Allen Ginsberg poem – selected by Mark Frazel

Mark Frazel (Chicago USA)

Mark Frazel

I am a documentary filmmaker who lives in Chicago. This first poem I am submitting “A Supermarket in California” was written by the American poet Allen Ginsberg (1926 -1997). Ginsberg had studied at Columbia University in New York under the poet and critic Mark Van Doren who was influential in bringing attention back to Walt Whitman. Ginsberg’s poem imagines the poet Whitman in the contemporary setting of a grocery store in Berkeley, California, where Ginsberg was then living.

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A Supermarket in California

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for

I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache

self-conscious looking at the full moon.

In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went

into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!

What peaches and what penumbras!  Whole families

shopping at night!  Aisles full of husbands!  Wives in the

avocados, babies in the tomatoes!–and you, Garcia Lorca, what

were you doing down by the watermelons?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,

poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery

boys.

I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the

pork chops?  What price bananas?  Are you my Angel?

I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans

following you, and followed in my imagination by the store

detective.

We strode down the open corridors together in our

solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen

delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

Where are we going, Walt Whitman?  The doors close in

an hour.  Which way does your beard point tonight?

(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the

supermarket and feel absurd.)

Will we walk all night through solitary streets?  The

trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be

lonely.

Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love

past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?

Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher,

what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and

you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat

disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

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Berkeley, 1955  (From Collected Poems 1947-1980 by Allen Ginsberg Harper & Row. Copyright © 1984 by Allen Ginsberg)

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Animated film of AG “reading” this poem

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Please note:  Mark Frazel & I first met during “The Walt Whitman Show” – live streamed on Periscope. I am very grateful to Mark for his wonderful contributions to that (daily) show.  Thank you very much Mark.

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Writer / producer Mark Frazel, 62, dies of heart attack

 

Mark Frazel

Versatile writer / filmmaker Mark Frazel, the husband and partner of Carey Lundin of Viva Lundin productions whose documentary, “Jens Jensen The Living Green,” recently won its 10th award, died July 4 from a sudden heart attack at St. Joseph Hospital. He was 62.

Frazel’s multi-award winning “Jensen” doc, now airing on national PBS stations, recently received a Medal of Honor from The Explorers Museum in Tullamore, Ireland, for his ability to render a story of how one person could accomplish so much and inspire so many.

“Mark’s own life story was not dissimilar from Jensen’s in that he believed in the value of nature and human decency,” said Lundin.

Frazel wrote and produced commercials for a wide variety of clients, including political spots for consultants Adelstein/Liston, and sales, marketing and recognition videos for NEC, and FMC.

His writing career included collaborating on the feature “Sweet Home Chicago,” based on a short story by Stuart Dybek and “Hands on Chicago,” Bonus Books, called “a mini-encyclopedia of Chicago, from Haymarket to Mayor Harold Washington.”

“He was a lion of knowledge with an incredibly voracious interest in the worlds of art, writers, celebrity, history, music and film. He will be remembered for his cutting wit and giant heart. He helped anyone who asked,” Lundin said.

A Chicago native raised in St. Barnabas’ parish of Beverly, Frazel was a 1985 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. His book “Hands On Chicago,” co-written with Kenan Heise, is an encyclopedia of Chicago history that was named Best Nonfiction Book of the Year in 1986 by the Illinois State Historical Society.

Frazel is survived by his wife Lundin and eight siblings, 13 nieces and nephews and many, many friends.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Aug. 28 at St. Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt, 12 noon to 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to restore the Humboldt Park Jensen Formal Garden: Chicago Parks Foundation, 541 N. Fairbanks, 7th floor, Chicago 60611.

Arrangements entrusted to Donnellan Funeral Home, 773/238-0075. Sign the guestbook at http://www.donnellanfuneralhome.com or share memories on facebook.com/markfrazel.

