Wednesday, February 02, 2005

sorry all absent and schnitzel, but I was traveling and discovering the abundance of the universe. i'm home again and happy to be here. as i drove in from lax and hit east sunset in echo park, the deep perfume of night blooming jasmine, mock orange, lemon and orange blossoms (all of which essentially smell the same: like magic) filled my car and nostrils and i knew again for certain i live in a special place and time. i can only imagine how it must have smelled around here back in the days when it was all orange groves. the entire basin must have been a giant perfume-bowl. specially at night.

my mom's finishing her new novel, about a young girl's life in san diego during wwii. it's called "gardenias." gardenias are also magic flowers.

on a nearby street to mine there stands an old one-story ghost cottage so run-down, with old peeling olive-green wood siding and tattered curtains... no lawn, straight outta the dustbowl like it hasn't changed since 1936... i used to call it the woody guthrie memorial childhood home, even though i knew he didn't grow up here.

yesterday i discovered a photograph of woody guthrie and one of his wives and two kids in 1936, sitting on the beat-up front stoop of a house in l.a.... with an address one block from me. i couldn't believe they actually gave the address in the caption.

it's funny because sometimes when i'm sitting here a block away in this old cottage with my kinda crappy 3/4 size guitar, and i wanna sing something, but i feel silly, i think about woody guthrie. no subject was too small for him and he didn't mind singing simple melodies and jumbles of words. he didn't judge himself too harshly and he considered his life to be decent song material. it's always inspiring and makes me feel braver. he said he stood against any music that made people feel small.

maybe he wouldn't have approved but when i think about him, i'm likely to start singing some nonsense about all-night phone calls, hipbones, hot dogs and sunshine.



"california stars"

by woody guthrie

I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight

On a bed of california stars

I'd like to lay my weary bones tonight

On a bed of california stars

I'd love to feel your hand touching mine

And tell me why I must keep working on

Yes, I'd give my life to lay my head tonight

On a bed of california stars

I'd like to dream my troubles all away

On a bed of california stars

Jump up from my starbed and make another day

Underneath my california stars

They hang like grapes on vines that shine

And warm the lovers' glass like friendly wine

So, I'd give this world

Just to dream a dream with you

On our bed of california stars

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