“What is Rockabilly, anyways?”

It’s like up tempo non-country Country. It’s country rock’n’roll.

“Like Elvis?”

Some of Elvis’ early things were Rockabilly.

“How would you categorize Blue?”

My first impulse is Art Rock. There’s a lotta cabaret dimensions to it.

“What makes you an expert?”

I’m not an expert. I’ve just seen and heard and experienced a lot, and I think about it.

“I don’t think so much anymore.”

Well, to be honest, all these definitions are pulled out of a hat. They’re just lies I make up on the spot. Spot lies.

“So I could ask you anything and you would give me an answer.”

If my brain is nimble enough and if my lies are limber. And if I’m not in a bad mood. It’s hard to be flip in a bad mood. Sincerely flip.

“Mind on the Flip Side.”

With an odor of Fried.

“I noticed the day we got real sunburned, the flies started eating our heads. I think we smelled like meat.”

Fly meat. Wormed-over fly meat. Fly meat to the moon!

“Ooh. That gives me chills… You know, we could play shit like that and it’d be a totally different reality.”

What do you mean?

“Well, you could wear polyester suits and I could drip diamonds.”

I like the diamond part. But I don’t do dress-up. My persona is enigmatic t-shirts and black jeans with a young chicky wife on my arm. You’re my dressup.

“I look like a Partridge-family-style hippie. It’s really gross.”

We’ll have to disfigure you. I turned my first wife into a hippie too. I have powers. I marry women one by one and serially turn them into hippie chicks.

“Marry me again?”

I wonder if I’d be a bigamist if I married you again.

“We’re like two shoes on the same foot.”

Two shoes on the same foot?

“Same body. Two shoes on the same body.”

Must be really big if they’re body shoes.

“You’re a strange man, man. Mr. Strangeman Man… You got this grayness about you today.”

I’m Smokey Grey. Smokey segway one.

“You keep changing your face on me.”

I didn’t want to be two faced, so I became infinite faced.

“That’s Godhead, isn’t it?”

No. Much closer to Doghead. Or He-a-dawg.


foto by smith

decided to move to a hotel for our last 2 days in essaouira instead of fighting fates and time… no use staying anyway once a place turns on you – never know when it’ll attack again. so we’re paying 5 times here what we already paid for 2 nights there. go figure. life is strange, reality stranger.

* * *
there are many paths, and they all lead to Pathsville.

* * *
MySpace advertising programs read the blog you click to read, evaluate it, and present 4 ads across the top which might inter-relate with the blog’s contents. at one site, the 4 ads offered were:
1 – Jesus Christ Loves You
2 – conversion to judaism
3 – Born Gay? pro/con
4 – Kick Boxing Manchester

* * *
my baby’s cummerbund and cherry pie – so come on cum bun, be my very why.

* * *
a note in lady’s handwriting in my notebook: “When I draw my breath it’s for a thousand inhabitants, each parsing their own slice.”

* * *
endaltated, i’ve a lazy bones jones. that’s why i’m blogging using leftover notes from my back pocket pad. purgatory panache. or would that be purge-atory? they purged a tory when they got rid of Margaret Thatcher and stopped Thatcher’s Tory rape.

* * *
Lite Verse

We come from light
We go to light
But what a heavy in between

foto by smith


That there fly must be an upperclass fly. Because it’s far too expensive to let common house flies in this fancy hotel.

“I would think it would be even more difficult to segregate them. How can you even tell the difference between normal and upper class flies?”

By the fly by. Upper class fly fly by’s contain a certain *savoir faire*, classier, buzzier, more confident. That’s it. That’s all I know.

“Maybe it’s the acoustics in the upperclass room.”

No, because when they fly by you get a contact buzz, and I know the difference. I’ve had a few buzzes in my day.

“I think you’re right. I think flies are telepathic. I really do.”

Well, that’s what their eyeballs are for. All those little millions of facets on their eyeballs catch vibrations from every angle, 270 from the room. Peoples’ thoughts emanate; they leak weak energy which bounces off the walls and ceiling.

The fly picks up all this radar feedback, knows what yr thinking about doing, and triangulates where you’re coming from.

“Do you think flies are intelligent?”

No. They’re actually little microbots. They’re not real.

“What are the common flies like vs. the upper class flies?”

When common flies regurgitate their stomach acids onto their dinner plate, they splatter all over the table cloth. Upper class flies, it’s like little regurgitative sips, delicately applied to their prey.

“Kinda like bank fees. I want to set up my own exploitation scheme. But a benevolent one. So really, the flies are telepathic, but it doesn’t matter.”

