Labor Day

Photo by Roman: May Day, Chicago, 2006.

Labor Day isn’t, really, unless you mean something like: Last call for alcohol; it’s the end of summer and time to get back to work. Also, while the idea for the holiday has its roots in organized labor, my humble opinion is that it amounts to President Grover Cleveland’s weak grin in the direction of old Sam Gompers (Gompers was born old.) and what remained of the railway Brotherhoods (fergitabout Debs). I mean… a buncha states had already adopted the holiday or something similar, but when originally enacted, the Federal version only applied to Federal employees…

Anyway, let’s celebrate the occasion of Labor’s day in the USA with something from the UK, The Longest Johns:

Love Locks 4-Ever

Yep. That’s what they are: love locks. Wikipedia even has an article about them as they do present something of a nuisance at times. Apparently the locks are something like humans. Once they have a foothold, they multiply and take over. Clearly something must be done and soon. Perhaps playing on an endless loop Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dash Light” would be a prophylaxis…

Did I ever tell you that I once witnessed this song performed, at a wedding, by a half dozen or so couples… Lip-synced or sung; I’m sure that some of them knew the lyrics to their part. I treasure the memory as it is too strange to be real but it is.

“Zeppelins”

April is National Poetry Month, and for the occasion Frank Hudson’s Parlando Project has been producing a series of “Lyric Videos” based on audio recordings of the poems done previously. The month is not even half over, but (so far) Hudson’s performance of “Zeppelins” by F.S. Flint is my favorite, though “Dunbar” is not far behind.

And of course, the poem is also so very appropriate to what is once again happening in Europe these days, not to mention elsewhere in the world none of which I’m not going to mention as I’m sure to shamefully leave somewhere or two off the list…

The term “lyric video” is also new to me though the practice is… not new. As a concept, though, it wraps up and gathers together poetry as oral interpretation and poetry as literature. As a bonus, one can throw in ancillary aspects like music, musicality, concrete poetry just to name-drop a few. Is pretty cool concept, methinks.

Shadow Pools

Photo by Roman.

It’s another classic image: the darkling city street in contrast to a brilliant sky. The only aspect remarkable is that it was late morning when the image was captured, but winter often leaves stubborn pools of shadow in Chicago’s avenues, much like my beloved mud-puddles.

We may as well be at the bottom of a puddle: Here we are, our dizzy gaze upward toward the light, a heavenly glow that beseeches our devotion with memories of warmth. Truly, haven’t some theologians described Hell as the absence of God? Where else to find enduring darkness but winter’s big city streets? And yet, isn’t Lucifer described as the bringer of light?

Never mind. All this is magical thinking far beyond me. After all, what do I know? And why do I know it?

Never mind. Leave me here, swaying gently in the middle of the sidewalk, making sugar from light, a dim and muted contrast to the glory above.

Like falling stars from the universe we are hurled
Down through the long loneliness of the world
Until we behold the pain become the pearl
The pearl
The pearl

— “The Pearl” by Emmylou Harris