Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stop Press Edition – The Days of Wine & Roses Exists!

I didn’t expect to make this announcement this morning—which is being posted both on Robert Frost’s Banjo & The Days of Wine & Roses—but it’s a fact: The Days of Wine & Roses is not simply a blog anymore; it’s also a paperback book that you can own for a mere $10 US: it’s available at this link.

For those who are short on cash, it is available as a free pdf download, & of course the availability of the poems in book form doesn’t mean the end of The Days of Wine & Roses blog: the poems will continue to appear in published order. For those who’ve also followed my more recent poetry on Robert Frost’s Banjo, I should point out that The Days of Wine & Roses only covers poems written in San Francisco between 1990 & 1996, with one “postscript” poem from my Idaho days in 2003. Don’t worry—poems from the last few years will find their way into book form, especially now that I know how easy it is on It’s also free to the author, tho if you want copies of your own work, you do have to pay full price (I’ll be forking over some dollars myself here in the near future!)

Anyway, so happy to share this with you folks. Without your support, I don’t know that this would have happened!

Photo of the Week 1/31/10

Payette Lake, McCall - Wednesday 1/27/09 about 9:00 a.m.

Please check out today's post at The Days of Wine & Roses; it's the next poem in the Heaven series (Heaven #2).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

“Each Is Alone, Each Is Everything”

January is mercifully slipping into the sunset—sorry to any southern hemisphere readers—so this brings our look at poet Kenneth Patchen to a close. I’ve really enjoyed the comments this month, & I’m gratified that I’ve been able to introduce Patchen to some folks who’ll appreciate his work. He is woefully under-read, under-taught & under-rated. As I’ve discussed in the past, leftist poets have not fared well in the 20th century English language canon. I’ve also seen it speculated that Patchen’s status as a conscientious objector during World War II harmed his reputation.

The poem “Each is Alone, Each is Everything” is from Patchen’s 1946 collection, Panels for the Walls of Heaven. With surreal eloquence, Patchen examines I/Thou, time & eternity, & the “big questions”—it’s a beautiful poem, & a tour de force.

Hope you enjoy it!

Each Is Alone, Each Is Everything

O ghost in the bluehearing grove
More tongueless than pity.
Quiet as a breast. Alive above the noisy killing of men. A red red rose and the patient hands of the snow. O tranquil forest under the darkening sky.
Half-lived and unintent the poor lives of men.
The listening souls of twigs.
O starry weather lofts a bird and in that profound cave our father sleeps. Hey creatures! forgive us!

Conditions are Queen. Fullswirl care in the gadgets of being.
Flesh cottages.
Crowing pigflowers spray at the castle wall.
Rundown it’s five o’clod. The more ways the samer way.
Eternity is kinder
Than any clock.

Harmony always rejects power.
Each cottage holds the world.

Horizons always end somewhere too. Vice in art, as in life, is not looking at what cannot be seen. The beautiful brutal hours fondle alike the thoughts of snakes and the lusts of angels. The garments of Shakespeare hang in the closet beside the fool’s—each with the marks of the loom upon it, neither altering the set of the shuttle in any fashion whatever. O ghost in the heartseeing grove tell me are there any coats at all that will fit the life of a man in this world?

As meaningful as love!
Peaceful as a breast. Alive above the terrible agony of men. No really I’d prefer not to. Have more of it, that is. Feeling, caring… My own bit of cottage. Why should I always return to where I haven’t been! Let you now—I am speaking to myself—come a little nearer to where I am. It may be true that that is a better place to be. Wonder, anyway, is nicer than any name.
I’m all sold on the Beautiful.
I hate with all my guts this bloody crawling cell they’ve turned the world into. I can’t get any of these damn coats to fit any part of my life.

Kenneth Patchen

Friday, January 29, 2010

Helix #2

[New poem by yrs truly. New title, too. As Eberle says, if you're going to invent a new form, you oughta be able to name it. So I did. Will there be more? We shall see!]

a drab January goldfinch
a letter written on yellow legal paper October 1978
a white two-story house a red door

an Oregon butte flashing orange at sunrise
a tidal pool pulsing with sea urchins
you are far removed

a junco skittering across the porch
a willow bough frothy with wet snow
a quart of Ballantine ale

a white pick-up a ladder in the truck bed
a magpie scudding above the highway
winter’s horizons shimmering with ghosts

fog rolling blue & white from the ridge
you are sobbing & nothing adds up
a yellow January sunrise

a yellow August sunrise a screen window
a bald eagle perched atop a cottonwood
a dog-eared copy of Leaves of Grass

irrigation pipe on wheels sunk in the drifts
a brown fedora a black print skirt
a willow’s orange limbs in the snow in Lake Fork

you are somewhere in the fog beyond the fog
a summer morning’s sobbing birdcalls
a gray t-shirt a pair of stained Reeboks a television

wire-rimmed glasses red flannel pajamas
irrevocable distance between then & now
footprints in snow on the frozen lake

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Happiness 101

It’s never a bad thing to be reminded of the people & things in our lives that give us happiness, so I’m indeed glad to have been honored recently by the Happy 101 award from Lizzy Frizzfrock (nom de blog of Cheryl Cato). The Lizzy Frizzfrock blog is a delight, with its mix of photos & essays—everything from wild turkeys on the roof to meditations on politics & spirituality. Do check it out!

In keeping with the spirit of the award, 10 points of happiness:

1. My relationship with Eberle
2. My many dear friends, both those known in “real life” & those known in blogdom.
3. Playing guitar, banjo, etc., especially for other folks
4. Playing guitar, banjo, etc. with other folks
5. The support readers here & on Days of Wine & Roses have shown my poetry & music
6. The ocean—especially the Pacific—& especially walking in the environs of same
7. Speaking of the ocean, lunch at Cranky Sue’s Crab Cakes
8. The model train project Eberle & I are working on jointly
9. Watching birds at our four feeders
10. Road trips (see Monday’s post for more on this!)

