Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I sure don’t want to be
one of those two old guys sitting in the balcony:
a grizzled, bitter muppet who makes fun of everything
and never gets up off his ass, and on the stage to sing.
Maybe I’m a geezer, but I’ve got a youthful heart
that’s ready, anytime, to get on stage and do my part;
could be that I’ll look foolish, but I’ve done that bit before:
been some kind of a fool for almost thirty years or more.
‘Cause I can play the guitar and sing circles ’round a song;
the feeling that I get on stage can’t possibly be wrong:
that you can change the world with music, if you only try.
I’ll be an old musician, ’til I die.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I learned back in the day
that every kind of music’s good, in its own unique way;
from Lawrence Welk and Hee-Haw, and the Porter Wagoner show
I figured out there is no song that you can’t make your own.
Maybe it’s kinda crazy, but I wish you’d take a chance
on an old guitar picker who’s too old to learn to dance;
together, we could play some things that are worth listening to,
and change the world, if only for a brief hour or two.
‘Cause I can play the guitar; hell, I’ve played for thirty years;
that should be worth some to you, at the start of your career:
let my voice of experience assist you while you try.
to grow as a musician, ’til you die.
Maybe I’m a dreamer, my whole life spent out of sync;
why ain’t he rich or famous, I can hear some of you think.
You’re right, to some degree, but money ain’t the only thing.
Sometimes, the prize is that you get to sing.
18 JAN 2007
If you were to ask me, say, how to make it in the Music business, what you needed to know and where you needed to be seen, heard or known, I could probably give you a pretty intelligent answer. Likewise, if you needed advice regarding a career in information technology, although my training there is mostly on-the-job and catch-as-catch-can, I have enough of a formal foundation there to be of some use.
But with writing, and Poetry, being completely self-taught as I am, I feel at a great loss. Sure, I deconstructed Poetry in high school (20 years ago now), and could blunder through the basics of theme, presentation, person and character. But I’ve never had the advantage of a complete college education in English, say, or the plus of a BFA or BA that seems to form the underlying knowledge base of a “real” poet. Maybe that’s a misperception on my part. After all, I’ve been writing Poetry for almost 30 years now, 12 of those years pretty immersed in self-study and volume production. So I’ve learned SOME things. But it’s like that last year of a four year degree in any “artistic” field – that’s when you learn how to present yourself, how to organize a collection, how to put together a resume, etc. Up until that point, you’re just working the mechanics of it, learning the language.
So where does one go from here? How do you know when your work is good enough to submit for publication? I mean, there has to be a certain point where you “know”, regardless of whatever feedback you may receive from friends and family, that what you can do is either schlock, average, typical, pretty good, great or genius. Whose opinion do you trust?
Maybe I’m just stuck. I don’t know.