Monday, January 30, 2006

Slow Bash

The blind do not lose their looks at an early age
They do not have to carry fire wood
In baskets on broad shoulders
The blind can however
Read the faint brail
On every stone
In the valley

Thursday, January 26, 2006


The blind man ran into his friend
Flavio de LaToyota
Outside the organic food co-op
The Japanese-Italian American
Started asking questions
You still writing those haikus?
Ever get any of them published?
Still struggling in obscurity?
That’s fantastic my friend
Flavio took him by the arm
Led him over to a sidewalk table
Can we get two espressos over here?
Ever hear of Angelina Jolie?
How about Bono?
Of course you have, they’re famous
Ever hear of David Straldata?
How about Amelia Kretchburg?
Great! They’ve never heard of you either.
He is an abstract painter
With a garage full of unseen masterpieces
She composes sonatas for felines
Horrible screeching things
But what do I know about classical music?
We are building a new collective
Anonymous Artists For Peace
We’ve decided that the famous
And well known have had their chance
Bono keeps meeting presidents
Angelina keeps going to rallies
Yet the world is still at war
The refugee camps are overflowing
So are you with us, my unpublished comrade?
You ready to bring peace in under the radar?
The celebrities are out numbered
By the masses of odd, hidden, secluded
Anonymous Artists For Peace
Will you lend your obscure creativity
To this noble cause?
Think you could come up with
A haiku about Darfur Sudan?
Can I put it on the AA4P website?
Who knows, maybe an agent will see it?

Download AA4P so you can say you were hip to it before TEE sold out and started thinking they were all that!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Man of Danger

The blind man takes a job
He answers phones
At the off-track betting parlor
He finds the strident voices
Of the track announcers
Strangely compelling
Mixed with the stale smells
Of cigarettes, perfume
Whiskey and beer
It stirs up a smoky
Cocktail of intrigue
He sips and savors
Every week night
From 7 until 11 PM

He imagines himself
A minor character from
The Sting
Minus the Ragtime piano
He is the charming criminal
With a heart of gold
Waiting for the swish
Of silk stockings
His late night lover
Drawn to him at last

“Hey, handsome, got a light?”

He keeps his lighter
Fully fueled
In his pants pocket

Download Man of Danger before the Feds shut us down.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Film for the Blind

It started off innocently enough. Some friend of a friend of a friend invites me to have a drink after a gig. He is a film director, the cousin or nephew or some such relation of a famous movie mogul, but he doesn’t use the name because he wants to make it on his own merits. He is bearded, frazzled, and hunched over like an old man, but he can’t be more than 35. He orders something shaken not stirred and gets me a beer. He keeps leaning forward, peering through the tiny space between the top of his glasses and the brim of his Greek fisherman’s hat. He’s been talking for several minutes about how shitty Hollywood films are, but I think I missed a transition somewhere.

He has just finished an over long sentence with, “…blindness is the metaphorical affliction of our times, man.”
“So,” I ask him, “your film is about a blind guy?”
“Not just about a blind person, but for the blind.” He waves a cocktail onion dangerously between us. “It is literally a Film, For, The, Blind.”
He pauses watching me for signs of enlightenment, waiting to see if I get it.
“A film for the blind,” I parrot back at him.
“Yes!” He is ecstatic. Apparently I have responded in the appropriate manner.
“Yes! I told Francis you were tuned in to this. I played him your song, Secret Ocean—deep, man. Deeeep. Life is a river, man. I knew you would see the importance of cinema for the blind.”
“So are you going to have descriptive audio for the visually impaired?” I asked.
“No, the film will be an emersion into the world as it is for the blind. Everyone will be equally blind when they see this film. You will be blinded by this film.”
“So the soundtrack would be pretty important,” I offered.
“Ex-friggin-lactly,” he said, fist striking the table. The cocktail onion wobbled and rolled, disappearing onto the floor. “I’ve got the best special effects guy in the business working the visuals. Stole him from the ranch. George is pissed, man. But I’ve been struggling, looking for the perfect music for this project. Then I heard you guys. Thunder-friggin-Echo, man.”
“Well, I’m glad you like our music,” I said lamely. “Not knowing much about your film, we would kind of be shooting in the dark. So if you could send us a script or some rough cuts or dailies or whatever you call them. Then we could come up with something that matches the film.”
“No, man. I want you going into this blind. I want you to shoot in the dark. I want you to compose music blind. Then I will meld it with the film I am shooting. Blindness is a mode of friggin operation, man, not just a metaphor.”
“Sounds like the blind leading the blind to me,” I said.
“Absa-friggin-lutely, man!”

