Thursday, September 24, 2009

Feature: John Burroughs Day 5

John Cage Engaged

Sunken funkin' telepumpkin
Tell a country bumpkin who I am
And then let him tell you.

Both will tell it true
Though their perspectives seem contradictory
I'm born of hickory and rectory
Blind Bartimaeus and insightful inspectory
True tale and muddled myth
On an identical trajectory.

John Cage or someone like him
(is anyone like anyone
more than anyone is unlike?)
Said disharmony does not exist
And the peaceniks are pissed.

Corn isn't hominy
But hominy is corn
And care isn't clothing
Though care can be worn
And all can be born
And all can be torn
And loved and forlorn
And warned and scorned
And according to some bother or brother or other

Sunken funkin' telepumpkin
Born of a couch potato
And a pureed tomato
An almost dead and buried berater
Blind hate hater
Thin ice skater
War abhorrer
Saint and horror
Mental (and governmental)
Master baiter
And sooner or later
Repeat reincarnator.

I am a living death
An awakened dream
Ash unconsumed
And a silent scream
Reconcilable so-called contradiction
And factual fiction

John Cage
Inadequately aged and yet
A sublime mess
Subconsciously clothed and consciously undressed
Said worse and better are no less than best
Corn is hominy
And there is no disharmony

Only harmonies to which our ears
(my dears and our fears)
Are unaccustomed.

© John "Jesus Crisis" Burroughs (first published by the tao, how, and what now of Jesus Crisis & John's chapbook Bloggerel)

**** **** **** ****

Have you ever done karaoke? And if you did what song would you like
to sing and why? :-)

I haven't done karaoke since 1992 or 93 - but for a year or so there, I was doing it several nights a week. I once managed a bar in Lorain, Ohio, where we hosted a weekly karaoke night. My favorite songs to perform back then were "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley, "The Crystal Ship" by the Doors, and "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin.

Of the dead poets you love... If you could ... which would you love to share a poetry performance/reading with and why?

Hard to say.... Maybe Allen Ginsberg, Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, Hart Crane and/or d.a. levy. I'd love to meet all of them. I think the first three would appreciate me (and Lix and Kix) more than other dead poets might. And it would be a dream come true to catch especially the last four reading their poetry on video. Arthur Rimbaud would be atop my list, too - but we'd need a good interpreter - as well as E.E. Cummings, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, James Joyce and William Carlos Williams. I also have an old unrequited fantasy about sharing the stage with Jim Morrison (though I have mixed feelings as to whether he qualifies as a poet I love).


  1. Corn isn't hominy
    But hominy is corn
    reading Jesus
    is like
    is like
    is like
    Heaven come early
    OH SIR
    fantastic ;-)

  2. oh I agree music is needed with this musical piece! I read and tapped my fingers :)... and yes John, it's coolt o imagine you jam with d a levy!

  3. Thank you, Charles and Nabina!

    I will be performing this piece to music on October 16th at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland. 10-string guitar master JJ Haaz will be accompanying me - maybe we can film it.

  4. hope so...

    I still think a self recorded video of you lip-syncing Elvis' Burning Love would really make my day... but I don't think that will ever see the light of day.. *sigh* But I will dare ya... anyway!

  5. We are diatonically conditioned, hence we love our thirds and fifths. And we love rules of all kinds. Crazy Cowell and Pshaw Schoenberg whispered unsweet nothings into an wide-open ear. Cracking rules, decentering octaves, opening up the endless. Everything related and ricocheting like thrown dice onto prepared piano strings.

    All somehow metaphorical for mind and culture itself decohering long enough to dance around a bonfire of inanities. To begin some zen. But mind and culture flinched.

    I have no idea what I just said. I think John's poem made me feel all beatnik-y or something.

  6. I love what you said, Tim. I'm reminded again of Adrienne Rich's assertion that "Poems are like dreams. In them we put what we don't know we know." But I suspect you have much more of an idea than you're letting on. ;)