As far as passing the award on: I know some folks don’t do awards, & I understand the reasons they don’t. So I’m going to name some blogs I think you should check out, & if those bloggers would like to display the award, list 10 things that make them happy, &/or pass it on, I say great! If they only wish to do one or two out of three, also great, & ditto if they choose to do none of the above. They’re all fine blogs that may be flying a bit under the radar as yet:

  • Platypuss-in Boots: Of course! It’s Eberle’s really fun & witty blog about everything from stuffed animal consciousness to tattoos.
  • 12 Tuna: Earl Butter, AKA Ray Halliday’s paean to out-of-date tuna cans & what to do with them. I don’t know how long this one will be on the shelf—there are only 12 cans in the title—so check it out soon!
  • Usually Confined: The blog proprietor, Bill, bears a marked resemblance to another UK blogger we all like. He also bears quite a marked resemblance to Big Bird. Everything from global politics to The Wind & the Willows, with sharp, clear writing.
  • Thoughtful Eating ~ A Food Blog: Speaking of bloggers we know from elsewhere, this is the work of Raquelle of Out of the Past ~ A Classic Film Blog. Raquelle’s writing is always well conceived & informative &—most importantly—fun! She’s coming up with some great recipes, & she explains them thoroughly & clearly.

Finally, a note on coming distractions here on Robert Frost’s Banjo. As regular readers know, two big series ended within the last month (give or take): Dad’s Photos & the Weiser River Pillow Book. Also, as I announced on Tuesday, Translation Tuesday is ended for the time being—nothing heavy here, just wanted a bit of change in direction. So I’m happy to announce three new series:

Adams County Makes the News: A collection of historical letters from the Adams County
Leader, the Council Record, & The Adams County Record, compiled by Eberle, complete with her introduction to the collection. Both Eberle & I worked as reporters for the Adams County Record in the past, so we had a stake in the local newspaper game. Eberle compiled these letters as part of an Idaho Commission on the Arts-funded grant for a dramatic presentation titled Dear Editor. Adams County Makes the News will post every Thursday.

Mystery Posts
: The first of these went up yesterday. These are “randomly timed but on-going series of Mystery Posts by Eberle," exploring her Catholicism & ancient goddess poetry—including her rendition of some ancient Sumerian poems! I’m looking forward to these.

L.E. Leone’s Poetr
y: Speaking of poetry, I’m so pleased to announce that my dear friend L.E. Leone, also known to blog readers as Dani, will be contributing to Robert Frost’s Banjo. L.E.’s poems will alternate on Tuesdays with B.N.’s (interesting how so many of my friends are big on initials!), just as my translations had alternated with B.N.’s poems in the past. L.E.’s poetry is much different from mine or B.N.’s, so her writing will bring a very new voice to the ol’ Banjo. L.E.’s first poetic appearance will be on Tuesday, February 9th, so stay tuned—& don’t miss the next B.N. poem this coming Tuesday either!

Hope you enjoy these new features!

Second pic: The old Adams County Leader office
Third Pic: L.E., gowned & gloved & bouqueted

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mystery Post #1

[Here’s the first in a randomly timed but on-going series of Mystery Posts by Eberle, which will involve her exploration of Catholicism & ancient goddess poetry. I believe even those of us who are of a non-religious bent—myself included—can find a lot in these writings. A side-note: to read Eberle writing in a much different vein, please check out her Platypuss-in-Boots blog. Enjoy!]

For the past three years in September, I’ve traveled with Sister Beverly up North past Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, across the lake where you can see the train-bridge described in Marilyn Robinson’s Housekeeping, to an old field campus where a group of women have gathered for twenty years now on retreat. Sister Beverly’s focus for the retreat last fall was: praying with the women of the Old Testament. Judith became an instant heroine of mine – rebel, warrior, poet/singer – her Canticle is stirring. When Sister Beverly suggested that writing a Canticle could be part of our solitary prayer, I thought: who could do that? And then I wrote this Canticle of Anna you'll find at the end of the post.

Sister Beverly spoke of Mary as the connection between the Old Testament and the New, and I thought quite a bit about Mary’s mother Anna - a vital and vibrant part of this connection as the Mother of the Mother of God. The Mystery called the Immaculate Conception (referring to Anna’s conception of Mary) is inaptly named or translated it seems to me. Such overtones of tidiness when it must have been the opposite to a pretty extreme degree – the union of divine and human, the merging of visible and invisible, all boundaries dissolving. Here’s part of a 12th century icon, the depiction of the Mother of God surrounded by the Holy Spirit, conceiving Christ.

Stories of women or g
oddesses conceiving divinely go way back – through Roman and Greek stories all the way to the first written literature, in Sumerian. It’s a thread in the Old Testament too. The other woman mentioned in this Canticle is Peninnah (a transliteration of the Hebrew word for pearl)- I took this word as one of my spiritual names, to reflect a devotion to this Mystery – but I didn’t know she was a figure in the Old Testament with a connection to divine conception until this retreat. I’ve learned that sometimes retreats are far from restful in any ordinary sense – I know some of the women stayed up most of one night around the bonfire – and others of us, like me, were writing alone, but with a sense of sisterhood.


Sing to God a new song, the song of Anna.
Sing with the tongues of night birds
and the squeaks of flocks hanging head downward in caves
Sing with the vaulted clicking of cicadas
and the wet throats of frogs mantled in shining darkness.
Make the night fragrant with your joy.

For the name of God flowers in her body.
The name of God unfurls like a woman
unbraiding her hair in flowing waters
For the name of God leafs out the trees
gathered on the shores of the river
and perfumes the wind that moves them.

Not in kings or heroes did the mystery open
Not in soldiers or commanders did the banner of light unfold
But in a woman who lifted up her body
like a cup of water trembling in her hands
sighing with delight.
In Anna did the God of Peninnah
Knit the pearl.

Eberle Umbach
© 2009-2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Helix #1

an arthritic finger
a quonset hut hulking in January drizzle
a teardrop tattoo

a chowder shack in Bodega Bay
a misty November afternoon spilling over with gulls
a flagstone walkway

a cigarette butt in a puddle outside the hospital
you are older
a coil of barbed wire breaks thru pasture snow

a dish of paella in Baltimore
it was January you should have been elsewhere
a peony blooming next to concrete steps

a pair of chipped bifocals a pair of frayed black sandals
a kestrel preening in the willow
a star tattoo a daytime moon

a purple cyclamen on a San Francisco patio
a string quartet a picnic dinner on the lawn
an archtop guitar

a game of croquet a storm approaching from the south
a Council, Idaho July 4th parade
a dogwood blooming like laughter

a cottonwood’s seedpods exploding amidst May’s bees
a future loaded with blanks
where have you been all this time

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It’s Translation Tuesday again, & today we have a very short poem by Dadaist-Surrealist Tristan Tzara. As is my policy when posting short translations, I’ve also included the French Original.

