Last Week of Summer Work: Tiny Songs Chapbook

For a long time I didn't know it was there.
For a long time I mourned that it would never be.
For a long time I didn't recognize what it was.
For a long time I imagined it without knowing how to make it.
And then I made it.
Though it is different from how I imagined it,
Here is how it turned out.


While at the Mosinee Farm

What can I say about carrying with me Langston Hughes' Selected Poems and Adam Fell's Dear Corporation,?

I can say that while at the farm I read from them more than I thought I might (if you'd have asked me before the trip), though I'm equally surprised at how much more there is to read from both and how having read a poem once does not mean that it is read.

I fall into each of their grooves.

I read from both aloud to Biffy, something I almost never do.

Both make us laugh.

Langston Hughes reminds me some of Shel Silverstein.  Both wrote songs.

I don't know if Adam Fell writes songs.

If he does, he doesn't mention it, or he does mention it but not in the poems I read, or he mentions it in the poems I read, but not in the parts I remember from the poems I read.

I like the look and feel of both books so spend as much time as I do reading them, fondling them and flipping through them, appreciating the type face (Hughes' set in ELECTRA), the line breaks (Fell's in narrow paragraphs), the white on black illustrations (E. McKnight Kauffer), the post cards (signed "A.", addressed "Dear Corporation,").

My husband took me to a poetry reading, something he almost never does, and there was Adam Fell. While browsing the library stacks for ekphrasis class, I pulled Selected Poems of Langston Hughes from the shelf.

I carry them around with me and wonder about how that changes things.  


From the Appleton Improvisation Underground Comes HOUDINI, an All Genre Rock Opera Biography about the World's Favorite Escape Artist

My father Rabbi Weiss
stood before the minion
his sarcastic glances glimmering

his confusing humor shimmering
he liked to laugh at pain

My father, Rabbi Weiss
stood before the minion
as they told him to move on

his German was too old fashioned
my father Rabbi Weiss
stood upon the bema

weeping under the vaulted ceilings
of that cold cold Temple Zion

goodbye Temple Zion
goodbye Appleton
goodbye Mr. Hanauer

it’s time for Rabbi Weiss to move on.

tad neuhaus: ukulele, organ guitar, steel drum
joanna dane: vocals
(other tracks with matt turner)

Thank you John Adams for curating Feather and Bone at this year's most fabulous Mile of Music

and thank you Ronald and Christoph Wahl of Wahl Organbuilders, current residents of Temple Zion

*HOUDINI now available at record stores near you


Apology On the Verge

I'm thinking that I need to write an apology, but then I realize that I also need to write a thank you.

In the former case, perhaps an apology is not quite warranted, though in the latter, a thank you is an absolute necessity.

Writing an apology would make me feel better even though it might make the friend I'm apologizing to feel uncomfortable, a specialty of mine she informed me this weekend, after I sang in the shower in the Radisson lobby.

And then I told her two different stories in which I made people very uncomfortable, making my friend uncomfortable too.

But I don't feel the need to apologize for that since my friend is a psychiatrist and finds things like that fascinating, just as she found the music festival full of intriguing monkey behavior.

What I do want to apologize for were the complications that arose as I was wrestling with my own monkey mind.

But sitting down to write an apology, I find the circumstances surrounding the apology much more interesting than the apology itself, so I write about that instead.

And in writing about that, I realize perhaps it isn't an apology I need to write, but a thank you.

Instead, I sit down and play some banjo.

(listen to some porch music)