Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Few More by Will Mayo

This evening I'd like to post a few pieces that Will Mayo has sent me over time.  Enjoy!

You Never Know...


Will Mayo

Still, forty years ago, I had my palm read, lifeline and all, and the fortuneteller took one long look at my hand and said,

"This is something else," she said. "I haven't seen anything like this in a long time. And I've been in the business a good long while now."

"What is it?" I asked.

"Well, the way it breaks down," she said. "You could die young or you could die old but in between I see no action at all."

She paused. "If you could make it through the next few years I expect you'll be home free. But I worry about you just the same."

I paid my fee and left the tent, set on my way. And the years have passed, rough in their own way, I've come close to dying lots of times but I'm no longer a young man though not yet an old man albeit some kids might yet consider me old. The gods might smile on me yet. You just never know.




Will Mayo

There’s something about the night that gets in my blood, gets me going like no other time of the day can. It’s the fall of footsteps on a hardwood floor, creaky with age, of a soul trying vainly to wake up the dead (as if he could); it’s a night owl’s hoot at the passersby; it’s a lover’s sigh on a pillow left untended by time. And, oh, yes, it’s these, too: staying awake all night, cowering by a candle or a night lamp while held in suspense by the horror of a ghost story, told one last time; tossing and turning in a dream that transports one to a kingdom won and lost for the sake of a bride unencumbered by the serpent at the door; and, of course, waking up to a bleary-eyed dawn that only Michelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci could imagine in all its beauty. Damn it, I do love that night.




Will Mayo

Close by the grove of the mangrove swamp,
the hermit lives.
He tidies his little hut
with rake and broom,
and waits,
for there is no one to speak to;
only the jungle speaks.
It is made for a journeyer.
You can find him
in the muddy dawn;
gathering snakes
for his noonday meal.
In the evening,
he sings to the moon,
his shriveled body dressed in rags
arching forward
past the kudzu of his hut.
He has never known a woman,
never has he dared.
He searches only for the One
who walks in swampy night
and speaks in silence
during the day.
And never on knees,
does he pray.
Only in mud and clay
of daily toil,
does he find his God.
And he listens
for that which he cannot hear.

    For A Room At The Inn


Will Mayo

    Still I remember a moonlit night about 40 years ago in which, lost in a faraway town, I stopped in a police station and, catching sight of two officers on duty, I asked for a ride back to the local madhouse.

    "Do you want to take him?" one cop asked the other.

    "No, I don't want to take him," the other officer said. "Do you want to take him?"
    "Oh, all right. I'll take him," the first cop said.

    And, so, reluctantly, he gave me a ride to the hospital where, not knowing that I'd been gone, they debated for a while and then took me in.

    Finding a bed for myself, I laid my head back and rested for a spell. I was not yet 15 years old and still finding my way in the world. And it was just another one of those days...

    Picture In Front Of The Glass


    Will Mayo

    I like the slow time,
    The time that wavers in front of the glass.
    A moment spent
    Staring at the page of a good book
    Is like a month spent
    In interludes forgotten.
    A morning walk through the spring rain
    Bears to a year lost in thought,
    Time passing with no eye on the clock.
    And a slow wakening from dream
    Ticks time back into eons
    As the muse gently whispers in my ear
    And tells me of that which
    I thought I might not remember.
    And as I write these words
    I stare in front of the glass.
    It melts gently, so gently.

    On Making A Career Move


    Will Mayo

      Yet the penning of stories and poems wasn't always a vocation to which I occupied my waking hours. In college, for instance, I thought what a nice career move it might be to be a nude artist's model. Gee, what could be better, I thought? I'd just sit or stand there nude in various positions while all about me others would be doing the actual work - and yet I'd be the one getting paid for it! It seemed the sure thing to do.

      But when I got to the art professor's office (and long before there'd be any question of my disrobing), I panicked, hard to say why, maybe I thought that there'd be too strenuous labor involved (after all, it can be a pain to assume those positions for a prolonged time), and I uttered the quickest excuse I could think of to get me out of there fast. That is, I said:

      "Is this where I can find the college literary journal?"

      "Oh, no, no," she replied. "For that, you'd need to go to the English Department."

      And so, gathering my wits (and much else), I hurried off to the literary journal, ready to make good on my excuse. It seems I've been writing ever since.
    Let's play some Charles Mingus.  He is another musician born in the 1920s.

    "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" is a good place to begin.  It sounds like night:

    I've been listening to his version of "Mood Indigo":

    This version of "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" includes lyrics by Joni Mitchell as well as Jaco Pastorius' bass:

    "Girl of My Dreams" is an earlier piece, being from Mingus' first album (1959).

    I've heard "Fables of Faubus" a million times, but I didn't know that this was the song's title:

    I'll finish with his "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress Then Blue Silk":

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