Thursday, September 28, 2006

punk rock queen exene's top 8: dusk devils

johnny fire from FL emailed & told me exene had put the dusk devils on her myspace top 8... !!!... this is something of a small compliment, a big one, in old punk circles. it'll be gone soon, but here's the link: ... exene is a celebrity, like the great moolah or buck owens, about whom folks seem to have strong feelings. i saw her original sinners at jerry's one time, in a ear-bleedingly loud, screaming, shredding, but bouncy-fun & exciting event. exene, just a bit my senior, looked like a pretty, broken victorian thrift-shop doll. 3 chord whore's shantell had a punk rock book filled w/autographs she'd gathered from punk royalty: exene was flattered & happy to sign it. i had a scrap of paper; exene was not flattered or happy to sign it. this was one of punk rock's queens, what did i expect: pollyanna? it was a great show. not everything's personal!! ... when i was young & everything was personal, exene was to me cool & mysterious & more accessible than siouxsie of the creatures/the banshees... exene's band x was punk-poetry, but their guitarist, billy zoom, had the look & lines of rockabilly. they were quirky & stubborn people, you could tell, who covered the doors, jerry lee lewis, the troggs, whatever they wanted to, & wrote brutal & beautiful odes to LA life. they liked what they liked & i respect that, tho when their music went more metal, i stopped listening.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"some people never go crazy. what truly horrible lives they must lead." - bukowski

just concluded school wkend #2 in shaky town, the city by the bay, just can't call it san fran-sicko, that just ain't right... the 152 over pacheco pass is the way to go, i think, past the reservoir & casa de fruta, then on 101 where i stopped off in burlingame & caught the bukowski pic "factotum"... i am not shiteing you when i say i've dreamed many times of this movie house, from the windy staircases & terraced seating & partitions in the pie-shaped theatre to the mirror-backed tree growing in the foyer. it should've been creepy to finally see it, but it was downright cool & wasn't weird a bit! fri night a lovely & gracious 1st grade/art teacher put me up in her bernal hts home & i went walking in the cool eve & had the greatest malted at this little hamburger joint full of winking lights & flowers & chromed surfaces.
sat's classes dazzled me. after near-15 yrs in elementary ed, i'm so grateful to receive education (& to know i still can learn!)... my favorite teacher is neeli, who was drinking buddies with bukowski & has formidable credentials in beat poetry, street & school, life & learning: he's in line to be poet laureate of san francisco right now. he's this beautiful, broken-toothed, brilliant, big-hearted soul who spins wildly fascinating, rambling lectures. when the profs get going, & neeli especially, my heart pounds like it's love or music... it's too thrilling to learn learn learn, & i feel grateful, humbled, invigorated. Man has specific manifestations, but Man is one: i love it. i'm a bit of a slouch in the group, mebbe, having majored in english tho i should've majored in "pub" & learned little formally, but i feel worthy of my seat. i may not have big school breeding, comparative classics muscle, or polyglotism, but i've got life & i've got willingness &, doing the new college program, i'm getting my heart & soul back. (bukowski said, "if you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose.") a little more on neeli: ...he & gary tombleson, the program's keen & regal director, took a road trip to smellay for the donation of bukowski's writings to the huntington. the info is here: ... tho it doesn't feel as funky-safe as austin or as rambling-romantic as LA, sf's mission's diversity & rhythm invigorate me: stopping in for a burrito-blimp that lulls the maw all day, rummaging thru free books on a sidewalk, hanging out at a corner to listen to mexican or jazz music coming from bars while watching yuppies walk dogs & realizing that HERE, i look like a square, L7, a dork... cool! no one cares how much makeup i have on or what i'm wearing; no one stares, like happens at times in bako. it's like when i was a kid & wished to have powers of invisibility, but it's real & i can reappear at will, by smiling at or greeting a passer-by... due to brain drain, i forwent more movies at the corner roxie theatre ( ) & hit the road, on the way home cheered to realize, tho my nocturnal vision's getting awful dim, if i can be a chase car & have music, i can drive all night: chicago soul, old crow medicine show on prairie home companion, classic country & western, reprises of creepy, wild wolfman jack shows: the songs kept the truck rolling & i was home before 10, greeted by spouse & menagerie.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