You are one of us

You are confused
unsure
uncertain
you have mixed feelings
you are in two minds
afraid
worried
cautious
wary
overwhelmed
stretched
you are alone with your inner critic
you feel weak
dependent on others
disappointed in yourself
you have secrets
unloved
let down
you wish you were understood
you crave forgiveness
suspicious of your motives
mistrustful
needy
self-obsessed
you have bad intentions
you put your best face forward
behave like a confident person
walk as if your knees never knocked
strong
assured
knowledgeable
educated
You make yourself organised
decisive
you speak as if you are worth a listen
you associate with successful people
work the room
you look as if you’re listening
you say the right things
appear to be good
truthful
honest
you say you’re rational logical objective
you  show off
you promise
say you will change
profess to believe
smile
offer support

you are an average human
you are loaded with emotions
imaginations
rivers of thought

You are one of us.

 

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Welcome VictoriousOne

VictoriousOne

I am an amalgamation…
an opportunity …
a dead end…
a new beginning …
a power source…
an old cliche…
a work of fiction …
a lightening rod…
a magic trick…
a mission impossible …
a best kept secret…
a shiny object …
Take what pleases,
court what eases,
coax what teases
& leave the rest.

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“I used to love hating poetry” – poem by Lars Blichfeldt 

I made the poem ‘one day’ after a period of not being able to write anything I thought was good enough.

No matter what, it ended up with me being frustrated or disappointed.

It left me with two choices. 

I could give up trying to write because I wasn’t the new Whitman – just an average guy that actually needed to practice and make mistakes to learn and improve.

To actually believe that two months of writing would place me anywhere near what others have taken years to master is ridiculous…. I know.

Nevertheless, it was exactly what I hoped for. Being good at something without doing any kind of effort to achieve it.

But maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe that’s what stops us from giving up before we even begin.

My second choice was to face the facts and just carry on practicing. To keep writing no matter how lousy the outcome would be.  

I choose the last.

Now give me 10 years and I will write you a masterpiece. In the meantime, here’s a hell of a try😉

Thank you for taking your time to read this.
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I used to love hating poetry.

Written by those who failed

living the expected life themselves.

Now wrapping-up words

in riddles and fancy glitter.

To attain the unattainable.

Narcissistic socialists

breathing the universe

while reminding the masses

to be satisfied just looking at the sun.

I did.
I looked at the sun.

Astonishing…

Perhaps I was wrong.
Perhaps I was the failure.

I started writing.

It felt refreshing.

Pats on the back,

Polite comments and praises.

I was seduced,
intoxicated by appreciation.

Soon I would be the lump of coal
transforming into a diamond

The winning ticket
The one in a million.
Flawless.
Unique.
Without practice.
Without effort.
A unicum.
This “new” me..
A thinker..
A writer..
A word wrapper..
A poet..

What I loved to hate,
I now hated to love.

Thinking like a child,
naive like a child,
I believed the sun turned around me.

One day I might grow up.
One day I might loose this spirit.

Hopefully it won’t be soon.

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Note:

A big thank you to Lars Blichfeldt 

You can read other poems by Lars here & here 

This is Bond : “Shaken Not Stirred”

Bernie

I first met Mr Bond on Periscope & was lured into discovering his background & creative work.

Bernie’s story : Let Mr Bernie Bond’s voice introduce his story.

You hear our 007 reveal

  • how he got the name “Bernie”
  • his ancestors – the Aird family from the Black Isle on east coast of Scotland …
  • how his great great grandfather started a company that became prosperous during the industrial revolution …
  • the family story on his father’s side: moved from Scotland to London to Germany to settle in Austria
  • his parents were born in Austria …
  • how Bernie was inspired by his family’s background
  • Bernie’s love of 1960’s music … especially the Beatles
  • how he learned to play guitar & played in groups
  • how he wrote & recorded songs in his little home studio
  • Bernie the keen footballer – still plays today
  • how he earned his living playing in bands & was unemployed
  • the story of how he got a job in the travel industry as resort rep for 4 years in Austrian mountains
  • how his ability to speak German helped
  • how he joined a startup that became a market leader in UK
  • he now works there as contracts & commercial manager for UK tour operator
  • our 007 lives in Mittersill Austria
  • he lived in Bath in 1970s & years later uploaded all his songs on to Internet
  • his got into video & created videos to go with his songs
  • when he heard James Bond crew were filming “Spectre” in villages (where his parents come from) he made this short video, as a tribute to the villages
  • his biggest success was the song “Mittersill Forever” to which Bernie added music, harmony voice & video footage (7k views on Facebook + over 2k on You Tube).

