Thursday, June 28, 2007

Post of self-indulgence

I'm not that stupid. I can fool you, but really, I'm fairly bright. Just thought I'd bring that up.

This post is fairly self-indulgent. I found a bunch of old stuff from (mostly) April of 1980. I did a little re-work as apparently my sense of meter was even more out of whack back then than it is now. But I mostly left the stuff unmolested.

For background, in April of 1980 I was 20 years and 4 months old. I would have been in the navy for about 7 or 8 months, which would put me in one of my basic electronics schools. Which would also explain why there was also a hand drawn, 4 diode bridge rectifier circuit and the definitions of zener diodes, static bias, and (as vulgar as it sounds, it is on the up and up) monostable multivibrators mixed in with these poems.

So what did I know about living? Not that much. Not that the lack of knowing what I was talking about particularly put me off from doing it. A lot of thoughts and words spilled out of me back then and I didn't much try to stop them. Why would I?

Anyway, there was tendency to pontificate. And self-medicate. Often, it would seem, simultaenously. The references are both glaring and vague. The shiny ribbon upon which I am tugging does tend to change from stanza to stanza. Sometimes even line to line. But I was young. And writing fast to keep up. And, most importantly, easily distracted. Still am. Still am what? Nevermind.

This is, like I say, pretty. Pretty self-indulgent. If you don't like the poems I write... and who could really blame you... then you're done here. See you next post. Brave and foolish people may continue.

Yhatzee game ends in shooting, out

Ramblin' Ed

(untitled) (1980 sometime)

When the sun doesn't shine
it's like a good friend of mine
didn't make it out of bed
didn't want to face the day

When the sun doesn't shine
it makes me wonder why
I come home to think about it
and then it makes me smile

I pick a patch of grass
I find a shady tree
then I lay there on my back
I count the bumbles and the bees

When the sun doesn't shine
bad luck is all mine
but when the sun's in the sky
thank you, Lord, I'm alive

(probably California)

The Sure Bet Mainliner 6 April, 1980

I went ridinng through the canyons

of multi-colored steels

The railway tracks, they wailed

while falling prey unto our wheels

The captian, he smiled grimly

then he had to turn away

"Let 'er rip," I sighed most softly,

"We're delivered up today"


When we passed beside the rivers

of red koolaid and cheap vodka

The engineer, he cracked up

Started thinking he was Spock

I cried, "Lord, you must have mercy

'cause the harder stuff is coming!"

When you're getting blown away

you do your best to land still running


Well, we barely did survive

and just a little up the track some

We had Captian Crank a'driving

We had Bennie at the backup

And we hit them curves all screaming

doing, I'd say, one oh four

"Let her roll on! Let her roll on!

Hell, there's got to be some more!"


Yeah, the mainliner lined up

it's humdingers humming

The ladies arrived

I think some were still coming

Couldn't really say how

Day-Glo people survived

But when we bit the dust

It was heard for a mile



San Diego

Bootstraps 6 April, 1980

Well you didn't ever want no help
You said you'd do it by yourself
But your bootstraps took a beating on the way
You made it clear beneath the southern moon
Amidst the herbs and sweet perfumes
That your life as never more than one more day
Well, does that road go on forever?
I don't know, you just can't tell
But everything's got one more side to see
All the pieces fit together
Everything right in it's place
Every place is just another town to me
We've got beer and we've got tablets
Monday's paper's in the truck
I think Janis might have left
A grilled cheese sandwich on the seat
Yeah, I've met some mother truckers
Some sad stories they can tell
But I left them other suckers
Standing somewhere down the street
They say Houston is the slickest
I think Dallas wins the race
San Diego never even made it off the ground
But who says that we were racing
Not the fella driving me
He couldn't even make it to the other side of town
And they might be right, some catholic girls
I know, well they're alright
But Billy Joel done picked them up and put 'em in a song
I might jet off to Cleveland
Don't much matter anymore
When life turns back to re-runs then it's time to move along
We've got beer and we've got tablets
Monday's paper's in the truck
Maybe Janis left
A grilled cheese sandwich on the seat
Yeah, I've met some mother truckers
Some sad stories they can tell
But I left them other suckers
Standing somewhere down the street
Don't you worry, don't you sweat it
I don't mean you any harm
I reckon that you're not too blind to see
'Cause that lady from Jamaica
Yeah, I think she she turned me on
Anyway, she laid a bit of truth on me
San Diego

Riding On The Rail 4 April, 1980

I heard that old Neil Young

was headed southward for the winter

to meet up with a southern man

maybe write a song or two

I guess you get the picture now

I guess you heard the story

if you go out chasing rainbows

don't you catch the blues


Whiskey rivers flow

from some old jukebox in the mountians

the hills have eyes,

but that, I cannot see

Them old love songs have a summer cabin

up on Sugar Mountian

And baby

I guess you're just stuck with me


Crazy Horses are stampeding

as stoned ponies hit the trail

folk music died a quiet death

just rode on out the rail

and I heard Danny laughing

as those diamonds turned to rust

you ain't never getting there from here

(unless you take a bus)


