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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

JAZZ: a few sketches

a few sketches

Jazz # 1

Steeped in tradition
curved boatneck behind
a large dark womanly groan
with every slide he
attempts to hide and
shield his heart’s light
from an un-understanding
gaggle of tasteless cadets
and yet his intellect and pride
severs not his light
for his stream of joy (from
the music,
his sweat)
with the
essence of
than his pain.

Jazz # 2

…see, they always
look to the left
except for a few folks (I’d say fellahs but
know at least three ladies who’d ob-

look in

and the groove of the
thing is his
R) thing
is the thing is the thing of the


Even if it don’t got that _________.
Even if it ain’t got that ________.
We can still



Jazz # 3

the ones I loved the best were the ones who
knew the inner circle of the
blood of life
is covered by and
permeated through
and in and out is the
joy of life


ooooh we oooh.
the high priestess calls is

oooooooooooh weee oooh weee oooh

the Sultan calls it
(whatever he damn well pleases.
He’s the SULTAN.)

I call it divine
You call it sublime.


There ain’t no wrong notes in jazz.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eleven Moments

Eleven Moments
by Erin Muir

Monday, 10:15 pm

I walked in my front door, exhausted from a long day of massage. I’ve picked up some extra hours with various mobile spas because, well, because I’ve been broke. Like (negative) -$27.55 in my bank account for four days broke. I’m hoping it helps me lose weight and get leaner muscle tone. (p.s. Just in case. Mom, I’m fine. Just for a few days there I was waiting on a check… see below.)

Anyway, lo and behold, lucky me, there was a check I’d been waiting for. You know, the kind of check that they “say” is coming on the 10th but somehow never arrives until the 13th or 14th? (“But we mailed it on the 7th. Huh. How could that have happened?” I don’t know but I had the SAME thing happen with my car payment! Strange. I’m suuuure I mailed it in time… hmmm…..)

I had a phone call to return to a night owl friend living in New York City and so I decided to talk and walk to the ATM two blocks from my house. It’s on a major urban thoroughfare between two busy restaurants, so for those of you who know about my mugging a year and a half ago, or two years ago, or whenever that was, please don’t get mad. I felt very safe. There were a LOT of people around and only a few of them wore ski masks. JUST KIDDING. It was fine.

When I got to the ATM and went to deposit the check, the ATM informed me that “Funds associated with this check may be held and will not be made available until December 23rd, 2010.”

“That’s ten days away!” I said out loud.

“What?” said my friend on the phone, who was in the middle of telling me a story.

“Oh, nothing, just my bank,” I said.

“Oh,” she responded, and went on with her story. I decided NOT to deposit the check and return to the bank the next morning at 9:00 am to find out what was the scoop. Could I deposit the check AND make my car payment in a timely manner? If not I would find an alternative plan.

Tuesday, Wee Hours

I was dreaming… I dreamed first about a guy I briefly dated coming with me to witness an event during my childhood. The event was at my Grandmother’s house on her lake property. I was about 4. My old flame took me “here now as an adult” into the dream and held my hand, as we watched the even together, and smiled at me and said, “It’s okay.”

Then I dreamed that I had bought this property and was throwing a party there and all these different friends from all different parts of my life came. The old flame was there, and he was playing hide and seek with me the entire time, although it took me a few times of “finding” him to realize that’s what we were doing.

Then I dreamed about my ex boyfriend Mike. I dreamed that he wanted to pay for my voice lessons. He wrote a check out to my voice teacher for $40. I looked at it and thought, “that’s not enough for even half an hour,” but I didn’t say anything.

