Friday, August 31, 2012

2.485 : 8/31/06 : The Future of the Past

Some believe they
understand the
things that went behind
no amount of
record keeping
stills the doubt in my mind
the future of the past
is surely to be
before the corpse is cold
the old guard experts
have dismembered
and laid its chunks
in jars of chloroform
so neatly labeled
the future train
comes barreling
the whole affair is tabled
believing history is bunk
we are indeed doomed to repeat
God help us when some
new Orator
brings us to our feet


Thursday, August 30, 2012

2.484 : 8/30/06 : Back and Forth

Experience runs backwards and forth
I’ll drive it West by North by North
The Past every distorted by memories’ lies
The future always dazzled by the sun in your eyes
Stranded in the now I must navigate both ways
Janus faced Odysseus steer blindly through the haze
stuff my ears with wax and lead and lash me to the wheel
deep down I want to hear their song to find out how I’ll feel
Poised thus in the center and revolving on a pin
I’m sure that you’ll agree I’m an uncommon specimen
I haven’t got an ounce of proof I’ll ever pull it off
but as long as I am standing do it better or don’t scoff
I spend far too much time up late pacing forth and back
Pondering the way forward this glacial slow attack
always say that day is over ready once again
nothing’s ever over nothing ever starts or ends

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2.483 : 8/29/06 : Tribute

Is this tribute? Recognition
automatic product of cognition
am I asserting a sovereign right
all I know is I’m a raver
I can go all night
twelve thousand seven hundred eighty five days
that’s all: move on
And the band plays
Even so I have to mark the spot
take a moment to give thanks for what I’ve got
It only comes but once a year
look for me next time I’ll be here


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2.482 : 8/28/06 : The History of the Ivory Tower

I hated it from the start
I hated it at the end
I’m so glad I don’t have to pretend
walked through that door
The ivory tower
I thought somehow would be
my place of power
but something else is singing to me
I can see the eyes
the mind going if I only knew
he said you better get out now
well if I only knew
In fact I knew
but it was something that I could not do
It ended with a dream
There was a funeral of sorts I suppose
I remember corridors
horrible rooms
old flames, yes one of those
I took the best advice that
I could find
left the tower with what
was left of my mind


Monday, August 27, 2012

2.481 : 8/27/06 : Retract

2,672 : 24 ?

No one can retract
a statement anymore
cheap abundant memory
dragged with it the one way door
So I have no option
but to stand by what I say
I think I better watch it then
more closely from this day


Sunday, August 26, 2012

2.480 : 8/26/06 : Swift As

Change up rearrange up
Swift as, swift as
Make it, if you have to, fake it
drift past, drift past
smooth as glass
raw as silk
clean as blood
and whole as milk
Swift as, swift as
Put up get a foot up
long as, long as
Glancing off a strange romancing
strong as, strong as
bold as death
dark as dawn
long as a heartbeat
good as gone
swift as, swift as
swift as, swift as


Saturday, August 25, 2012

The problem with labels

A couple of forays worth into the application of labels (as Blogger refers to tags) and I decided I better move the cloud display further down the sidebar because it was clearly going to rapidly get out of hand.

The problem as always with labels is that there are so very many things, and the map that could supply every detail of the terrain would have to be as big as the territory.  So you end up with a handful of drastically recurring objects because they happen to be so broadly defined or general followed by a massive scrum of overly specific one-offs.  I guess time will tell.  It's less of an issue of course in a case like this where the labeling is pretty much just a parallel work of art.  When it is supposed to be functional these problems represent real obstacles.  In the real world of say biological taxonomy actual disputes over where lines are drawn, or whether a particular label represents over-specificity is a regular occurrence.  Classification is useful but on some level always artificial.

When you start to weight stuff new issues arise.  The meta tag I'm using here is a good example.  It's simple function is to label the non-song posts - the posts about the blog itself (not to be mistaken with the solipsism tag, which is used for when I refer to the song of the day project within the song itself, an occurrence I fear I will find to be all too common).  "Meta" posts are by a very great margin the minority on this blog, but because the tag is unambiguous and consistently applied it already carries a rather high weight in the tag cloud.  Somewhere out there there is a whole series based on Dante's Inferno - and it's horrible! Unreadable!  But for that sole exercise I expect the hell tag is always going to loom large in the cloud once I reread (ugh) and label that series.  Oh well, I guess it is what it is.  I can just be glad I don't have contextual advertisements in it anymore, the heavy weight of the hell and religion tags would probably attract an unsavory element.

