lovehate podcast 275: My Railroad Boots and My Leather Jacket

My kudo-filled ramble to Tom Waits on entering the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Ruby's Arms

I will leave behind all of my clothes, I wore when I was with you.
All I need's my railroad boots, and my leather jacket.
As I say goodbye to Ruby's arms, although my heart is breaking,
I will steal away out through your blinds, for soon you will be waking.

The morning light has washed your face, and everything is turning blue now.
Hold on to your pillow case. There's nothing I can do now.
As I say goodbye to Ruby's arms, you'll find another soldier,
and i swear to god by Christmas time, there'll be someone else to hold you.

The only thing I'm taking is the scarf off of your clothesline.
I'll hurry past your chest of drawers, and your broken window chimes.
As I say goodbye, I'll say goodbye, say goodbye to Ruby's arms.

I'll feel my way down the darken hall, and out into the morning.
The hobos at the freightyards, have kept their fires burning.
And Jesus Christ this goddamn rain. Will someone put me on a train.
I'll never kiss your lips again or break your heart.
As i say goodbye, I'll say goodbye, say goodbye to Ruby's arms.

thinglets: Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen


Another great gift via the website.

I've never been a huge fan of Leonard Cohen, but the stylish 45 year old look at one of Canada's most popular poets and performers was too cool to pass up. Beyond its examination of Cohen, it really gives viewers a sense of place and time in such a way that is esssential, and unfortunately often unique, to some of the great National Film Board content creators that we still enjoy today.

While I would never expect any to sit back and watch all 45 minutes, it is entertaining and engaging. And now you know where to find it.

thinglets: 25 Single Words That Identify Authors

I tried to avoid character names which would be very obvious and key title words that didn't exist within the texts. I've also tried to go for the most generic words I could find that the authors "made their own"... well, maybe except for "fardles". Feel free to add your own in the comments.
  1. riverrun - James Joyce
  2. Shantih - T.S. Eliot
  3. fardles - William Shakespeare
  4. towel - Douglas Adams
  5. windmills - Cervantes
  6. robot - Isaac Asimov
  7. soma - Aldous Huxley
  8. Maine - Stephen King
  9. precious - J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. thoughtcrime - George Orwell
  11. plague - Albert Camus
  12. horrorshow - Anthony Burgess
  13. jungle - Rudyard Kipling
  14. ode - John Keats
  15. tyger - William Blake
  16. albatross - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  17. paradise - John Milton
  18. inferno - Dante Alighieri
  19. waiting - Samuel Beckett
  20. nevermore - Edgar Allan Poe
  21. darkness - Joseph Conrad
  22. moors - Charlotte Bronte
  23. Rockland - Alan Ginsberg
  24. daffodils - Wordsworth
  25. whitewash - Mark Twain

lovehate: Rediscovering Ezra Pound

To some, Ezra Pound was a crazy mofo. To others, he was a crazy mofo genius.

His ability to paint images with words is often hit and miss for me, but generally the hits are illuminating and the misses are because he's written 100 cantos in cunieform.

How many writers can claim such a biological paragraph as framework for their writings:

"After the war, Pound was brought back to the United States to face charges of treason. The charges covered only his activities during the time when the Kingdom of Italy was officially at war with the United States, i.e., the time before the Allies captured Rome and Mussolini fled to the North. Pound was not prosecuted for his activities on behalf of Mussolini's Saló Republic, evidently because the Republic's existence was never formally recognized by the United States. He was found incompetent to face trial by a special federal jury and sent to St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he remained for 12 years from 1946 to 1958. His insanity plea is still a matter of controversy, since in retrospect his activities and his writings during the war years do appear to be those of a sane person." - via

With this brief context in mind, (and I encourage you explore his writings and life more) I provide some of my favorite thoughts of Pound.

"And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there... Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will."

"Genius... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one."

"I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn't irascible."

"I have always thought the suicide should bump off at least one swine before taking off for parts unknown."

"The modern artist must live by craft and violence. His gods are violent gods. Those artists, so called, whose work does not show this strife, are uninteresting."

"The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people."

"Religion, oh, just another of those numerous failures resulting from an attempt to popularize art."

"Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music."

"The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy."


The Encounter

All the while they were talking the new morality
Her eyes explored me.
And when I rose to go
Her fingers were like the tissue
Of a Japanese paper napkin.


O generation of the thoroughly smug
      and thoroughly uncomfortable,
I have seen fishermen picnicking in the sun,
I have seen them with untidy families,
I have seen their smiles full of teeth
      and heard ungainly laughter.
And I am happier than you are,
And they were happier than I am;
And the fish swim in the lake
      and do not even own clothing. 


"The art of letters will come to an end before A.D. 2000. I shall survive as a curiosity."