Monday, June 25, 2012


I don't believe in apocalypse, which says that everything must finally grind down to its final end.

I do believe in apokatastasis, which says that there is nothing that cannot be redeemed.

When's the last time you went and sat next to a bed of flowers. Not to touch them, brush your hand through them, though that is good to do. Not to look at them, at their beauty, though that is also good.

Just to be with them. Just to be a companion to what lives.

I resist entropy. I refuse to succumb to that downward slide into black hole abyss without putting up enough of a fight to at least slow down that last end. Every time we do something that brings more light, more love, into the universe, we slow down entropy, we slow down the eventual heat-death of the universe, if only by a little bit. Every time we act to serve life, to be in the service of life's health and joy, we slow down death. It adds up. Every little thing helps.

There is nothing that cannot be redeemed.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Solstice

Have a blessed Summer Solstice!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Heartlands: Concert Premieres

The concert premieres of my major new musical work, Heartlands, on two consecutive days in Madison and Milwaukee, went well. There were a couple of performance glitches, but no train wrecks. Overall I am very pleased. I also had the two concerts video-recorded and audio-recorded, and what I have reviewed so far seems quite good.

The truth is, though, it's still too soon. I need a few more days. The whole experience leading up to the concerts was stressful and full of anxiety—wanting as perfect a performance as possible, etc.—and the weekend itself was so overwhelming and personally overstimulating for me, not in a bad way, that I put my mind on "record" rather than on "assess" and frankly am still in that mode.

I actually dislike immediate post-mortems of concert performances. Back in the years when I performed in other musical groups, there were times when there was a party right after the concert, and if a videotape had been made, it was put on the TV and everyone gathered around and watched themselves in the concert they had just finished a few hours ago. I hated that. I hated that. I would usually off in another room, mostly by myself, rather than joiing in the self-love-fest of post-concert concert watching.

For one thing, no one is objective about their performance so close to the actual event. Watching yourself on tape later is a good thing, from time to time—but it needs to days or even weeks later, when the thrill and excitement and adrenaline have faded somewhat. No one can be objective right away. That takes time. It takes time to know if the poem you wrote is good, or crap. It takes time for emotional stirrings to settle down.

It's a really, really bad idea to watch your own concert in full, right after you did it. it can skew your perceptions to the extreme, both positive and negative. It can very much mess up your ability to perform naturally, by making you far too self-conscious to relax. It can make your performances become very mannered and pretentious. It takes a rare person, with a rare sense of self-possession and self-knowledge to not be affected in any way by looking at themselves in such a mirror. Very few have the self-confidence to be unaffected enough by a concert review to remain unselfconscious.

So I avoid such practices. I do concert reviews much later on, when all the dust has settled. Then I can listen and watch and be far more balanced in my assessments.

What I have done in the past evening is take the concert footage that was made for me of both performances, are streamed it into the computer. I have only watched enough of the video to do the editing required to trim it down to manageable size to fit onto a DVD. I have only listened to enough excerpts to make sure the audio was clear, clean, and of good quality. (Which it is.) I edited the raw footage down, made the titles, and set the file to render. Then I walked away from the computer and let it churn. Since this is a long piece of music, and I have two concerts to edit down to DVD length—which I am doing for the sake of documentation, not for commercial release; no more than that at this point, so don't ask me when it will be available, I don't know—I did the editing work, and set the files to render. When they're done rendering, I'll build the DVDs. That will take a few more days. Big concert files can take all day and night to render.

People keep asking me, How did the concerts go?! Where they a big success?! People genuinely want to know, because they really do care, and support my success as a composer and writer.

I feel like a heel for saying so, but the truth is: How the hell should I know? For one thing, I'm far too close to the events themselves to be objective yet. For another thing, I was far too crazy with stress going in to the concerts to do anything more than get through them, absorb what happened, and set it aside for later appreciation and thoughtfulness. Lots of good things were said to me, and about me. I appreciate them all—and at the same time, they don't at the moment feel like they have anything to do with me. I am too close to things to really know what's real and what's fantasy. I do myself no service by collapsing into some belief in my own genius, or allowing my ego to be inflated by praise to the point where I lose my balance and my objectivity both.

