Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? -Sathya Sai Baba

Friday, July 29, 2005

Tucson as Karmic Gravity Sink - Cafe Quebec

This one won't make any sense to anybody who didn't live in Tucson, AZ in the early to mid-nineties. It's OK, read the other posts instead.


-----Original Message-----
From: chad
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 10:58 AM
To: Scott Williams; troy tilus
Subject: journal entry

on 29.04.2002, i wrote::

some coffee shops are pick-up joints. some are for students cramming for meaningless tests. some are where the kids hang-out—and café Q? café Q in tucson arizona? it is the prison rec-room; where one smokes and plans for revolt all the while spending one's time like a ten year sentence. you'll break out soon. until then there is plenty of time for another drawing, another book, some more reading...


From: Scott Williams
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 11:11 AM
To: 'chad'
Subject: RE: journal entry

Corn Chowder or Gazpacho and a crusty, chewy half-a-baugette for 3 dollars and change. Scribbling in my journal about 3xpl0d1n6 the AT&T building and imagining its giant antenna piercing the streets of downtown Tucson, sending gouts of flam3 into the air while Club Congress burns. Reading Sexus, Nexus, Plexus and trying to imagine being an ubermensch, entertaining caffeine and other substance induced fantasies of sex and fame. Mooning pathetically over the girl behind the bar, knowing she’ll never like me… Watching the popular guys and the high school girls, wishing I was somewhere else, unable to think of anyplace else to go. Hoping someone I knew would walk by, desperate for them to leave when they do show up.

More like a recruitment center where we sign up for our own bad trips and internment – basic training for hipster hell.

Man did I love that soup, though.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mt. Maya? Don't Mind if I Do!

synyonymUS made a trek up to Kent, CT to play for some kids at a writer’s camp (not to be confused with writer’s cramp). Terrific trip up and back with six fools packed into an SUV making crazy jokes and being generally silly. The kids we played for seemed to like it (though I couldn’t tell – they just got super-quiet. Reminded me of my singer-songwriter days), we got paid, had Japanese food, and generally enjoyed the hell out of the day and each other. Wouldn’t it be loverly?

There’s also a wonderful article on the periodic table in today’s You can find it here. You might not have thought the periodic table needed updating, but apparently somebody has come up with a new way of visually organizing the elements, and it’s beautiful! I won’t give away the big surprise, but it seemed to me to be a recapitulation of order of creation, simple to more-complex, and I love it. Geeking out over here, don’t mind me.

Show info, for the fraction who don't know. I think I'll be playing bass tonight, as well as my usual sax and flute.

Wednesday, July 20th @ 6:45 pm
Featuring, TRANSMITTING: Jane LeCroy (poetry), Tom Abbs (bass/didjeridoo) and Kid Lucky (beatbox)
Plus Feature Showcase, RAJ
Open Form@ sign up 6:45pm
Dancers, Musicians, Poets and Artists of all walks welcome. Bring your own collab or work with US.
plus the Collaborative Open Form@

Curated by Raymond Daniel Medina

Nuyorican Poets Café
236 East Third Street (between Aves B & C)
$7 Cover

Saturday, July 16, 2005


What is PARSE, you may ask? PARSE is the newest creation from Friendlyfire Press, an ongoing proposition created by yours truly and Chad Griffin (whose excellent personal site can be found here). It's about art, it's about poetry, it's about collaboration, it's about $12.00 and will soon be available from our website (under construction),, and wherever poets are doing their thing. We sent it to press on Friday and I am about as nervous as a mother hen.

Chad had this idea of showcasing art with poetry which we put together with a few poet friends of mine as PARSE: POEM. We sort of consider that to be Volume .5 as we did an extremely limited run of 43 handsewn, laserprinted books in awesome anti-static bags. Even though we got great feedback, the labor involved putting it together was more than Chad or I saw as being useful in the long run, so for this edition we decided to enlist the help of printers. Hopefully we'll have our first printing back before nationals so we can start spreading the word nationwide.

The newest edition is called PARSE Volume 1: Alchemy, and should be available by the end of August to the general public, with a release party of some sort occurring in September. It features artwork and setting by Mr. Chad Griffin and poetry by (click to visit their website or see their bio):

Elana Bell
Oscar Bermeo
Jai Chakrabarti
Robert Bevan Dalton
Mara Jebsen
Sabrina Hayeem-Ladani
Raymond Daniel Medina
John Trause
Rich Villar

and me acting as editor and slipping a few of my own poems in on the sly.

Can't wait for you all to see it. I think it's different from anything anyone is doing right now - it's truly collaborative, with the poets all writing to a theme and the artwork being a response to the poems (and vice-versa), as well as the poets responding to each other. The fun part is over - now we've got to sell the damn thing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Story of my life

Do every day or two something for no other reason than you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. - William James

And actually, things are going pretty well. It really does get easier.