“Voie”—which means “way” in the sense of “show me the way”—comes from Tzara’s 1928 collection, Indicateur des chemins de coeur (“Signposts on the Heart’s Roads” would be one way of translating this.) It's a truly gem-like miniature, & as such shouldn't be overlaid with explication.

I should mention that this will be the last Translation Tuesday for awhile; I know it's been a popular series with some faithful readers, but I'd like to move in a different direction (& remembering all things are subject to change.) B.N.'s poems will continue to appear on alternate Tuesdays, but beginning next month, there will be a new series to complement her work
—details expected this Friday!

Now, on to the poem, & hope you enjoy it!


what is this road that keeps us apart
across which my thought’s hand reaches
a flower’s inscribed on each fingertip
and the end of the road is a flower walking with you

Tristan Tzara
translation by John Hayes © 1990-2010


quel est ce chemin qui nous sépare
à travers lequel tends la main de ma pensée
une fleur est écrite au bout de chaque doigt
et le bout du chemin est une fleur qui marche avec toi

Tristan Tzara

Pic at top:
Portrait of Tristan Tzara 1927: Lajos Tihanyi

Monday, January 25, 2010

“Statesboro Blues”

Lots of folks who were listening to the new (at the time) genre of blues rock in the 1970s know the song “Statesboro Blues” as an Allman Brothers’ song—their original band recording of it on their Live at Fillmore East album is an outstanding piece of music &—whatever such things mean—was named the #9 guitar song of “all-time” by Rolling Stone. My understanding is that their version was based on Taj Mahal’s cover of the song on his 1968 debut album—one thing can’t be argued: Duane Allman was a heckuva slide guitar player & his pairing with Dicky Betts led to some great guitar music.

But the song itself is much older, & in its original form, quite a bit different from the Allman Brothers’ version, even in terms of song structure & lyrics. “Statesboro Blues” is credited to the great Blind Willie McTell, who recorded it in 1928; some of the lyrics may have been borrowed from a 1923 Sippie Wallace tune, "Up the Country Blues," tho of course there’s always a chance with blues that both songs were borrowing lyrics a common pool.

Statesboro is a town in southeast Georgia, almost on a diagonal line from Atlanta (Blind Willie’s main turf) in the northwest, & mostly due south from Thomson, where Willie McTell was born. What was it about the “Statesboro Blues” that’s caused “everybody” to have them? We’ll never know, just as we’ll never know how “Big 80” pulling out of Atlanta relates to this.

But that’s ok—“Statesboro Blues” is a rollicking song, even taken at a tempo slower than the Allmans’ romp (& McTell’s version is slower than mine), & it paints a coherent lyrical picture, however the lyrics may connect.

Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photo of the Week 1/24/10

Sunflowers in January - Whiteman Lane, Indian Valley

Please check out today's post at The Days of Wine & Roses; it's the sixth & final poem in the sequence Sonnets for Lily Yukon, which I wrote in the early 90s.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

“The Orange Bears”

On the surface, Kenneth Patchen’s poetry contains seemingly contradictory elements—while he was a truly great love poet & someone who could evoke great tenderness & compassion with his words, he had a savage & brutally matter-of-fact side. Just consider some of these poem titles: “I don’t want to startle you, but they are going to kill most of us”; “Eve of St. Agony or the Middle Class was Sitting on its Fat,” “Nice Day for a Lynching” or “"May I Ask You A Question, Mr. Youngstown Sheet & Tube?" Of course, the visceral outrage expressed in these & other poems goes hand in hand with the compassion—Patchen saw a world torn apart by war & ravaged by cruelty & the worst forms of injustice. When he saw these things, he expressed his outrage, openly & directly in his poetry.

Today’s poem, “The Orange Bears,” is an example of this outrage. Patchen grew up in Niles, Ohio, & his father worked in a steel mill in nearby Youngstown. This provides the poems context. In those days, the strikes were broken up by the National Guard—now it’s all done with much less physical violence—management taking photos of the workers on the picket line (I’ve seen this myself in San Francisco when the hotel workers went on strike) so they can identify employees for reprisal, or simply having the President of the United States fire all the members of the Air Traffic Controllers Union.

I thought Dominic Rivron made an astute comment on the first Patchen poem this month, saying that Patchen walks the line of being corny, but never falls off. It’s a big artistic risk to speak plainly & emotionally. Patchen is an example to us because he didn’t shirk that.

The Orange Bears

The Orange bears with soft friendly eyes
Who played with me when I was ten,
Christ, before I'd left home they'd had
Their paws smashed in the rolls, their backs
Seared by hot slag, their soft trusting
Bellies kicked in, their tongues ripped
Out, and I went down through the woods
To the smelly crick with Whitman
In the Haldeman-Julius edition,
And I just sat there worrying my thumbnail
Into the cover—What did he know about
Orange bears with their coats all stunk up with soft coal
And the National Guard coming over
From Wheeling to stand in front of the millgates
With drawn bayonets jeering at the strikers?

I remember you would put daisies
On the windowsill at night and in
The morning they'd be so covered with soot
You couldn't tell what they were anymore.

A hell of a fat chance my orange bears had!

Kenneth Patchen

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Blues Jukebox #2

Happy Friday, everybody, & time for another Blues Jukebox. These songs aren’t tied together by any theme, but they all feature some amazing guitar work & vocals—really breathtaking in each case. So, without further ado, let’s get to the music!

Mississippi Fred McDowell: Goin’ Down to the River

Mississippi Fred McDowell is probably the least well-known of the three artists represented in today’s offering, but his powerful slide guitar work is some of the best you’ll hear. McDowell’s playing is interesting in that it has a more modal, droning sound than the “standard” 12-bar blues, which is very much based on the pattern of tonic, subdominant & dominant chord changes. Of course, the more one looks into the old acoustic blues, the more one realizes that the 12-bar pattern was just one of many followed by these artists; &, as I pointed out in one of the Blues Xmas Train posts, McDowell isn’t alone in favoring the drone over the chord change—Robert Wilkins & Howlin’ Wolf (among others) both have one-chord songs built on a modal riff.