I'm hoping getting to a more representative sample of the songs labeled will see legitimate common themes arising in the songs will play this down by and by - in many of the seemingly obscure labels I've come up with so far I'm anticipating motifs, themes and personal jargon I know will arise repeatedly as I continue through the lyrics.  The problems of redundancy and over-specificity are harder to know what to do with (at this point I'd invite certain of my compatriots to enjoy the opportunity to suggest the redundancy of having separate tags for religion, mythology, and superstition...)

So the evolving tag cloud is going to be an ongoing element of interest to me, at least...


2.479 : 8/25/06 : Discipline

Rise to rock the boat again
declare an agenda fueled by discipline
mark a mark as black as ink
it’s harder harder than you think
try to learn all the phenomena
try to craft the cure for the common blah
discipline without obedience
trying to get the master to smack me off the fence
trying to get as hard as iron
trying to prove this time it’s my turn
I rise to meet a challenge bold
to end the day another story told
trying to start the honest fire
drag you all into my quagmire
I could run for hours like this
can’t believe there’s much I’d miss
but even for the disciplined
the planet plowed its track and spinned
the time to rest must come at last
another day given to the past
save discipline for another day
another word another game to play


Friday, August 24, 2012

rereading project

I've decided to spend some of my time here and there rereading all the songs from the start and start adding labels so I can get all taggy and cloudy and stuff with my sidebar.  I may from time to time interject a little commentary on the process.  Follow along when you have a moment or two and add your own insights.  It's all leading up to the launch of Parliament and Empire (aka Secret Project), which proceeds albeit at glacial pace.


2.478 : 8/24/06 : Soul Trap

I’m dreaming about the soul trap
I was daydreaming about the mind tap
I was imagining all we needed was gold
I was watching myself getting old
I imagined an aquarium
That he’d survived the drag race
from the planetarium
How I used to want to be wild like him
only for me it was one after another
copycat stars
progressively more dim
The thousand faces of the soul trap
from the slate up to the
navi-holographic mind-map
Sorry guess that doesn’t exist yet
give me fifteen minutes on that missed bet
it’ll show up at the five and ten
yet another proof of my almighty pen


Thursday, August 23, 2012

2.477 : 8/23/06 : The Gap Closed

The filthy cheating
shows you the outcome
but does not tell
how it ever came about
we closed the gap
nothing else to say about it...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2.476 : 8/22/06 : At the Gap

It turned out that we’d only
dreamed about it
now to imagine we once
lived without it
yawning out
malignant and uncrossable
At the gap
and gaping baffled
longingly recall past
glasses, half full
bridgeless, earthbound
basically stumped
we shut our eyes
and screamed
and jumped


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2.475 : 8/21/06 : Backwards is Earth

Technology is slipping
at an exponential pace
reverting back to sticks and stones
and dim dawn of the human race
soon again to be simian
swinging from a tree
devolving over untold years
the calendar is over see
no one knows the mechanism
everything’s reversible
backwards is earth
in this alternate
speculating versical
life disappears into the soup
that ever gathers heat
The moon gets knocked back into it
So silent and discrete
and all is drawn into the sun
which flickers to a near event
in graveyard of another star
this siren message heaven sent


Monday, August 20, 2012

2.474 : 8/20/06 : The Birth of Pleasure (The Seven Labors of Psyche 7)

2,665 : 17 ?

And nine months after
this immortal cup you give me
When he wiped the sleep away
after choosing to forgive me
As if wanting to see his face
was really such a crime
But let that one pass by
and so again
after nine month’s time
After War’s wife left her grudge
to dance at our affair
and Zephyr came one more time
to spirit us from there
I shuddered in my last labor
one elemental morn
And in an endless timeless
Pleasure was born


Sunday, August 19, 2012

2.473 : 8/19/06 : Buying Beauty in Hell (The Seven Labors of Psyche 6)

Consigned to visit hell to bring a goddess beauty
Counseled by a tower doing double duty
Sent below bewitched and fasting
hoping this payment will be lasting
Avoiding the error of Persephone
Only to fall prey to covetous epiphany
You’d think these Greeks would learn
To stay out of the magic boxes
Particularly on the far side
of the shore where Charon’s dock is
I opened it true but the beauty was not there
Only something dark and swirling
Causing me to stare
And felt a soulless something
Staring back from the trackless deep
And fell into and fell into
and fell into a dreamless sleep


Saturday, August 18, 2012

2.472 : 8/18/06 : The Waters of Styx (The Seven Labors of Psyche 5)

