Archive for January, 2009

The Obama Concert at the Lincoln Memorial January 18, 2009 Part One

January 23, 2009

So I went down to the pre-inauguration festivities at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday ( January 18, 2009) as I wanted to be a part of history ( and it goes without this writing that to witness such events sometimes you have to travel into them).

Luckily, at onetime I resided in the District of Columbia and with that foreknowledge I made a strategic decision to drive in.  This personal vehicle of deployment was oppurtune for by arriving early enough there was parking on the  street which runs besides the mall right by the National Gallery of Art’s famous I.M Pei designed east wing .  Also just upon Our arrival (again with my freind Neil Stevenson) the rehearsal run through for the inaugural swearing in was taking place at the South end of the capitol.

Change has Finally Come

Then after walking over to watch the run through and listen intently to a tape of John Williams’ composistion “Air and Simple Gifts”  ( written just for the occassion and performed later at the actual event by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma , Anthony McGill, and Gabriel Montero) and then stops at the National Arboretum and the Museum of the American Indian.

At the American Indian Museum we had a lunch of beat salad , some type of Native American sweet potato pie,  green chilli soup, and Washington state wild salmon.  Then it was down to the concert  for the next course which was musical and the wait of course was worth it.  Meanwhile throughout the day the people watching was excellent cowboys mozying in ten gallon hats and tight fitting levis, yokels from the provinces saying by the medicinal plants in the botanic gardens “as you said it is better to kill it than to cure it”  ,  and soldiers with anti-aircraft missles ready at the base of the Washington monument (itself upon a summit).

Security

Biden and Obama appeared monarchy style ( though with families in tow) as a military trumpet corps played  Richard Strauss’s “Also  Spach Zarathutra”  better known as the theme from “2001 A Space Oddessey”.(and itself a musical adaptation of Fredric Nietzche’s  “Thus Spoke  Zarathutra”.  A stiff looking Bruce Springsteen was the first musical guest  singing “The Rising” with a gospel choir who did not seem to have had the time or he either with them to get into a smooth unison( though the Boss did finally seem to get his groove on by the time he got to the line about a catfish on his line and was right in tune withPete Seeger on the great sing-along  alternative national anthem “”This Land is Your Land” later on).

There was an endless stream-team of Hollywood actors up to talk and introduce the performers  and from this observor’s point of view the solo speakers were the best including Denzel Washington Jr. (with his beautiful voice) and Jamie Foxx who did a dead-on Obama imitation redux).    Tom Hanks meanwhile looked like he was reading script for the HBO television event this was while making no attempt to play it off for the crowd presently before him.  Though the Forrest Gump portrayer’s reading from Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address” (which is chiseled into the memorial itself was as ever moving).

Close behind one performer I had never seen  Mary J. Blige ( in a pink suit which who looked well radiant against the classic marble of the monument )was another performer I had never seen lite rock giant James Taylor ( I’ve seen fire  and I’ve seen rain but I had never seen him) who was joined by Sheryl Crow and John Legend for ‘Shower the people you love with love. And for this number Taylor went electric with a green and white guitar strumming merrily to the embracing tune.

Not that long after the next performer was a John Cougar Mellancamp who finally set the crowd to rocking.  The hoosier whose name might read as a camp for large fruits who want to learn how to “hurt so good” of course sang little pink house and  seem to  nod to the lyrics which got him to give this song upon that day the nod “Well theres a young man in a t-shirt
Listening to a rockin rollin station
Hes got a greasy hair, greasy smile
He says: lord, this must be my destination
cuz they told me, when I was younger
Boy, youre gonna be president
But just like everyting else, those old crazy dreams
Just kinda came and went”…..

Up soon after was a blue bedecked Garth Brooks who as if part of a tabelaux was dressed to blaze into a flag pattern along with the choir dressed in red.  The singer was determined to kep the vast crowd rocking and opened with an abridged version of “American Pie” the Don Maclean  classic (which Neil said he “massacared” so it really was “bye bye Miss American pie”) followed bv his version of “Twist and Shout” (it felt like somebody really rich had rented out the Memorial for the worlds’ largest Bar Miztvah and Garth was the band).  But he is an enternainer and he entertained.

Soon after it was Stevie Wonder (yeah!) who was joined by Usher and Shakira for a rousing version of “Higher Ground” this alone was worth the trip) .  Then Samuel l. Jackson walked to the stage and introduced an Irish group who wrote song about Martin Luther King jr. and of course it was U2 and they broke out into “Pride/In the Nmae of Love” and the vast sea of people overflowing erupted.  Bono made his usual battle cry speeches and then he thanked the then still President-elect  Barack Obama for making the next song one of the campaign themes and on came “in the City of Blinding Lights” and its’ refrain “Oh you look so beautiful tonight”

The Scene at the Lincoln Memorial During U2's "The City of Blinding Lights"

and the closing salvo from Bono “Thank you America”.   Biden spoke at some point (its hard to remember) about the pirde and dignity of the American worker and later Obama about the his commitment to going forth with what he came to Washington to doas in ” the  theme of the day”We are one”).

