Saturday, August 30, 2014

Significant Song Number 9:   "Thick as a Brick" and "A Passion Play" by Jethro Tull

     Appearing one after the other in 1972 and 1973, these two concept albums had different receptions. "Thick as a Brick" fared better than "A Passion Play", but I enjoy them both. Ian Anderson and the rest of the band took their music to the concept album with an extended song or songs centered around one idea. Certainly they were not the first to do so, but the albums are intriguing.
     The parody of a small town newspaper works well, especially with its scandal. From my literature classes, I knew what a passion play was, and appreciate the treatment given the genre here. Actually there were many medieval and baroque tales of people after their death, related so that the audience would avoid their fate.
     I liked to let one of them play while I am doing other work; I do not want to be searching for something every five minutes or so. Last week Sirius XM played the entire "A Passion Play" remastered version, and I appreciated it all over again.; except for the spoken part about a hare losing his spectacles. When visiting London, I remember seeing the Fulham Road, but do not remember rushing!
    Perhaps some of my longer poems or cycles have been inspired by these concept albums. I cannot say for sure, but I never tire of listening to them.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Revolution Shmevolution
   (inspired by S.L. Weisend)

The revolution will not be televised at all,
(nor will it even\r taken place)
not even on PBS, where Boomers relive
the pasts they wished they had experienced/

The revolution almost happened
but it cut too deeply into party time
and Disco was more fun than protest songs
and the Beatles broke up anyway.
(Who could dance to Sgt. Pepper?)
Most people graduated and looked for work
even without mountains of crushing debt
like their children and children’s children have.

No one misses the revolution
Dennis Hopper went on to vote for W.
Everyone watches reality television,
voyeurism of celebrities and pseudo singer/dancers.
In Andy Warhol’s American
everyone had 15 minutes of fame.
In today’s America
Everyone has a diagnosis.

Revolution sounds communist anyhow,
or at least like Democrats and pinkos,
and everyone wants their slice
of the American Pie before illegals
or the Federal government takes it.
Entitlements are no good, but
some people want theirs all the same.

There won’t be a revolutions
but plenty of time for high desert standoffs
with flags waving and microphones
flanking the AK-47s
which are essential to freedom
so long as the right people have them
and those who want social justice
better duck before it hits the fan.

The world does not end with a bang
But with whimpering phone calls
To talk show radio hosts before
They cut to commercials
For ginseng, gold coins, and
Rabid political attack ads
Droned into ears in
crescendos of cacophony
until it seems true enough
Mistah Kurtz- he still dead!

Great poem by S.L. Weisend

the revolution will be on tap

& leaked by an insider with a cloud of rusty hair & conspicuous absence of tan & antiperspirant
We will say, "he looks like an Amish terrorist", and wonder if real terrorists even own skinny jeans

The revolution will be revised
to fit the needs of the viewing audience/

It will be stapled to every tongue & fishhooked to every lip
Militants will even get to choose their own CAPTCHAs,
which will be inked to their outer hips, in case their hands are taken as prisoners

The revolution will use guns to convert people into data,
& the data will become immortal
No one (or zero) will ever die, not ever, never again
even the worst kind of syntax error will be saved to a file named HEATHEN.txt
The revolution will be(no)joke, at least(not)at first
& will be led by a people whisperer who does a lot of work with rats
His persuasive whip will sting with pleasure, and we will say,
"Wow, he is even better looking than Che Guevara

The revolution will be brought to us by MTV
THE WHO will be the opening act  (Who?
There will be small plates, microbrews, and exotic herbs to smoke
The sponsors will provide us with water guns, in case the trolls attack

There will also be an after party, so make sure to bring your combat flats
S.L. Weisend, © 2914
Significant Song Number 8  -  "Band on the Run" by Wings

     One of the many advantages of working at Penn State's radio station (then WDFM) was being able to listen to more records than I could ever hope to buy. We had a large speaker hooked to a turntable in a large open room that contained the record cabinets.
     With this album, Wings solidified their sound. The change in tempo throughout this song attracted me. Much later I began to use this same technique in poetry, varying the rhythm from section to section as I wanted to set a different mood or talk about a different place.
     Creative people inspire each other, even without knowing it. Being able to make those connections and extrapolate from them is wonderful!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Significant Song Number 7

Liege and Leaf by Fairport Convention
 This time, it is an entire albums! Mixing traditional folk with original compositions so seamlessly with electric guitars, Fairport Convention ignited interest in older music. My mother had a copy of Francis James Child's one-volume abridgment of English and Scottish Popular Ballads which I pored over. Friends of mine could play and sing, I could read and dream of writing. I heard Fairport in Berkeley, CA in 1975 minus Sandy Denny.  Later on I used songs from this album and others like it when teaching British Literature.

  I post a link to "Matty Groves": .

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Germany's oldest city, Trier, was founded in 9 BC and was the site of a marvelous Summer for me as I prepared for what  thought I was going to do with my life. The Porta Nigra, or Black Gate, is the only remnant of the roman walls.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Pub in the Double Wides

Two double-wides jerry-rigged together,
the Bull and Bush became part of
Orange County that would be forever England
until a developer coveted the space.
A Google search shows only fancier places
fanning out across the Southland.

Years later my memories as blurred
as the division between Costa Mesa,
Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, with
similar houses, businesses, so unlike home;
I did not know where one ended
and the next community began.

Fragments of visiting the pub emerge.
Searching in vain for a beer garden
we found this outpost of the Empire.
Expatriates clustering at the bar,
Canucks mingling with the Brits,
A stray Aussie or two, occasionally an Irishman.

Not being regulars, we occupied several tables
between the dartboards and the chintzy piano
whose desperate player wearing oversized Carnaby Street
clothing on his small frame repeated
the same mistakes in the same songs
all night long in confused consistency.

We found our niche there, avoiding garish discos,
upscale places full of leisure suits, white shoes and belts,
the whole trendy Fashion Island scene
or beach bars attracting hordes of hip people
and the cowboy bars that didn’t like our kind..
Shooting darts, drinking pints of John Courage pulled
by the raven-haired barmaid whose name I never knew
life was enjoyable, the world ours to savor.

In those two double wides jerry-rigged together
we found relaxation and community there
that eluded us elsewhere in Orange County.

© Arthur Turfa, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Published again in Altpoetics! Thanks so much!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Release date set for Poems of Places and Times, Reflected

eLectio Publishing will release my first book of poems on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Needless to say I am excited, humbled, and grateful for this news. So many of you have supported me, given me advice, feedback, and encouragement. I appreciate all of that and you so much!

Watch my blog, “Some Poetry”, or my Facebook author page, “Arthur Turfa- Poems of Times and Places, Reflected” for updates and further information. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Significant "Song" Number 6.5  Beethoven's 9th Symphony, fourth movement "An die Freude"

 Of course I realize this is not a song in the strict sense; that is why I place quotation marks around the word! In high shcool I bought a paperbeck of Friedrich Schiller's poetry, and labored word by word to translate. At Penn State I saw how one artistic genre influenced another. Beethoven, while completely deaf, composed this outstanding symphony and set to music Schiller's poem.
  Also at Penn State I directed the Third Program, the old WDFM's classical music station. The name comes form the BBC, and the campus radio station (now WPSU) . I learned about classical music there. Actually I was on the news staff, then did public affairs, and my organizational skills coupled with a lack of anyone else who could do it I suppose, vaulted me into the position. At least I could pronounce the names of the composers and performers!

Reviews Are So Very Important to Writers, and So Hard to Get

      When my first poetry book was published seven years ago, I dutifully asked readers/friends to review it. That book, Places and Times, ...