It’s not really telepathy; it’s programming, systems analysis.

“I could believe that. They say they put a wire in a cockroach’s brain and made it turn left or right.”

I’ve seen that done with religious fundamentalists.

strike the set

foto by smith

reality always starts playing with us near the end of our stay in each place… it’s as if this scene were over and they need to strike the set for their next shot.

usually it’s loss of internet access, but since we don’t have that, tonight it was the apartment owner. she’s a long robed arab woman named fatima who speaks little french. lady k speaks some french. i speak mute. fatima has the impression tonight is our last night here. we have the impression we’ve two more nights after tonight. none of us seems to understand the other.

we’ll call her english-speaking relative tomorrow and work things out. either we have 2 more nights, or we don’t. if we don’t, we’ll go to a hotel with clean sheets and hot water. this place isn’t worth fighting for, or paying more.

we already have 3 scheduled moves in the next 9 days – if this goes against us, it’ll be 4 moves. wherever our next move is, it will be number 34 in the past 12 months.

all that’s neither here nor there. point is we’re sitting here tonight happy from our friends’ visit, watching a thought provoking film about hitler’s last days titled Downfall when unchained reality rudely interrupts. no matter which way this goes, this country has twisted another nice moment into one more moroccan money-grubbing grab. glad we came to morocco. be glad when we’re not here anymore.

next day. situational update – we haven’t called yet, but we’re packing up this morning anyway and going out to find a 2 night riad. some folk look for a 4-star hotel – we look for a 2-night hotel. this place has been tainted by unpleasance. thankfully our guests had left 3 hours before our eviction notice.

bad is easier to blog than good – i should be grateful to morocco for providing so much negativity to write about. so thank you morocco – may you drown in your greed.

i’m looking at this as just one more realital lesson in zen balance – after all, light needs dark to be light.

foto by smith


Urban-Jellen Test’s site is This is an interview with their lead singer Blue7, who stayed with us for five nights in Morocco.

“Black Cat here is one of my favorite songs. It has a bit of swamp rock.”

I’d like to quote Ducks Deluxe when they said, Down in the swamp, Daddy put the bomp in my soul.

“Swamp Rock: is that a category?”

Creedence Clearwater Revival. Swamp has Louisiana Soul mixed with Rock’n’Roll. You’ll also find rhythms in Louisianna from this continent that are played down here in Morocco because they were originally influenced by Africa.

“Your music could be a Rockabilly Noir.”

That’s fucking awesome, that’s fucking beautiful. I’ll go with that. Down in the swamp, Daddy put the bomp in my soul.
A swamp is slinky and sensual, like a vampire that dances really good creeping through the swamp. Voodoo. Voodoo boogie woogie.

I wrote my songs in the order they would be played live. I also wrote most of them chronologically as I saw the life of a man.

“Do any specific songs that come to mind which epitomize the development of a man?”

Several. There are several that epitomize the maturing process of a man.

The opening piece that I play with Thym, the one that is a four section piece. The beginning section is about the nebulous other place that we come from, then conception, then birth, then adolescence. So that one piece is the creation process. Then it goes into some dark shit, then some super duper dark shit, then some beautiful information that I had to work really hard to get but I’m glad to have it.

Everything is a self portrait. Copola says, “No matter what you think you’re making, what you’re looking up at is you on the screen.”

It’s true. Everything is a self portrait. It’s what I choose to give energy to. It’s like that. I read a book by Mark Levin, Technicians of Ecstasy. The subtitle is Modern Artist as Shaman. He made a good case for saying it’s the artist’s job to create and heal culture.

On and On, what’s that really about?”

So finally at the ending you look back to see that you were only dreaming that you were far from me… It’s a song about choosing oneness with the universe. It talks about choice and the Other, and it’s something that I consider to be a really good affirmation.

Every song that someone ever wrote is a mantra. And when I wrote these songs I wrote something that I actually thought was healthy and positive and worthwhile enough to demand the attention of an audience, and something that I wouldn’t be embarrassed, or wouldn’t want to sing about fifty years later.

I know that broken hearts exist / but what I want to know is this / what did you learn when a broken heart happened.

“Can you explain Irony is Dead?”

I think a lot of what passes for irony is a game of one-upmanship, and very often it’s disguised as the brilliant art of irony. It inhibits intimacy though really. Groucho said one-upmanship like that kills real communication.

A lot of what passes for humor is just insult. All they’re doing is using language as a fucking bludgeon. But who really wants to do that? Not me. So I see it as a control mechanism, how these guys use language.

