swingback Saturday (if the shoe fits)


retrograde in spring (unf’d)

curses, mercury
in concert w/a full moon
to leave me scattered

mad as a hatter
(aptly named, that element)
& what hard winter

to precede this turn
of events, the whole night sky
one cold roulette wheel

or concentric
opposite cyclones
spun out above this hemisphere

game-player of an imp, you!
return my phone calls!
my better letters!




(five years gone since I wrote this — so many more since that time/place — le sigh)

06 April, 2012

It can be a real chore accounting for the last 18 years. In a nutshell, I left school, failed at several relationships, fronted or semi-fronted three failed bands, moved from Bowling Green to Toledo back to Youngstown and ultimately to Chicago, worked a few jobs and counted the grey hairs slowly invading my pate. 1994 to today has been a veritable lifetime, during which I guess I’ve led many lives. 

So, 18 years ago today … 

(my first) senior year at Bowling Green …

 a grey, rainy friday morning a year into the first Bill Clinton administration … 

Hung over from last night, late to my morning newspaper meetings, I start the shower. I find my black cassette copy of ‘Bleach,’ procured from a high school friend’s older brother ca. 1990. I put it in a boom box & crank it. Washing off the night before, I find myself singing along, rocking out, thinking out loud, “wow! this is still the coolest album! this band is so much fun!” And it is. Negative Creep. Scoff. ‘Daddy’s little girl ain’t a girl no more …’

I walk the near-mile to campus. My meeting is at West Hall & my coworker at the paper has a radio show downstairs, so I pop in to say hello. He says, “have you heard?”

“Heard what?”

“They found a body at Kurt Cobain’s house. All they’re saying is it’s a small, blond man in his 20s.”

“It’s Beck. I hope. Or some homeless kid,” I say, hoping against hope.

I go up to my meeting & keep one good eye on the Associated Press wires for the next couple of hours. Soon enough, all of us know the story. Someone has a party that night and I give a good load of angry shit to some jam band-listening coworker who can’t spell. It will be a solid four years before I can really enjoy ‘Bleach’ again. 

… A lot has happened in 18 years. David Geffen has gotten richer. David Grohl has made a fortune in nonthreatening show tunes. I would say the world of working in song has suffered, but the songs are still there. Something about the opposite of Marc Antony’s soliloquy in ‘Julius Caesar.’