Buddha as Christian Saint

Christianity has a long and glorious history of appropriation of other cultures, Jewish deity, pagan holidays. Why not get Buddhism in the mix, too?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I must have short-circuited the neurotic in me because I have been feeling pretty good lately. It really began with getting the call on Sunday that the synonymUS jam was cancelled. I had spent the afternoon cleaning and watching movies with Stephanie and suddenly, my day opened up. I realized in my bones that it was summertime, and I decided to get out. I drank a couple of gourds of yerba maté and, properly stimulated, I jumped on my bike and rode out to Willow Lake, near Corona Park. Now, normally when I ride, I push myself, raging to “get in shape” (for what?) or “beat my time” (what “time”?). Instead, this time, I just slowed down and enjoyed the day.

And the day was beautiful, right at my favorite time, blessed with the sinking light of the sun and a cool breeze. It reminded me of Sunday afternoons in Tucson, playing outside, riding my bike around the neighborhood before dinner. Sunday evening at the Williams house meant dad grilling steaks (or, later on, chicken breasts for my mom) and me swimming in the pool, imagining that there were monsters down in the drain at the bottom of the deep end. In the present, riding my bike through Briarwood, Queens, past the houses with sprinklers in the front yard and the “hissing of summer lawns”, I was suddenly overcome, not with nostalgia, but with a deep and humbling gratitude. The world was quiet, and safe, and actually quite simple. For a moment, I was complete.

I rode this wave of good feeling down to the lake (more a pond, really). Hundreds of families encircled the water, with their coolers and their grills and their Frisbees and their kites. Oblivious children wove in and out of pedestrian traffic on the paths, and boats floated out on the water. The smell of charcoal and meat grilling filled my nostrils; rock music and hip-hop and soca music twisted together between parties with competing sound systems to form complex poly-rhythms in the air (the only thing that would have made it more complete for me would have been the polka rhythms and ass-quake bass of norteno music). I loved them all. All these people and their families and their friends and their lovers and their children and their quarrels and their trash and their beer and their cigarettes and their pork or beef or chicken grilling. All of them suffused in this holy light of a sunset gently putting the day to bed – they were beautiful.

I rode home, took a walk with Steph around the neighborhood (still too early in the day for the fireflies to be out, but the gloss of loving memory puts them in anyway), went home, watched an episode of Deadwood. Lovely.

Got together with Ray last night to play music and made some interesting and occasionally pretty sounds, even though my guitar chops are no where near what I’d like. It was nice to play without expectations or even hope of a “product.” The body and mind and heart enjoy play for its own sake.

That’s all, I’m just blessed. Thanks.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Southern Discomfort

Yeah, Janis Joplin obviously had a masochistic streak. I drank one (and a half) fucking Southern Comfort Old Fashioned and felt like I'd been poisoned. I'm guessing it was some combination of what ever it is that is constantly brewing up in these cesspools I call sinuses and insulin shock from all the sugar in that vile, reprehensible concoction. Cramps, hot flashes, stupor. Steph came home from a party I was supposed to join her at and put cold towels on my forehead as I was burning up. Woke up this morning digusted and exhausted, eyes bloodshot and body aching.

My poor father drank these on the weekends. He must have had an extraordinary tolerance for discomfort and delerium.

All experiments end with information gathered. Sometimes the information is simply a resolve to never repeat the experiment. I mentioned this to Chad and he said, "Well, Newton poisoned himself with his alchemy experiments. Madame Curie, you know. You're in good company."

Friday, July 8, 2005

Rainy day post

If they didn’t have cameras in my office, I’d take off all my clothes and dance around naked, as the place is as ghost-empty as any NY office you could find on an average Friday at quarter-to-five in July. Alas, I am still here, watching the phones on the possibility that the other guy working after 5 on Friday in July in New York might call.

I don’t have a whole lot to say, except that I really needed to bump the self-pitying whiny post from the top of the page.

It’s been mentioned on other blogs and other bios, but perhaps you’ve heard of the newest sensation to hit the NY poetry scene: PARSE. We are in the final stages of putting it together, and damn if it don’t look purty. Anyway, there’s lots of stuff in my head right now, potential projects brewing and stewing, and we’re gonna have us a party in September to celebrate PARSE and the official release, so look out for it.

Currently I’m:
Paying close attention to my dreams
Feeling my feet when I walk
Checking my breathing, to see when I stop
Listening to hip-hop
Watching Deadwood Season 1, you limber-dicked cocksuckers
Trying to find Angostura bitters.

The story behind that is: when I was a child, my dad’s favorite drink was Southern Comfort Old Fashioned. Old Fashioned’s are made thus: take one sugar cube and a little bit of branch (bottled) water. Muddle it together in a highball glass with about 3 dashes of Angostura bitters. Add ice and enough SoCo to fill the glass along with one maraschino cherry. Dad would let me eat the cherry, and I loved the taste (of the cherry, not the drink). Fun facts: SoCo is actually bourbon and a peach liqueur. Yummy! Janis Joplin drank a lot of it. Anyway. So I’m having some difficulty finding Angostura bitters and it’s making me a little cranky. It’s not like I’m looking for Root Beer Schnapps or some crazy shit like that!

All else is well. I haven’t been writing much (poetry) lately, just getting stuff ready for the big release. For all the wonderful people who came out and made my birthday such an amazing night, and all the great folks who told me they loved me after reading my (whiny) birthday entry – I love you, too.