zdbd – the duke regains his chops

The Duke Regains His Chops after the distorted mess that was Amnesia Vivace; it’s basically a reprise of The Duke of Prunes, with a funkier bass and yet more ardent vocals. Themes of love, beans. The uncertainty has grown quite a bit, as well: “I know, I think, the love I have for you will never end – well maybe,” Zappa sings, before a brief, manic guitar line screeches over the rest of the bar.

The bass sounds great, especially as the “Supremes” part comes in, and the song crescendoes. The many movements of the record so far collapse and coalesce; even Louie Louie is briefly parodied, before a quick, unceremonious end closes this part of the record.

exercise: 3.1 – an admired person

N exercise 3.1 – one admired person

She’s up just after dawn and seems to thrive on little sleep. At any given time she’s working on her website, her sketchbook, her lesson planning. Her laptop is tuned to world music while she does her daily sketch, a half-hour tour of bright colour and strong shapes. When the timer’s up she’ll post the result to Insta, move onto the next thing.

Today she’s got her blog’s weekly update to prepare – she collects and collates all the work of the week and brings it into one beautiful package. She uses Illustrator and though she doesn’t know all of the tools she gets around it all right.

She writes about what she’s been reading this week, the TV shows she’s seen. A few words per piece of media captures her impressions. Her reviews are like haiku, precisely structured. She edits images and arrays them using shapes and masks. When she’s covered the week, she clicks “post.”

A few likes come in on Insta, a comment or two, to the effect of “great post” or “beautiful!” and which may or may not include emojis. The tepid response seems hardly worth the effort of the art, let alone curating it into a weekly digest. All the same, she’s on her bed, the cat curled up beside, today’s music – Scottish folk – wheeling up from her laptop, and after a brief stint on Tumblr, taking in – in flickering fragments – the work of others, she grabs her hardback sketchbook and starts into the next thing. She does 3.5 double-page spreads a day, in coloured marker. These, too, she’ll photo, share on Insta and her site.

The “number of posts” counter has increased by one – her total likes up by fifteen or maybe even twenty. She refreshes the stats, smiles, and puts her pen to paper.

Logan Bright

Writing exercise: 1st and 2nd PoV: a wrong-way love story


Logan Bright 2016 – Novakovich 5e9

You possessed me that night with flamenco guitar in the firelight. You knew just which moss to throw into the flames so the pit would burst with glossy green tongues. I was in love with your lithe fingers on the fretboard.

When I took your plane ticket I wasn’t thinking of theft – my mind was writhing with you – and the ticket was in the bowl where my keys always go, and why would you leave it there anyhow? I knew you were going, of course. Fleeing me and my east coast winters. My fingers were on the ticket; the ticket was in my pocket.

You left me a lot of voice mails and I listened to some of them, spanning the spectrum from plaintive to loathing. After a while I lost track of my phone and I guess you probably stopped calling.

You have beautiful taste. This place is incredible; a thick florid scent comes in with the dew and the skies are cerulean. Even so, I’m leaving it now. When I jumped on your plane I had only my passport and wallet. Now I have neither.

I dream of you, your flowing songs. Throwing moss to make green flames, lively fingers dancing on their board.

I’m trying to reach the county seat, to talk to someone at the embassy. I think it’s to the south. You were always good with maps. You steered us home when we got lost in Gurra Park. You had your guitar then, too.

I’m doing my best to learn the language. I try to hear your melodies; their full and pregnant vowels, their silken rhotics’ roll. I cannot replicate them. Your voice is fading.

Do you think of me still? I hope to see you again.