Len Mosley composed and performed all the music which inspired the words. Len’s kind-of-jazzy track has a great pop-with-swing feel that reminded me of Dire Straits. The swing vibe and his request to ‘write something nostalgic’ led to a train of thought about a childhood memory I’d started to write about a while back. I’d been stuck because it was too literal (it’s all true) to be a poem and not long enough to be a short story.
After I’ve listened to it a few times it seems the music and the lyric are made for each other. The guitar break in the middle section has a pretty, innocent sound which suggested simple pleasures to me and Len’s keyboard work even reminds me a bit of fairground music.
Thanks Len for another great collaboration from 7700 km away!
Originally written as why I didn’t go to mike ladd’s 50th birthday party, a kind of ‘the dog ate my homework’ letter of apology to my Max-Mo mate, poet Mike Ladd. The story’s 100% true. I still lack feeling (and always will) in the finger tip, making certain guitar chords and shakuhachi notes difficult. My carelessness also resulted in missing a really good party by all accounts. But quite a decent poem came out of it… Thanks to Anandamine for the cool music & production.
Why I missed Mike Ladd’s 50th Birthday Party.
The tractor-mower hits a stump on the slope and
flips in a second. Thrown off, earphones ripped from
the iPod when Sergio is between mas que na and da.
Then an adrenalin-fuelled leap to avoid
being crushed between tractor and post
and trailing fingers go thump in the blades.
When the eyes see the end of the finger hanging,
a flap of mincemeat, a second thump of the heart –
orchestral stab in a horror movie soundtrack.
The other hand squeezes
mashed flesh to stem the flow.
The drive to Flinders Medical Centre, cold sweat
dripping into eyes, blood dripping on gumboots,
willing myself to breathe slowly. Pain like hot needles.
At a time when I was busy with exams at school a few weeks ago and there wasn’t much time to squeeze in any writing, it was particularly gratifying to get a little bit of recognition for a poem I’d written in the ancient castle town of Sasayama back in March. Yoko had taken us to a tiny museum of ancient wooden noh masks and I was drawn to one which had an uncanny resemblance to my friend Toshi. Later in a souvenir shop there was a little post box inviting people to submit haiku so I scribbled one out and put it in. (We’d also seen these invitations to the public and haiku letter-boxes in the other castle-town of Matsuyama.) Months later I get a nice packet of Japanese green tea and a letter from Sasayama thanking me for my contribution and a printed version of a poem which would be a mystery to most gaijin without the wordy preceding preamble!