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Our 007 Bond in action 

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Note:  

Huge thanks to Bernie Airds (@airdwaves on Twitter + PeriscopeTV on Bernie Airds on You Tube) for his generosity & collaboration.

Roger Overall – Cartooning – “the maker’s art”


Welcome Roger Overall – my great friend & longtime collaborator. [I took the snaps on my iPhone6.]
Roger came to work in my kitchen & we recorded the audio while he did his best to start & complete a cartoon in 20 minutes. This is the story of the work. The phrase “the maker’s story” came up during our conversation.


  
  


  
  
  

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Note:

Thank you very much Roger.  I feel honoured to publish your work.  <img

You can contact Roger on Twitter @rogeroverall

“Rain” – by Lars Blichfeldt

Lars

I made the poem ‘Rain’ while I was thinking about some of the darker things in life.

Mental issues and how they can push anybody to the edge and sometimes even over the edge. Something I recognise from my own life.

My childhood was rather rough. Maybe because of that, I did a lot of crime and vandalism.

Luckily for me, I found a secret weapon to stop it before it got out of control. Drugs.. and many of them. I drugged my brain for 15 years trying to ignore my problems and feelings. But the brain does not easily forget. You can postpone and try to hide, but it will make you deal with it… one way or the other.

In my case, it just ‘turned on’ anxiety in my brain, and, if I did any kind of drugs, it would give me a panic attack.

Effective and without mercy.

It started five years ago, and I’m still fighting. No drugs – only words, a shrink and some good friends.

Most people can’t handle what they can’t see. We get 80% of our impressions thru our eyes, so expect a lot of people to avoid and ignore you.

But face it anyway… Fight it anyway. And when you get your first victory, keep that sweet little moment in mind when the next black cloud starts to rain..

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Rain

When black clouds
rained upon me
I used to feel sorry for myself.

I looked at people around me
popping their one man umbrellas
saving themselves.

unable to see
unable to hear
the suddenly invisible wet people.

‘we learn for as long as we live’
Maybe so.

But I still get caught in the rain
I still get cold
Still haven’t learned
how to unfold my umbrella.

But I do not feel sorry for myself
Not anymore.

Bring on the rain
Bring on the cold
I eagerly await.

Await the return of the sun
await for its shield of warm clear light
to spread thru my cold wet body
for the return of my smile
and the end of my sighs.

Do you need a computer to make electronic music?

Simon Toon sm2n

 Guest Sm2n

I’m a husband, a father, and a musician. I’ve been using the name “sm2n” since March 18th 2011.

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Someone asked me recently
whether I make all my music on a computer. It made me wonder, is there perhaps a common perception that all modern music these days is made using a computer, especially electronic music? What about the music I’ve created recently, which pieces fall into the category of computer-made music, and which ones don’t?

Of course pretty much all recorded music these days goes through a computer to some extent. Even the most acoustic-sounding record goes through several layers of computer processing, as sonic effects are applied to make things sound as good as possible on a variety of playback mechanisms (this process is called mastering).

However, the amount of computerisation in the music-making process prior to mastering varies wildly. Some music is created purely within the computer from start to finish, with musical notes drawn onto the musical stave with the click of the mouse, with every nuance of human ‘expression’ carefully faked via a touch of the scroll wheel or co-ordinates plotted scientifically on an automation curve.

But a lot of music, even electronic music, is created outside of the computer and is only digitised at the last possible point in the creative chain.

In recent years
there’s been a resurgence in the use of hardware synthesisers, as devices such as the Korg Monotron have brought low-cost hardware synthesisers to a much wider audience of musicians.

