Light in the darkness

These are tough days for the USA. Another gun massacre, another Trump outrage, sometimes several in the same day. You cannot keep track of the all the scandals, any one of which would have sunk Obama and had the GOP and FoxNews/right-wing hate media calling for impeachment.

Can you imagine if Obama had paid off a porn star while Michelle was pregnant? (This is after fat-shaming her.) Sorry, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen paid off porn star Stormy Daniels with $130,000 out of his own pocket. Sure.

Just like Trump’s buddy David Pecker (his real name) who owns the National Enquirer bought and killed the story of another of Trump’s girlfriends, Karen McDougal.

And how many more women are there, besides the nineteen women who have accused Trump of unwanted sexual behaviors like harassment and assault? How many other payoffs has Michael Cohen made?

And think if Obama had dozens of White House staff members who can’t get a security clearance after more than a year, including some very, very senior advisors?

But what can you say? Most Republican voters—72%--think that Trump is a good role model for their children. Let that sink in for a minute.

Here’s the link to the relavant Quinnipiac Poll --

In other words, we have big problems in this country – and a huge mess to clean up, starting November 6th.

Fortunately, Trump’s overall approval rating is down to 35%, the lowest ever. (Unfortunately, that means that millions of our fellow citizens still approve of this dangerous, incompetent, immoral, traitorous jackass.)

Perhaps the tragedy in Parkland is waking up America (thank you, Parkland teenagers), and there are significant cracks in support for the NRA for the first time in a long time.

Sometimes, we are such a stupid country. With 4% of the world’s population and 31% of the gun deaths, we obviously have a problem. And yet we can do nothing about it?

We need a big Blue Wave to start to change things. Civilians don’t need military-type weapons, period. We Americans have proven that we can’t handle these dangerous toys. Automatic weapons are for the military and the police. Sorry, automatic weapons owners: you have my thoughts and prayers.

Here’s where to donate to the students who survived the Parkland massacre --

And the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence --

Moms Demand Action – for Gun Sense in America


So while I work on finishing this draft of WHEN I GOT OUT, I’ve been taking mega-doses of music, Calder, yoga four times a week, and time with TG (between poems) to fight Trumpism, getting ready for the Battle in November for the soul of our nation.

I’ve been taking big doses of YUJA WANG (on YouTube and streaming.) We’re seeing the thirty-one year old sensation from China at Disney Hall in May, and I can’t wait. There are few things I love more than great piano playing, and she is a piano player of true genius. You’d call her a once-in-a-generation player, except for remarkable Daniil Trifonov.

Her website

Yuja Wang -- Encores

Yuja Wang plays Encore Pieces

Seven dynamic Yuja Wang endings

“Tea for Two” – Yuja out-tatums Art Tatum. (Her fifth encore of the night!)

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 – This’ll knock your ears off.

Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Piano Sonata No.29 in B-flat

Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”


I’ve been taking a lot of Bob Dylan, too, mainly in the form of brilliant covers. In his early years, Dylan was capable of great vocals, but time and cigarette smoking have ravaged his vocal cords. Nonetheless, he remains, with Stephen Sondheim, the great songwriter of our era.

Sheila Atim performs “Tight Connection to My Heart” from THE GIRL FROM NORTH COUNTRY – I’ve been watching this a whole lot. Sheer magic. Can’t wait to see the show.


Well, I had to move fast
And I couldn't with you around my neck.
I said I'd send for you and I did
What did you expect?
My hands are sweating
And we haven't even started yet.
I'll go along with the charade
Until I can think my way out.
I know it was all a big joke
Whatever it was about.
Someday maybe
I'll remember to forget.
I'm gonna get my coat,
I feel the breath of a storm.
There's something I've got to do tonight,
You go inside and stay warm.

Has anybody seen my love,
Has anybody seen my love,
Has anybody seen my love.
I don't know,
Has anybody seen my love?

You want to talk to me,
Go ahead and talk.
Whatever you got to say to me
Won't come as any shock.
I must be guilty of something,
You just whisper it into my ear.
Madame Butterfly
She lulled me to sleep,
In a town without pity
Where the water runs deep.
She said, "Be easy, baby,
There ain't nothin' worth stealin' in here."

You're the one I've been looking for,
You're the one that's got the key.
But I can't figure out whether I'm too good for you
Or you're too good for me.
Has anybody seen my love,
Has anybody seen my love,
Has anybody seen my love.
I don't know,
Has anybody seen my love?