The waters of Lethe make you forget
The waters of Lourdes heal the faithful
But the waters of Styx and Cocytus
Can destroy you if you are not careful
The gap where the deep fall descends
surmountable to no man
plummets to the trackless depth
deep within a fearsome chasm
And Psyche plunges into despair
so see the task impossible
and bitterly decried the fate
that set her to the path implausible
but the great eagle came to her
carried on the crafty Zephyr
another friend unlooked for
on the wings of chance and weather
old Aphrodite gnashed her teeth
at all her plans unravelling
but set her mind and so contrived
poor Psyche’s cruelest traveling


Friday, August 17, 2012

progress report

Been a while since the last graphical assessment.  I'm on the 15th notebook of series two and currently the backlog transcribing is close to wrapping up number 5.  "And miles to go before I sleep".  Until I close the gap it's all just sitting there, being a discreet collection of unique and basically irreplaceable objects in space, which worries me but it gets done when it gets done: transcription occurs on my dime, naturally.

When it's time to transcribe today's song I always tediously end up searching 2-15 and then have to wait a minute for the Mac to figure out that I'm not asking it to do a calculation for me but actually looking for a word processing file.  Open there at the top of the stack is its physical avatar that now usually just slightly predates its multiply-backed-up digital ascension.  According to current statistics a song occupies on average a little under 2K of memory.  Comparable to the amount of RAM in the Apollo Guidance Computer, or so I am led to believe through extremely cursory research.  I could cut this down a lot if I just saved them as plain text, which would be just fine as there is no formatting in the transcription.  And so it goes.  Push On, Andromachene.

(all fifteen are visible in the stack if you count carefully)


2.471 : 8/17/06 : Gathering Wool (The Seven Labors of Psyche 4)

Without magic new or old
what’s gotten might be spun to gold
Heed the warning of the overgod
All before who sought to tame
these sheep are slowly
turning into sod
Thus turned aside from the obvious approach
contemplating how their territory to broach
Simply wait until they’re asleep
and thus gather the
castoffs of these
slumbering golden sheep
gods don’t need gold no, neither wool
It’s obvious by now
She’s playing poor Psyche
for a fool
but as a whole world rushes to her defense
she just might make it
gathering wool
left snagged
on that barb wire fence


Thursday, August 16, 2012

2.470 : 8/16/06 : Dividing Grain (The Seven Labors of Psyche 3)

It’s all an allegory don’t you know
dividing grain
how this thing started, yo
And if I’ve mentioned
Ceres Demeter before
You know it’s just that everything’s
what was called myth
I just call a story
I was just joking when I
said it was an allegory
yet I see a lot
I must admit
in a mixed bag of grain
by an ant dissected


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2.469 : 8/15/06 : Unmasking the Serpent (The Seven Labors of Psyche 2)

Jealousy and envy are sisters:
Man that lamp oil leaves behind blisters
They’ve been saying that you married a snake
with a child on the way is that a chance you
wanna take?

You must admit it was a strange arrangement
And natural curiosity that
led to our estrangement
If you seemed too good to be true
If I just couldn’t resist the chance
to take a look at you

If you’d only followed rules
you’d agreed to
If you’d only believed I could need you
Did you make a mistake
or did you love me on purpose
Do we try to make amends
or let these mortal ends usurp us?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

468 : 8/14/06 : Leaving Home (The Seven Labors of Psyche 1)

2,659 : 11 ?

Destined for no mortal lover dressed in mourning shroud
Set upon a mountaintop, wreathed in icy cloud
Waiting for the west wind to ensnare enchant set free
victim of goddess jealousy: this is what home means to me
Same bed same window waking
to same light same plate fast breaking
Same dress same shift same chair
same needlework same combs in same hair
everyday and everyday and all and always waiting
finally carried away the west wind my breath baiting
leaving home


Monday, August 13, 2012

2.467 : 8/13/06 : Guess What I Did

While others ignored I wrote a song
While some abhorred I wrote a song
While a few scoffed I wrote a song
It pissed me off but I wrote a song
while my heart broke I wrote a song
I worked and spoke while I wrote a song
I love you kid this won’t take long
guess what I did I wrote a song
Because the sun rose I wrote a song
Obsessive I suppose I wrote a song
Spirit’s willing and the flesh grows strong
And stale or fresh I’ll write a song
Day by day I wrote a song
The toll I pay is to write a song
And when ten thousand days are gone
God help me I pray
I’ll probably write a song