So I don't really know how the concerts went. I am not able to answer that as yet. I hope that they were a big success, and I feel that they probably were. As with all things, time will tell. Meanwhile, I have lots of work to do on the next phase of the process, as we prepare to record the music in the studio, and then take it to the GALA conference in Denver a few weeks later.

Many friends and family all said the concerts went extremely well, and so did some total strangers. I got a lot of very positive commentary afterwards. Many people said they really loved the work. And while we were performing, there were some moments when we could see audience members in tears. They were obviously moved by the performance, which pleases me greatly.

The thing you have to remember is: everyone in this audience wanted us to succeed. They support us, they support me, and that's wonderful! Nonetheless, it will probably be some time before I can be genuinely objective about this experience. Am I grateful? Beyond what words can say. Am I hoping to do more? Yes indeed.

Meanwhile, all I can say is that I'm incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to write this large choral work, and to have been commissioned to do so. I'm incredibly grateful to all involved who made it happen; to all who attended; especially for family and friends who drove or flew thousands of miles just to be here for the concert premieres; and to all who sent their well-wishes even though they could not attend. This has been a major positive force in my life, these past months. And this is only the beginning. There will be other performances of Heartlands to come. and other new commissions to compose and write. I look forward to all of that, and I will be eternally grateful to all concerned for every aspect of this experience that has carried through my life for many months now. It's just the beginning. I have a long list of things to do, next, now that this concert series is complete, and the next phase begins.

Thank you all. Someday I'll talk more about how I felt about the concerts, before, during, and after. But not for at least a few more days.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Art & Life & Art

It is important to remember that we are free to make art and poetry out of anything: a loaf of bread, some beans, a hasty jotting on the train.
—Alison Knowles

Alison Knowles was one of the influential artists in the Fluxus movement, with conceptual art and performance pieces often including the ideas of indeterminacy brought into art by John Cage. Fluxus was in part about removing the artificial distinction between "life" and "art," and many of the Fluxus participants not only practiced what they preached, a lot of the art made by them was conceptual and boundary-denying. Of course, one of things that makes movements like Fluxus what they are is that if you ask twelve of the artists, you'll get fourteen or more definitions, even denial that it in fact was a movement at all. And that very indeterminacy about the art itself is of course one of the reasons we love it. Fluxus was also post-modernism in that all things were considered fair game for being used in art as well as life.

What makes a piece of art? We put a frame around it. Even a conceptual frame will do. How do you separate art from life? Well, if you must, you do it by taking something and making it Special by calling it Art. That was the lesson of Dada, as exemplified by Marcel Duchamp's "ready-mades," the found objects he put on the wall of a museum or gallery and declared them to be Art. Of course, Dada was a protest against the mandarins of the gallery and museum institutions, the self-proclaimed gatekeepers of artistic taste. Fluxus, as post-Surrealism and post-Dada, was postmodern in the sense that it was assumed that the battles of Modernism had already been won, incorporated, absorbed, and forgotten as all avant-gardes are forgotten as soon as they become interior decoration and design.

The problem of contemporary poetry, in that it is hung up on being "all avant-garde all the time," is that at some point even the most rabid of rebels must acknowledge that they have won, and have now become the establishment—which is exactly the position that "post-avant" poetry currently finds itself in. Language Poetry is no longer rebellion when most of its best-known practitioners are now themselves the academic establishment. (LangPo in the US, the Cambridge school in the UK, etc., etc.)

Which brings me back to Fluxus, because I think it is correct to argue that what Fluxus left us with was not a body of art, even of conceptual art (which is not the end-point of artistic evolution after all), but an attitude towards art and life, and art-making.

Which brings me back to Alison Knowles' point: It is important to remember that we are free to make art and poetry out of anything. Of anything. Anything.

Which of course is where we find ourselves in the creative world nowadays: anything is fair game for art. Life and art are not separate. You live as you create. And some of us create not only a way to live, but out of necessity: it's as necessary as breathing. Whether or not you enjoy the process all the time isn't really relevant. That you engage with art-making is.

