John Dean interrupted my
regularly scheduled Sesame Street
when you were getting turned on to grass
i was watching Vietnam on TV
when you met Agent Orange
and he stuck to you like glue
i didn’t know i just heard
it was the word
later i got turned on to Jazz
ran away from college
searched for uncommon knowledge
didn’t know i could be Puerto Rican
dreaming in New York i never left
you never arrived at
didn’t know what was Taino
never missed My Island
didn’t know i could get a visa
from El Puerto Rican Embassy
didn’t know who was Miguel or Lois or Steve
just knew what i knew
putting words on pages too
i heard it was the place to go
a man dressed in black appeared
carrying freedom from misery in a briefcase
thinking radically under his hat Continue reading “Dear Pedro”
Here’s a little clip from a poem story about Queen Boedicea that I performed live on WBAI Radio with Bobby Vidal on upright bass back in the nineties in New York City. The animation is by my daughter Crystal Clear Waters.
This past weekend I had fun sharing my story about Nicola Tesla at the 14th Annual Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival in Pickens.
I also listened to some of the other storytellers recount stories from their childhoods. John Fowler talked about a valuable lesson that he learned from his first grade teacher. Kim Weitkamp talked both humorously and tenderly about her father and family. David Joe Miller told a short story at the end about how he got started with storytelling after he discovered some old family letters and discovered stories about his father, who died young. Listening to David I got to thinking about how I got started with storytelling.
The inspiration to tell stories and not just write them down, came about a decade before I actually began, when I was about eighteen or nineteen. I listened for the first time to a recording of Lord Buckley, who retold many familiar stories in what he called “hip semantic.” Lord Buckley, like me, was enamored with Jazz and the lingo of the Jazz musicians of his time, the 1950’s.