Sunday, August 12, 2012

2.466 : 8/12/06 : Bootstrap 9

Work my way to pulling up on
bootstrap nine
no smoke no smoke no fire I’m
feelin fine
Make a list and check it
ten thousand times
if it reads it rhymes
next stop bootstrap nine
am I going to get a break
at last today
the best laid plans so often
gang aft agley
But it’s always now or never
So I’m forging ahead
I’m alive not dead
So lace it up on bootstrap nine


Saturday, August 11, 2012

excuse our mess

Because the Jonathan Hamlow Media Empire listens to its fanbase it very recently became clear that it was time to undertake a mess I've been avoiding for a long time, namely converting all of my legacy blogs to Blogger's new* template paradigms.  I've been avoiding it because it's going to initially strip out much of the template customization I've created for the blogs, which I will have to manually restore.  On the other hand, it should make it much easier to add new features to the blogs and to generally improve my ability to publish and share.  So please excuse the mess, as they say, while things get wonky for a while, and keep an eye on things - you might even let me know what you think about the changes as they occur.

*new-ish; I've been avoiding this for a LONG time...

2.465 : 8/11/06 : Ahead

Though grievously
behind on sleep
I’m gonna get ahead
of the curve so steep
so deadly easy
to fall behind
Pray to God this quick hello
will ease my mind
wanted so badly
to skip the recursion
maybe it’ll come through
in some other version
meanwhile I just must accept
the outcome of the evening
the hours I kept
meanwhile must leave
well enough alone
make one last tour of interland
and finally hang up the throne


Friday, August 10, 2012

In the gripping ongoing tale of lyrical transcription

Behind the near-daily stream of lyrics that a couple dozen people* apparently view on average each day is a monumental work of transcription - I have to date written over 3,500 songs in the course of these projects, of which over 1,800 remain to be transcribed - the halfway point of this project being (as the math geniuses among you have already deduced) a ways off yet.

Throughout the blogging of the first project, for the most part I barely kept up with the posting and indeed running out of transcribed songs (and the will to transcribe them) held up the posting many times, sometimes for weeks or months.  Eventually I acquired a discipline about it, something you'd think I'd kind of have a method for at this point.  And so I've slowly but surely been getting ahead.  At the moment I have a stockpile of three hundred and some transcribed songs for the posting.  At some point in the future I'd like to actually attain parity - get caught up and then just transcribe them as I write them.

I recently decided to start closing the gap from both sides.  I started a new notebook not too long ago (June 16 to be precise) and decided that from here on out I was going to transcribe all the new songs, so I caught up from June 16 and now I'm current.  Meanwhile the older songs slowly bridge the gap - the most recent addition was from 6/22/07, so I guess it's a 5 year gap, which remains daunting, but I guess that's the song of the day in a nutshell - taking a daunting number and fucking it up a little bit one day at a time.

It's interesting though - when I finally got on track transcribing the first project the songs were all 10 years old.  It had been a real active ten years in my life (changed jobs 3 times, got married, bought a house, had a kid) and in many ways the songs were quite remote, almost artifacts.  Often I wondered where did this come from?  Since there was a long hiatus between the projects in real life, the currency of what I was transcribing took a sharp jump when I moved into that project, and the more my transcribing gets ahead of the daily composing and posting schedule the closer to the now I get.  Now I'm also transcribing stuff I wrote yesterday, if not five minutes ago.  Will it change how I feel about it?  Will I even look at any of the new stuff until half a dozen years from now when I finally post it?

*I suspect that in fact I have considerably less regular readers than that.  I've been looking at my traffic lately and there are more than a couple anomalies suggesting that things may be getting gamed in some number of obscure ways.  For starts there are implausible numbers of visitors from outside the United States.  Like, Germany has supposedly generated almost half of recent pageviews.  That seems unlikely.  If not, yo Deutschland up in hizzy!  Give me a shout out in the comments my Germans, ich bin ein Berliner!  But seriously no, right?  But what in the hell angle can there be in visiting random blog pages?  Put on your tinfoil hat with me for a minute and I'll tell you one thing I've been noticing - more than a few times I've seen little traffic spikes originating from sites that just don't make any sense and when I go there it's some awful advertisement, like the real awful kind where a video autostarts telling you about seduction tactics and if you try to close the window it runs some Javascript bullshit on you that's all like "naw man you don't really wanna leave this solid gold get laid advice for reals?" and you have to click "like for reals dawg I'm out" to close the page and after you've done it you feel like you should maybe wash your clicker finger.

I'll just lay it out straight I think people have figured out that pathetic bloggers sit and troll around their sad little BS traffic statistics and have figured out how to make their shitty sites show up in your stats.  If anyone has an explanation for this that makes me seem like less of an asshole I'm way up to hear about it though.