But enough music theory—this song is just too good to pass up!

Available on: Mississippi Fred McDowell: Mississippi Fred McDowell (Rounder)

Robert Johnson: Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)

Anyone with a passing knowledge of the early blues knows that Robert Johnson has a reputation as one of the very best guitar players in that style; & among his many fine songs, it would be hard to choose one that outdoes “Preaching Blues” for sheer pyrotechnics. After a brief introductory turnaround, Johnson launches into the sort of slide & shuffle performance that caused many folks, on first hearing his recordings, to believe that two guitarists were playing. Johnson’s singing always is first-rate, but in my opinion, this is one of his very greatest vocal performances.

“Preachin’ Blues” is unquestionably a re-working of Son House’s “Preachin’ the Blues,” but it’s a very thorough re-working both in terms of music & lyrics. House’s song explores the way in which he’s torn between religion & the blues. He sings: “Oh, I'd-a had religion to this every day, but the women whiskey, they would not let me pray.” House also suggests that blues has supplanted organized religion for him: “I'm a-preach these blues, and I, I want everybody to shout.”

Johnson takes this at least one step further—in his case, there’s no explicit comparison between the blues & organized religion—for him, the blues is a supernatural force that’s controlling his life:

“The blues, is a low-down shakin' chill
(spoken: Yes, preach 'em now)
Mmmmm mmmmm
Is a low-down shakin' chill
You ain't never had 'em I, hope you never will”

This is further personified in the great opening line: “I was up this mornin', ah, blues walkin' like a man.”

“Preachin’ the Blues” is one of Johnson’s best songs—do check it out!

Available on: Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings (Sony)

Skip James: I’m So Glad

If you only know “I’m So Glad” thru Cream’s cover version, you must listen to Skip James’ original version. Not only is the original quite different in feel from the Clapton-Bruce-Baker cover, but it’s undoubtedly one of the premier fingerstyle guitar performances by any blues artist. Period. James’ playing on this song will leave you reeling—the fact that his guitar accompaniment provides a backdrop for a brilliantly powerful vocal just makes the song that much more—what’s the right word? Intense—James’ music is always intense & complex & edgy, & this is one of his greatest songs. I can listen to his

Available on: Skip James: The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James (Yazoo)

Pic shows Skip James (with guitar) & Mississippi John Hurt

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weiser River Pillow Book #14

[Here’s the final installment of Eberle’s Weiser River Pillow Book—although some editing has been done along the way, the majority of the work is now available on Robert Frost’s Banjo, & the link to this writing will continue to appear in the sidebar for the foreseeable future.]


The fake mother-of-pearl buttons on a rodeo shirt.

Windows on a mirrored glass skyscraper. When these are not shiny, it appears that the whole purpose of progress has failed.

Blackberries picked in late summer.



The interior of a church.

The front doorknob of a house surrounded by trees.


The smell of an empty school corridor lined with lockers above which are student drawings of ways to save the environment.

A trowel that has rusted with dirt still on it.

Chicory that has flowered close to the ground after being mowed.

An unmatched sock.


Magpies landing outside the kitchen window after the first snowfall.

On the floodplain of a river, an abandoned house through which vines are growing and covering half the roof with leaves.

A county fair where there are many kinds of poultry and pigeons, also goats.

A forest three years after a wildfire has passed through it.

You are walking through the woods thinking how silent it is and how alone you are, and then you notice at the base of a huckleberry bush, a hairbrush, ruined by weather, the gold lettering on its back almost legible.


The sound of a refrigerator late at night can bring an aquarium to mind—the tiny bubbling treasure chest and diver never reaching it—the trapped light.

It is the middle of summer and you know there is no chance of rain. Nonetheless, a truck going by on the highway makes a sound like thunder and for a moment you shiver deliciously.

When the cottonwood trees are releasing cotton in the spring, it does look like snow in the air and yet does not bring winter to mind.


The plastic countertop where it has come loose from the edge of the kitchen sink,

The "Sealed For Your Protection" seals on aspirin and chopstick.

At a community meeting, sitting next to someone who bites his nails.

Gas stations and restaurants that are part of national chains, erupting in the rural landscape like the signs of an inevitable disease.


The image of oneself as a child.

On the verge of sleep, repeatedly, being awakened by imaginary alarm cries coming from the guinea hen coop.

When the sun has almost set behind the highway, a passing truck blocks the last of the light and the house goes dark for an instant longer than a blink.


The mop bucket.

Crocuses after their first bloom, especially the large kind.

One's girlhood crushes.


A robin standing on a fence post.

An old seeder rusting on a hillside above abandoned fields.

A dinghy moored in the small pool of a rock-crushing pit.

The desk and window in my studio.

An eagle's nest on top of a power pole.


Dried beans—especially black garbanzos and striped lima beans you have grown yourself.

Star anise.

Pickled beets.

Coriander seed from the garden.


Pig's feet.

Scientific specimens of any kind.

Leftover tomato paste.


Standing in a supermarket aisle surrounded by varieties of canned tomatoes that seem to have proliferated since the last time you were there. Varieties of breakfast cereal also create this sensation; varieties of tea, however, do not.

Thinking about a phone number you have lost.

Being about to fall asleep and waking suddenly.


When the leaves of the cottonwood trees by the side of the highway are the exact same shade of yellow as the double line.

When the line of a jet trail in the eastern sky is the same color as the clouds around the setting sun.

How sometimes I hear the traffic on the highway above my house and it sounds just like a river.

Eating pears and grapes together.


All music on the radio.

All systems of measurement.

Women who give their children the last name of their husbands.


Rolls of hay stacked in shelters; three rolls on top looking like an enormous clover leaf.
Erosion on the side of a small hill can create the impression of a massive distant mountain range seen from above.

Near the spring that feeds the house under a wild plum tree, there is an ant-mound that is two feet high. In itself it seems strikingly large; still, the yellow plum leaf resting on it looks huge.


There are many more new cars. There are stores selling clothes for outdoor recreation.

There are no magpies, quail, or black widows. Very few cottonwood trees, lots of pine trees.

In the streams, caddis flies use bits of pine needles in their shell-casings.



