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

 

 

 

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Reading From California Beat Poetry Number Two

Reading From California Beat Poetry

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Page 123 Razzle Dazzle Man

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Night falls softly on the street corner blues

The razzle dazzle man sits on his stool to play

with his coffee colored skin

and his thread bare suit

and his dusty hat

and his drift wood guitar

and his polished two toned shoes

and his buck toothed smile

Melodies of a broken heart

Stories pour out as the all night girls walk by

They drop quarters and smile

Upstairs the broken glass hears

songs from the past

songs by the whiskey faced men

songs from the pirate ship wars

Inside the guitar a cannon explodes

Now a black cat insomniac paws to see

The razzle dazzle man going home

For a copy of this book click on the below image:

http://www.amazon.com/California-Beat-Poetry-Hollywood-Boulevard/dp/0988930544/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431872899&sr=1-1&keywords=john+k+bucher

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Reading From California Beat Poetry

poet- at- large

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Page 103 Puzzles And Circles

Hollywood and Wilcox trying to understand

Dark clouds and tour buses raining their brand

Siamese twins barking like seals for a dollar

Wrinkled old man down in the squalor

Sirens go by as hustlers sling dirty words

Hollywood’s a poem crazy and absurd

Up and down the street blows a golden peace

Up and down the hills roams the filthy beast

Sidewalk cafe changing her name

Fingers on the keyboard playing the game

Puzzles and circles brand new paint

Cops on horseback worshiping a saint

Puzzles and circles Hollywood fear

Tourists with money wasted on beer

Puzzles and circles sun going down

DJ’s spinning the same old sound

For a copy of this book click on :

http://www.amazon.com/California-Beat-Poetry-Hollywood-Boulevard/dp/0988930544/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431548653&sr=1-1&keywords=john+k+bucher

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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