Then Springsteen appeared again for what appeared to be the closer and introduced “the father of American folk “Pete Seeger and then went into “This Land is your Land” as we began to make our way back to the car and then “America the Beautiful’ wailed and I was no longer in sight of the stage or the video screens but heard it (later this itinerant blogger found out it was Beyonce making it the second time I had heard Beyonce without actually seeing her the other at the Venetian hotel/casino in Macau.).  Finally if there were a couple of performances he did  not describe this blogger was testing the medium and going after the highlights.

First Post of the New Year and The Chinese Shopping Mall Poem begins Here

January 12, 2009

This is my first post of 2009.  I spent the New Years Furlough at the Sivananda Yoga Ranch in Woodburne, New York with my freind Neil Stevenson as well as with the Ashram community.

Since June of 2005 I have been composing one of my many international follow up super sequels to my “Worlds Biggest Shopping Mall Poem.”

Since November of 2007 I have taken two trips to Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China (the PRC), and Thailand (with one airport stopover in Japan @ Tokyo’s Narita airport) and though I originally posted the unfinished work  here in its’ entiretyit has gone throgh a serious reordering (as in a directional narrative had to be placed within so now it is all still in Hong Kong).  So now for your enjoyment the reworked Chinese Shopping  Mall Poem ( and it will be growing)

The Chinese Shopping Mall Poem Begins Here

Hoi to Court

The Chinese Shopping Mall Poem Begins here

On Hoi to Court – On Hoi to Court in Hong Kong

The Chinese Shopping Mall Poem Begins here

Hotel is great cheap owners nice free internet

The guest house is great and comes at a very small cost

The owners seem nice and there is free internet access

At a station against the wall in the foyer of a suite of rooms

In one of the appartment suites deployed by the Alisan Guest House

in a building here on Hoi to Court

Off of Gloucster street in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong

fish balls in fish ball noodle soup

Chicken wings Chinese vegetables radius’s radii

After a small theater
movie premiere
standing mounts holding boquets
and some tilted over
left outside unclaimed
are the next morning
picked from
by passing Hong Kong women
and perhaps the occasional tourist
including this shopping mall poem of the east poet
who carries a light orange rose out into the cityscape
and then later leaves it along with a twenty dollar bill HK
gratuity for the maid in departing for Bangkok

It was placed in a storefront window
on a side-street leading to a main thoroughfare
in the neighberhood of Causeway Bay
in Hong Kong

It was very pretty
creamy white
with a tan tinge
on its’ main coat
with brown and blackish features mixed in on its face
It was mostly docile
and laid down on a rest of glass
the enclosure was all glass
below it were some pebbles
mostly ornamental
which closely corresponded to the coloration of the cat
which would sometimes half roll around
or walk a few paces
and sometimes stretch-out and yawn

Yao Ming what I say

Yao Ming to Hoi to Court

Yao Ming and an opening series of mummies
report to Hoi to Court
where they run into the pussycat in the pet store window
whose coat matches the pebbles below the enclosure’s glass flooring and then the movie theater where left over soon to be decaying boquets are where flowers are taken from by passing Hong Kongers most of who are females who often form their own boquets and finally Joe Dimaggio just another nice guy who got screwed

going to thirty dollar a session Bikram exiled yogi yoga in the skyscraper across from the times square mall just when I let my guard down

Yes I did Yoga near Times Square in a tower of health and beauty
just as I had done yoga near Times square in Manhattan
above a porno shop and next to a bar
here overlooking small and tall buildings
in all of the positions they take in the cityscape
doing this abridged should we say bastardized format of
“Bikram Yoga” ,
which we must have come to for a reason
overlooking gaps in the city scene

Glowing like the female lobster

Black currants, green tea eclairs, and seasonal apricot danishes
large West African women at a starbucks in a  shopping mall in downtown Beijing
Violet/lavender boas black lacquer fish balls in fish ball noodle soup
Chicken wings Chinese vegetables radius’s radii? poodles polka dots
Dachsunds polka dachsunds green tea éclairs and black currents
glowing like the armature of the female lobster warrior
at Juicy Couture
Then here I am- then there I was
as if at the bar at the Follies Bregere
in the painting by Edouard Manet
here at Hong Kong Disneyland
the beautiful boy
Kwan in chocolate brown vestaments accented by pink rose satin
stands
besides me the waiter who waits upon others
does not wait upon me
but here I am
and I
who am
and this scene like all others before
is soon to be no more
fade away momentarily from the Disneyland hotel
at Hong Kong Disneyland