Monthly Archives: January 2015


One thing Clark Gable and Jackson Browne have in common is the nonuse of their first names. Wikipedia says they were born Clyde Jackson Browne and William Clark Gable. Another thing they had in common was their alleged scandalous involvement with movie stars. Mr. Browne was with Daryl Hannah and Mr. Gable was with Loretta Young. Ms. Hannah has alleged that Browne physically abused her; Ms. Young alleged that Mr. Gable fathered her child. One story has been discredited; one has not.

Both of these fellows indulged in derring-do. Jackson Browne wrote one of the greatest protest songs of the 20th Century, “Lives in the Balance.” Mr. Gable flew combat missions in WWII.

And why do I put myself in their company? Well, my hair is straight and used to be brown, like Jackson’s; my moustache is semi-sparse, like Clark’s. All three of us did some time in California. None of us is 99 and 44/100 % pure. And all three of us have had a woman close to us die before her time.

But that isn’t it. Not really. The thing is, Jackson Browne and Clark Gable both possess a quality I want. They have both been Champions, and so I wish to be. I’m not a Champion yet, but I’m encouraged by my Champion’s Training of late.

No need to wish me luck, Friends. If I have it in me to be a Champion, Luck is something I won’t need.

A week ago my dear and wonderful friend of more than twenty-four years, Karen Wilkinson, was alive and well. Friday she was stricken and felled by a brain aneurysm. Monday they removed life support and, I infer, harvested what organs of hers they could use.

While she was still not technically dead, I tried feebly to do creative things. Here’s what I did on Sunday the 4th:

001 002

The would-be poem seems finished but is not. After Karen died, I tried again, and wrote what I intend to read at the Caffeine Corridor poetry event tomorrow night:

fiddle away over and out

there was this girl in a jeans skirt in the spring of 1990
librarian glasses and face and demeanor like talia shire in rocky
but with a violin that spoke for her
boldly stepping into the sound of the livingroom band she’d just joined
and the girl and her fiddle turned three needy guitars into contrapuntal gold
at times trumping them with platinum

years later “roller derby queen” by jim croce reached new heights
when during the instrumental the sound crescendoed
and the fiddle did a trick of stringzipping into the stratosphere
followed by a beat of complete and magic silence
followed by the resumption of the raucous rollicking sound

the girl and her fiddle went with her piano-playing pal to jazz camp
and they grinned and grinned on their return

elsewhere in 2007
much of the band went to a cabin near grand lake colorado
played and played and sang and danced and snored and hiked and played and played
the promised moose never showed but the music flowed and made all all right
and the fiddler bent and swayed with that music and folded her excellence into it

her face focused transcendence
her rosined bow a dervish

sometimes she’d take the fiddle away from her chin and sing
because she wanted to hold voice-hands with the rest of us

and through a miracle of wishful thinking and overdub
i hear her voice and fiddle now together

Tick, tick, tick. The Deadline Clock is inexorable. The Glendale Juried art show will cease accepting entries at noon on Saturday, January 3rd. But I and my entry or entries (max: 2) must be there by 10:30am or sooner, because I and my Sweetheart must be miles away by 11:15.

Here is a work in progress, and it has a LONG ways to go–and that’s not counting matting and framing. (Faithful blog readers will recognize it as compositionally similar to “Spectral Sanctums,” but words have been excised and the ubiquitous Spoon added.)

back to the drawing board 010115

I may not meet the dreaded Deadline, but it’s great to be using the drawing board for something other than a dumping ground for stacks of papers and other impedimenta.

Wish me luck, Friends!