Old Photographs & Wild Dreams

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My latest book is now for sale and you can get it from the link below. This is a beautiful hard back book with 100 poems, prose and stories covering a range of subjects: trains, bicycles, bars, cafes, California beaches, streets, Denison, abstract feelings, coffee shops, night hours, Hollywood, East Texas, old preachers, and cowboys.

click on the lick below to purchase:

https://www.amazon.com/Photographs-Wild-Dreams-John-Bucher/dp/0997129786/ref=sr_1_1?crid=392IORFSBAD82&keywords=john+k+bucher&qid=1560743173&s=gateway&sprefix=john+k+bucher%2Caps%2C495&sr=8-1

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Notes from the Winter

The California winter of 18/19 brought many new aspects, bits and pieces. I worked daily on a new book of poetry that will be published and available for sale later this year. The title is “Old Photographs and Wild Dreams” and deals with roughly ten completely different subjects with a total of 100 new poems. More on this later…

Los Angeles awoke from it’s long drought and brought rain almost daily. February was the coldest in over 100 years and we Angelenos who covet the seventy degree mark, never saw it once. So, for we hot house flowers, we froze our asses off.

The weather induced a time of reflection, introspection and appreciation for the gift of life and friendship. The Oscars seemed to be perfect for once, although to those, whom life is just one long complaint, it was still the worst. Thanks to Movie Pass and later on A-List (AMC), Edina and I saw more movies in a season that ever before. Many, many great ones and a few duds.

I read some excellent books as the rain fell and the coffee brewed against the gray skies. Willy Vlautin’s “Don’t Skip Out On Me” and his latest “Lean On Pete” were at the top of my favorites. “Bad Jobs and Poor Decisions” by J.R Helton brought back memories of my own life of ten years in East Texas. A really great read that deserves a large audience. Anthony Bourdain’s foray into a crime story “Gone Bamboo” and Michael Koryta’s “The Last Honest Horse Thief” were the ones I read in one stetting they were so good. I’ve been a John Grisham fan from the start and his “The Reckoning” is the best in years. “White Rose Black Forrest” by Eoin Dempsey is a poignant tale of Germany during WWII, while probably my favorite was a non-fiction account of “Life at the Dakota” by Stephen Birmingham, that examines a thorough history of New York’s upper West Side.

Streaming television has become an addiction and there was plenty to enjoy. Netflix and Amazon kept pouring good stuff out there almost daily, and occasionally, Hulu brought a surprise. Showtime’s Ray Donovan reset in the Big Apple and once again kept my interest week by week. HBO’s 3rd season of True Detective returned to its former glory and may have been the best series of the winter.

My sons insisted I start listening to podcasts several years ago and although I don’t tune in for as much content as they do, Marc Maron’s WTF twice weekly podcast has become a fixture in my weekly routine. He’s moved into a new house and garage, but still has the same insecurities and opinions. His cutting edge guest list keeps informed about current culture as much anything out there, I guess.

Because of a long tenure in Colorado, I’ve been a life long Broncos fan since the 70’s. About ten years ago I promised God that if he would intervene and bring an NFL team to LA, I would convert, no matter the team. So. a few years back I became a Rams fan, and what a ride it has been. Horrible disappointment set in fast over the Super Bowl loss, but I recovered quickly as spring training followed. I am over that last two World Series losses to our city and am ready to root for the “Blue” once more. Hope springs eternal and “go Dodgers!”

Edina and I fell in love with camping near the coastline a few years back and we are chomping at the bit for another season on waves, wildlife, and wonderful sunsets at Point Magu. We were able to spend a few warm days in Pismo Beach the end of January and that helped ease the camping blues.

Hollywood Bowl season is also near and we love the “bowl events” where we can take a load of fried chicken and TJ wine into the concert and escape into that special magic. The first one we have planned is the first week of June with Dead & Company. We saw Dark Star Orchestra at the Saban in Beverly Hills last month and they wrestled the Dead’s set list alive and had the place jumping till it shook.

I’ll write more posts in the coming days.