I should have said “thanks, but no thanks.” But I didn’t, and 4 or 5 drinks later I was starting to get sucked in by this guy’s weird energy. I was sure he was doing something important. And he wanted the Thunder Echo Ensemble to be a part of “cinematic history, man, cine-friggin-matic history.”

It turned out to be a Waste Of Time.

Download, Waste Of Time, the soundtrack to the film for the blind that was never made.

Waste of Time

To the 23 fans of The Thunder Echo Ensemble worldwide, who have been asking what happened to the band after our disastrous world tour last year, I can finally let the monkey out of the bag: TEE has been recording music in the studio as part of a film project. But like most things TEE, the film has gone sour (more about that in future posts), the lawyers are circling overhead and we have been told we can’t sell our new music. And we thought the music business sucked! Movie guys are even worse…

So we are officially bootlegging our own music and offering it for free on our website. That’s right; the contracts say we can’t sell it. They don’t say that we can’t give it away for free.

So go to the website:
And download the new Thunder Echo Ensemble album: Waste of Time.
For Free. But only if you have lots of time to waste, because the zip file is huge.
Do your part to piss off the Hollywood Business Complex, a hundred or so lawyers, an egomaniacal director, two minor celebrities, one film festival organizer, and the IT manager at your work. Download the file, listen to the songs, and Waste some Time.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Zany Spokesperson

Paid to stir the Monkey
From his deep sleep
The Starshine Dracula
Lingered over the Sound Check

Don’t waste double time
Or November Bass Clefs
Ming’s left-handed Suzuki method
Cleans socks and clocks

Apathetic heaving and cleaving
Leads to frantic panic
And Demon Days
For Offical Parking Man

Oh Monkey
Can you hear me?
Testing, one, two, three…

Don't Write In Books

Books are precious
And must be treated with respect
Others wiser and more important
Than you decide what gets printed
Accept your place
Keep your crayons to yourself

Don’t write in books
Don’t expect to have a conversation here
Just take what you are given
Don’t ask questions
Don’t add comments
You are lucky to have these words

Bow down before the monuments
Of history and their inscriptions
Ignore the fact that archeologists
Learn more from the graffiti
Scratched on the walls
Than they get from the official
Proclamations of the Pharaohs

“Adjib slept here”
“The priest cannot keep his wife in bed”
“Isis fed her husband’s member to the fish”

Don’t write in books

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oh Brother

Divine comedies make me giggle
Because the universe really does
Need another website

On slippery roof tops
Fathers rehearse fiddlers
While sons and daughters
Do their best in the mud below

Last year was not the best
But living through a bad year
Is better than the worst
Of the two alternatives

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Squid Ink

I slink into cracks
Far beneath the surface
Frightened spurts of squid ink
Reveal more about me than I like
But unlike the spiral nautilus
I have removed my shell
To lie quivering

Never before have my
Inky words reached
So far and so many
But the message
Remains the same


Friday, January 13, 2006

Heart through a Pinhole

Your love is gonna drown
Circling the drain holes
In this unassembled world
Tab A into Slot B, please

A thousand words
Can’t define the shambles
Beating like a bomb
In my chest

Forever and a day
We’ve watched
The great parade
Hoping for a change

Misery loves company
But company never calls
It just leaks slowly
From the pinholes

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Waiting for High Tide

I hang out on the beach
Because it is better than bookstores
Or bustling coffee shops
The sand gets into my clothes
Finds its way into my hair
But it is less grating
Than the caffeinated cheer
And the false attempts
To be of assistance
Gulls never ask, “Can I help you?”
Crabs don’t look at me askance
When I explain that I am
Just looking
Looking to fill eighteen hours
Hours of another day
Another day

You are gone
Gone, but your castles linger
Not yet washed away by the waves
The tide does not reach that high
Not on this beach
Not in this shop

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Trigger Points

Ignorance officially answers
Questions of control
And spontaneity

Backhanded openness
Discerns curiosity
And foreboding

Pass me a smoke
Poetry is bullshit

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Questions of Constitution
May well result in litigation:
Crying “Dynamite” in a crowded theater
Or selling wolf tickets
To cowboys and their lobbyists
May push the plunger
Down into the iron grip of night
That quiet abode of darkness
Where sparks of indignation
Flare up into explosions
Of Change.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Novena to the Tommy Gun

You want a piece of me?
I offer myself, soul and body to You,
Eternal Spirit of God.
Take that, you dirty yellow rat!
I adore the brightness of your purity,
The unerring keenness of Your justice,
And the might of Your love.
You’ll never take me alive, Coppers.
Come and get me!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Worse Than Escape

Gramophone bookends
Uncle ho’s girlfriend
Makes up her own verse
Never needs to rehearse

She just may escape
A death worse than fate