Then I dreamed of an event that actually occurred again in my real life. Once Mike and I had owned a Cadillac, yes, that famous old Caddy I love to talk about. It was just so pretty and so… big. It was a 1990 Fleetwood and it was all black with tinted windows. His cousin, who owned it before us, had put a Charm of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, so that it hung from the rear view mirror. One morning Mike and I had to go run errands. We got in the car and I was in the driver’s seat. I looked at that charm and I suddenly knew something bad was going to happen. I asked him to drive and he got pissed off because he had to make business calls and why did HE. ALWAYS. HAVE. TO. BE. THE. ONE. TO. DRIVE. Okay, fine. Anyway, we were running our errands and the day just kept growing grayer and grayer, it was probably November or so in Minnesota, a very gray time. At one point I turned from the parking lot of a store at the end of the block (The Loon Grocery on Lyndale and 25th) and took a right heading toward downtown- there was no traffic going in our direction- and then I got into the left hand turn lane and there was oncoming traffic close enough I figured I would wait and not go, and I put on my turn signal, and suddenly, from behind us, our of nowhere, a car careened and swerved to miss us, swerved to miss oncoming traffic but passed right in front of it, and drove right into a tree, the tree slicing the car down the middle. Why they veered left instead of right? A mystery. After that, Mike drove.

Well I dreamed of that near miss…

Tuesday, 8:15 am

I woke up thinking of that St. Christopher charm.

Tuesday, 9:03 am

Shit! I wanted to be at the bank by 9:00 am and I wanted to walk because I like walking and I was supposed to drive over the hill to Fryman Canyon later to meet a friend for a hike at 10:30 and if I walked now I would be too late. Well, maybe not, but I thought, I know me, if I walk I will dilly dally at Trader Joe’s and Starbucks on the way home and it wall get all last minute-y.

So, feeling very silly about it all but determined, I got in my car and drove the two blocks to my bank.

Tuesday, 9:13 am

I was depositing my check, which went through just fine, and the lady, Halin, was saying that sometimes ATMs just do that stuff, announcing that funds will be held, and who knows why. Okay. Suddenly, it grew quiet (in my head) and this high pitched ringing resounded. Then I heard a groan, the kind of deep down under the earth groan you only hear when it is very quiet. I moved my hands to my ears and I heard that loud screeeeeeech, the kind where a car is burning rubber so hot and digging soooo deep into the tar that it is reversing gravity ever so slightly, and then that loud CRASH BANG SMASH SHATTER of a car


An Audi drove right into the front entrance of my bank. It appeared to have hit the very tail back of a white truck. A bank employee had been walking in and she was NOT hit but she passed out from the fear and shock of it all. The cops happened to be in traffic right behind the guy, who appeared to be sober and sane but, of course, upset.

A shiver and I was clear.

I walked over to look. We were now all locked in the bank by the Audi, all the bank employees instantly set to pulling the dangling door off its hinges so customer could come and go.

I finished my deposit.

I shimmied between the door frame and the Audi. I tiptoed around the shattered glass and the cops and the guy and walked around the accident into the street (although the lady cop grimaced at me, she did not stop me) and proceeded to my car.

I drove home.

I updated my facebook status.

I went for my hike.

Tuesday, 12:07 pm

Coming back over Laurel Canyon after my hike, I saw a homeless person eating a cupcake, mouth full of frosting, standing on the side of the street. He or she, I couldn’t tell, held a sign. “Homeless. Hungry.” Those are very popular these days. He/ she had chosen the crowd favorite cardboard box with black sharpie design. I reached in my purse, grabbed a dollar, rolled down my window and handed it over.

He looked more like a man, but his or her voice was VERY feminine.

“Thank you,” she said, frosting falling out of her mouth, “Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. God Bless You.” She waved.

I smiled. “God bless you, too,” I said.

Tuesday, 12:11 pm

Crossing AGAIN the intersection at Crescent Heights and Sunset, turning east onto Sunset from Crescent this time, I saw a lady who appeared to be in her 70s wearing evergreen sweatpants, an evergreen sweatshirt, a Christmas red scarf, a necklace made of jingle bells, and reindeer ears. A guy waiting for the bus noticed her, too.

“Happy Holidays,” he said. She didn’t notice him, or was ignoring him.

