November 4, 2015

A Range Estrangement or Any Title Will Do

Don't you kind of hate it when, after a blog has been dormant for a while, the blogger returns with all sorts of apologies and explanations for his or her absence? Although the gesture may be full of considerate intentions, I always kind of feel that the blogger may be overinflating the importance of the whole enterprise. I figure about 75% of blogs, including this one, could be erased today and there wouldn't be a wet eye in the global house.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I like the concept of blogging. When done well, a blog can even  rise to the status of essential reading. Mark Evanier's blog has been a daily ritual for many years now. Mr. Evanier has led a storied life and recounts anecdotes from it in a very urbane and articulate manner. He is interested in a variety of subjects (showbiz, politics, comics, creamy tomato soup, etc.) and knows how to make those subjects interesting to the casual reader and to people who already share those interests. He posts so frequently, I often wonder how he finds the time. In short, Mark Evanier's blog makes most other blogs look like a pile of koala droppings.

I haven't led a storied life. North Carolina is a long way from Los Angeles and the colorful characters with whom Mark Evanier has crossed paths. Having Asperger's Syndrome, I rarely socialize with regular folks, let alone celebrities. When I was three, my dad took me to an autograph signing to meet Nascar legend Richard Petty. The big mystery is whatever happened to the glossy photo "King" Richard signed for me that day. My guess is, somewhere down the line my Dad sold or traded it for a case of Schlitz or a tackle box or some other needful thing. Thank heavens I don't care one bit about Nascar racing.

Contrary to popular belief, some North Carolinians are more partial to Kurt Vonnegut novels, Ingmar Bergman films, and the musical output of Frank Zappa than college basketball and Dukes of Hazzard reruns. I wish I could meet them, but they are few and far-between and I don't get out much. North Carolina is a beautiful state filled with friendly salt-of-the-earth people, but it can be lonesome for someone with my cultural sensibilities. And Asperger's.

Actually, my creative pursuits and interests (and the companionship of my most excellent wife, Heather) create a life in which I rarely, if ever, feel lonesome. As Bill Watterson once observed, "the days are just packed." This week, for example, I am writing a classical piece on piano ( just to see if I can), reading the first volume of Fantagraphics' reprinting of Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy comic strip, and watching U-Matic format videos on YouTube. I just purchased an Elvis movie box set and the whole lot of Universal Monster Legacy dvds. I recently wrote a poem and finished the first draft of the first chapter of my coming-of-age novel White Lake Summer 1980. I scored a vinyl copy of The Kinks' Face To Face and I am transferring a great many comic book scans to my external hard drive so I can more easily read them on my television, between sessions of Far Cry 4. Note that none of these activities involve me leaving my cozy apartment.

Here's the poem:

Ghost Town Litany

The ghosts in the ghost town have not forgotten
The balls and the brawls
The foam on the beer
The shiny tin stars
The old engineer
Greenhorns with greenbacks
Ripe for the pickin'
Five Card Stud
Miss Trudy's fried chicken
The boy who got shot
For no reason at all
By the Trumbo Brothers
Two short, one tall
Rattles on snakes
The cry of the wolf
Echoing thunder
The beat of the hoof
Snare drum rain on a pitched tin roof
Sweet girls in bonnets
Wild women in beds
Lasses with notions to put in men's heads
The gleam of the gold
The sting of the lead
The judge and the noose
"Justice," he said
The broken piano that no one could play
It sat in the corner
Out of the way
In a smoke-filled saloon
In a town that's now ghostly
Where ghosts reminisce
About things that they miss
From a time long forgotten

Well, it's not Whitman, but it was fun to write. And it's fun to blog. I'm going to keep doing it, and hopefully do it better and more frequently. I hope that by sharing my own creativity and the creative works that inspire my creativity, you too may feel inspired, or be somewhat entertained. I also hope you will take a minute to comment if you read something you like or take issue with, or if you just want to say hi. I'll respond to any comment, no matter how hard my Aspie brain tells me your comment stands on its own.

Stay attuned...

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