When continuing a diary in a new notebook, the desire to make a gesture of formal introduction of some kind, however subtle or oblique. To whom?

The pleasure of shining the old chrome-covered clock-timer on the stove. It doesn't work, is not attractive, and yet the tenderness I feel for it never fails to spring up when I’m cleaning the stovetop.


A clothesline.

An extra steak knife.

Two large steel-covered bass drums.


A blue enamel bucket to hold scraps for the chickens.

A medium-sized doumbek.

A jumper for fall. The perfect fall jumper is of medium weight, very soft, not binding anywhere. Long enough to give a feeling of serenity but still allowing for easy motion. It should not create a feeling of loudness or of primness.


Planting garlic.

Taking down the hammock.

Putting hats and mittens in a basket on the dryer.

Eberle Umbach
© 2000-2010

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just 4 Fun

Happy Wednesday afternoon, folks—or Thursday morning, or whenever you find your way to this. Just a short post to give a boost to Eberle’s really fun & witty Platypuss-in-Boots blog, which as of tomorrow will be joining the Theme Thursday crowd. What Platypuss & friends will make of this week’s theme is beyond me, but I’m sure it will be something both delightful & mysterious!

Platypuss-in-Boots is changing its posting schedule to Monday & Thursday, with some extra days here & there for good measure. If you want a taste of the sort of high class entertainment you can find there, just check out yours truly, with very special guest star, in the video!

Sunflowers in January

You are walking a country road there are no similes
there is the fullness of desire a
wooden cross brace between the spliced barbed wire a

wedding dress sparkling in a wide pasture beside a creek the
thorn bushes tangling there hampering this poem’s progress
tho the creek’s black water spills into being

you are many places at once the sky the highway rippling thru
fog to the south amongst the dozing sagebrush & your voice &
        your voice &
your voice on a phone in the dusk with grosbeaks in June &

you’re walking into a white clapboard garage in Vermont the
skis & snowshoes suspended on 16-penny nails the
pungency of motor oil & thawed earth

a wedding dress sparkling in a wide pasture beside a creek, the
willow’s orange limbs in the snow in Lake Fork next to
irrigation pipe on wheels sunk into snow-

drifts pink coneflowers erupting in honeybees amidst shimmering
August there are no similes there is the fullness of desire a
memory & another & another you’re looking into the future’s

shattered mirror iridescent & out-of-focus the
sagebrush evergreen gestures climbing the hill beyond
        barbed wire you’re
walking a sidewalk strewn with magnolia petals there are no

similes you are many places at once the empty bird’s nest in a
leafless aspen the stand of sunflowers in
January snow brittle & clenched & standing in place despite it

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


[Here's the next of B.N.'s poems, which begins the second part of the manuscript]


Among the small gestures
of intimacy is
that of taking the hand
of a woman and saying:
He will come back.
Things turn—
from beautiful to ugly
funny to bitter.
Like this inside me
you know, what I believed
to be bright red is
pale pink.
I like speaking in
bird calls,
imitating the being of
any small thing.

© to the author, 1983-2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Story of “Johnny Jack Poetry”

A couple of folks remarked on my use of the name Jack Hayes on Friday’s poem post, so I thought I’d use today’s post to talk a little bit about the long-running “John-Jack” debate!

I was born John Edward Hayes, Jr—my father obviously was John, as was my paternal grandfather. In all honesty, I must say up front that I’m not a fan of the “junior” naming pattern—no offense meant to those w
ho’ve taken that route, but I found it confusing as a child &, perhaps because my father was at that time somewhat of a distant &, frankly, rather angry person, I didn’t tread happily in his footsteps.

As a child, I was called Jack or Jackie—I liked the latter when we’d watch the Jackie Gleason Show, because I thought he was
hilarious; on the other hand, it became a bit confusing when the President was married to a woman named Jackie. Mostly I thought of myself as Jack Hayes.

Then high school came around, & the onset of all the teenage angst, struggle for identity, & hyperbole such as only can be found in the adolescent of the species—I think I’d particularly say the adolescent male. Because I was a good student, my hometown gave me a scholarship to be a day student at a nearby New England prep
school (speaking of hyperbole & ostentation), so the millwright’s son was suddenly in the midst of all sorts of boys who’d come from much different backgrounds. No doubt in an attempt to be very serious, I corrected all my teachers the first day of school, telling them my name was “John, not Jack.”

There are probably a half dozen actions in my life—sins of omission & commission—that if, given the chance, I’d change were it possible. This is one of them! I think the name Jack is so much more light-hearted, & I certainly needed a lot more light-heartedness in my life for years to come. But I stuck with the name John.

We travel ahead in time now to 1986 in Charlottesville, VA. A grad school friend of mine,
a talented fiction writer named Molly Turner, began a literary magazine called Timbuktu. Because Molly had the resources to do so, she was able to produce a high-quality publication, also noteworthy because it captured some really remarkable writing that was happening in Charlottesville over the course of the next few years. Molly published a generous selection of my poetry in the first few issues—in fact, Eberle also was among the many talented writers whose work appeared in that publication; at that time she was not a novelist but was writing some breathtakingly good short fiction! B.N., whose poems are familiar to regular readers, also appeared in Timbuktu.

I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but around this time I let some of my friends know that I’d once been known as “Jack Hayes,” & that in some ways I preferred the name. Molly & I talked about me using the name Jack Hayes for publishing my poems, & she said she’d be happy to publish the Timbuktu poems using this name if I’d agree to always use this name for publication—I did agree to this, & in fact, other poems published while I lived in Charlottesville & San Francisco were published under the name Jack Hayes.

But things happened, as they have a wont to do. One drawback to the name Jack came when I became involved with a woman named Jill—probably enough said, without going into more detail
(for a number of reasons). So when I moved to San Francisco, I was once more John Hayes in life, if not in poetry, until one day—post Jill—I was talking with my friend Dani Leone & let her know about the “John/Jack” poetic dichotomy. Dani, who wrote & still writes the Cheap Eats column for the Bay Guardian, immediately dubbed me “Johnny Jack Poetry”—she had names for all her friends in her columns—Satchel Paige the Pitcher, Haywire & Crawdad de la Cooter are a few other examples. As I became once more publicly a poet, as I emphatically had been in Charlottesville, the “Jack Hayes” name became a bit more common amongst San Francisco friends, tho most knew me primarily as John.