So Carrie, if you'll carry me

I'll let you off the Hook

We'll just meet each other

down beside the school

I tried reconciliation

Judy Collins, my salvation

but rust, it never sleeps

it's sneaking up on all us fools


Whiskey rivers flow

from some old jukebox in the mountians

the hills have eyes,

but that, I cannot see

Them old love songs have a summer cabin

up on Sugar Mountian

And baby

I guess you're just stuck with me


Now we're down to Nitty Gritty

won't you listen to the Dirt Band

ol' Pooh Bear's got a huny jar

that's stuck upon his nose

I hear folk music's dying

but I'll wait until it's dead

some people cry

but I ain't one of those



San Diego

Monday, June 25, 2007

Big Bait = Big Fish !!

Time is going fast again. Rain + sun = lots of mowing. Yep, yard needs it about twice week right now. So I sharpened the ol' mower blade, filled the gas can, and resigned myself to staring at the ass end of a push mower a lot.

Not traveling far from home, but at least I'm traveling.Orlando last week. Miami next week. Soon, I hope to go somewhere cool. Call me Shakeria if you must, but..."Whenever, wherever". I'll tell you one thing, George Hamilton's got nothing on me. I am one tan mutt, for sure. I don't worry about the skin cancer. I grew up shirtless and shoeless in coastal Carolina. Before we even knew whart skin cancer was. So I either already gave it to myself or I am immune. Either way...

Late June...Florida.... ninety plus degrees and humid. Those are the conditions that had to be met before my A/C crapped the bed on me. You know how you contemplate major purchases a little while, weigh the pros and cons of waiting a little before buying? That doesn't really apply when you lose A/C during a Florida summer. You want that sucker replaced. Either now or yesterday! I have the guy coming out today for an estimate. And yes, I am taking donations to the "Save Ed's Sweaty Ass" fund to help me pay for it. Kids... send in your coins. Mom & Dad, folding money, please.

We Flea Marketed in Oldsmar Sunday. Kinda boring, really, for a flea market. But it was big. 4 1/2 acres of cheap crap. I bought a bunch of fishing gear, a nice travel humidor for my cigars, and a bottle of lychee wine from Thailand. I had to try it. I used to get lychee chu-hi in Japan and was most impressed. I don't know about the wine, but was willing to shell out $11 to see. Besides, after the second or third glass, taste becomes much more of an arbitary thing.

I used to use crappie the size of my hand as bait in the Louisiana farm ponds. That's illegal most places, including , probably, Louisiana. But Louisiana law is more suggestion than actual law. I digress.

I'd get me up a big ol' crappie, hook him under the dorsal fin, row him out to the middle and drop him in with a bobber the size of a softball about 3 feet up the line. then I'd row back to shore and wait. That big old softball size bobber would get to twitching and I'd know my crappie was getting nervous. When it would just glide down udner the surface and stay, I'd stand up and pick up my rod....patience....take a drag on my Camel....patience....exhale....another drag.... patience...count to four and....YANK! like the dickens. That crappie would be so far down the gullet of that big old bass. One day I caught 2 eights and a ten pounder like that. In less than a half hour. Of course, my mother-in-law, Geraldine, didn't have a camera, so...

But that set the theory of big bait, big fish forever in my brain. See below:

Fish and whistle, whistle and fish
eat everything that they put on your dish, out
Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The girl who was chasing after herself

So a friend contacted me today. Some of you know her. Some of you know of her. One of you is her. Anyway in the course of whatever was going on, I managed to tell her something I had sworn t keep to myself. Even went so far as to say "I shouldn't say this, but...". As a rule, when you know you shouldn't say something, well, you shouldn't. So it goes.

Maybe she will understand. Maybe she'll get pissed off. Maybe she'll say, "My bad." It's hard to try to guess, so I won't. But it's out there and it will either be accepted or hurled back at me. I'm not so much socially awkward as I am somewhat unsubtle. It used to worry me some, but after all these years, I realize it's just the way I'm wired. Brain to blog, I can be downright eloquent. Brain to mouth, not so much.
Like I was telling her, I don't really do regrets. Things did is things did. So, more accurately, they are now experiences. Some good. Some bad. All passed and unalterable. So, as REM either said or should have said, I prefer to be where I am. Not where I could have been. Or should have been. Or ought to have been. I am here and it is now. Deal with it.
I read something once that stuck with me. It altered me. The man said, "Americans are the only people on earth that think they have a right to be happy. Everyone else knows that life is hard." I guess that dovetails nicely with the whole pursuit of happiness thing. I don't know. I know that I just decided I was going to be more satisfied. Or more content. Or less not happy. I'm not sure if I quantified what I decided so much as I just kind of nudged it on into being. I call it a sort of hippie mentality, but being child of the '60s and '70s that is my frame of reference. I might just be zen. Hard to tell. It's not that I don't care about things, just that I don't care a lot. Which is why, as you well know, I make a terribly bad social conservative. I just really don't care what other people do, as long as they don't do it to me.

