Thursday, December 3, 2015

Coarse and Fine

Wearing thin and getting old
clichés worn to the glow of fool’s gold
Good intentions heard that one before
A mirror meets a window meets a door
An overture of a sketch of a notion
Such a small bucket such a large ocean
forgotten all the movements I imagined
forgiven and forgiven and still I sinned
The story of the journey, the story of the bell
the story of the forest and the story of the well
the story of the tale and how it was told
of the man who sold them water for its weight in gold
the rising action the parabola
the gripping climax and its dénouement
the people as they carried it six thousand years
revealing every mystery as it appeared
I’m weary of the argument inside my head
of silently refuting all the words he said
of biting on my tongue all the live long day
And so I say and so I say
I’m going to pass over this bitter cup
I’ve had enough I’m going to give it up
it will never be finished I’ll never be done
I will never understand

I’ll never be the one

[Edit 2107 - daily postings have returned, at the rechristened Tower of Approach]

whither the Tower of Reproach, eh?.. the posting is about to be 70 days behind, the "Summer break" backlog I cleared in a handful of megaposts all but built up again, and this time I've run out of prefab transcriptions.  Anything I want posted still needs to get typed, for a long while at least (the songs are all written longhand).  I'd been making a habit of keeping up with the new material, another faltered habit, that effort even further out of date, well on to near half a year since I kept up with transcribing the output. Side project experiments like the tumblr are working on years abandoned.  The space a habit of these things occupied was devoured by, not to put too fine a point on it, common labor.

And the hub of the thing itself, the songs of days? Is zero days behind schedule, indeed has been over 50 days since the last time I missed a day and had to make one up...

I think about shuttering the blog and taking it offline entirely, or making it invite only to see who actually bothers signing up for it.  Or just letting it stagnate, the zero effort alternative.  The neglect isn't quite into unsalvageable territory yet but it's certainly whistling its way through the neighborhood.  It's all hilariously irrelevant because its impact in any rational sense of presence online is so miniscule.  I mean a couple people follow it but compared to the scale of the effort behind its creation it starts to look like nothing so much as just a form of obstinance.  Well that has ever been one of the themes I suppose.  Not much of a conclusion.  I will continue to keep it fairly secret.  Say no more, for now, and see what happens.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


The Golden Age series was built on a simple premise, to attempt some command on this staple of the pop idiom that is largely and conspicuously absent from the Songs of Days: the chorus.  I took as my guide a segment of the so-called "Golden Rule" from the KLF's The Manual (look it up: it's like there's a rule on the internet that anyone can host a free copy of this late 80s artifact of British punk/pop music culture - a description I'm sure would fill someone with shaking rage - but it has to be in some sort of eye-bending, Geocities era visual presentation - so it's not hard to find):

Thirdly, [your aspiring number one hit song] must consist of an intro, a verse, a chorus, second verse, a second chorus, a breakdown section, back into a double length chorus and outro. Fourthly, lyrics. You will need some, but not many.

My interpretation of this formula was to write a hundred and one (which were meant to be a hundred but I discovered long after the fact that I accidentally wrote number 30 twice) songs of the formula verse chorus verse chorus, sometimes a lyrical bridge, chorus chorus.

The experiment was a failure, I'd say, I never felt my choruses really fit, somehow, and I certainly didn't go on to integrate the form into my ongoing writing. It bums me out, I love a good chorus. I just don't seem to have the knack, though if I say so myself I scribe a winsome line from time to time.

There's quite a bit more to the Golden Rule as dictated by the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, all to do with the music - oh right, the music. The rub, right there.  Lotta lyrics, but I've never been too great at creating music.  Not prolific. Not very sophisticated. And I suspect while not grasping the exact mechanism that the chorus problem is totally bound up in that deficiency.  It is the chorus that binds the words and melody, binds them up with the rhythm into a single shining braid.