So we are all in some sense children of Fluxus, Dada, and Modernism. The history of 20th century art was in many ways the history of the dissolution of categories and divisions between "fine art" and "popular art" and "outsider art." It was the history of the dissolution of ideas about what art should be or could be. This has overall been a process of greater artistic freedom. It does have a shadow side—mannerism, imitation, loss of center, the substitution of shallow ironic distance for deep connection and sincerity—but those are topics for another day. I'd rather focus for the moment on remembering that, as Alison Knowles said, we are indeed free to make art out of anything. Including whatever comes up in our lives. An artist is someone whose first response to life is to make art about it. And anything is possible.

(Hat tip to Jerome Rothenberg for getting me thinking about all this. Not the first time his work has been a catalyst for my thinking about art, probably won't be the last.)

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Things Ray Bradbury Said That I Know To Be True

More from The Paris Review interview with Ray Bradbury:

You’re self-educated, aren’t you?

Yes, I am. I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days every summer in the library. I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them. But with the library, it’s like catnip, I suppose: you begin to run in circles because there’s so much to look at and read. And it’s far more fun than going to school, simply because you make up your own list and you don’t have to listen to anyone. When I would see some of the books my kids were forced to bring home and read by some of their teachers, and were graded on—well, what if you don’t like those books?

I am a librarian. I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt. When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school.

All my librarian friends ought to be pleased with this. I certainly agree with it. Libraries are the great teachers. I go to my small town's rather good library regularly, and always find something new to be passionate about. Lately I've been impressed with their DVD collection, which includes a large number of movies you wouldn't expect to see in a small town public library, controversial films, films of poetic and artistic merit, a lot of The Criterion Collection.

Even though I did go to college, more than once, I can honestly say that Bradbury is right: your best education is self-education. Things you learn through experience, through living, which you store inside yourself forever. Things you learned from diving into libraries and reading late into the night.

How important has your sense of optimism been to your career?

I don’t believe in optimism. I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing. If you behave every day of your life to the top of your genetics, what can you do? Test it. Find out. You don’t know—you haven’t done it yet. You must live life at the top of your voice! At the top of your lungs shout and listen to the echoes. I learned a lesson years ago. I had some wonderful Swedish meatballs at my mother’s table with my dad and my brother and when I finished I pushed back from the table and said, God! That was beautiful. And my brother said, No, it was good. See the difference?

Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you’ve done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I’ll be damned, I did this today. It doesn’t matter how good it is, or how bad—you did it. At the end of the week you’ll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.

This passage speaks to me very personally. Lately I've been able to admit to myself, after years of trying to please others and inhabit that consensus world that Bradbury was fortunate enough to avoid, that the only task I'm any good at is making things: creativity. It's become clear to me, maybe because the illness and surgery stripped away all the chaff, that my purpose in life has been to make art. It seems like I'm the last to know. I guess I've always been a late bloomer.

In several places, Bradbury talks about how he lives life intensely—things like saying dinner is beautiful rather than just good—and I know that's true for me as well. I know I live life very intensely. I know that hasn't always been easy for people who know me. I've decided that I don't care. It's my life, I'll live it however I choose to.

The day I decided that drugging uppity kids in the classroom was evil, and that anti-depressants should be looked at with suspicion, was the day I overheard two friends talking about me; it was a rough period in my life, and it been recommended to me that I try an anti-depressant to help me cope, so I did. I overheard two friends talking about me, saying that they both liked me better on the drug, that I was calmer and less volatile. Meanwhile, I had been feeling like I was made out of cardboard, that there was a foot of glass wall between me and the world, and I couldn't touch or feel anything. That was a formative experience for me, and those people are no longer my friends.

That doesn't mean I don't have bad days, still. It doesn't mean that I'm a raving opera queen all the time—a lot of the intensity of experience stays on the inside, and comes out mainly in the creative work. But it does mean that I feel very much alive.

The week after your wife passed away, you got back to writing. How were you able to do that?

Work is the only answer. I have three rules to live by. One, get your work done. If that doesn’t work, shut up and drink your gin. And when all else fails, run like hell!

