Friday, September 08, 2006

Ancient Future         [shi]

Day follows day   somehow the world continues
whatever we do   this basic state remains

I sent out an email   listing the local venues
for Ancient Future's   future tour   the rains

have passed   there's blue through a window   morning gleams
all the yesterdays are gone   I can't say the gains

outweigh the loss   I don't recall my dreams
each day we're new   but we keep the olden names


Chinese poems, late summer, no. 6

the local venues: this poem is partly responsive to an email exchange. Matthew Montfort (founding member of the Bay Area-based "world fusion music" band called Ancient Future) wrote me:
It is great to have you back on our media list, print or blog!
Too bad you moved to Washington DC as we didn't find a gig there. This is our first trip in 25 years. If you were in California, the distance between DC and NYC would be considered a hop, skip and a jump away.
Looks like Benjy might be playing with us in NYC as he is on tour as well and has the night off.
Let us know where we should try for in DC next time.
So I sent him a list of some local music venues. Back around 1982, I wrote a detailed review of one of their shows, which was published in the East Bay Express. That was early in my venture into music journalism -- a quasi-vocation I pursued for the remainder of that decade. When Montfort emailed me lately (about their tour with gigs in NYC and Boston), I remarked I wasn't much publishing such critiques any more (not since the demise of EAR Magazine circa 1992), though I'm blogging and may occasionally post some such things here. His note above is the reply.

There's reference to a 1990 benefit concert for EAR Magazine here. There's an old concert poster here, and a suggestion of some back issues here. Otherwise, it's a lingering legend in a few minds.


Blogger david raphael israel said...

This evening, I happened to dash out some remarks about this poem (and the sequence it's part of), which -- though admittedly a bit portentious (or seemingly so), I'll presume to copy here.


I should note about the style of poem above -- this is based largely, I'd say, on a feeling of rhythm and measure in the lines. (If one wanted to bother, there could be some value in an aloud-recitation -- to get the feel of the way the poem is intended to unfold, which is somewhat formal, despite a seemingly offhand style of the diction or phrasing.) As I've noted, this poem (and others in the same sequence) draws on my study of classical Chinese poetry. This literary approach is, in a sense, radically individualistic yet (paradoxically) strongly traditionalist. The individuality involves the fact of recording a sequence of thoughts that arise amid typically quite mundane circumstances and objects of contemplation; the tradition involves an approach of organization and observation that seeks to find a way of hitting (one can say, metaphorically) a certain note that is very broad in its typicality of the human condition. So there's a seeking for the ways in which the seemingly chance / random / mundane / immediate relate to the perennial / continuing / long arc of the human view.

Fri Sep 08, 09:00:00 PM PDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home