For example, people from England use what they refer to as irony, which American’s don’t get supposedly, mainly because there are so many English cultural references that leave Americans behind. But really “irony” too often is just a bunch of insults that derail, undermine and destroy, in the guise of humor, and it’s really nothing more than a control mechanism. You can say anything in the world as long as you finish it with, “It was a joke.”

Billy Crystal, in “Mr. Saturday Night” during a scene with his brother. He said, “You were always jealous of me.” He said, “When you’re up there and things are going right you got the crowd you feel like the most powerful guy on Earth because every woman wants to fuck you and every guy wants to shake your hand.”

But humor is a pwerful way to control the room. It’s so powerful because it’s powerful.” A powerful comedian is fucking powerful. I am asking for people to ask themselves what is this humor thing? And to use it for building, not for destroying.

Everyone calls me a stick in the mud but I think they don’t really know what they’re talking about. So I ask everyone in my organization to speak to each other with kindness.

“Do you remember why you had the insight about irony, or when?”

I spent six months or a year not talking to people. And made up my mind that I really didn’t have much I wanted to say so I’d just listen for a while. Except for “thank you” at the gas pump I spoke to nobody for a year and would just listen. Even if they thought I was strange I’d just sit there and listen.

I found this goes through all cultures, this language war that is based on humor and irony and I disagree with it. I think it stops communication. It’s really just a battlefield. It’s just something people learn how to do.

I do not think that irony is truly dead. I love irony, but by stating it the way I state it, I force people to try to understand what they think of irony and humor as a whole in their culture.

“I think you said that Burning Man changed your life.”

I would describe it as the first time I felt what a community actually felt like. Everyone talks about community but that was the first time I actually experienced it. It felt really fucking good, really natural.

“So I see your band as a cross between the ecstatic and the scientific. Encapsulated by your name, Urban-Jellen Test.”

On some level, yeah. The entire experiment. When I moved to Krakow, I started to experiment with many philosophies. I didn’t go to start a single band. I started an entire scene based on the concept of good heart. And upon that I built a dynamo of energy that has invigorated dozens and dozens of peoples’ lives.

We’re proving that magic exists. At the fundamental root level of everything I’m doing there I proved that magic exists, based on good words, good heart, and good choices.

“Did going to Thailand help you develop your philosophy?”

No. It was just a place for me to relax and enjoy. It’s a country that my country had never bombed. I kept hearing about the wonderful Thai smile. I thought, I would like to be around that. It’s a Buddhist culture, southeast Asian, and it has the longest oldest reigning monarch in the world. It’s been a kingdom throughout the whole colonization era, never colonized. Everybody else was. So I wanted to see what was going on there? How were they able to stay so soft and not be colonized? I wanted to be around that. Mainly I wanted to find some beautiful place where people were smiling and it was off the grid. I give them a smile, and they gave me a smile back.

And I went to go paint some paintings which were describing what I would call my third psycho spiritual paradigm shift. Those paintings describe concepts that I finally formalized by making those paintings. They record my transformation that took about five years to go through.

And the beginning of that transformation, that’s what ‘Bad Man’s about.’

“So the concepts are magic exists…”

Oh yeah, Baby. And irony is dead. Most of what passes for irony is destructive, so it is dead. It’s death.

And also I’ve told all the people with whom I work that there are four questions we put our decisions through: 1) does it have good heart 2) does it have wisdom attached?, 3) is it great art? and 4) is it fun? I’ve asked everyone since day one to use those guidelines in decisions regarding our project. And it bore great fruit.

So everyone works well together, holding those values. And I proved that magic fucking works based on good heart and good words. And everyone busts their ass because it is worthwhile. Everyone fundamentally appreciates and agrees with the sentiment. Everyone says, “You know what, that makes sense to me.” The universe supports love, and efficiency, and airplane wings.

“Why did you decide to leave the US?”

I wanted to get the world inside me, and the United States out of me.

“Are you going back to the US?”

Perhaps. I told Thym I would go back to the States as a touring band.

“You usually avoid politics. Why?”

I’ve tried to formulate that answer to a reasonable level, but it’s pretty complex. Fundamentally I believe the political agendas of the world get enough energy already. My job is to be a spiritual person talking about spiritual things. It’s a different path.

On a personal level, staying aware of current newsworthy topics, for me, is extremely debilitatingly depressing. I’m not supposed to be paying attention to the finer details to all these problems because they’ve existed for all time. Pinochet, George Bush, it doesn’t matter. The names change but it’s always the same. I’m trying to write lyrics about after the heartbreak.