Work is indeed the only answer. In fact, work is survival. I have repeated so often lately, because it's true, that many days the only thing that gets me through the day is making music, making art, writing a poem. Making art has been my way to survive. If even on the worst days I can make one new thing out of nothing, I can count it as worth it, and a reason to go on. As the illness and surgery took away the chaff from my life, I began to truly realize how important work is. Like Bradbury, my art is my work. (Elsewhere he comments that he's grateful that his work is so much fun.) I don't expect to ever retire: I expect to be writing, or making art, or music, on the day I die. That's what Bradbury did. Even after his stroke, late in life, he still wrote via dictation when he could no longer type. A new book of stories came out not too long ago.

Do you write for an ideal reader or a particular audience?

Every time you write for anyone, regardless of who they are, no matter how right the cause you may believe in, you lie. Steinbeck is one of the few writers out of the thirties who’s still read, because he didn’t write for causes at all. He wrote human stories that happened to represent causes indirectly. The Grapes of Wrath and his other books are not political treatises. Fahrenheit 451 is in a way a political treatise, but it isn’t, because all it is saying, emotionally, is: Everyone leave everyone else alone!

Does literature, then, have any social obligation?

Not a direct one. It has to be through reflection, through indirection. Nikos Kazantzakis says, “Live forever.” That’s his social obligation. The Saviors of God celebrates life in the world. Any great work does that for you. All of Dickens says live life at the top of your energy.

It means a lot to me that Bradbury mentions Kazantsakis, and particularly The Saviors of God, which is both a summation of Kazantsakis' worldview and a call to live life to the fullest. It means a lot to me to have Bradbury validate my own life, indirectly, by mentioning a book, The Saviors of God, which changed my own life, and influenced so profoundly that I can rarely even talk about it. (If you've never read it, or read about it, here it is in full.)

Elsewhere Bradbury talks about how literature is a mirror that reflects the world. Science fiction is really a funhouse mirror in which we see the present through the lens of the future. He uses the metaphor of Perseus seeing the Medusa in the mirror of his shield, which allows him to survive her gaze, and take her head off. So the last thing literature ought to be is a sermon. There's nothing duller than a novel that preaches at you, that tells you how to behave, but has no life of its own.

Literature (and all art) can be a prayer, in that the best prayers consist of two activities: to praise, and to say "Thank you."

A lot of Bradbury's writings are praise, which he rarely admits to directly, but you can see it in the very intensity and pleasure of his writing. Whether he describes flying a kite, or running from a dinosaur chasing you, his language takes you into the experience, and makes you feel alive. Between the lines in Bradbury's writing, between the actual words themselves, there can often be found an inarticulate joy that can't be contained in words, something so profound that it settles into your bones, something that his words manage to evoke without ever saying so directly. And when you finish reading one of Bradbury's short stories that ends in one of those moments of articulated inarticulate joy, you often feel like saying "Thank you." My gods, that was a beautiful dinner!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

RIP Ray Bradbury

One of the grand masters of fantasy and science fiction, Ray Bradbury, has just passed over at age 91. It's all over the literary news, although I doubt many who aren't readers or writers will notice. Bradbury was a writer's writer, revered by writers and readers alike, who impressed and captivated everybody from generations of science fiction fans who later became writers themselves, to Christopher Isherwood, who thought Bradbury to be one of the most original writers he had ever read.

One mark of a great writer is that you can go back to their books years later and still have the same experience, be immersed in the same feelings and images, that you had the very first time you read them. They endure. The list of writers I can honestly say this about, that each time I read them is like the first time, is a very short list; it includes, among a few others, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, and Ray Bradbury.

For me, there have been only a few writers who ever successfully conveyed the experience of being a young teen boy in small-town Midwestern towns in summer as well as Bradbury did. His novel Dandelion Wine is one of the best novels I have read more than ten times, each time as fresh as the last. Something Wicked This Way Comes was a novel that actively terrified me when I read it as a teenager; and it remains compellingly scary. His essential short novel for young adults, The Halloween Tree, is a great adventure story that also is a detailed history of the roots and origins of the festivities of All Hallow's. Many people know Bradbury best for his themed collections of short stories, many of which have been made into movies, including The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. And then there's Fahrenheit 451, an Orwellian novel about a repressive future society in which literacy itself is banned.

