Saturday, January 14, 2012

A New Year Begins

Ah yes, another year passes and here it is time again to update the blog; or at least to begin adding more of what was, what is and perhaps what may be for this next year. Welcome.

I must say the last quarter of the last year 2011 was quite an amazing one to say the least; especially the last month leading up to the Christmas holidays. That was when a girl-friend and I took a 5 day round trip to New York City. The girl-friend wanted to make a trip to a destination she’d not been to before; ever. She decided to ask mme to be her guide, roommate and dinner date as I was the first homeboy she’s ever met that would take her. I knew my way around of course so I had set up the itinerary as far as the day, time, and place not to mention how long we’d be at every hour of our trip. A week or so before it began the whole trip was in the bag.
The hotel we stayed at was in Little Italy. We were right in the heart of the city and closer than most to the best Italian restaurants this side of Italy. The hustle and bustle of this part of NYC has always been one of mmy favourites. It's so vibrant with everything international and we were in the thick of it.

Suffice it to say that it was a pretty exciting time for both of us. I hadn’t visited mmy hometown in too many years so I was really looking forward to seeing old haunts while discovering new ones. I also wanted to take in a concert of mmusic we’d not see too many other places including where we now live. ‘The Kitchen,’ located in the village was the venue. There’s a photo of the gig later on in this blog.

On this trip, our first and only, we did a lot of what she had dreamed of and I was the mouthpiece so to speak. As part of this ride down memory lane, I got to visit a childhood friend I’d not seen for over forty years. That visit in and of itself was worth the whole trip; at least for mme. More on this part of the story will unfold on another day in future.

In any case we visited Rockefeller Center - after dark of course. Talk about a throng of moving humanity; or I should say trying to move humanity. As you can imagine it was a crazy, raging river and stagnant lakes of bodies but we both loved the flow of energy that was all around us. It was like a huge party waiting to count down from 2011 to 2012. Here’s a photo of that part of the evening:

Earlier in the day we were walking up Seventh Avenue when we heard the pops of plastic buckets and a great funk drummer doing his best imitation of Bernard Purdie. Needless to say we found this pair of pounders surrounded by a crowd of dozens smiling and moving to their beats. We stopped to listen, to take photos and a video or two; They made Andy Warhol proud.

One other interesting stop along the way was another curious scene. I think it was the same avenue, 7th we were walking on when I noticed this fascinating view. The decor covered the whole window which was about sixteen feet long and about the same height. As a matter of fact I was so taken by the initial view that we just had to go inside; and that we did. Here’s what we saw:

Needless to say the whole place was covered in sewing machines and merchandise relating to not only sewing but women’s apparel from clothes, to shoes to whatever’s, were their main selling points. As you can see, one woman lost her head over the whole idea of shopping in this store; can’t say as I blame here either I wanted to buy one of the sewing machines but thought twice when I knew I had to carry it the rest of the way.

This next shot was taken from an audience point of view while attending a gig at ‘The Kitchen.’
The sounds were quite intricate as was the score I’d imagine. There were three different conductors. Each had their composition performed by the same group of players. One player was a guy on an oscillator; another performed on garbage can tops and variously filled goblets that make tones when he rubbed the top edges of each glass. Then of course the string players not only played their instruments in the traditional fashion, they also scraped their bows like hack saws. At points they picked and plucked with any number of fingers along the fingerboard including the undersides of the body of the instrument.

There was also a woman, one of the composers but not a conductor who used a computer for the whole of her piece. She was sitting and moving her head while smiling at different instrument entrances, exits and movements of each player including herself. All in all I enjoyed the hell out of it while the girl-friend as the dancer she said she was, was quite put off; bored to death ‘n couldn’t wait to leave. She said she couldn’t figure out how to dance to this band. Funny girl…

So back we are; arriving a little tired as most ‘vacations’ go. The woman dropped mme off at mmy home and I’ve settled back into the next phase of poetry, paintings and stories inspired by the trip. I’mm looking forward to a return this year but first a visit to the west coast and Europe is in order.