Then a wonderful thing happened: Eberle came back into my life. Interestingly, she’d left Charlottesville around the beginning of the John to Jack transformation, & so knew me primarily as John. Also, even before Eberle came into my life, & as discussed elsewhere on this blog, I gave up writing & took up the guitar. My poems sat in notebooks, pretty much entirely neglected from late ’96 thru early ’08.

Then in ’08 I became re-connected with an old friend from Charlottesville, Eddie Gehman
Kohan, someone who has been a major force behind my writing for many years—not coincidentally, she herself was & is a very talented writer in a number of different forms, poetry included. Because we knew each other in the mid to later ’80, she had known me as both John & Jack. In ‘08 she, along with her sisters Meghan & Pleasant, was running a really marvelous blog called Haphazard Gourmet Girls—this blog is now entirely defunct, so I can’t post a link to it, but Eddie currently heads up a very informative & entertaining food policy blog called Obama Foodarama. One of the earlier blog’s features was a poem each Friday evening, & one afternoon in late May, Eddie emailed me to ask if it would be ok to post one of my poems as that week’s selection. I was really quite thrilled; she then asked if she should post it under the name “John Hayes” or “Jack Hayes.”

OK—I made a mistake—I said, “John Hayes,” which in essence broke my word to my old friend
Molly. Mea culpa. & a couple of my other poems appeared on that blog, again (with my say-so) as written by John Hayes. To compound a felony, when I first began posting my own poems on Robert Frost’s Banjo sometime late in ’08, I also stuck with the John Hayes name for poetry—when I began putting The Days of Wine & Roses manuscript & blog together—ditto. Then one morning recently I was looking thru the facts & figures for the blog thru Google Analytics & saw the search “Jack Hayes + poetry.” & that got me to thinking about my old promise.

So henceforth, the poems—both in their virtual & their material existence—will be published as by Jack Hayes—I’m glad I came to this decision with the “real world” publication of The Days of Wine & Roses slated for the near future. For day-to-day things—well, I’ve gone as John for so long now it would be difficult to change!

& that’s the rest of the story.

Pix from Top (all, obviously, of yrs truly)
Reading at Williams Corner Bookstore, Charlottesville, VA 1987
Showing off a brown trout, Westminster, VT, 1964
High school student - I believe this is '71. to quote Bob Dylan, "Ah but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now" (thanks goodness!)
At the Timbuktu release party, also in 87 (but post shave)
San Francisco, 96
The shot of me that appeared on Haphazard Gourmet Girls in 08
Me now

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Photo of the Week 1/17/10

An old homestead site on Whiteman Lane, Indian Valley

Please check out today's post at The Days of Wine & Roses; it's the fifth & penultimate poem in the sequence Sonnets for Lily Yukon, which I wrote in the early 90s.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Three Poem Paintings

Some of you may not know than in addition to conventional poetry (in whatever sense his work may be considered “conventional”), Kenneth Patchen also produced a number of “poem paintings,” which you can find in such collections as In Quest of Candlelighters & Hallelujah Anyway (now that’s a title for a poetry book!) Since I’m doing a bit of Patchen overview in January, I felt I’d be remiss not to post a few of these. Hope you enjoy them—I find them beautiful & moving!

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

How High the Moon

New moon turning its face toward the empty nest high up in the black catalpa, the tree's limbs etched against the evening sky yesterday & now simply more blackness at 4:00 a.m.

a trailer truck on Highway 95, the glass slide whooshing guitar strings, a riff existing somewhere between the major & minor modes

someday the whole story will have been told & the constellations will continue to glint, small glass shivers strewn above this January's frozen fog

Some night once we’re all asleep will we rise

will we rise to a solarized new moon & the atmosphere of a black & white film except without the soft focus

will we rise & say this is what I meant to say all along

will we rise & nest in the catalpa’s black fingers, the glass slide’s icy rush up the guitar strings toward the octave, the trailer truck whooshing south-southwest

will we rise & say my heart is in my hand & mean it so much it flies off, a birdcall in a blue foggy dawn

it is a very long time ago driving thru night south-southwest thru the Owyhee desert before the crows glided across the sagebrush bluffs, the stars are shattered glass in every direction

will we rise & go back to a place we’ve never been

a glass sliver from a votive candle

will we say my heart is in my hand & it’s glass

the glass slide existing somewhere between the major & minor modes

New moon turning its dark face toward us etched against this night sky in the wordless frozen fog

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hot Cockles in the Pantry

[Here’s Eberle’s examination of pantries!]

In kitchens without plastic wrap, bags, or containers, without refrigerators and freezers, food storage took up a great deal of time. It took up space too. Instead of a single room housing all kitchen activities, several rooms were designated for food storage and preparation: larder, buttery, pantry. Each had a different purpose.

The larder originally served to store meats—
salted, smoked, or partially cooked and kept in barrels of lard. In Medieval times, huge quantities of preserved meats were kept in multiple larders. As the need for storing large amounts of meat disappeared (few nineteenth century households anywhere were storing 50 – 100 deer carcasses at a time) larders changed their nature to some degree although they kept their name. Rural families still butchered in the fall when the weather was cold and the meat would keep the longest. They made use of traditional preservation methods—salting, drying, smoking, storing in brine or lard, and sausage-making—but on a smaller scale. A single farm family could not consume all the fresh meat from a large slaughtered animal before much of it went bad. However, in urban areas or places with large regional markets, animals could be slaughtered and the meat sold fresh before it spoiled. As meat became regularly available year-round to separate family residences, the larder shrank and became home to other food items such as cheese as well as meat. To keep the larder cool, householders located it on the north side of the main dwelling. Sometimes the larder, as a small room or simply a cupboard, contained a screened window open to the outside to allow for air circulation.

The word buttery originally referred to butts (or pipes—units of measurement) of ale and wine.
Casks of cider, ale, and stronger spirits were kept, ideally, in a cool, dry, dark place, and by the nineteenth century, the buttery had become the wine cellar. Here the master of the house could pride himself on his knowledgeable choice of wines —and demonstrate the length of his purse to his dinner guests. The rather pig-headed archdeacon in Barchester Towers is not shy about holding forth on the subject during a visit that included a tour of the wine cellar: “This cellar is perfectly abominable. It would be murder to put a bottle of wine into it till it has been roofed, walled, and floored. How on earth old Goodenough ever got on with it, I cannot guess. But then Goodenough never had a glass of wine that any man could drink."