Bradbury has often been ahead of the literary curve, writing in styles or exploring subject matters that other writers only came to decades later. His short story "A Sound of Thunder," about the dangerous changes in history that can be caused by tiny careless mistakes made by time travelers, has been adapted into more than one movie, has turned up in the literature again and again, been the premise of TV shows, and even has a connection to the origins of chaos theory and fractal mathematics. The principal known as the butterfly effect is what I'm talking about here. This is so common a theme in speculative literature now that it's become an archetype itself.

When I was a young reader, already having read lots of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and other "hard SF" writers before encountering Bradbury, and already having had some science training myself, I was at times put off by Bradbury's relaxed interest in accurate scientific detail; he openly admitted that he was interested in the human stories first and foremost, and often skated on the technical details. But my initial doubts about the details of his stories were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer intense and powerful beauty of his language, and I was quickly won over. What Bradbury was, was a master storyteller. Sometimes his stories were set amidst the trappings of science fiction, such as rocket ships, and trips to other planets, but they were always human stories. He made you think, and his stories remain in memory long afterwards. I can think of several of his stories that are clear in my memory still, in many different genres.

Dandelion Wine is technically magical realism—written long before that term was coined to apply to Latin America authors such as Garcia Marquez; so in a way Bradbury invented the style—but what is so incredibly engaging about Bradbury's novel is how emotionally real it is. It is incredibly personal. You know people like the characters in Dandelion Wine. Perhaps you've even been those people, at some point in your life. The episode in the novel, that was originally published as a short story called "The Sound of Summer Running," is one absolutely vivid in my imagination, because it perfectly conveyed the total experience of getting new sneakers at the beginning of summer, and what that meant to a boy just freed from school for the season—right down to the smells.

So I'm feeling sad tonight. I will miss not seeing more new stories from Ray Bradbury, who wrote every day for decades. I will miss Bradbury not only for his fiction but also for his commentaries on life. His book on writing, Zen in the Art of Writing, is essential reading for every writer. It's one of the most genuinely inspirational books on writing that I've ever read.

Finally, I will let the master speak for himself. Here is an excerpt or two from Bradbury's Paris Review interview:

Why do you write science fiction?

Science fiction is the fiction of ideas. Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I’m borrowing energy from the ideas themselves. Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.

Imagine if sixty years ago, at the start of my writing career, I had thought to write a story about a woman who swallowed a pill and destroyed the Catholic Church, causing the advent of women’s liberation. That story probably would have been laughed at, but it was within the realm of the possible and would have made great science fiction. If I’d lived in the late eighteen hundreds I might have written a story predicting that strange vehicles would soon move across the landscape of the United States and would kill two million people in a period of seventy years. Science fiction is not just the art of the possible, but of the obvious. Once the automobile appeared you could have predicted that it would destroy as many people as it did.

Does science fiction satisfy something that mainstream writing does not?

Yes, it does, because the mainstream hasn’t been paying attention to all the changes in our culture during the last fifty years. The major ideas of our time—developments in medicine, the importance of space exploration to advance our species—have been neglected. The critics are generally wrong, or they’re fifteen, twenty years late. It’s a great shame. They miss out on a lot. Why the fiction of ideas should be so neglected is beyond me. I can’t explain it, except in terms of intellectual snobbery.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Video: Thoughts on recent projects

Why am I making videos like this now? Why this, why now? Why something that has no plot or narrative, that tells a story of a place and moment but not one you can adequately summarize? Why images in sequences that are half-scripted, mostly improvised on the spot? Why images that are captures from life rather than carefully planned and properly-executed linear narratives?

I'm making the films that I want to see. That no one seems to be making. It's not really about self-expression, it's about wanting to see certain kinds of art that are unfashionable, even taboo, these days. In the Age of Irony, sincerity is taboo. In the Age of Shallow Surfaces, diving deeper into the waters of the self is frowned upon. In the Age of Artifice, spontaneity is suspect.