When you use a hardware synthesiser for performance, you have a much more physical connection to the sounds you are creating, with the tiniest flex of a tendon causing a discernible difference to the sound created – like you do with an acoustic instrument, but more intense.

Something similar has occurred in the world of iPads and other mobile devices; new and imaginative instruments and interfaces have been innovated on these platforms, taking advantage of the blank canvas that is the multi-touch interface.

This is a world of music
I have been exploring and enjoying, especially for live performance.

For the first Jamfolder gig, in July 2012, we didn’t want to bring our computer equipment along, and we wanted to perform the music, so I used my iPad to sequence, synthesise and manipulate sounds, while my bandmate played and looped his guitar. Here is one of the songs from that gig:

For my solo musical efforts, the rest of 2012 was about music made on the computer: 11.17am, 11.17pm, Repetition, Missing, BrontosaurusOctaverosis, and In Octaver.

2013 was a year of musical experimentation for me, with the acquisition of the Korg Monotron Delay, the Korg Monotribe and the Stylophone inspiring me to experiment with hardware synthesis and performance. After a couple of false starts (1, 2), I created two proper tracks in this manner, which ended up on the EP ‘Analogue EP‘ by German band Stahlbürste Darling:

  • Am Strand
    This was recorded on the beach. Performed on the iPad using ReBirth with some pre-programmed sequences being triggered and tweaked, the beach sounds recorded on my iPhone, and then these two recordings were combined and post-processed on the computer.
  • Stynotribelay
    This was played live in one take using a Stylophone plugged into the Korg Monotribe plugged into the Korg Monotron Delay. This was recorded into the computer for post-processing and subsequent distribution on the web.

Of course, to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so Stahlbürste Darling’s other new tracks were computer-based, including the lead track ‘Da ist eine Spinne im Haus‘.

Towards the end of 2013 I started acquiring more sophisticated synth hardware from the Korg Volca range, further fuelling my experimentation with hardware-performed music. Again there were a a couple of false starts (1, 2) before this video from April 2014:

Meanwhile, Stahlbürste Darling continued to make computer-based music, and as Cakefolder I continued to work on hardware-based performances for my own amusement (1, 2).

My most ambitious solo project yet, was to participate in the RPM Challenge, creating a whole album within the month of February 2015. Naturally I used the Korg Volcas extensively on the album, which is called ‘Exceptions‘, and indeed two of the songs were recorded ‘live’ on my hardware synths:

  • Polyrhythm (track 5) This is an example of a piece of music made using electronic hardware, with a computer being used only for post-processing the recorded audio and video and its subsequent distribution on the web: it was made with the three Korg Volcas and the Korg Monotribe, performed and recorded in one take, and captured on video using my iPhone. In the performance I used sequences I had pre-recorded, so the actual live performance consisted of triggering and tweaking my prepared sequences on all four devices, the (clever) twist being that I changed the pattern lengths on the three synthesisers so they drifted in an out of sync with each other.

  • Dual (track 2) This is another such example. This time the piece was recorded in two takes. The first take was an improvisation on the Volca Beats and the Volca Bass. The Beats had a simple rhythm which I had programmed in beforehand. The Bass was played live: I triggered notes on the ribbon and used the low-pass filter cut-off to shape the sounds. The second take was me playing along using the Korg Monotribe and the Volca Keys. The Monotribe was playing a simple repeating melody which, again, I had programmed in beforehand, and I used the low-pass filter cut-off to shape the sounds. The Keys was played live.

Following the completion of the album, my experimentation has continued, one recent example being ‘Dodecahadron’ which was made with the four Korg Volcas, performed and recorded in one take, and captured on video using my iPhone. In the performance I used sequences I had pre-recorded with three of the Volcas (Beats, Sample and Keys), but the 4th Volca (Bass) was played live. So the actual live performance consisted of triggering and tweaking my prepared sequences on three Volcas and playing live on a 4th:


So, Paul @omaniblog, who originally asked me the question, does that explain it?

If you like my music:

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Important note:

Thank you very much sm2n. It’s a honour to publish your work.

In my imagination this blog will become a place where lots of people will be welcome to display & share their work.