The cellar makes special appearances in gothic tales as well. In Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado, a host murders a guest by luring him to the cellars beneath the house, promising a taste of a rare wine and pretending to want the guest’s opinion of it. Instead of presenting him with the promised sherry, the host walls his guest up alive in a niche in the cellar, stopping his work occasionally to listen to the doomed man’s screams.

Things like this just didn’t tend to happen in the pantry. The nineteenth century home provided
an architectural division of the sexes, and the cellar was excluded from the female realm. The housekeeper held the keys to many doors and cupboards, but the butler kept a firm grip on the keys to the wine cellar. The pantry, the larder, the linen closet—this was the province of women, described by Susan Ferrier in Marriage: “Their walk lay amongst threads and pickles; their sphere extended from the garret to the pantry.”

The word pantry comes from the Latin word for bread, panis, and originally the pantry was the room where bread was kept. Also the ingredients for making it and for waging the battle against mice and rats that inevitably ensued. Over time the pantry took on multiple identities—it could be a cool room separate from the kitchen where some food, especially leftovers, were stored, and it became a storage area for china and glassware as well. Pantries were not merely shelves for storage, as they often are today, but self-contained rooms where a variety of activities could take place. Provisions could be unpacked there and a housekeeper could sit and have a snack in comfort. A festive treat for a housemaid in Lady Morgan’s Wild Irish Girl is “a game of hot cockles with the butler and footman in the pantry.”

The Game of Hot Cockles
A Penitent chosen by chance, or by his own choice, hides his face upon a lady’s lap, which lady serves as Confessor, and places herself in an armchair in the midst of the company. The Penitent places his hand behind him, —not on his back, which might be dangerous if the person who is to hit it should forget the proper moderation, but on his hips. Then a lady or a gentleman hits this hand and the owner of the hand has to guess who struck. If he succeed, the person he guessed is to take his place; if he is mistaken, he goes on till he has shown more penetration.
Catharine Harbeson Waterman, The Book of Parlor Games 1853

A specifically masculine version of the room evolved in the nineteenth century, distinguished
from women’s territory by its name: the butler’s pantry. The butler’s pantry served mainly as a storage place for the more valuable china and silver, and also as a staging area near the dining room where the butler could decant wines, add last-minute garnishes, and heat chafing dishes. A good arrangement of these storage and preparation areas was essential to the harmony of the household in Jane Austen’s opinion. In Emma she mentions the “inroads on domestic peace to be occasioned by no housekeeper's room, or a bad butler's pantry.”

In 1869, Harriet Beecher Stowe chided men and women both for wasting so much space in extra rooms like pantries when storage and prep areas could so easily be incorporated into the kitchen itself. Harriet gives detailed plans for how this could be done in The American Woman’s Home. Her designs look very much like one of today’s kitchens, though her concept did not catch on in any general way until the next century.

In spite of Harriet’s pleas, the pantry persisted in being a room of its own—perhaps women had an incentive besides utility in preserving this often exclusively female space. Women could retreat to the pantry with the excuse of household business, and find a legitimate escape from the social or conjugal duties associated with almost all other spaces in the house. A solitary refuge, a place where women reigned, the kitchen pantry was where Emily Dickinson wrote parts of her poems. One of tasks performed daily in her household was filling the lamps with whale oil—a shelf in the pantry was devoted to this use.

As the master of the house might pride himself on his wine cellar, the mistress took pride in her
arrangement and operation of the pantry. Women were charged with preserving civilized order and decorum as well as fruit, and the pantry was guarded as a feminine sanctum that stood for more than jam. Louisa May Alcott describes a grandmother who “stood in her pantry like a culinary general, swaying a big knife for a baton, as she issued orders and marshalled her forces.” The pantry generals were not always successful in protecting their territory from invasion. Pantry raids became a stock feature of nineteenth century children’s literature—and boys were almost always the culprits. One of the most famous of these raids is Tom Sawyer’s theft of jam in Aunt Polly’s pantry; outraged, she assigned him the task of whitewashing her fence as a punishment for his transgression.

Eberle Umbach
© 2007-2010

Pix from Top:
[Note: I realize most of these images all come from a time before the era Eberle's writing about, but has there ever been more magnificent food painting than in the 17th century?]
The Pantry: Franz Snyders, 1620
Stilleleben: Albrecht Kauw, 1678
The Way You Hear It: Jan Steen, 1665
Still-Life with Cheese: Joris van Son, 1650s
Der verlorene Sohn (The Prodigal Son): Gerard van Honthorst, 1623
Besuch bei einem Lord: Pietro Longi, 1746
Stilleleben: Floris Claesz van Dyck, 1618

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snowbound Sugar Cookies

When you last saw Eberle & I in our kitchen, we were snowbound & preparing her delicious pumpkin stew. However, that wasn’t the end of our cooking adventures on that snowy Tuesday—of course not, because as delicious & hearty as that pumpkin stew assuredly is, it doesn’t cover the most important course, which is dessert of course.

I’ll start out by saying that our cookie baking is a humble recipe, tak
en from an old & well-beloved copy of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook—also the source of my macaroni & cheese recipe (& its attendant white sauce), my gravy recipe & several of Eberle’s more elaborate baking recipes. What makes these cookies stand out is the freshness of the ingredients. If you recall, we have a couple of students who pay for music lessons in commodities like milk, butter & eggs—you can see that right there we’re already on the way to some fresh & tasty cookies!

The ingredients are simple:

½ cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 Tbsp of cream or milk—we used a half & half mix, all from Sonia, our favorite Jersey cow
½ tsp of vanilla—real, please
Sometimes we add a ¼ tsp of lemon or lime juice; we didn’t this time simply because we didn’t have any. The cookies are good either way.
1 ½ cups of flour—unbleached if you have it
¼ tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking powder

That’s it. Pre-heat your oven to 375. Then you cream the butter—now just check out that farm
fresh butter from Sonia the cow in the pic!—& following that beat in ¼ cup of sugar. I have to make a bit of an aside her. Last summer our friends Sally & Erich & Anna Lu came to visit us from SoCal. Eberle was baking something—I forget what now, tho whatever she bakes is great—& it fell upon yours truly to cream the butter. At this point in time we didn’t have a mixer of any sort beyond a fork & elbow grease; I’d asked Eberle if she wanted a mixer, but she’d always said she didn’t. I can tell you, friends, after that experience of creaming the butter with a fork, I bought a mixer the very next day at the local supermarket—you can see me wielding it right here.