This is all based on good heart. So this is a musical paradox. The first name for the album was going to be “Smuggled Love.” I think the tensions between opposites is powerful. It’s how paradigms are created, the fusion of opposites. And I was trying to create a powerful paradigm with a community of artists.

“Are you afraid of being tied in with the hippie ethos?”

No. But a lot of Europeans, especially the English, like to brand me as the hippie guy.

“Where do drugs fit in to your life?”

I think of drugs as sacramental.

“Are drugs necessary?”

You can never say never and never say always. It’s impossible to break it down to that. That’s a ridiculous question.

“Are they transformative?”

Of course they are. That’s what they’re meant to do.

21st century schizoid man

foto by smith

our guests go south today to inner africa. they don’t yet know where they’ll visit, how long, or even when.

this is the second time overseas we’ve hosted friends i know but don’t know. last december in croatia we had 2 cleveland poets for a week. this time it was a rock&roll artist couple visit spread over 6 days. i’m not a natural host – i have to fake it. i lack people skills, social nimbleness, chit chatter – although i am getting much better at it all. keep practicing and i might get the hang of it. i’m more lone artistic collaborator than social commingler. i’ve become even rustier since i’ve had no one to talk to in english for most the past 8 months. lady says if we’re going to make it writing books, i have to become more sociable, less curmudgeony, that i’ve got to stop biting the hands reaching out to us. told her i’ll try, but they taste so good.

that said, it was a good visit. we learned, shared, got inspired, got to know two people better. blue gave us a copy of his up-coming not-yet-final-mix Urban-Jellen Test album – good stuff. last night he picked up a 3-stringed gourd guitar moroccan instrument that came with the apartment and sang “black cat” (my favorite song from the album). song has a bit of swamp rock to it. lady labeled their music “rockabilly noir.”

foto by smith

i read about a scientist who downloaded christmas carols into a computer, then taught it to write its own. trying to simulate the process of dying, he unplugged memory chip after memory chip until the machine lost its ability to think. its final utterance was pure poetry – “all men go to good earth in one eternal silent night.”

21st Century Schizoid Man

I’ve got certified rats in my rafters
Of legally voided mind waste
So excuse please these cancerous laughters
This spewing of petrified paste
Vague seeking through demented hereafters
I can’t find my mind’s been misplaced

Electron wails mournful my nay brain
Err trails its zinc aftertaste
This drivel due mad jolting sane pain
Embraces thy sameness posthaste
Dying I burp up my madness again
I can’t find my mind’s been misplaced

of when of where of what am i o god of whom of why
for seeketh then thou me thou see the be that thou belie

collage by smith


“For a Green Morocco”, Essaouira, Morocco


“After watching Hannibal, I theorize that the serial killer genre is meant to perpetuate mass mental illness. It glamorizes narcissism.”

Well, it’s important, Polly. You gotta have monsters to feed on the tribe. And you gotta have slow people to feed to the monsters. So serial killers feeding on narcissist leftovers gives the rest of us the chance to go about our normal business and thins the herd.

“Ah, so narcissists are slow… I used to be a fat narcissist.”

Yeah, they always stop and look at themselves. It’s important to keep slow people around you for when the monsters attack. I used Mom for that for years. Worked too; death visited and I got away.

“My generation is the generation of irony. You are more with my generation than your generation.”

Why, is that the decision of the Irony Board?

“OK, more about irony. I used to think it was just a fashion, but now I think it’s an oppression. Because They want everyone to feel superior; it’s a way of desensitizing my generation so we can’t feel anything about the bad shit that’s going down.”

I’m more from the Mad Max school of movies.

“Yes. Mad Max is cool. Look what he turned into, though.”

That’s exactly what I was thinking! I wonder what I’ll think of the movies next time I see them. Everything changes.

“Yes, I never thought Mel Gibson could age. I thought of him as a silver-tinged hairy beefcake.”

