Saturday, February 26, 2011




Towers of God! Poets!

Heavenly lightning rods

withstanding severe tempests,

like unadorned crests,

like rustic peaks,

breakwaters of eternities!

Magical Hope announces the day

when on the rock of harmony

the perfidious siren will pass away.

You must have hope, let's still hope!

Keep hoping.

The bestial element takes comfort

in its hatred for sacred poetry,

hurling brickbats of every sort.

The insurrection from beneath

spreads to the upper class and elite.

The cannibal covets his piece of meat

with red gums and sharpened teeth.

Towers, place a smile on the pavilion.

In the face of that evil and that unease

place the lofty suggestion of a breeze

and the tranquility of sky and sea. . .

Rubén Darío

Songs of Life and Hope
translated by Will Derusha & Alberto Acereda
(Duke University Press 2004)

A great midnight song, when the moon is rising over the trees and the incomprehensible is invited in.

Johnny Guitar Watson was the ultimate rocker of blues. He took his name as still a teenager after he saw the Nicholas Ray film Johnny Guitar.

Etta James called him the best, and she traveled with him and knew. Frank Zappa picked up his guitar because of Johnny Guitar Watson. Hendrix is in the corner nodding yes to all of this.

A sleek pompadour and one more mountain lion bluesman from Texas raging in the 50s; by the 70s he had transformed without losing any of his claws or talent into a brother of style and funk, fly suit and all, and maybe just maybe he was the one who swept in Rap. Blame someone, JGW can take it.

Music historian Peter Gurlanick claims Watson not only was a musician but also a pimp — the wild man said it paid better than music.

Born in Houston, he played with everyone by the time he collapsed on stage
in Yokohama, Japan, grasping his Fender Stratocaster mid-guitar solo! It was May 17, 1996. Age 61. Over there, it's still on some people's lips.