All of that is wrong.

Murkiness and ambiguity presented in art, because life can be hard to articulate, are not the same things as obscurity and puzzle-box-making for their own sakes. It's not that art has anything to hide, it's that it wants to hide nothing. I want to know. I want to see the story. Even if the story is about stopping all stories, all narratives, and just being still, even for just a moment.

I'm making the kinds of films that I want to see, that I almost never get to see, because of their uncommercial nature, their unfashionable contents, their often less-than-slickly-perfect style. The artlessness of artfulness. Everyone who's ever written a story knows that fiction tells truths that life finds hard to tell; fiction compresses events into drama; it only seems realistic because it's so artfully put together. We want to be fooled. We want to be fooled, by art, into seeing something like a larger truth.

This is poetic cinema, often nonlinear as well as nonverbal. It can be oblique. It can be moody—in fact, driven entirely by mood and sensibility rather than plot. It's easy to compare this to how music works, often nonverbally and obliquely, creating emotion without the use of linear narrative or text. In fact, it's probably no coincidence that the videos I am making are more like music than they are like stories. Even Romantic program music—Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique for example—that has a scenario and story to tell is still more imagistic and nonlinear than prose. More poetic than prosaic. Even a musical program scenario bows to the actual melodies and rhythms and harmonies used to convey the emotion of the momentary experience.

In my experience, music is both abstract and visceral, realistic yet evocative without being literal. This is that much-discussed territory where music and poetry meet: on the lip of silence and the inexplicable. In the same way that poetry can't be summarized in prose, music can't be either.

I am well aware that the videos I am making are poetic in form and structure, in ways very parallel to how I often conceive of my poems, in terms of form and structure, as cinematic. I have often discussed how I view many of poems as sequences-of-images, nonlinear but evocative in the way music is: recreating an experience in the audience, evoking a mood or sequence of images and moods. I often think of my poetry as cinematic and imagistic. It only makes sense to think of the short films I am making as poetic. I think this may be another territory where the arts meet: just as with music and poetry, we touch here on the convergence of cinematic poetry with poetic cinema.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Darshan: video

Darshan, 2012

Music, Images & Words by Arthur Durkee.

AD: shakuhachi, synthesizers, meditation bells

This is basically a music video for my recent CD, Darshan, which was written to be used for yoga, meditation, Reiki, and other similar purposes. The setting is the same meditation hall in the Japanese garden that I go to when I can to get back to center, meditate, etc.

I am now thinking about doing more music videos for Darshan, as I think this turned out rather well. Stay tuned.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Heartlands: Some Publicity Before the Premiere

Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus Artistic Director Ken Forney was interviewed about "Heartlands" on WORT-FM Madison, WI, the community radio station in Madison. Mr. Forney was interviewed on the program "Queery," Madison's first community radio show on local and regional QLGBT issues.

You can go to the WORT-FM archives to listen to the show here, or download the show as an MP3 podcast here.

(Full disclosure: I was a volunteer radio programmer on WORT-FM myself for 7 or 8 years, in the 1990s. I did the Sunday night avant-garde new music show, 11pm till 2am. I had a major market share for that show while ran it; happily a version of the show is still on the air. Consequently I'm pleased that my community radio alma mater is taking an interest in my music.)

Also, the Wisconsin Gazette online magazine, which provides monthly coverage of Wisconsin's LGBT community, has interviewed myself and Ken Forney, and produced an article about the premiere of "Heartlands."

You can view or download the May 31, 2012, issue of the Wisconsin Gazette here. See page 23 for the article on "Heartlands," and page 53 for an advertisement for the concert premieres.

Labels: , , ,

Meditation Hall

a windy day, fitful clouds, changing light
beach full of all ages cooling off in thick tree shade

stroll along water's edge till you reach the garden
sound of wind in trees, creek waterfall splashing

meditation hall rustic unfinished
open on two sides, two walls with benches
latticed windows, one tall, one round

be stillness
motionless music
silence of whipping leaves

round eye window
of the heart looking out—
distant worlds, so close

Labels: , , ,