The Dixie Chicks sing “Mississippi” – There was a version around with James Taylor that I can’t locate. This is good, anyway.

Every step of the way, we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is piling up, we struggle and we stray
We're all boxed in, nowhere to escape
City's just a jungle, more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, tryin' to get away
I was raised in the country, I been working in the town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down
Got nothing for you, I had nothing before
Don't even have anything for myself anymore
Sky full of fire, pain pouring down
Nothing you can sell me, I'll see you around
All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well, the devil's in the alley, mule's in the stall
Say anything you wanna, I have heard it all
I was thinking about the things that Rosie said
I was dreaming I was sleeping in Rosie's bed
Walking through the leaves, falling from the trees
Feeling like a stranger nobody sees
So many things that we never will undo
I know you're sorry, I'm sorry too
Some people will offer you their hand and some won't
Last night I knew you, tonight I don't
I need something strong to distract my mind
I'm gonna look at you till my eyes go blind
Well I got here following the southern star
I crossed that river just to be where you are
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me
Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now
My clothes are wet, tight on my skin
Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in
I know that fortune is waiting to be kind
So give me your hand and say you'll be mine
Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long


Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer – “Not Dark Yet” – Two sisters, one piano.

Shadows are fallin' and I've been here all day
It's too hot to sleep and time is runnin' away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal
There's not even room enough to be anywhere
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writin' what was in her mind
I just don't see why I should even care
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

Well, I've been to London and I been to gay Paris
I've followed the river and I got to the sea
I've been down on the bottom of the world full of lies
I ain't lookin' for nothin' in anyone's eyes
Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

I was born here and I'll die here against my will
I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still
Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.


Joan Baez sings “Farewell, Angelina” – Dylan never recorded it. Baez’ was enough.

A live version from RAI, 1969

The studio original from 1963

Live in Bratislava, 1989 

Farewell Angelina
The bells of the crown
Are being stolen by bandits
I must follow the sound
The triangle tingles
And the trumpet plays slow
Farewell Angelina
The sky is on fire
And I must go.

There's no need for anger
There's no need for blame
There's nothing to prove
Ev'rything's still the same
Just a table standing empty
By the edge of the sea
Farewell Angelina
The sky is trembling
And I must leave.

The jacks and queens
Have forsaked the courtyard
Fifty-two gypsies
Now file past the guards
In the space where the deuce
And the ace once ran wild
Farewell Angelina
The sky is folding
I'll see you in a while.

See the cross-eyed pirates sitting
Perched in the sun
Shooting tin cans
With a sawed-off shotgun
And the neighbors they clap
And they cheer with each blast
Farewell Angelina
The sky's changing color
And I must leave fast.

King Kong, little elves
On the rooftoops they dance
Valentino-type tangos
While the make-up man's hands
Shut the eyes of the dead
Not to embarrass anyone
Farewell Angelina
The sky is embarrassed
And I must be gone.

The machine guns are roaring
The puppets heave rocks
The fiends nail time bombs
To the hands of the clocks
Call me any name you like
I will never deny it
Farewell Angelina
The sky is erupting
I must go where it's quiet.


Nanci Griffith sings “Boots of Spanish Leather” – with Jerry Douglas on dobro

Oh I'm sailin' away my own true love
I'm sailin' away in the morning
Is there something I can send you from across the sea
From the place that I'll be landing?

No, there's nothin' you can send me, my own true love
There's nothin' I wish to be ownin'
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled
From across that lonesome ocean.

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona?

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'.

That I might be gone a long time
And it's only that I'm askin'
Is there something I can send you to remember me by
To make your time more easy passin'?

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again
It only brings me sorrow
The same thing I want from you today
I would want again tomorrow.

I got a letter on a lonesome day
It was from her ship a-sailin'
Saying I don't know when I'll be comin' back again
It depends on how I'm a-feelin'.

Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way
I'm sure your mind is roarmin'
I'm sure your thoughts are not with me
But with the country to where you're goin'.

So take heed, take heed of the western wind
Take heed of the stormy weather
And yes, there's something you can send back to me
Spanish boots of Spanish leather.


And the occasional shot of love from the Genius himself:

Bob Dylan – “Simple Twist of Fate” – from 1975, with Scarlet Rivera



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Christian Correa