2.464 : 8/10/06 : No Option to Repent

If there’s no option to repent
time time time
whether mortgage or a rent
you’re stuck behind the paradigm
transcend the limitation of
three hours badly needed
but can never be gotten back
or a brief flash of good sense heeded


Thursday, August 09, 2012

2.463 : 8/9/06 : Old Hat

Make the decision
Not going to go back
or pass the hat
Something better
now or never
If she wants I’ll let her
if I see the lever
I’ll find a place to stick it
I’ll find a place to stand
I’ll find a rock to build on
in the midst of all this sinking sand
make the division
no more old tricks, dog
no more old hat


2.462 : 8/8/06 : New Mind Blown

Seeing those kids raving
doesn’t get me craving
the patch shrinks to a postage stamp
and I refuse to mount the ramp
backwards, eyes closed
I couldn’t tell you if it would last
too much history blown past
but I’m living living it today
new mind blown all from within
I might even be ready to begin
See what I do
no matter what I say


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

2.461 : 8/7/06 : Now Then

Now then
here again
count my blessings
count to ten
here now
still behind the plow
wonder should I sacrifice
this sacred cow
don’t expect
no disrespect
to you old friend
and your dialect
the words that mean
the slate is clean
the foolish rituals I choose
to set the scene
but it’s all now
today it’s true
don’t expect much to change
but it beats feeling blue


Monday, August 06, 2012

2.460 : 8/6/06 : A Charm

First time came as quite a shock
recall how very sure I felt
Guess feeling sure don’t mean a thing
just how you play the hand you’re dealt
second time I learned not to
trust how things looked on paper
how God is in the details true
how dreams disperse like vapor
the third time I can’t see too well
still toiling deep inside
just hoping hoping it’s a charm
the one that will at last abide


2.459 : 8/5/06 : Siren, Banshee, Shrike

2,651 : 3 ?

Siren, banshee, shrike
luster, howler, killing strike
crash into the rocks
cry that kills and shatters locks
butcher bird her bloody larder
I spun around and the sound hit me harder
I’d lashed myself to the wheel
but the shrike was at my heel
I stuffed my ears with wax
to put the sirens off my tracks
I froze the banshee with Medusa’s head
I’m mixing my myths but I can sleep in that bed
but at the end of the hall
the shrike was waiting despite it all
and I just held out my hand
I’ll whisper little bird I know you’ll understand


Saturday, August 04, 2012

2.458 : 8/4/06 : The Oracles

The oracles are dicking me around
telling me all kinds of crazy contradictory smack
and while I’m all distracted by the fury and the sound
the future unfolds on its own behind my back
I threw the yarrow stalks I cooked the turtle shell
I cast stones and bones and runes all morning long
Newspaper horoscopes said something about going through hell
The Book said the heart was wicked but I think it was wrong
I guess I can’t expect any help from behind the veil
that shit tore once it’s all mixed together now
and if I’m destined to do some time in the belly of the whale
I’m not asking you to justify why just tell me how
Still it’s hard to resist running the old gimmicks
Staring at the tea leaves flexing the old wish bone
And still I gotta wish you’d teach this dog some new tricks
It’s the 21st century couldn’t you call me on the phone


Friday, August 03, 2012

2.457 : 8/3/06 : Fog

Fog of desire, satiation
fog on the windows
of the space station
We're all trapped to some degree
hanging in space
hanging from the family tree
I can't see for
the fog I generated
all for a moment
of an inkling I was sated
it wasn't worth it
is anything ever
I never said I thought
that I was that clever
I'm just waiting
waiting for the fog to burn off
waiting for the sentinel
to turn and cough
then I'll slip past
underneath the wire
walk away from
the fog of desire


Thursday, August 02, 2012

2.456 : 8/2/06 : Furious

Furious anger furious thought
furious with concepts of
ownership and ought
harnessed through discipline
focused through a lens
the solvent the
windows of perception I cleanse
I smashed the doors down
with a bigger hammer
as long as I don't end up
in politics or the slammer
no parliament would have me
no law I've broken
and I feel safe and secure
with my get out of jail token
Furious with the time I've wasted
full of longing for
the life I've tasted
I won't be dragged behind
this time
I'm doing it all on my own dime


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

2.455 : 8/1/06 : Catch

What’s the catch
to the new deal
a slightly deeper
illusion of the real
mind is not real
nor television
the true answer
always lost in the precision
Here’s the catch
the future can’t be known
and the past is gone forever
and we all die alone
if you don’t like it
complain to management
complain the path is twisty, narrow
and the column’s bent