Who knows what those will inspire? You’ll find out; just keep attuned to the next post.
Thanks for the visit. MM

Friday, September 2, 2011

Waves of the West

Yes, I know friends; those who've written for updates... thanks; so here's one for ya. Composed a few months ago when images of such things came to mmined. I love the west coast, more than most coasts; at least at this point. Here's why:


I DO miss the smell of the beach,
Hypnotic scents of time to sand,
Gazing; trickling, dripping, slipping
Through slivers, fists unfolded
In the palm of mmy hand.
I miss finding peace,
While reaching too;
Over and through heavens shades
Walking; dune spills into moonlight,
Stars light soaring, grassy islands
Spawning thin, thick, green, towering,
Wild, dried blades cowering;
Swaying smoothly or
Cackling tempestuously.
No direction mist,
With each kiss of summer’s
Fall’s turmoil, drumm is.
Mad, more brutal winter’s winds
Stage a violence, rage page, grim;
Two never forgotten in a haze
I sat, raptured in warmth of the day,
Evening’s cool,
Coldest of nights,
Smiled, screamed triumph, jewels!
Cried in awe of
Tranquil golden dusks,
See gulls, sandpipers
Lust to fly, sail gusts;
Each awakening Shine of
Dawn’s trial by fire
Brilliant beams traced
Sun’s face swelled in
Fusing mmelodies din
Changing rhythms, spins
Renewing, re: viewing fins
Rushing to revere, swim with
Waves of the west.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mother Nature's Hill

Maybe it was because ever since a baby when mmy folks lived in the country of western Pennsylvania and they tied mme to a tree in order to prevent their little mischief maker from running away, spending time in and with dirt is one of mmy favourite things to do; no matter how hard it is or how long it may take to help rearrange what Mother Nature has set before us; tackling the disheveled or what seems like an overrun jungle and turning it into a different sight or even a lush producing food source is also fun; especially when set on a hungry table.

This I imagine is what keeps mmy feat on a shovel so to speak or any number of activities, gardening or otherwise that help the muscles stay active and the tiny rivers of red moving along at a mostly steady pace.

The Daily Lilies and Hosta plants donated by a friend are working out to be a welcome sanctuary to both this guy and the invited guests of Mother Nature’s bounty.

After more time spent observing and enjoying, a short Haiku was inspired while sitting at the sighed of nature’s alms. The smell of the wind, the flit of the huge and tiny bumble bee’s adventure/search for the colourful sustenance; butterflies and birds of all designs and sighs is come to the well to drink, eat the seeds and enjoy the bread that day bye day is sowed 'fore them.

Needless to say, there’s quite an interested and hungry local flock of flying and crawling everything’s that seem to be waiting and gathering on the nearest telephone wires, fence posts, trees, on and under leaves and such… as won had hoped ‘fore.

The bug in the close up photo you may notice in the foreground on one of the Daily Lilly leaves? I just couldn’t get that critter to stand still is why it’s out of focus. Maybe next time I'll have learned how to speak bug.

Saved left over bird seed from a previous garden is also set out on the flat rock next to the green, round, water/pool just for the critter’s hunger pangs. They seem to like to have dinner and drinks there as well. There and in front of the log is also where the most likely droppings can be gathered by the next in line of the food chain.

When breaking up and distributing bird sized portions of a few old slices of bread early one evening, one, quite daring tiny swallow flew from the fence and landed about six feet away from where I was standing.

Our symbiotic conversation lasted for almost a minute. It was seemingly unafraid of anything while enjoying the days catch… such a tiny thing… such a big thrill... ‘fore mme…

This 2nd photo with empty chairs is to present … well, you get the point don’t you?

A First Bumble Bee Today
Lilac, Flit, Lilac
Hosta la’ Vista Bumble

Flights Sight - Gathering Table
Swallows, Immerse, Cool
Starlings, Cardinals – Greet Pool

Four, Six, Eight Legs, Slithering
Released - Your Pleasure
Mother Nature, Here, Wear One

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Safe ~ Risk

March 30, 2010
...questions we ask ourselves from time to time? We'll see; This Blog has taken a lot of time. Most of them weren't as short as this one is. Most of them have come from writings started in advance with a little idea, a sentence or two then worked on and presented here.

