Wandering through the West Bottoms of Kansas City, which means huge brick buildings of times past coupled with a small assortment of automobiles of the NOW in strange contrast–except for the graveyard of Dodge trucks I shot as they rust en mass–I discovered CoCo. Didn’t see the man until after I parked what my offspring call the ‘tiny kgb mobile’ in a random spot, got out and started searching for how to shoot to the green windowed building with the odd curve and pigeons lounging about. Lucky for me there’s not much traffic in the Bottoms and what there is, you HEAR approaching in plenty of time to get out of its path. Down in the Bottoms a stark silence pervades where for much of the time pigeon cooing dominates the airwaves. Bricks and birds grabbed my eye as I prowled the um, well, so called streets with the remains of cobblestones and very commendable water puddles–little ponds expanding. It’s not always easy finding shots among these monuments to another time. Sometimes they just don’t give away any secrets no matter how you search. But this day they were practically gushing with fleeting lighting on still strong bricks, fading logos, broken windows, chains, a white couch, and even the ‘mission’–where the guys waiting for a ‘break’ just laughed and nodded from where they sprawled on the side of the building when I asked if I could take their picture. Well, one dude did ask that I not show the photo to America’s Most Wanted–I assured him I wouldn’t. But the gem of all my treasure hunting was CoCo. It was in the view window of my old minolta x-700 that I caught him in the bottom right hand corner as I spanned for a shot of the bricks and cement. Man on his hands and knees poking at the bottom layer of bricks on a building. Shot him there, a small speck in that otherworldly landscape. Then, being the nosey bugger I am, I ventured closer and closer wanting the leaves of the vines barely visible through a space between two fallen walls. Approaching I noticed the headphones on the young man’s head that kept him form hearing my steps. But his sharp eyes caught me soon enough and we commenced introductions. He grinned devishly for a portrait I hope to hell comes out half as well as I ‘saw’ him. CoCo was gettin’ ready for a R&B singing gig that night, the middle of three in a row–each at different venues. On his hands and knees with a scraper and screwdriver he was digging out the old mortar between the bricks so that he could put in new mortar and hopefully steam the water falling into the building’s basement. But that’s not where his head was at all—oh no, the young man named CoCo in homage to the legendary Koko Taylor, was working on his passion all the while he was scrapping that old mortar out. CoCo J. Jackson’s head was in the music moving through his headphones and taking him into the club for that night’s gig.
July 29, 2009 at 10:52 pm (Uncategorized)
Tags: "show sucks guy", attitude, Ben Johnson, chamber music, community, Dr. Mike, entertainment, free speech, Issues, KKFI, LA Theatre Works, LIVE, radio, Radio Redux, random, thoughts, Vibes with Val
It’s Wednesday in my time zone and that means the Radio Redux hosted by none other then Ben Johnson streaming live on the web via www.kkfi.org
Johnson also hosts the Paragon Radio show midnight to 5 am on Mondays…and he takes on all callers. Yes, you too if you so desire.
I love Wednesday night at KKFI cause after Redux there’s L.A. Theatre Works–and it’s damn better than anything on the ‘box’ that has gotten so much dumber since it got more channels and less of everything else.
If you dig Chamber Music, well, The Doctor will prescribe some for your evening listening pleasure. Oh yeah Dr. Mike does the dj gig live. Nothing canned here.
Vibes With Val vibrates into the dark hours and……I kid not, you can check the program guide and see for yourself–Vibes with Val—oh and what a voice she has…..!!
Ha, BORED? Blog and listen to whatever comes through the radio of your webnet…..there’s always the delete key.
We make no promises except that this IS COMMUNITY RADIO TOTALLY FREE AND INDEPENDENT around the globe via the world wide web…
salute FREE SPEECH –even for ‘show sucks guy’.
“Just on the western edge of the storm”
Wondering what you’ll think when you recall, as you will–mind being what it is–of my saying
“I desire a thunderstorm–a magnificent one at that.”
Thunder has moved on
We have not
Which way to go
Follow the rain clouds
Venture in opposite directions
What is required? Patience or rudeness?
You working the elk
skin and ink
red, black, green, yellow
modern day old age frieze
Me working words
Morning whispers soft
Desires redefining secrets
Carried by clouds
Coyote—no tricking today—curiousity compels creature’s observation.
finding void your space
shatters glass hands
numbed core cracks
there is something left to break
suddenly everything known about hurt is surpassed
all preferable to this deep freezing fissuring
Who passes here?
Who passed there?
