Tag Archives: Lefty Frizzell

LJ Interests Meme Results

Borrowed from Ed Book. After reading his results, I was intringued, but did not imagine that my own results would prove equally as insightful. I’m really quite surprised at how closely this set of ten selected interests REALLY sums up a good part of who I am.

  1. bukowski:
    Poetry, in a world that discounts art, that praises mediocrity, that devalues beauty by worshipping youth, is not pretty. That to me is the lesson of Bukowski. Combine that with his general philosophy that great writers are born, not made, and I’m hooked.
  2. dictionaries:
    Words, words and more words. For a time, I used to read the dictionary for relaxation. Words have power; to know the name of a thing is to control it. Likewise, to know the origin of a word is to understand your own history. I’ve always been fascinated with learning new words, new ideas, new facts.
  3. gil scott-heron:
    The power of the word to fuel a revolution. The tangible strength of the spoken voice to connect the earth to the sky and rumble the foundations of power. I remember the first time I listened to “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox” all the way through; it was not just the stuff of revolution, it was revelation. This was what poetry, when harnessed to will and a microphone, was capable of doing. This was slam without competition; this was performance.
  4. india:
    Apparently, my first word was “elephant”. I have always been drawn to India: her people, her languages, her diversity, her religions, her extremes, her history.

    Om namah shivaya

  5. lefty frizzell:
    Wow. So far, this interests grabber is right on the money. Lefty Frizzell represents the clarity, phrasing, intelligence, humor and lyricism of traditional country. He is one of my all-time country music idols, and paved the way for many others – Willie, Merle, George Jones, Roger Miller, and me.
  6. perennial philosophy:
    This phrase, used but probably not first coined by Aldous Huxley in his book, sums up my life’s spiritual quest: to find the common threads that run through all religious traditions; to seek the truth that does not fade although its names change from generation to generation; to learn to appreciate the journey spent along the shore communing with the ocean, rather than grasping for a single grain of sand to call the answer.
  7. revolution:
    To change the world by changing oneself; to call for a reinforcement of evolution; to participate in the world at the speed of now, moving with the spheres as they revolve. To constantly challenge the status quo; to resist the urge to stay self-satisfied; to never be satisfied with “because it’s always been that way” or “you can’t fight City Hall” or “no fish ever got caught, ‘cept it opened its mouth”.
  8. sonnets:
    So short, so simple, so compact, those fourteen little lines. Ah, you can take your Milton, Steven Vincent Benet, Longfellow, Poe, Pope and other such longwinded fellows; and give it to me sweet and intricate. To master the sonnet is to understand what it means to call poetry an art form. It is to appreciate the limitations of language, and at the same time, comprehend its infinity. That’s not an easy lesson to learn, absorb or accept.
  9. vedanta:
    Two of the most influential books in my life have been “The Gospel According to Sri Ramakrishna” and “The Complete Writings of Vivekananda”. It’s my understanding that these two sources form the basis for much of what is called “modern” Hinduism. Certainly, this was the form that reached the West, and has influenced so many of the writers and thinkers that I love and respect.
  10. zen:
    The first Eastern religion that I attempted to practice was Zen Buddhism. It represents, to me, cutting through illusion and simply living in each moment; applying the principle of Occam’s Razor to each and every act, each breath, each word.

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Obviously Lefty Frizzell

I’ve always been obsessed, thematically, with silence, journeys, and the contexts in which real “life-changing” epiphanies occur. It seems to me that one of these places is on the road touring (and it seems to be backed up by what I’ve read of folks who spend a LOT of time on the road). You either figure yourself out, or lose yourself, somewhere out on the interstate.

The title is an acknowledgment of Kris Kristofferson as a motivating force for me as a songwriter. It’s a Dylan-like off-the-cuff expression, yet intended as an homage to a type of singer-songwriter that really no longer exists.

In the back of the bus
watching cigarette butts in the ashtray
as the lights from the middle
of nowhere recede in the night
There’s a song on radio, softly it’s playing,
while some local preacher continues his praying
but forgiveness comes slow
to those who believe they are right

In the back of his mind
thoughts collide with the words that he’s forming
as the melody reaches
a sleeping form in the next row
There’s a song on radio, maybe he wrote it,
Maybe the next time the gun won’t be loaded
but memory serves only those
who believe it is so

In the back of his head
his eyes turn to observe through the window
As the fly-over country he’s crossing
slips under the road
There’s a song on the radio, sales figures pending,
It’s all about paying for years of pretending
but time sure ain’t money,
you never get more than you owe

In the back of the guidebook
it mentions a beautiful cavern
As the ice ages ravaged,
it found itself left underground
There’s a song on the radio, selling its wonders,
And out in the night there’s a brief clap of thunder
But hearing a warning is not much
like heeding its sound

In the back of the bus
with the strings of his guitar still humming
As the slow dawn approaches
and opens a wearying eye
There’s a song on the radio, worn out and faded
From one more lost cowboy who thought that he made it
But thoughts are the last thing you need
when you’re trying to get by

Stage lights just prove
that you came from the shadows.
They’re never a permanent high.


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