Friday, May 28, 2004


A delightful evening with last night marred only by the incessant weather warnings bleeped across the small tv at the Red Lounge. It was "Dirty Soul Night," but most of the patrons, which were in small number, seemed more concerned with the weather, pacing around the room with worried faces, cell phones in hand.
It's impossible to enjoy a summer storm with today's technology. Every local tv station had suited weather men or women dancing in front of flashing, lighted screens that would make Jackson Pollack blush.
L said she thinks it's all about selling. Keep those people in their seats at home scared to death so they'll be ready for the next laxative commercial.
"Fear" is the control word of the day.
But we survived the storm unscathed and managed to have a wonderful conversation while consuming four blood red margaritas a bacon & tomato sandwich plus a Cuban sandwich.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


The world is infected with "experts." But experts are frauds. "Expert" comes from the root word "experience." Experience is a process that never ends. It is "the active participation in events or activities."

Jean Leclercq said about his fellow monk, the famous writer Thomas Merton:
"He was not a scholar or an historian; he Was an expert in nothing. And he knew it and didn't want to be. He didn't want to play the game of an expert. But he was always inquiring about new texts, new publications, asking me to send him books and articles..."

I always began my college classes by telling my students "I don't know a damn thing. You tell me something."
AND THEY DO! luv, yardhog


Okay, I admit it, yardhog's in love with Poppy Brite. Ever since discovering this writer of transgressive/horror fiction on a display table at Borders in Chicago I've been transfixed.

It's all a matter synchronicity. I had just come from the Mardi Gras in New Orlean, where I spent several days visiting friends who are in the restaurant business. So, when I spied Brite's new novel "Liquor," and read that it was about two young men who open a restaurant in New Orleans, I couldn't resist. When I got home I looked Brite up on the internet and discovered she had her own Web page, which included a daily journal.

And now I'm hooked... More about Poppy later. luv, yardhog

Monday, May 24, 2004

Sage Advice Addendum - this time Martha Graham

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
That is translated through you into action.
And because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.
If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost.
The world will never have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is.
Nor how valuable it is,
Nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly
to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You do have to keep open and aware
directly to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.
No artist is pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction,
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than others.


Martha Graham to Agnes Demille


"If one is lucky enough to be born with a beautiful face and the corresponding physical attributes, instead of moaning "Oh, people only want me for my face,'play your face card. Youth plays the cards of youth and vitality -- In youth play your youth cards. In old age claim the privleges of age, and get your snout in the public trough before it dries up."

William Burroughs
The Final Journals

Sunday, May 23, 2004

On the Road with Ella Fitzgerald, Gail Wynters and Ed

Great evening last night. Attended Dr. Ken Beilman's 16th Annual Jazz Party in Middletown, Ky. For my guest I took the fabulous jazz diva Gail Wynters. We spent much of the drive to the party listening to a 25 year old tape of my old WUOL FM "Jazz Insights" Radio Show featuring my interview with Ella Fitzgerald.
During one the recordings I played on the show that had Ella scating with a number of jazz legends like saxophonists Stan Getz and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis plus trumpeters Harry "Sweets" Edison and Roy Eldridge, I realized that everyone on the recording, that was made sometime in the 1960s, was now dead including Ella.
Wynters got to know and perform with many of these greats during the 20 years she lived in New York City. She had a close friendship with trombonist Al Grey who was also on the recording. So, we had fond memories to share.

The party featured this year baritone saxophonist Denis DeBlasio and pianist Harry Pickens, bassist Chris Fitzgerald and drummer Jason Tinamon. Unfortunately DeBlasio, who is a veteran of a number of great bands including Maynard Ferguson's Orchestra, had intonation problems. His technique on the big horn was well executed but his tone was clearly on the flat side, which ruined it for me.
DeBlasio's flute playing on Monk's "Straight No Chaser" and his scat singing later in the night was excellent.
I completed 30 miles on my bike in the last two days. Rode down to Cox's park yesterday and peddled all the way to Portland this morning. Discovered a few things during my trek. Bike riders are more human than those crazed souls behind the wheels of automobiles. You seldom pass anyone on a bike that doesn't wave or wish you good morning. And they never hurl an expletive at you or try to run you off the road. There is something about the power of a car that brings out the killer in everyone. BEWARE!

Since it is Sunday the Yardhog is going to take time out and look back on the past week.
One highlight was dinner in Lexington with the famous Kentucky humorist and author of great books like "The Natural Man" and "Famous People I've Known."
I hadn't seen Ed since a poetry reading at the Rudyard Kipling last Fall and he looks great. At 72 he looks a good ten years younger and his humor is sharp as ever.
At dinner I gave him a book of photographs of well known poets and writers and incribed it "To Ed McClanahan one of my favorite famous people I've known," I also found a couple of cool stickers at a gas station on my way to Lexington, one which I pasted into the book that read " Too Many Freaks, Not Enough Circuses" The other one said "FREAK" so, I just stuck it on the front of Hawaian shirt to give Ed something to talk about. He loves freaks and writes about them often. Of course I've always thought that being a freak is part of the human condition. What other animal walks around wearing clothes, making foolish pronouncments and starting wars. We're all a bunch of freaks. Only those that realize it are better off.
Which brings me to the second part of my story. After dinner I took my "Freak" sticker and stuck it up on the sun visor in my Miata for safe keeping. The next day I went to the gym at the state agency I work for in Frankfort. After working out on my way to the car I had to pass several female soldiers in uniform that were hanging around out front. I immediately got this image of a naked Iraq soldier on a lease but I managed to block it. Then one of them, a cute little brunette, said "Hey you got something on your butt!"
Yeah!, another exclaimed "It says "Freak." I turned to face them and began checking my ass with both hands. "It's on your left cheek, man. Want us to get it?" I'm still groping myself and trying to feel embarassed but I think I'm beyond that considering where I've been. It wasn't exactly as shocking as the time I was stripped naked by five strippers on a burlesque stage, but that's another story.
"Hey it's alright to be a freak," the cute brunette added.
I was trying to keep that idea in mind the next day when I attended a planning meeting given by my supervisor at his new house outside of Lexington.
I'd been given strict orders to bring a notebook, writing materials and wear my "agency shirt." But emboldened by the previous days events I decided to wear a 1960s tye-dyed t-top instead. Full of 1960s protest, although I lived through that era and was a total wimp, I stopped at my neighborhood gas station and walked up to the counter t-top, tatoos and ear rings ablaze.
Looking for the owner, who normally appreciates my eccentricities, I spied a fellow in the back of the store with a bald head. Then I realized it was the owner.
"Oh, I didn't recognize you," I blurted out. "You trying to make some kind of a statement?"
"No, I just spent a week in the hospital taking chemo. I've got in-operable lung Cancer. But I'm not going to let it stop me from doing what I'm doing."
Yeah, we're all freaks. You me and everybody and we're all headed for the junk pile. luv, yardhog

Saturday, May 22, 2004


Billons of creepy, crawly creatures are assaulting my ears. After a 17 year hiatas the bugs are back. A New York Times article yesterday reminded me that 17 years ago politician Gary Hart was banging Donna Rice and preacher Jim Bakker was in trouble with Jessica Hahn. I remember seeing that story on a tv in a motel in Cincinnati 17 years ago, on a morning not entirely dissimilar to this. The bugs were singing then to. Ah, time how strange. The cicadas will all be dead soon. But their progeny will be snug in the ground waiting to return and bug everyone seventeen years down the road. I'll never forget the question posed by William Burroughs. "Why does death need time? Answer: Death needs time for what it kills to live in." Common knowledge to every cicada and every other time bound creature. luv, yardhog