When I’m not writing or standing on a stage somewhere saying things into a microphone, I’m often sitting around my house playing guitar, banjo or dobro. Or, recently, mandolin. If I land on an idea that holds my interest for a minute or so, I do a quick field recording of it. Sometimes my music winds up playing in the background of the podcast. Sometimes nobody hears what I record. Until now. I plucked and strummed all the instruments on these ditties, for better or worse.
If you enjoy what you heard here, feel free to share it. If you’d like to use any of my music for some kind of collaborative project, please let me know.
The January/February 2013 issue of Lake Country Journal, a beautiful magazine published up in Brainerd, Minnesota, includes one of my many new winter poems, “Holding the Ladder.” It’s not available for reading online and the mag’s regional, so here’s the poem, slightly revised. Because I never know when to leave well enough alone.
Holding the Ladder
My crazy coot neighbor has climbed up on his roof again
wearing an old pair of hockey skates
to kick loose ice dams.
He’s swearing and stomping around
like a plaid madman. I’m as quiet as the snow.
My wife ordered me outside an hour ago,
saying, “For Christ’s sake,
drag him down — or at least break his fall.”
I’ve spent a lot of quality time among a lot of trees, but hiking with the gf and our new dog Sam is the best. Here they are at William O’Brien State Park. I’ve been hard at work on several writing projects, including a character monologue, some poems and a play. I’ve been recording some music, too. More about all that later, when it’s ready to be known about.
The video starts halfway through my story’s opening paragraph: “The withered little woman called herself Mother Earth, but there was absolutely nothing hippie muffin about her. She reeked mostly of the cigarette smoke that had yellowed her long, tangled hair and what few teeth had not yet rotted out of her mouth.
The tall bourbons she tossed back like tap water sharpened the bit of an edge on her breath, too.”