I have a friend and we go fishing a lot. Sometimes we catch fish, often we don't. But we have fun and we hang out. He's the one who made me realize that really good friends don't even have to be doing anything to enjoy themselves. Sometimes we sit in the boat for close to an hour, our backs to each other, casting out, reeling in, and soaking up the quiet. Then he'll say something that makes me go hmmmm. Because, well because we talk about things. Last trip he said to me, "You know, when you married your first wife nobody could understand it. But I did. I knew exactly why y'all fit together. Now everybody understands why you married this one but, well for the life of me, I just don't get it. Why did you?" Made me go hmmmmm. Made me go hmmmm mostly because I didn't have a good answer for him. So I told him, "I don't know. But it's all good." A few minutes later he had that gator on the line. I still need to recount that story sometime.
So anyway, I have been thinking. Why do we need to decide who we are going to be? I mean, we are who we are going to be already. What we are really doing is wasting our time and energy on who we want to be, and that's a more elusive beast. But I think even that misses the real point. We are really chasing who we think we want to be. And that ain't never going to be. So pour a shot of your poison of choice and throw it back. Ahhhh....tasty. Like REM did say, and I know that they did, now stand in the place that you are. You are who the hell you are. So don't fight it, like it.
Anyway, I knew a girl who was chasing after herself for all of her life. No matter which direction she turned and no matter how hard she ran, she couldn't catch who she thought she knew she might should be. It made her meloncholy and the meloncholy made her sad. Her sad makes me sad because once she had a hippie's soul too.

What used to be is gone and what ought to be ought not to be so hard, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Weakly Reader

Had a very short week last week, with a Monday holiday and a Friday off. Got the batteries recharged. Had some rain so I went on a planting spree. Hate to plant during a drought since it seems less like gardening than an execution. But we're good now.

Been diging up and repairing/replacing my underground irrigation system. I'm not normally too handy around the house, but hey, running a pvc pipe from point A to point B is pretty easy. And all you really need is a hacksaw and some glue to do the job. And, of course, some pvc pipe. But that goes without saying, which is why I didn't say it.

I really need to tell you about fishing last week. It'll take a while, which is why it hasn't been done yet, but it includes...and none of this is embellished... 3 fish in the boat but none of them hitting our lures and a gator on the line. One part of me, I suppose my artistic self, was taking pictures as DRE played the gator. Another part of me, which would be knees, ankles, and especially hands, was shaking uncontrollably at the thought of yanking one pissed off alligator into the confines of a small fishing boat. Like I said, a story that needs time to be told.

Took a boat ride down the Alafia River yesterday. It is still "old Florida" and it does put me at peace. Need more of that in life, peace. And quiet.

Neices and nephew are here as part of my semi-annual reminder of why I didn't want kids. On the one hand kids can be pretty cool, but on the other hand they suck. I'm not real tolerant of things that suck, that's why I couldn't take the chance. Besides, what if they turned out to really be a chip off the old block? I already know what a pain in the ass I was growing up. Why would I knowingly subject myself to the same thing?

Gandy 7 June 2007

Doing fine. Doing time. Doing like you do.
So you drove on down to Tampa for a different kind of view.
Not so much ‘bout leaving as just moving on
Shuffled out to Gandy where you used to always come

The sand is warm and soft,
But it ain’t all that clean
That might be just about
The perfect metaphor, I think

We’re different crimes from different places
And lonely lives in crowed spaces
Fading smiles on painted faces
But still, we do get by

Drawn too close to say we don’t care
We never meant to never be there
Just seemed to always end up elsewhere
But yeah, we still get by

The sun beats down on Tampa, gets all hot and mean
People on the east side get as crazy as you’ll see
It’s not so much I missed you as I want you here with me
And it’s not so much the heat; it’s all the damn stupidity

The night is warm and wet
It feels a lot like tears
And it’d be easy to let go,
Like you know I ain’t done in years

We’re wandering souls and easy lovers
Flung together. Torn asunder.
Yeah, sometimes it makes me wonder
Just how we all get by

No jealousy beneath the surface
It just never seemed that worth it
I’ve found love is where the hurt is
But still, we do get by

Doing fine and doing time. Doing like we do
In the shadows of the palm trees lives your random point of view
It ain’t so much ‘bout leaving as just moving on
Like that moment there on Gandy you could tell the moment’s gone

St. Pete

"So tell me, Boy, how can you live in South Florida AND be scared of bugs?"
Ramblin' Ed