“When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez and when it’s Easter time too.”-Bob Dylan

 

 

 

Jazz Notes #3

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Behind him in the shadowy corner

dim lit stage and a guitar coaxes a steady melodic message

drink up – have another one

she’s gone – your fault …all your fault

people shuffle in and out…some whistle and clap

at the music

the jazz guitar

depressed and lonely he stays and drinks

a friend drops by – who owes him a saw buck

asks for another – and a drink

mind decides to drift inward to the songs

whispers of dream clouds and beach days…sea shells

good woman and good whiskey

money to burn…

the dark corner stops playing-  silence is deafening

still he stays and drinks

soon the break is over and the jazz heats up again

until dawn ….he leaves

until tomorrow…

Jazz Notes #2

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From the ripe age of 12 he learned his craft and taught us about miracles

that all came under the headlines of JAZZ -gypsy jazz

the thunder that rang inside his sweet head and fetched

Stephane and his swinging violin to the stage

Despite the fire in the caravan and the burns and losing some fingers

and feelings –

the guitar came first

Music from European small cafes while women danced and whirled their skirts

Paris night clubs melting under hot lights and sweaty crowds

twirling his mustache and bending the strings, all the while smiling that grin

that he knows something naughty happened

He changed us, the world, the way we think…

from stages in London, in front of thousands of lucky souls

while Eddie Cantor kissed his hand and allowing

American jazz to seep into his gypsy skin and bones

Playing with the Duke at Carnegie Hall and bowing

to the cheering New Yorkers, he played

God did he play

A beatnik at heart he sometimes skipped concerts

“to walk to the beach” or “smell the dew”

We owe a debt to you sir and thank God you made records

Jazz Notes

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Soft notes escaping from the Harlem window as big old Buicks

cruise down Fifth Avenue and dine on dance clubs until dawn

Ella and the Count are everywhere and anywhere for all hip cats

to dig and find a place to jump on

The golden horns and smoky air intoxicate the modern soul

that yearns for the truth about what momma told them

Listen closely for a Blue Moon to saddle up the past with real

dollars and very tiny income

Red rose gardens and whitewashed school books suddenly

make sense in the cool reefer night

Forgetting the style and not caring for rules the cats bob and weave

as the bats fly out and give you a crazy bite

Jazz from the earth and Jazz from the sky, calling for the east

and calling for the west

drums beating loud for the cattle call that rounds up

Harlem’s best

Soft notes escaping from an empty loft near the park that

fall on the sidewalk until the ghosts move along

Victrola heaven cranks orders from the magician’s

vocal chords that tap out the broken heart’s song

Get up right now and head to the store, the radio, or the

old smoky club

Your jazz is waiting patiently and you never have to

show the man your ticket stub

A Hole in the Heavens

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Sometime after the War, the big one, the second time

after years of austerity

after years of fear

after years of funerals

after years of hard labor

A hole cracked open in the heavens

and music poured down

and poetry poured down

and literature was born

and freedom expanded

Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Elvis, The Beatles, Steinbeck, and Playboy

danced in the streets

danced in our ears

danced in our minds

danced in our feet

Yes, they came from the Heavens, the place where all goodness is born

but the hole dried shut

sometimes it leaks a little

but not nearly enough

sometimes we need more, much more

So, the next one of us who dies, better leave with a jack hammer

and find where the hole use to be

start drilling, and drill down deep and hard

let the goodness flow down on us

like a flood

The Last Cowboy In Teller

remembering-the-old-times

Relentless western rain pouring onto soupy gray lanes

horses and cars scare one another as the old world is shoved

aside by a new one

Teller’s emptying out – gone to the oil fields

money…the corrupter and killer of civilizations

(or at least the one he knew)

He nudges the paint pony onward

past the stores out of neighborhoods

very few horses in town anymore

cars, lots of the damn things

the rain peppers his face as he turns his collar up

dark blue horizons on the hills

Been here his whole cowboy life

all he knows

the wife died a few years back and the kids moved to the oil fields

money…lots of money

the old range hand tends to his herd…talks to them

opens the barn and feeds his livelihood as the sun sinks west

he sits on a bale and watches them eat and stick their mouths

into the water trough

be a full moon tonight

back when he was young he would drink and dance

at bar back in Teller when the moon got full

tonight just a fire and beans before

retiring and hoping for an old cowboy’s

dreams