“Happy Holidays,” he said, louder. Now it appeared she was ignoring him for SURE. Or she was deaf.

“Hey! Lady! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!” He shouted. He shook his head as she ignored him and walked away. Then he noticed me watching. I shrugged my shoulders and smiled. He shook his head again. He looked away from me and back at traffic, disgusted.

Tuesday, 12:29 pm

I stood in front of the Will and Ariel Durant Public Library. They opened at 12:30 and a group of us stood waiting for them to let us in…

I looked in the reflection through the glass window doors as I heard two men behind me begin speaking to each other.

“And I told him, I told him, I says, baby, we are done. We are breaking up. You are not allowed to sleep in bed with me anymore. If you want to stay here that’s fine but you had better stay on the sofa.” So said the gorgeous Latino fellow wearing a black vest, grey shirt, over the should man purse.

“Yes, you told him,” said an African man with an accent that sounded Senegalese, wearing a green leather jacket. Very ‘Coming to America.’ “But you must have the faith of a mustard seed.”

“Faith is fine, I have faith,” said the other man. “But I need a drink! Where’s the alcohol?”

Tuesday, 1:08 pm

I was running late for my acting class. I had packed too many errands into too short an amount of time. I hate when I do that. I turned from Formosa on to Willoughby, my secret shortcut through West Hollywood, only to face road construction and be redirected into an alley way. As I joined the long path of cars crossing from the alley over Waring Avenue to get on to La Brea, I realized we were in a traffic jam, as all the cars were waiting for something to clear from the road. I craned my neck out the window to see what it was:

A swarm of toddlers had completely stopped all traffic. There were about 20 of them, dressed in their little outfits, wandering around, looking at the great big world around them. Look at the big truck! Oooh!

I have been in traffic jams caused by cars, and cows, and construction.

This was new.

Eventually, their teacher came running out with a little straggler in her arms. She looked like she had had to chase after this one. I wondered why they weren’t on child leashes, you know, those extendy-bands in bright fluorescent colors that connect wrist to wrist, as she ushered them across the street like a mother duck. I would say hen except it was nothing like a Mother Hen and everything like a Mother Duck.

Tuesday, 1:17 pm

I finally turned onto Highland, making my way to my acting class. As I approached Santa Monica Blvd, I looked up and saw a billboard. It featured a picture of Swami Kriyananda and Yogananda Parmahansa, as if the photo had been taking recently (instead of photoshopped, as Yogananda left the planet quite some time ago) of the two of them standing together, looking slightly toward one another and slightly out toward us. I knew who they were because the producer of my record and I used to go to Self Realization center together before recording, and of course, I have read “Autobiography of a Yogi” in India.

The sign read:

The Purpose Of Life Is Bliss.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Still Life With Vintage

*note: the formatting through blogspot is incorrect. Proper formatting HERE:!/note.php?note_id=468701569091

Still Life With Vintage

A girl tweaks in the early sun
Busy thoroughfare
Urban playground

A golden frame upon the wall,
Baroque Mouldings

Ceaseless Traffic
A sea of frogs

Green with golden flecks
And a pink design along the hemline,
Vintage Cocktail Dress, circa 1954,
Displayed within

The tweaker swears and
Runs in and out of traffic,
Arms waving face red and raving
Foam at the mouth

I fancy this a modern
Bohemian Styling, mid-century yet
An eclectic blend of
My intellect and my taste

A dangerous man in a red pickup truck
Slows down, turns round the corner,
Drives by once again

I have encouraged my designer
To hang all paintings in
Such a manner
So that the light glints the frame… just so…

56 Degrees
Tweaker girl wears a string bikini top
And dark blue sweat pants
No shoes and blonde hair breaking off

The walls are cream and the
Flooring Parquet

The truck driver shouts an obscenity
Then opens the passenger door

Quiet grace inhabits
Every corner of this apartment

She gets in the truck

Ignorant armies