolen clothes, and drank in the Sun.
Sol … but no rhythm …

Please understand,
I am NOT patient; I am stubborn.
Please don’t confuse my smile for my defense mechanism.
An inner storm always rages; it is a force of nature.
I cannot control it … but it is who I am.
And yet, I am too stupid stubborn to come to terms with it.

So I think to myself …
“why hide when you can simply masquerade?”

Forever the cat, dreaming he was a dog.
Forever the dancing baton in a requiem.
Forever an undressed window looking out into the foreign.
Curtain-less.
Shameless.

Soul but no rhythm.
Poisoned by white tempo …
with increasingly fading vision …
and the buzz of white noise in my ears.
Not even sure when my heart skips a beat or two,
but surely it must …
Death, always advancing, never seeking an element of surprise.
And me?
Too stubborn to accept the calm before the storm.

A misappropriated cliché:
That which doesn’t harm you, kills you.

Soul … but no rhythm …
Why aren’t I Miles Davis?
A better question yet …
Why aren’t I Jay Schwartz?

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Polly’s Cadence (In Dada Flat)

'Parrot Dada' by Jay SchwartzPolly’s Cadence (In Dada Flat)

“Polly wants a cracker!”

A call is made.

You wait for a response.

I comply in earnest.

Behind the wool, you gloat blindly. 

Knowing enough words to nod along, I do so … knowingly knowing I know nothing. 

Point Counterpoint. A methodological approach to string theory resolves to the root of us all. Klimakatastrophe … deservingly so

You want dogma, a rationale of semiotic obedience.

A feathered response is in order:

There are no more prayers, only the chanting of reverberating sounds in the wild; the vibrations that ricochet off your sensitivities … forcing you to move.

You want belief, perhaps in distended words unspoken.

Yet, I have only the faith of habit found in sustained accidentals and enharmonic phonemes … and wings to sing of.

And oh how I’ll sing one day, despite your efforts to make me talk.

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The Gist and Jest of Jazz and Death

'Summertime Jazz' by Jay Schwartz“Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe.”
– John Coltrane
 
“I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
– Woody Allen

 

As a writer and someone who tends to ‘feel and think’ his way through life, I have certain subjects I often feel compelled to write significantly about since they intensely stir the very core of my existence. Today, I’m referring to jazz and death – the former with love, the latter with fear. Time to connect the dots.

Please note that this essay is not the big magnum opus I plan on writing one day on these topics, but merely my attempt to broach related issues of an existential nature (breathe, breathe, breathe). In fact, I’m quite aware that in all likelihood I will probably never write what I’d like to, since I’m mindful of the fact that any attempt to do so would fall short … simply because jazz and death are both larger than life. Moreover, descriptions of jazz are just as elusive as rationalizations of death. Most literature provides the gist, but misses the jest. That’s where I come in.

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A Phoenix Imploding

Prodigy-InfernoA Phoenix Imploding

Fanning the flames of a prodigy’s inferno, self-pity looks on as art burns.

Anger consumes reason.

Bitterness ignites the mind-set.

 

Consumed with the rage over jilted aspirations …

The eye stutters …

The tongue is blind …

Speaking in volumes of disdain, spitting dissension.

 

Wracked with spasmodic thoughts on unfinished words.

Impotent intentions char on slow burn.

Wisps of smoldering passions dissolve into ‘misforgivings’.

A primal scream of guttural inflammation belches forth raw talent.

“Such a waste” cries a vanishing muse …

 

Choking on bile …

Lashing out in all directions …

Twisting, jerking, shrieking, mourning the living and grieving over stillborn dreams.

A phoenix imploding.

 

Why so much anger?

The will to cause such pain.

Too busy blaming ancestral arsonists to reach for a glass of water.

Choosing instead to smother candescence with incendiary fury.

Burn that ‘self-loathing’ down …

……………………………………………………………………

 

Suggested Viewing

 

Suggested Reading

 

Musically Yours

Abstract Art by Naomi JohnsonMusically Yours

There are times when there is vision in the music

… but not when the music itself presents a vision

… or is even visionary itself.

Oh say can’t you see that some chords unravel and some scales are unbalanced?

Have you ever met an arpeggio that unfolded into a non-linear arrangement of an unsequenced rhythm?

I have … and was seduced by it … willingly.

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The SMiLE Of A Dumb Angel

Surf’s Up
Aboard a tidal wave
Come about hard and join
The young and often spring you gave
I heard the word
Wonderful thing
A children’s song
– Brian Wilson / Van Dyke Parks

You have to SMiLE at the thought that 43 years after the Beach Boys’ album SMiLE was supposed to be released, an official version in more than one form finally came to be … on Halloween, and in the UK no less. In the United States, the release came 1 day later, on November 1st, the end of the hurricane season in the ‘Atlantic basin’.

Just yesterday I ordered the 2 CD version from the Beach Boys site. I paid extra for the version with a SMiLE T-Shirt. I don’t want to just ‘look, listen, vibrate’ and SMiLE’ I want to wear it, too!

Personal Music: Some Notes & Chords:

There was a time in my life when I would sit at a piano all day and play various chord combinations, without really knowing what chords I was actually playing. Later, I did the same on guitar. I wasn’t looking for a particular mathematical permutation of notes, but rather I was looking for a feeling, a sensation, perhaps even a ‘movement’. In musical terms, this would refer to a “self-contained part of a musical composition or musical form”. For example, on a guitar, pluck the chord Asus2 and let it resonate. To me, such forms don’t necessary come in a string of notes played across a few bars…. but rather in a single blast … a Big Bang, if you will. Listen to the seminal chord progression struck by the Beach Boys vocals in the album’s opening track, Prayer, and you’ll understand.

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I Told You I Was Trouble: Amy Winehouse RIP (1983-2011)

I cheated myself,
Like I knew I would,
I told you I was trouble,
You know that I’m no good,

 – Amy Winehouse, ‘I’m No Good’ 
He walks away,
The sun goes down,
He takes the day but I’m grown,
And there’s no way, in this blue shape,
My tears dry on their own.
– Amy Winehouse, ‘Tears Dry On Their Own’

What the hell’s the matter with you?” is a question that’s often been fired at me point blank in varying contexts, by an even more varied collection of people. Parents, sibling, employers, and colleagues have all hurled this inquisitive barb in my direction. My answer? Well, in general, I’d suggest that the question is moot.

To be honest, I think it’s a strange question, because more often than not, it’s a question that’s asked through a veil of perception that gnaws away at the inquisitors’ sensitivities… or expectations. In fact, I’d argue that it’s not really even a question, but more of a statement of exasperation, spoken by a chafed few who have yet to fathom that there are just some things, situations or people that they can’t control in life.

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