I'mm working on more of those while getting involved in other art projects that are taking up even more time than I expected; most of what's coming relates to the poem on this blog. I'll be back with those stories quicker than we may be able to make this decision;


the risk!
risk it

risk it

the risk?
risk it?
risk it?
saved -?

risk it??

the risk
risk it??
what if??

the risk???
risk it???



Monday, March 29, 2010

MMusic in Bloom

March 29, 2010

Dub bull jammed with a dude
Cat licks schooly would room
Disk pea an a guy end
His auld tea time tunes
His feeling tolled, sang to
All bookie – his bliss
I hell’d, come pally mman
Close dose page is ‘n gist
Git on wit it buoyed
Slay it! Knock out chore head
Wear grate, out! That scents
Know way you’ve blown; dread
Pour Site ‘n sound’s schmaltz
Mild graze in ‘tween’s page
Goin’ one, two the next like
Know one care’s you’re stage
Your view, movie B you
A peer rant chew are
Your clothes spin the tail
Who ever; you’re far
Sow OH? Pin your I’s end
Jet’s jam overt hear
List in – Coltrane mmuh mman
Ten Thousand? Know fear
Say you’ve knot put time in?
“…As many,” says you
Shake know difference, shake lamb
Oui, know your fears, poo!!
Just jam width your soul
We’re, heart’s on our sleeve
Get Offa that stool; pigeon
Aye know, when believe that
Once you let gogh come
Yule easy; gist; try
They hear you mman; blows!
The point? Out! Willed, fly
That’s not all there is ‘course
Next time booked, you fake
Maybe some one like who?
Will coals you, they’re rake
Takes less than a pocket
To groove with in won
Mowed lawns, vahz is, flowers
Tall towers; weigh gums
Hand feasts, door; know less
Pow were sum, nil, end none
When mmusic breed’s test
They’ll listen, smiles, fun
Or even next cheer haps’
They’ll grant you, fine space
‘Stead of out in the cold
Audition’s diss faced
Or other then hid in
Town’s thirsty slight bash
You’ll Shine, when they’re smitten
You’re oven, they’re ash in of
‘Course won neva nose
Pry or a tease whished
Doze castles on hills
Leave some, play – shake’s fish
Your flower a weight’s bloom.

The MMan Up Stairs

March 28, 2010

Eyes wake up in the morning two the creaks of hurried feat
The mman upstairs in rising stalks his bedroom’s squeaky street
A brace sieve sounds our endless as he shuffles o’er his floor
Thuds wake mme up; heels never stop until heaves out the door

Heels promptly wakes at 6a.m. each day clocks on the plop
Bowels groan, pounds, coughs, his lungs decayed,
His body sounds our rot.
Heels opens doors, craps toilet‘s flush
His cat jumps off the shelf
Steels stomps hard floors in cease ain’t he,
Aye, wonder threw mmy self

He shadows mme each time aye slide to john’s room ‘fore relief
Heels sound as if they follow mme, from room to room for grief
I’ll sit, din’s quiet aisle here shush steps, ass overhead he weights
Until through, drained then chases mme to kitchen’s search for plates

I’ll make yumm food, prepare phew meals,
Wild creaks swirl overhead
Our steps will match, well seemingly
While burghers, eggs are bred
Spaghetti sauce, veal parmesan,
Hamm sandwich, oar juice drink
Reverb burr rating creaks, thuds; whack it!
Blares at crypt ticks, plinks.

I’ll due dry dishes, wipe holes, stove end, open fridge, top drawer
Heels step rite up, as zoned mmy knows, or forehead is their floor
Insulation never fix is loud socks, know nude feet
Through lost he strolls, gag in gin coughs, his buss stops on pit’s street

Treks in the next line, sit, stop, yes
I’ll gladly relish warms
Win hope full sky’s there’s no up stares
To wake calm sleep; heal storms
I’ll rouse, win sun rise wonder ring,
How creaky guise is doing
I’ll n’er miss screech is chokes, cat heaves, groans,
Snores, pounds, depth end spewing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Johnny Ciambotti

March 27, 2010

Yes, we're all getting on in age here but all mmy limbs still move, the gray matter's still intact and I can still kick your ass on the set; and of course do too this great tech knowledge E, everyone can be found pretty easily on the net, eh EC?