i see ghosts... getting eddicated in books and in life

took niece to bookstore so she could get the latest manga mag she wanted. thought i'd get a few texts for my sf-masters program, like henry V, civilization & its discontent... looked to my left & a sandy-haired man was walking the opposite aisle from me, quickly, to keep pace w/me, smiling w/bright eyes & a mischievous smile. i was knocked for a loop cause it was a ghost from the far past, someone who'd broke my heart, who i never should've been with, but someone who suffered giant heartache himself recently when his famous & ignoring daddy died. i felt great sympathy for this fellow when his dad passed b/c i remembered how sad he was that he hardly got dad's attention; a very talented singer himself, his heart was broken because all he wanted was to sing on stage w/his pop just once, but he knew it wouldn't happen.
and it didn't. son continued to fail, it seemed, & dad continued to ignore, tho i guess in the last days, son got to be there for his ailing father. i extended my hand but he wanted a hug (he was the guy who taught me to hug & be friendly, tho ironically he'd learned it in a phony & glad-handing way)... i was shocked by how he'd changed, from a burly linebacker, baby-faced kinda guy to this handsome but aged, sad-eyed, thin fellow, about my height w/me in platform shoes. we chatted just a little. i felt he was looking for cheering up. he introduced me to his scared-looking little girl. i'd seen them before, two yrs ago, & at that time the child looked scared, too. that family was taught to be suspicious... a child that age, it seemed to me, should be happy & trusting, but obviously that wasn't what she'd seen & learned. this was worst of all, to think that the same suspicion & fear the ex-beau felt was being carried on as some kind of family tradition... i guess when people wish for fame, they (i) should consider its consequences on soul & family. i would not want to have led the life this fellow has...
it was the longest relationship i had at that time. i was a child & we were mired in partying. he was raised rich but ignored, right-wing, blustering, uneducated, emotionally abused. i was raised lower mid-class, lonely but loved, idealistic, educated, backward. he told me one time i was the only girl who didn't want his money. i thought i could save him. seeing him, i was reminded that i'd left a tiny bit of my heart with him. the feeling seemed to be reciprocal. i'd sent him condolences thru a friend, & as i walked away, he said, "thank you for the card." i looked back & he said, with sincerity in his eyes, "i mean it. thank you." (i include this picture, taken over 20 yrs ago w/brother jack, because jack one time dunked my head in a fountain at magic mtn when i was being an immature little brat. so jack was one of the very few people i knew back then who'd here & there let me know how out of line i was!... the original pic also showed their uncle dale, but since i didn't know the man, it didn't seem fitting to put him here.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

the daughter of the yodeling blonde bombshell & leaving downtown school

(pic from today was my last day teaching at a high-profile public school in the middle of town... of course, it took me 5 yrs, 2 wks to realize people there cared. self-centeredness can make a person (me) really dense! anyway, i will miss the kind, generous staff there, the retired-nfl-looking, southern-gentleman crossing guard, the sunny daycare gal who'd come in after school to have homework class, the office & cafeteria staff, our short, strong custodian-lady, &, of course, the children... i was able to have some fun side projects while at that school, like a backyard b-movie society, a local underground paper that's still publishing, a band... but now that part of my life is past for the most part & next wk i start that masters program in san francisco. whoopee! and uh-oh... but i guess change is always scary.
tonight i got to go to b2 studios & lay down a piano part for fattkatt's record. sharon marie opened the door & i saw in her pretty, friendly face her mama, carolina cotton, with whom i taught at mt vernon school for several yrs. when i knew her, mrs cotton had been teaching for decades & was well-respected, retirement age: may she rest in peace.
sharon marie is nice & easy-going as can be & devoted to her mama's memory. for in addition to being a well-known, old-school, caring, dedicated teacher, carolina cotton as a young woman was a beautiful, slender blonde western singer who acted in movies w/gene autry & the likes! she could yodel, sing in english & spanish in a warm, pretty voice, & smile & entertain in a most lovely and inviting way. i remember her being quite beautiful as an old woman, with sky-blue eyes, a patrician nose, & a pretty smile.
rockabillies & country-western music fans should get carolina's cd, which sharon, who mastered her mother's music from original acetates, has available. the western swing music is upbeat, nostalgic, & wonderful. :) . here are some links: (sharon's studio) ; (carolina cotton) ; (carolina cotton on myspace) ...