Beat your egg, then add the cream or milk, the vanilla, flour, juice if you’re using it, flour, salt & baking powder. Drop the cookies on a buttered baking sheet & bake until golden (but watch the bottoms lest they get too crispy!)—should be around 8-9 minutes. I think you all can take it from there!

So obviously this is a recipe practically anyone can make—but I think the point here is something in addition to this simple but very effective cookie recipe, & that's the concept of “know your farmer, know your food.” I know this is a kind of rallying cry amongst food activists, & it makes a lot of sense—in terms of food safety, in terms of resources & in terms of flavor, too. This country doesn’t eat well: I think that’s a fact that’s acknowledged by all but the most hidebound amongst us. Not even getting into the scourge of fast food & soda pop, there are a lot of
overly processed foods out there, milk that's amped up on hormones, apples covered with wax & pesticides, & high fructose corn syrup anywhere it can be added. The problem with supermarket organics is frankly, they're often prohbitively expensive; & as an aside, have you ever looked at the chart in the supermarket line of how many healthy foods are covered by food stamps?

A couple of practical answers to this: folks can band together & buy healthy food at bulk prices
thru a number of health food stores &/or mail order services. But even more to the point: if you're fortunate enough to live in an area where there are still small family farms, please do yourselves & these small farmers a favor & consider patronizing them for whatever staples they have available—buy their produce at farmer's markets & similar outlets. Take advantage of resources like community gardens. Also, grow your own, because that's really know your farmer, know your food.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

“Five Haiku”

Translation Tuesday is upon us again, & this time around I’m posting a translation I made of a poem by Paul Éluard, an extremely gifted & important poet who played a large role both in the development of the Surrealist movement & later in the French Resistance—which included writing his famous poem “Liberté.” I didn’t translate much of Éluard’s work—I found him difficult to translate, actually. However, I happened upon his poem “Cinq Hai-Kais” in some anthology—I forget which—& was intrigued by the thought of French Surrealist haiku. Since there seems to be quite a bit of interest these days in Haiku—for instance Kat Mortensen’s Kigo of the Kat & Dave King’s current series on his Pics & Poems blog—I thought some of you might find it interesting as well. Here’s my version—since it’s a relatively short post, I’ve added the original French below.

Hope you enjoy the poem, & be sure to tune in next Tuesday for another of B.N.’s poems!

Five Haiku

The wind
Rolls a cigarette out of air.

The mute girl speaks
This is art’s imperfection
This dark language.

The automobile’s really launched
Four martyr’s heads
Roll under the wheels.

Ah! a thousand flames, a fire, the light,
A shadow!
The sun’s following me.

A feather lends a hat
An air of lightness
The chimney’s smoking.

Paul Éluard
translation by John Hayes, © 1990-2010

Cinq Hai-Kais

Le vent
Roule une cigarette d’air.

La muette parle
C’est l’imperfection d’art
Ce langage obscur.

L’automobile est vraiment lancée
Quatre têtes de martyrs
Roulent sous les roues.

Ah! mille flammes, un feu, la lumière,
Une ombre!
Le soleil me suit.

Une plume donne au chapeau
Un air de légèreté
La cheminée fume.

Paul Éluard

Monday, January 11, 2010

“Mama ‘Tain’t Long Fo’ Day”

OK, this Monday Morning Blues segment is a bit audacious, not to say foolhardy, given that I posted Blind Willie McTell’s masterful version of this song just a few days ago on the Friday Blues Jukebox. But I just couldn’t contain myself—as you will notice in the pic leading off this post, I’m introducing a new instrument & couldn’t resist playing one of my favorite slide guitar songs to show it off.

The instrument I’m holding is a cigar box resonator guitar—& yes, the soundbox really is a cigar box (Tabak Especial, Toro Negra 6x52, 24 handmade cigars), & yes, it has a real Republic resonator cone snugged down in that box. The instrument was hand-made by Darren “Big Daddy” Dukes of Back Porch Mojo, & he really did a great job both on this one & others I’ve heard—Big Daddy has a YouTube channel where you can hear him test drive his creations—this is #190 in case you want to hear it in its creator’s hands. The building process takes a while, but this is a one-man operation turning out nice instruments at really reasonable prices.

Can you do the same things with a 4-string cigar box resonator as with a 6-string guitar? Of course not, but all instruments have some limitations & if you get to know an instrument well enough, you can learn to make those limitations a strength—I know this from playing ukes & banjos. Obviously, this instrument is new to me, but I’m having a blast, & am looking forward to busking with it over the summer—besides its good sound, it also has obvious novelty appeal, & it’s much lighter than my Regal resonator guitar (but I’m definitely not retiring the Regal, don’t worry—it will continue to be my main instrument.). I’m thinking this & maybe my 5-string banjo would make some good streetside fare for the tourists in McCall when summer comes again!

As I noted, this guitar has 4-strings, & I’ll probably keep it mostly in open D (DF#AD), tho I’ve also tuned it to open G (DGBD), & it sounds good in that tuning as well. Mr Dukes informed me that he uses strings 2-5 from a medium gauge acoustic guitar string set—in other words, the strings that would sound ADGB on a guitar in standard tuning. Dukes also makes 5-string models, & sells build your own kits for the ambitious.

You most definitely want to use fingerpicks on this instrument to get the best tone—I’m using metal fingerpicks & a plastic thumbpick. It also has a pick-up installed, tho in this video I’m playing it acoustically—however, I may be looking into a Pignose or other battery-operated amp for the summer busking season! Big Daddy makes real bottleneck slides & I got one of his as well. It’s a nice slide, but just as a matter of personal preference, I like the feel of my Coricidin bottle.

In keeping with my current notion of having series run in alternate weeks, there won’t be a Monday Morning Blues post next week; but I’ll be back with another blues tune on January 25th. For now: hope you enjoy the video—I sure had fun making it!