I’mm also a painter who has never stopped what I've loved doing most in life since the age of 12; playing drumms; still with the same fire and determination on the kit I’ve always had; changed a bit to ad the higher register and Latin sounds of the LP bongos which also did away with the common set-up of the double tom same dome; which added a bit more surprises just to keep you on your toes.

Now as they say, on with the most important stuff: Johnny Ciambotti.

He was really the first Clover band member I talked to and I guess the one who had to be satisfied to accept this drummer on his team. When he did, from then on, he stood next to mme more times than I can remember.

It’s just part of playing together as a bassist and a drummer do. We were a team at that time. We were the foundation of one of the incarnations that we built with Clover; our band at that time.

I’mm a right handed person who plays drummset right handed. As a drummer I’ve always preferred to have whoever was playing bass to be on mmy left side. Unless chart reading from a mmusic stand it’s the side that mmy hi-hat is always on and where mmy head, eyes and ears do the most work.

That’s where I remember Johnny smiling at mme most of the time. That’s of course if he wasn’t singing the high harmony part with the other members of Clover. Usually it was the four guys up front; Johnny being one of them. Hopper, the keyboardist was as a rule to one side or the other until he came out front to dance.

When I was performing with Clover, in and after the UK days, Johnny liked wearing a clean white Fedora; white or black pants with red suspenders and either a white or a black shirt. He also wore mirrored shades most of the time on stage or not.

You can see that image of him in the photos taken of us in 1976; taken at Victoria Station in London and can be viewed here:

Much before moving to England, we played the earliest concert we ever had at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. There were supposed to be three bands including us but another was added. We all decided it was so early that we thought to wear pajamas on stage. Johnny wore a red set of long johns. His personality was red.

I didn’t hear until today, Saturday that Johnny had passed away in what seems to be unfortunate circumstances. He was in Los Angeles, California where he lived and worked as a Chiropractor besides doing gigs with lots of other people. While being operated on for something else I guess the doc’s had to deal with an aneurysm that they couldn’t and that was it. The net has more info.

Needless to say mmy condolences are extended to Gia his daughter, his family and friends; sad to know he’s gone. Although I’ve not seen nor heard from Johnny for a long time, I still feel the loss; like I would if any of the Clover guys I played with were to pass. For more reasons than I can write here, the two years for mme are lasting a lifetime.

Awhile ago I had mentioned what a great team/rhythm section/duo I thought Johnny and I were. From the very beginning we worked at trying to sound like one sound. Anyone who can tell will hear his notes and mmy bass drumm were in synch.

I’mm not saying we were perfect all the time but we were as close as most. It felt good to feel Johnny next to mme. When he left to sing up front it was even better when he returned to stand ‘back there’ with mme.

Johnny always had a good energy, smile and warmth about him. He wasn’t one of those bassists you may see who just stand stoically on stage while playing. The mmusic made him move his body.

Short story of Johnny here; The middle days of Clover really. He was also crazy at times, that’s for sure. The days when we weren’t living in England for that long. Johnny used to drink a lot and just get nuts; like the stories anyone hears of Rock ‘n Roll bands destroying things while being a bit past the point of sobriety. Elevator and hallway pisses; moving paintings;just plain over the top...

One time in the van he was so drunk and cantankerous; he was looking for trouble. He and I were in the back seat. He just grabbed a handful of hair on one of the guy’s who were sitting in the front and started pulling it out; just one of his uncontrolled, unpredictable days.

Sheesh, after playing with him for about two years there’s so many stories that come to mmind. Most of them happy ones where I can picture him and his mustached smile; after just popping raw garlic cloves in his mouth; or eating vegetarian, whenever that was.

Johnny was something else. For as short as our relationship was compared to this lifetime, he was a great team mate. Some people you just don’t forget. I’ve missed him; I always have. From the very beginning of our first handshake when we looked in each others eyes, I felt his heart.

Rest in peace pal.