Saturday, May 30, 2009

Popsicles and Cornbread

Last night Theresa hosted an open mic night at Dawn's and the turn out was wonderful. Theresa (who will hopefully post her "let me take you back" on this site), Assigid, Gloria and Alma (amongst others) sang, read their work, sipped coffee and chatted through an evening. Aside from being the only woman I've ever known to eat a banana with a knife and fork, Alma has wonderful stories...if you see her, you should ask her to tell you the one about her heart taking a dance class; you'll be touched.

Popcicles and Cornbread

Popcicles and cornbread
What an odd combination

But there's nothing odd about
How I fell into the conversation

It was about better times
When we had lots of fun

Popcicles in the freezer
I remember box after box

After playing jump rope
Baseball or hop scotch

For dinner there was cornbread
Fried chicken and greens
Sweet potatoes and fried corn
Y'all know what I mean

Those were the good old days
I play them over and over in my head

And when I remember mom
I'll always remember
Popcicles and cornbread

(Poem by Theresa)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another Take on What Makes Home "Home."

"As collectors mature, old teapots, procelain animals and family heirlooms take on a new humanity and suddenly the house becomes a home."

Letitia Roberts, Art & Antiques, December, 2006

Home: water color on paper mounted on board. SPM

Saturday, May 23, 2009

There's this house on Jefferson...

There's a badly sided house on Jefferson Avenue that I pass going pretty much anywhere to or from home. It is low and multi-gabled with a half-dead crab apple tree blooming in its front yard. I was walking past it the other day on my way nowhere, tripped all over the sidewalk and came up sniffing peppermint that someone planted in the back yard years ago when someone still lived in the house.

So I thought of this poem, rubbed my knee, stood up and got on with things:

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

(by Shel Silverstein)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday night music at Dawn's on Washington

George Worthmore is a small man in a straw hat with a big personality and several acoustic guitars who sang a few songs. He played a lot more.

There is something about the sound of a lovingly, skillfully played guitar and a particular kind of voice that just works with songs about tight times. I was thinking that when he went into a cover of a B.B. King song:

"If I ever get my hands on a dollar again, I'm gonna squeeze it and squeeze it 'til that eagle grins…"

I love that he didn’t require undivided attention. He stated that some music was just furniture music: it was intended to just sit there not getting in the way of what was going on at the time.

He wasn’t terribly sure of one he said hadn’t yet been played out, but he thought he’d try it anyway. Maybe it’ll fall victim of the “Swiss cheese effect”, when you get to watch it disintegrate before your very eyes. Maybe not.

He said it was called “Avenue Maria” after a street in Little Italy…And then played the most lulling version of Ave Maria I had yet heard. It was almost enough to make me a Catholic. Almost. Not quite. (But almost).

George will be at White Crow Conservatory (on Mackinaw) here in town tomorrow (Saturday) around 7PM, if you missed him at Dawn of a New Day (or "Crack of Dawn," as George thought it was called, lol.) Go. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Two Sides of a Coin

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."
A. A. Milne

You know, I keep telling Roderick this and he keeps looking at me as if I had just said something threatening to his sanity. Then he begins flitting about the house - eyebrows drawn together in concern - muttering and "clearing surfaces." Ah, well, what does one do? Fill "surfaces," that's what.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

From Hayden to Washington

The boys from the Savoy have a new house and the view from one of the upstairs windows toward the garage and Washington was pretty neat. SPM.

Monday, May 11, 2009

An average Michigan sunset over springtime fields after a long weekend of gardening out in Cass City turned out to be a reminder: After the hells of winter in this place, something as simple as an everyday sort of sunset over the most common field of weeds can be pretty incredible. Almost makes winter worth it. SPM.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dreams, Ambitions and Bleach.

Salon chat is often jolly, acidic, or wandering and is never boring. And the clientele at Salon Decadence is no exception.

I had been reading a magazine and waiting out my toner when, two chairs over from me a woman materialized like a firecracker in a toilet bowl. She was an energetic woman with dynamic red hair, Day-Glo Band-Aids on her right thumb and a personality that had no time for the work, “No.”

Dynamic asked where _____ was and was told she worked a couple doors down for more hours because she was pregnant. Dynamic shot up in her chair suddenly and said, “REALLY!? HOW GREAT!! IS IT A BOY OR A GIRL?!!

When told the couple had decided they’d like to be surprised, Dynamic said, “That’s CRAP. I HATE that. How do you shop not knowing if it’s a boy or a girl?! You don’t know whether to get blue or pink!!” And, defeated, she slumped back into her stylist’s hands.

Her stylist suggested green. I suggested going with yellow. Dynamic would have none of it, declared surprises to be elaborate crap, and announced with finality that the couple were just going to have to find out the gender of the child so she could shop appropriately.

I sat there staring at the same page of my magazine, scalp tingling, and thinking: Pink with butterflies, unicorns and princesses or blue with frogs, cowboys and knights would imply – even today – that girls are supposed to have dreams while boys are supposed to have ambitions. What a shame when we were so clearly intended to experience more than half of the universe on a good day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy."
Anne Frank

500 Block of Millard: Watercolor, pencil, charcoal on reclaimed wood panel. SPM. (Used for the poster of Jazz on Jefferson 2009)