Like a child on a playground the world keeps spinning round.

NOTE: If looking for the memorial I wrote for HELEN RICHWINE, CLICK HERE. The post about BRENT GRULKE is here.

“Man,” said the artist, “I hate to see a bunch of fucking hipsters like that.”

New song time. See if this link works BLUE, BLUE SKY (August version) . I’m having some trouble with the music player…. AGAIN.

The song is also here on, along with a few other GarageBand demos. It occurred to me that the song may sound like a lounge lizard with laryngitis trying on Bryan Ferry’s old suits in the back room of a brothel run by a one-legged midget castaway from the Circus of Excommunicated Lutherans. So be it. With another shot of Bulleit rye it may improve immensely.
I wrote this one early this summer, actually, when things were just starting to get weird, with the parole board trying to free that serial killer I wrote about in May (A K A SERIAL KILLER) and also in my memoir, NEVER THE SAME AGAIN. And once you have Stage 4 neck cancer, 13.5 hours surgery, followed by the World War III radiation & chemo thing, your immunity tends to be shot, and mine is uniquely shot. I’ve had pneumonia twice in the last year and a bunch of other ailments. I’m not complaining. Do I look like I’m complaining?

Doing I look like I’m complaining? This photo by Todd W. Wolfson.

Point is, when I first demoed this song, in mid-May, my voice was really clear, my high notes and falsetto howl were happening, baby. But then these infections happened and it’s been really gruff for four months now. Whatever, deal with it.
Some things happened. A few deaths and some other stuff. Life is always throwing curve balls, or dumping a truck load of horse shit on your roof. At least we aren’t dodging another suicide bomber or drone attack like folks in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The first version of this song was a little flawed, but I worked it into one of the last chapters of my crime novel, “Grave Digger Blues.” The manuscript is making a brief trip through the editorial offices of a few publishers before I go and release it for the iPad and other, more basic eBook formats. I have this dream of performing it live, with a band, but that may just be fated to remain a dream. we’ll see. Back to the song: I moved around some chords, changed the groove, and it’s better now. This is where we stand, Tuesday, August 21, 2012.

Here’s a paragraph from the next crime story which I’ve been carrying around in my head all summer.

Hank had a framed photo of a gang of old Civil War generals hung on the wall by the gun case. The photo was from a ten year reunion of the old gray experts in murder and carnage, when a good number of them still sported strange hair styles and eccentric beards and mustaches, which, combined with their formal uniforms festooned with decorations, made for a baroque presentation. Alias hated the photo, and each time he walked past, never failed to comment. “Man,” said the artist, “I hate to see a bunch of hipsters like that.”

Hey daddy-o, keep cool. Call in sick. See you at happy hour.


Trying on Bryan Ferry’s old suits in a brothel run by a midget in the Circus of Excommunicated Lutherans. Life could be worse.

Photos here from the Taschen book The Circus: 1870-1950.

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