Do you get a side order of salt lick with that?

stipple stitch

foto by smith

she’s the dicapilly circuit of my picadilly circus
stipple me mama, a stitch at a time

no news or thoughts – hosting our friends from poland. fusing our flow to their’s. we’re done with africa while they’ve just begun – they’re continuing on down to mid-africa mali. lady and i leave essaouira in 4 days for 4 final nights in marrakech – then it’s 7 weeks london, 4 weeks france, then back to the dreaded u.s.a. after 14 month absense. by then, america will be just another new foreign country to visit, observe, taste, blog about. tired of traveling, but dread stopping.

my mom who lived and created art with me the last 16 years of her life died 2 years 2 days ago. i spent the next two & a half months alone in my dark cave lit solely by red&green neon and the soft cool blue glow of computer screen, writing some of my best short non-fiction ever. then lady walked into my life. month later she moved into my life. week later we decided to move to europe. spent next 10 months getting out of town.

uSa Vs TeRrOr Vs MeN vErSuS wOmEn Vs RaCe Vs EdUcAtIoN
the u.s. war of terror seems to be working.
according to the State Department:
2003 had 175 terrorist attacks world wide
2004 had 655 terrorist attacks world wide
2005 had 11,000 terrorist attacks world wide
2006 had 14,000 terrorist attacks world wide
(doesn’t count attacks against u.s. soldiers in Iraq,
doesn’t count u.s. attacks on other countries).

as for the war between women & men in the u.s.a. . . .

29% of men have 15 or more female sexual partners in a lifetime
9% of women report having sex with 15 or more men

11% of never-married adults remained chaste
96% of adults have had sex

16% of adults first had sex before age 15
15% abstained from sex until at least age 21

17% of men had 2 or more sexual partners in the past year
10 % of women had 2 or more sexual partners in the past year

25% of women had one partner in their lifetime
17% of men had one partner in their lifetime

median number of lifetime female sexual partners for men was seven
median number of male partners for women was four

26% of men have tried street drugs (not including marijuana) in their life
17% of women have tried street drugs (not including marijuana) in their life
7% of men had done so within the past 12 months
4% of women had done so within the past 12 months

23% of whites used street drugs
18% of blacks used street drugs
16% of mexican-americans used street drugs

Adults who were married or had more than a high school education
were less likely to use street drugs than others

– from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey based on data collected from 1999 to 2002 for the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

foto by smith


Beware the culture of the polygraph
the broadcast of weekly esoterica
for the same brain planners

Snob culture is not culture at all
the lilt of the listless
the life course pablum peckers
the dope scope extrapolation gabbers

Case droppers, mind boppers
Framed framers framing the names
oh totally truthful broadcasts,
these cherry picked facts

We remember, stumbling, clutching
our lost tickets until they start a new case
in time’s sliced haste


piece of pigeon

foto by smith.

i’d walk a camel mile for a cup of chamomile, but not for chamomile chameleon.

it’s been a Blue Magdalena day. shopped for scarf towel, olives, almonds, cheese, bread, water. went to beach. the beach lead to the motorcycle. the motorcycle lead to the police. the police lead to coffee. the coffee lead to beer – or so i hear… Lady and i left Magda with Blue on bikes enroute to beer with young men in their flat out in mad max land.

Blue is bike bit. has ridden motorcycles on at least 3 continents. he saw 6 guys pushing 2 bikes on the shore, and he charmed them into letting him ride one up and down the beach. police came. took boys and bikes away. we followed. blue paid their fine. we all drank coffee at outdoor cafe. now Blue and his Magdalena are off with them.

Blue7 is the leader-singer-guitarist-songwriter of the Urban-Jellen Test avant-garde cabaret art rock n roll garage band in Krakow Poland. Lady and i had the pleasure of being part of his Cabaret Dada opening act at 3 of their concerts. it’s cool to recite poetry to a rock audience – they’re not sure what’s going on… largest group i’ve ever read to. once i got up there on stage and started reciting “December of 68 I was lying on LSD on my bed downtown Baltimore,” they were all on my side. they all wondered who the old dude with the young poet wife was. Lady K enhances my street cred – not to mention my heart.

Lady and i have been in our own flow so long, it’s odd to be in the flow of others. as Duchamp said through Blue, “my chance is different than your chance.”

what careless hosts we are – finally find our guests at 10 last night, lose them 7 tonight. we’re going to have to find more friends to practice on.

nExT dAy

shadow of sky flows over earth as we watch from ramparts the boisterous sea bounding against pitted stone beach. slug fish snail creatures litter the tide pools – blackened skinned fillets of fish, their manta-rayed sides flashing above the surface in sun black wet alien undulation.

waiting for our food, i watch the flies and ants crawl over our table top. when the food comes, the flies disappear. it worries me – what does it mean when the flies aren’t interested in your food?

ate a bit of goat. ate a piece of pigeon pie. now i can go to other cities, talk to their pigeons, tell them they’d best behave because i know what they taste like.

we’re only a pawn in the vampiric piranha prawn game. this is prawn pawn 1 crawling pawn prawn 2… oeuvre & out.

foto by smith