Monday, August 19, 2013

The Last Man Standing

Ain't no money in poetry
That's what sets the poet free

I really love well-chosen words. I love words laid down in carefully crafted combinations. A good sentence is fine, three or more in a row is better. A poem is great. Even better are when these combinations of words can be sung. Do you want to hear someone read someone else's poems? Me either. And I would much prefer to hear a songwriter sing his own songs, because only the writer can hear the song in his head. 

One of the downsides of aging is that people die. Friends die, brothers die, the wise people that anchor our lives die. And heroes die. Maybe "heroes" is too strong. but I have a trinity of songwriters I have listened to for years. They have written my soundtrack. Two of them, Mickey Newbury and Townes Van Zandt, are gone. I fear the other, Guy Clark, may not be permanent either.

Guy and Susanna Clark

Guy Clark has a terminal disease that he has chosen not to have treated. Last year Susanna, his muse of 40 years died and I suspect the loss took a lot of the wind from his sails. Clark is a luthier, a painter and a poet. He said that sometimes he works on a song for some time and starts thinking it's pretty good, but when he sings it out loud it fails completely. Those get filed under "Poems".

Okay, his voice isn't strong anymore and his picking is a little tentative, but damn, this is still good stuff.

Be well,