Life After Love?

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Okay, Monday morning, granted that maybe you have the Bob Mackie gowns hanging in your wardrobe, like Cher; and granted that maybe you have the glam wigs sitting on your dresser, like Cher; and granted, too, that maybe you even have the adoring audience, like Cher; but what you don’t have, Buddy, that Cher has, is the set of freakin’ dancers, bouncing insanely above you, suspended on bungee cords.

Cher with the first ever auto-tuned hit.

Thanks to YouTuber CherLiveInConcert

Complicated, Deep, and Sentimental

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Taylor Swift…uh, Taylor Ferrera with a brilliant meta-song about writing the perfect teen tune.

Ever since I discovered her  wicked Walmart song on YouTube, I’ve been listening to everything I can find of the talented and satirical Ms. Ferrera.

More Taylor at TaylorFerrera

Talking And Writing: Fifteen Questions

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Edison_New_Standard_Phonograph_advertsiement_1898

 

I wonder how some people can talk so much. For me, it’s really difficult. I mean, if I must, I can, but it’s a big effort. Now it’s true that I am used to speaking in public, and I am used to being on a stage; but that’s script reading, not talking; it’s a world of difference. And the same with writing: some writers cannot stop writing. They keep their detailed diaries and journals, often from a young age, with an enviable fluency. On the other hand, writers like myself have to be chained to the chair and desk while writing. I kind of understand this difference in writers. With a writer, the voluble ones have the advantage of being able to get that first draft done quickly, and they don’t agonize over every word. But, still, those writers understand that a first draft is just a first draft. They know and accept that it’s not going to come out right that first time. But what I don’t understand is how some people can keep talking, since it’s not just a first draft, and there’s no chance to edit it once it’s out there. It’s already published–in a matter of speaking. Or is that it? Do they simply trust that they can keep talking and revise themselves in the moment?

I don’t know what I am writing until I write it. This essay itself has gone through many drafts (not enough!), and each time I’m discovering what it is I want to say. But I almost never allow myself that same luxury as a speaker. I almost never surprise myself as a speaker. Do others?

When I do radio I much prefer to edit interviews than do live radio, because I think the listener deserves more than my unedited wanderings. I am not a fan of poetry that reads like unedited diary musings. That seems inartistic to me. I don’t expect anyone to make any sense of my first drafts.  The only time that I allow myself to speak without thinking first is during an acting improv, because to me, the stage is a very safe place, and I never have to take responsibility for what a character says.

But real life? No, I will not allow that. Do the talkers do what I do in an improv and silence their inner critic (or does it not exist for them)?  Or does the inner critic work so quickly that they don’t worry about what comes out? Or are they confident that they can just keep talking, and in so doing revise as they talk? Maybe that’s what explains the compulsive quality of some of the non-stop talkers I’ve known. Are they revising, revising, and refusing to stop until the final product seems right? Or is it that they simply do not care that there may be some unwanted leakage? In the end, my attempts to manage myself are futile anyway, and maybe I just feel more wary and ashamed than I need to feel. The talkers have such a trust in themselves and their ideas, and there seems to be no border between their inside and outside. I don’t know how to be so transparent.

But I also see that talking is used as a defense, just as silence is used as a defense. Is it that the talker cannot imagine silence being used as a defense any more than the quiet one can understand the use of talking as a defense? Choose your weapon.

Still,  I don’t even understand the biology and physics of the non-stop talker. How, I wonder to myself, is it physically possible for a person to be like a record player, putting the needle on the phonograph record and having it play straight through non-stop? Is the person doing in public what I am doing privately in my head all the time? Maybe those words are not meant for the public but for the talker? Is it that the talker cannot hear his or her own self-talk unless it’s spoken out loud?

Shakespeare talks a lot about talking. And his characters can certainly talk–to themselves and to others. But he makes fun of Polonius for babbling too much, and the silky flowing words of the King, Claudius, are treacherous ones. Yet Hamlet, who speaks more lines than any other character in Shakespeare, speaks with restraint in public. When questioned about his malaise he offers up only, “I am too much in the sun,”  and “I lack advancement,” and, of course, his succinct book review: “Words, words, words.” The true bulk of his lines are thoughts which he shares only with himself–and the audience who paid to hear them.

I think that even if I wanted to change the way I was, I could not do it.

Is the truth in the stream of consciousness or the reflection upon it? Which is our deepest self?

 

The Last Drop: La Santa Cecilia

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Monday morning and you don’t even realize it yet, down to the last drop of the last bottle. Marisoul of La Santa Cecilia and Eugenia Leon sing “En El Ultimo Trago”:

Drink with me this bottle
and with the last drop we will go away.
I want to see what means your oblivion,
please don’t cover my eyes with your hands
 *
Tonight I’m not going to beg you,
tonight you will tell me the truth.
How hard it is having to forget you
without feeling that you don’t love me anymore.
 *
The time hasn’t taught me anything,
I always make the same mistakes,
I drink again and again with strangers
and mourn because of the same sorrows.
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Drink with me this bottle
and with the last drop you will kiss me.
Let’s hope there would be no witnesses
in case you were feeling embarrassed.
 *
If one day unintentionally we stumble,
neither duck, nor don’t tell me straight.
We will simply shake hands
and after that people will murmur.
 *
The time hasn’t taught me anything,
I always make the same mistakes,
I drink again and again with strangers
and mourn because of the same sorrows.
 *
Drink with me this beloved bottle
and with the last drop we will go away.
 *
 *
More La Santa Cecilia here: ICE, El Hielo: La Santa Cecilia

Jump The Blues Away

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Because desperate times call for desperate measures, Monday morning we overcome the blues by leaping and bounding out of bed into the arms of  Paul Quinichette on tenor sax.

When I was a college student I would often go to the West End bar near Columbia University to listen to the Brooks Kerr trio. A young Phil Schapp was the host, and an equally young prodigy, Brooks Kerr, played a very tasteful stride piano, but it was the saxophone player, Paul Quinichette, who absolutely tore up the place every time.

Thanks to Youtuber rujazzka

Wisdom of the Sages

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meditation

 

Let’s say good-bye to the old year with two pensive haikus from David Bader’s Haikus for Jews:

 

BLT on Toast–

the rabbi takes his first bite,

then the lightening bolt.

 

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The same kimono

the top geishas are wearing–

got it at Loehmann’s.

 

Magic Time, Darling

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The saucy Lucy Darling does it with a cherry on top.

In her other life, Canadian performer Carisa Hendrix is a fire-eater, but it’s as her burlesque character Lucy Darling that she really heats things up.

More Lucy at Carisa Hendrix