Classic Contrapuntal: Panic at the Disco

Classic Contrapuntal: Panic at the Disco

Some songs follow a course that makes sense, mathematically. As if someone raises a hand, lowers it, raises it higher again, and forms a pattern you can count on, anticipicate. You basically can hear the next movement in your head before it happens, but that’s not a bad thing, or a boring thing, if the music can match emotion with the math.

Panic at the Disco, a Vegas band I had not bumped into until this year, does that with their song, “Death of a Bachelor,” from their new album by the same name. Though it might not be accurate to call “them” a band any longer. This album appears to be the work of its lone original member (from its inception in 2004), vocalist Brendon Urie, though one could say the band’s lineup is still in flux. Regardless, the new album is basically his baby, and the man can sang it!

In a 2015 interview with Alt 98.7, Urie … Click to continue . . .

Rick Garni: New Poems

Rick Garni: New Poems

 

THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE ORCHESTRA, PT. 1

 

The bassoon is almost as red as it is brown.
It is a complicated color that was invented
by the orchestra way back when.

It lives life richly. It can be a dying bear
when it sings, a smiling hippo when it is
at rest. It is not the same. It is different.

Anything that is different, is easy
to make fun of. Go on, make fun
of it. It’s fun. Just remember:
someday, you might need this bassoon.

 

 

 

BEHEST

 

I want to have a daughter so that we can go to the bakery
together on a sunny Saturday morning and when she says
What is that Daddy I can say with confidence: That my dear,
my angel, my love, my sweet is a

brioche.

 

 

Copyright© 2016 by Rick Garni. All Rights Reserved.

 

Ricky Garni was born in Miami and grew up in Click to continue . . .
Jaded Poems

Jaded Poems

Rock Shadows2

Jaded Aesthetic Hand-Wringing too Soon

 

 

The difference between Nature and nature
I think is like Woods and woods
Rivers and rivers
Rocks and rocks

It’s like the sun shining down on the green     
And making it more green not less

Or the river looking back at you in sorrow or joy
As if it’s given up and the day has not
Begun yet

Or it seems proud of its depth and its clarity
Of thought and feeling

Proud of its command of that route
Between here and there

Loire Valley. Photo by Douglas Pinson. 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strangely enough
Strangely it seems that humans
Can affect this difference

By doing their part with good brushes
And good ideas of composition and angles
And diametrics

They can do their part by not
Screwing up the good stuff
The rolling hills and the mountains
In the distance
With beat up old buildings
Falling apart … Click to continue . . .

Before the Frost Comes

Before the Frost Comes

Eiffel Tower. Photo by Douglas Pinson. 2007

The Realist Struggles With Vacation Brochures

 

The painter who wanted to sing
And write and travel
And be the incognito ruler of the world
Left his apartment that should have been a house
Or a mansion
In the country not the city
Instead of bleakness
He wanted lush greens and grounds
And stone pools
Shining in the sun

Years were to be filled
With talks and walks
And healing of souls
Through his words or images
The notes coming and going in the Cheyenne
Breeze
     Over his ponds and
          Flowers in the Prague garden

The horse became a painting or a word
Then a thought
And the beautiful girl was four sounds
     A glad row of trees a root
Clouds hanging across the moon

It was a moon not a goddess
And he fell down and kissed the Earth
      Hoping
She would hear him and commit this image to memory

In Prague … Click to continue . . .

Alice Kaplan: Looking for the Stranger

Alice Kaplan: Looking for the Stranger

Looking for The Stranger, by Alice Kaplan. 2016
Looking for The Stranger, by Alice Kaplan. 2016.

Biographies of writers, artists, musicians and the like fill our libraries to the brim. But in recent years, a new kind of bio has emerged: the “life” of a particular work of art. One very fine example of this sub-genre is Alice Kaplan’s Looking for The Stranger.

The book gives us a brief (but continuous) bio of Camus, his birth and early years in Algeria, providing the North African as well as Parisian contexts for his literary output before, during and after WWII. She takes us through the process of his writing, beginning with several early missteps and rejections along the way, and then follows him almost chapter by chapter through the completion of his short but seminal novel of the Absurd. Along the way, we’re introduced to key people in the life of the novel, its gestation and the road to its publication in 1942. Perhaps the most important … Click to continue . . .

Colors are Heroic.

Colors are Heroic.

Hieros Gamos, by Douglas Pinson. 1982/1983
Hieros Gamos, by Douglas Pinson. 1982/1983

When I was very young, I didn’t see this. I didn’t see the heroism of color, or the way we make colors ourselves, in our eyes, in our mind’s eye, or the bravery of Nature’s way, or its tremendous courage in painting as it does.

Yes, Nature paints, and that’s not just a Romantic notion. It’s not some pseudo-poetic way of describing the ineffable. It just paints. Nothing comes close to the skill set of Nature in regard to — well, everything, really. Especially shadows, colors, light, polarities of darkness and light. And nothing can reach its sublime power in making opposites cohere, mesh, harmonize, complement. In a sense, wash away. In Nature, they become one with the All. But for humans, they mean war.

For us, they mean conflict, battles and war. For Spinoza’s god, they meant the universal orchestra, the mother of all choirs, the pallet of the cosmos. And … Click to continue . . .

Necessity and Inevitability

Necessity and Inevitability

window5

It’s almost inevitable that the conversation continues. About Art. About the way we humans structure things, because our brains were built that way. About the way we choose to structure poems, plays, novels and such. The rocks we use to get to something else. The fire inside that rock. The spirit of stone the best sculptors find and exploit. It was there all along, they say. And the best don’t just say that, they feel it with every fiber of their Being in the World.

The best art is inexorable, inevitable. I first bumped into that idea, at least in that form, in William Barrett’s Irrational Man, a book I’ve discussed in Spinozablue now and then. There are, of course, many ways to think about the inevitable — in life and art, within our brains, outside them, the connections we invent and those we miss. And we miss so many.

Knowing only this culture first hand, growing up only … Click to continue . . .

Stages Along the Way

Stages Along the Way

stoic3

Mixed feelings. Images clash. I don’t always or sometimes or never believe in phases, set eras, concrete life-steps that group themselves in any rational order. I don’t think we pass through these things on our way to wherever we find ourselves. It’s random. And this belief I feel at times, no times, as if it were always and never, is something that clashes with my art, what I think and feel about art, how it must happen and be.

Order. Order the chaos. Organize the disparate, random elements of our lives and our worlds in such a way that they, for a moment at least, make a certain kind of sense or anti-sense. The opposite of that sense is still a kind of order.

And so we make stories, songs, paint pictures, sculpt the indifferent rock. We infuse meaning and subtext and point to connections that are only there because we say so, and this is beautiful. The best make … Click to continue . . .