"Some Rain Tonight"
"My Mother's Spirit
Speaks To Me"
"Some Rain Tonight" arose on the Saturday night of May 2010 three weeks after the Deepwater Horizon off-shore platform that was drilling for British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico suffered a blow-out and exploded into flung
steel and pluming flames.
I'd roughnecked on the Gulf between 1977 and 1980. In 1978 Global Marine had suggested that I become a driller and had given me the thick and eighty Driller's Manuel to read. I knew that steps to prevent a blow-out had been missed on the Deepwatter Horizon. You can read about them in the 'Fight the Blob' piece that I wrote for puppetgov.com and that Patti Smith featured in the Souveance section of her website.
Three weeks into the Blob of oil's spread into the Gulf Stream and many States' food-supply I was angry and anguished at the losses to Louisiana in particular.
A young Cajun said to me in a parking-lot: "It's like they're trying to take away
anything we own, and anything that's fun."
Mario Abney on drums-set, Michael Torregano Jr. on keyboard, and Nick Benoit on acoustic bass were this trio from the shifting Rivers of Dreams band. Michael and Nick busked as a duo beside Café du Monde for four months; their rapport and their desire to expand changes makes for a steadily differing musicality. Mario is a player and a dance born, whatever his instrument.
Two excerpts from my 'Fight the Blob, Part One' piece, published on Bill Jablonski's puppetgov.com in late May 2010. Patti Smith, that great liberator and soul, surprised
me a lot when she offered this piece in the Souvenance section of her website.
Mario plays trumpet and Kaliq Woods clarinet in "My Mother's Spirit ..." Mario and Kaliq have known each other since teen-aged club and and street musicians in Chicago. Their rapport is also unthinking by now and their instruments' singing voices lift each other into heights and depths. They have great ideas. Zach Knewstub has a rare touch on piano and his palette of chords and harmonies grows through eight hours + of practice a day. This was our second take of "My Mother's Spirit ..." on March 4, 2015 and my second day with Rick G. Nelson in his Marigny Studio.
The poem-become-song (for it arose with distinct melody) arose on the preceding Christmas Eve, as I walked with two dogs, Boomer and RotoTumba,
from a house in Gretna out to the levee and Mississippi. The night was one of
fog and shadows that leave the sky chiaroscuro and a marching field of history
and allusions. My mother had died in February 2009; Maryse and I had married in January 2014 and flown directly to the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival. 'Framed birds of Asia / Cherry blossoms / Snows of Manitoba / Blowing into New Orleans' Mississippi / ... " Just as it happened--particulars of my mother's past ("She was a hippie before there were hippies," said my cousinRobyn) merging with the swing and swell of wish that she and Maryse might have met. Kaliq and Mario came up with the change that accompanies
"Cock of a hip to Basie's beats / Twinkling smile both young and old."
Mario and Kaliq in a promotional card done by The Long Arms of Honus Paige for a performance
of theirs in hometown Chicago.
My mother, Elizabeth and "Betty" Cannon and then Murphy and then
Hulme, in a photo taken in Brandon, Manitoba by, I think, Rod Hulme,
two years before we three came together in Reno and then California. My
caption today, Oct. 18. 2020: 'The life of the mind is inviolable.'
Maryse with two friends who help to keep our car and truck going, Brian and Zach.