Friday, October 21, 2016

I don't wanna rule the world, just wanna run my life

Was ctrl-c ctrl-v pasting a lot of stuff today so decided I needed to hear this.

Actually, was command-c -ing on the Macbook. But that works just as well for me, too.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The champion of the world.

This may be no one's favorite but mine. For me, it's the reason why.

Bob Dylan

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees a bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out my God, they killed them all
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Three bodies lyin' there does Patty see
And another man named Bello, movin' around mysteriously
I didn't do it, he says, and he throws up his hands
I was only robbin' the register, I hope you understand
I saw them leavin', he says, and he stops
One of us had better call up the cops
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin'
In the hot New Jersey night

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin' around
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Paterson that's just the way things go
If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
'Less you want to draw the heat

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin' around
He said, I saw two men runnin' out, they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head
Cop said, wait a minute, boys, this one's not dead
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men

Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in
They took him to the hospital and they brought him upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin' eye
Says, wha'd you bring him in here for? He ain't the guy!
Here's the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame
Rubin's in South America, fightin' for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley's still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin' the screws to him, lookin' for somebody to blame
Remember that murder that happened in a bar
Remember you said you saw the getaway car
You think you'd like to play ball with the law
Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin' that night
Don't forget that you are white

Arthur Dexter Bradley said I'm really not sure
The cops said a poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we're talkin' to your friend Bello
You don't wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow
You'll be doin' society a favor
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin' braver
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain't no Gentleman Jim

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
It's my work, he'd say, and I do it for pay
And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse

All of Rubin's cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance
The judge made Rubin's witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger
And though they could not produce the gun
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed

Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder one, guess who testified
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell
That's the story of the Hurricane
But it won't be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he's done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Unearthed from the 80s: You know you'll always thrill me

Perfect for the day that fall sends silvery, slender, cold drabs of water down into your sun-drenched eyes from a leaden sky. Autumnal stabbing into your heat-baked, flowery heart.

Who broke my heart? Autumn? No. It has to arrive.

It was summer. For leaving. Leaving all of a sudden.

Monday, September 05, 2016

And now you find yourself in '82

There's not a specific memory tied to this. Like the too-many notes in the song, there's a tumble of images, sounds, smells. The dank lockers, the rusty corners, the glub-lb-lub-lb sounds when underwater, the smack of a back flopping off the board, the screams, just general screams of delight edged with terror from the deep end, and the specific shouts MARCO POLO POLO POLO AAAAAIIIIEEEE, my eyes burning as the shadows deepened, the dense grass squeaking under my bare feet while crossing to the snack bar, the feel of wringing out a sopping towel, the tautness of sun-dried skin, wrinkled finger/toe pads re-wetted, a whistle on a lanyard whipped one way, then the other, around the lifeguard's finger, all of my own freckles, the worry someone noticed you farted in the water, the sun boring into my skin, shoulders, neck and scalp, the parts most often out of the water, then my hair and suit dried by the air across my aunt's red MG, because the top was down, always down, but my eyes didn't dry because they were behind glasses and trying to keep seeing what I saw all summer at the pool.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Don't you want to stay til there's no one else around?

This one was at the beach. The pool is the Atlantic. I don't remember the house, it might have been the weird triple-story one that had seen better days. I was stung by a jellyfish, not a blob but a badass one that had tentacles that left heavy red welts across both of my legs at the knee, welts that lasted well after vacation ended, because I was showing them off to friends back home. I was clinging to my canvas raft, going woop-woooo over the waves, facing the horizon, imagining we could head out there. Occasionally we'd turn around and try to ride a crest to the shoreline, and when you caught it at the right time, bounced and hurled forward on its foam, it was the best, happiest, and most slightly-dangerous thrill. Maybe it was one of those times, turning from east to west that the jelly brushed past me, I felt it passing, and then fire. Pain, fire, that I can't remember now how it felt but I remember that it hurt, more than anything, more than scraping both knees in a single tumble at summer camp, from which I still have scars. The jellyfish welts have disappeared.

I was rescued by my dad and ministered by relatives and a lifeguard who poured ammonia from a jug he had at his chair just for this reason.

I didn't go back in the water the rest of the week, but I still wanted to stay, stay oceanside forever. Til there's no one else around.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Well, I can dance with you, honey

Going to the pool was PURE EXCITEMENT and then you're IN it and this song comes on and you want to sing and shake a little to it but, you know, you're in the pool. But it's the big YWCA pool, so maybe no one will notice if you make up a little showtune-type dance to it, it being so MUSICAL, like a musical, with multiple voices high and low, soft and loud then all chiming in a big crescendo when you don't know crescendo means, but also with a guitar riff, even though you don't know it's called a RIFF.

Not to mention the POINT of it, lyrically speaking.

Friday, August 26, 2016

I'm in another world

At the pool of family friends who lived out in the Kentucky country for a big cookout party. They had a big in-ground one, and we who had once played effortlessly as kids found ourselves teen-awkwardly posing around the thing rather than wearing ourselves out with fun in it. When I (finally?) got in, this played.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

You're moving in circles

The words made no sense, but it sounded so good against the color of the water and the sky and the hot pink (or was it blue striped?) bathing suit, like someplace different, someplace far away--a place that actually sprang from inside a machine, a Yamaha DX1 or 7 or other. Machines have always changed the way we work and play and think, and the sound of progress is especially set in relief when it hits your ears while you're going around and around in what's simply an outdoor box of water.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

You let your mind out somewhere down the road

This one comes directly from the indoor/outdoor pool at the YWCA on Cross Keys Road, the week-long day camp that my cousin and I attended thanks to the largesse of my grandmother. There was this song on some tinny transistor or other, and (somehow?) the chance to see the That pool was enormous. Want to swim inside? Cool. Want to run and jump in in the sunshine? You got it.

I can't remember ever going in the winter, though we could have.