Just beyond your sight
We pass here
We passed there
we ripple along the wind’s tides
we walk through moonlight
we glide upon tree whispers
we sing the sun’s song in the shade
Invisible to you perhaps
But still we pass
Our scat still enriches all ground
tenderly we pass
soft in our tracks
still we pass
with each light step
with each mindful breath
through the pass
Shades are swinging hot at 18th and Vine;
Six o seven am or any time.
Cruisin’ along, my business is mine.
The Gem is alight~~
Sax blasting through dwindling night.
Streets are alive
With the pure energy of jive.
Is beggin’ for the cords of a Lady Day.
Forget those Plaza Fountains~~
Catch that joyous shoutin’ ;
Soul is grovin’,
Feet are movin’,
Time is fluid~
Just got to do it.
Dancin’ Dames and Jumpin’ Dudes~
Music is their sole food.
Ain’t no jukebox humpin’:
Ouch! Ain’t Parker’s horn somethin’?
Basie’s hell bent piano pumpin’.
Ghosts aint the only ones bebopin’~
Hearts full throttle rockin’~
There just ain’t no stoppin’~
Ya forget it all
When you’re havin’ a ball
Just losing yer mind along 18th and Vine.
Hand drum painted with two black faded birds @ 1890 Lakota
Tiny sky blue beaded moccasins, one turned sole up to boast beaded bottom @ 1890 Lakota
Rawhide rectangular box, cream colored background with red, blue, green, and yellow diamonds @ 1890 Lakota
Beaded long arm gloves, white with blue and red decoration @ 1890 Lakota
Boy’s vest, red cloth with delicate white flower print inside, outside white beaded ground for warriors, horses, feathered head-dresses, guns @ 1890 Lakota
no boy would give this up to a ‘collector’
Women’s moccassins—white beads, blue triangle shapes, flap covers tongue, left toe pointing inward @ 1890 Lakota
what woman would leave these behind?
Did all travel to Portland, Oregon in these bags @ 1890 Lakota?
far, far way from Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota all these Lakota circa 1890
no coyotes here
except the one in the photograph from a magazine
it stares every time I open/close the door
a grandmother with twin girls walking along the pond spoke to me today
odd twins–different eggs–not identical
odder yet her conversing with me who ‘fits’ nowhere
except perhaps in a complex sentence
and next to you
not satisfied with it
the day that is
I could go to Shakespeare in the park
but I do not
I could go to the malls
but I never do
I could shop
I do not unless something is needed–nothing is needed
there is no wind blowing hard making my shawl fly
stars were clear at 4 am this morning
rain is supposed to come for four days
I can not find Waterlily
a bike ride would be nice– to ride around the lake
an old bike
a bike without gears or handbrakes
just a simple affair with two wheels and pedals, a seat
a horse might be better
turtles in the roads
you talking in the darkness
the little piece is finished with its cloud birds and mountains, red hand stretching reaching
am viewed askance when I drop off small watercolors and elsewhere film
is it the mauve dress?
my ‘free’ in the day being?
or just ‘me’ as usual not looking quite like whatever it is they expect me to look like
I don”t care, never have
their stuff that
but I do notice
have to–self defence
yet I know from how the young Russians came straight to me at the bus stop outside the airport in DC
was aware of them searching the waiting line for someone who might take them in hand, somehow, confirm their counting of bus fare bills, assure them the bus was right
I saw it in his and her faces as they looked at mine
bone structure old european enough to draw them like moths
the power of dna
confirmed their hopes, counted bills
on the way we spoke of Akhamatova, Pushkin, Bulgakov and how to not flash open wallets in public, keeping the shoulder purse closed,
enough to attract the interest of others
older black gentleman who silently offered four fives for their twenty
young Blake who knew the metro route and later kindly escorted them on red when I went blue
forty minutes, two young Russians, one older and one young African American man, and me
all converging in the back of a bus to the metro station
my face was old world and they found it in the new
this one almost invisible
tread only if you dare
how strong is the heart
too hoof weary to venture so far
is the path too strange
too far from the known range
is this mystery too deep
its steps too steep
gaps too wide
willing to forsake it for the deep sleep
“We will be extinct!”
this will not be so
it will not come to pass
listens to this innermost pain
this Cassandra knows speaking truth is never welcome
~even good is never well received
like the first
she stands on the precipice
waiting for the forthcoming fall
in stillness she has learned
pain can be transforming
joy can birth
even from the farthest fall into the abyss
in waiting finds patience
patience uncovers substance
substance discovers infinity
semblance of calm surfaces
at what price come such revelations
~finds truth in what she has not spoken
~with it, relief~
the universe requires certain things