captain beefheart electricity

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don van vliet SINGING INK
poetry and fine arts - poemsflits

book switzerland 1987 DON VAN VLIET * SKELETON BREATH, SCORPION BLUSH

chronologically:

GIL
before 1969 / THE TIRED PLAIN before 1970 / SEAM CROOKED SAM 1976
from 1987: A TIN PEENED REINDEER / THREE MONTHS IN THE MIRROR / INFRA-GRAMS

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GIL

note:
reprinted in, and recited on accompanying 'poetry reading sequence' ceedee:

germany 1993 book don van vliet * stand up to be discontinued
italy 1996 book luca ferrari * pearls before swine ice cream for crows
    bub and gil
    bub and gil
    bub in india
    bub and mat
    bub in the wool
    bub in a rug
    indoor bub - bub in stitches
    glass bub - bub in rope
    bub in jail
    bub in tent
    bub in pale
    bub on springs - bub's brakes
    bub in pajamas
    bub's party - with gil and mat and bub in stitches
    erect bub
    gil's pill
    perfumeral
don van vliet - before 1969

*

clue
frank zappa's 1969 album 'hot rats' (with guest vocal by captain beefheart) is
captain beefheart - don van vliet poetry - clue 'gil' poem
[dweezil is frank's son]

*

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THE TIRED PLAIN

note:
reprinted in, and recited on accompanying 'poetry reading sequence' ceedee:

germany 1993 book don van vliet * stand up to be discontinued
italy 1996 book luca ferrari * pearls before swine ice cream for crows

the bra was white and yellow elastic
and held to foam cones
the corners triangular shaped
pyramid
three edges made one point
starfish and embry boards
triple d cupped and poked to a point
the main character was composed into a bow
that broke first in the front
and equal on adjacent sides
 
american cowboy was approaching on a collision course
- his hands groped outstretched three digits triangular
to the front nail a line was drawn from the middle
finger to the knuckle of the index finger across
the middle finger onto the third -
creating a perfect arrow
with an imaginary point

don van vliet - before 1970


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ODD JOBS

notes:
  originally the lyrics to a song on the long unreleased bat chain puller album recorded in 1976, brought out in 2012
  in 1999 released on the grow fins set

the rug ripped up in cloth popcorn balls
the walls an old candy striped sack
in the corner wrinkled black and white
a table held up by legs
the peeled back red enameled mouth of linoleum screamed
at the pasteboard door
a knob rolled off in some corner sticky
a curtain blew into a sink
dead flies and newspapers
charred fire brown wings and toast
hobo ain't been around for some time
the gate danced without its paint on
odd jobs is written on
spiders were the window's eyes
the sun made them look silver
the little girl from in back of the clothesline
cast a shadow like a crow
its beak spoke open
why doesn't odd jobs come around anymore
he used to ride his form-a-heap bike
and his basket was a whole candy store
he used to make x's from door to door
all the women and the young girls around here
ask why old jobs don't come on home
and the gate without its paint on
danced and creaked and moaned
here he comes peddling up on his form-a-heap bike
a bag of skin and bones
spokes were scraping two rust fenders

don van vliet 1976


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SEAM CROOKED SAM

note:
originally the lyrics to a song on the long unreleased bat chain puller album recorded in 1976, brought out in 2012

the mule kicked off a new one
and the stockings ran up seam crooked sam
bandana frock stuffed with smoke
and ears out flopped like bowling pins
hog troughs hocked and wallered in cool mud bins
and patent leather hooves
split in twos
rooms for rent down at ben's
frendsa danced in a frenzy
choked a juke bird with froth glass ferns
and turpentine urns her sawdust daily keep
and whiskey creeps down her neck naked front
and red leatherette
peen button set where her fanny sweat
raised her wrist-a-fan and a mouse coughed cotton
through a screen door cracked sand
rooms rent only to friends
hat rack hotel
architecture tincture of red arkies
pinched the southern belle
and splayed his cracked nail hand
grey fedora - snappy band
and the camel walls yellow like damp dead chickens
beak down the hard wood floor
and the music - o, the music
harp man blew his best lung white shirt
his feet worked like a monkey out the door
and dora robbed a baby through a dark bebop
licorice lenses fogged in hot sorrow
through the floorboards at the general store
your foods still in the hot hand oven
apple pie cooked through a seed bruised stem eye
sticky in the window of momma frame broke
rope bell dingling
'children, i won't call you once more.'

don van vliet 1976


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A TIN PEENED REINDEER

notes:
  reprinted in
denmark 1 may 1991 magazine copyright along don van vliet interview
  reprinted in
italy 1996 book luca ferrari * pearls before swine ice cream for crows

    a tin peened reindeer
    metallically hoofed on glass
    scorched cotton snowmen edged the corners
    flesh colored powder mountains
    yellow lights melts cobwebbed articles
    vague wire tunnels resembling
    peeled flesh caterpillars
    housing very tiny red christmas tree lights
    the nativity scene
    re-enacted in ivory soap
    a bone shade from age complete
    with tiny straw manger
    the christ child its face replaced by an elephant's head
    intricate lace cups each ear and bands the trunk
don van vliet 1987


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THREE MONTHS IN THE MIRROR

notes:
  reprinted in
denmark 1 may 1991 magazine copyright along don van vliet interview
reprinted in italy 1996 book luca ferrari * pearls before swine ice cream for crows

three months in the mirror
burning hip
- let's go to the kennel honey
and get one of those cute little moth pups
they flap their little wings
and fly around a light globe
and you can keep them in the closet
and feed them socks -
six months in the mirror
burning hip
- honey let's go out naked tonight
with our moth puppy
don't forget the socks and the light bulbs
make sure it's not too warm
you don't want to burn his little wings -
the lights are soft, streets soft, skies soft,
the mirrors soft
the smell of burnt powder
the moth flies through the mirror
powder falls lightly around around around
and around the sun

don van vliet 1987

*

note: the text of this poem later would be transformed into a song by don fleming on
usa 2003 ceedee various artists * NEON MEATE DREAM OF A OCTAFISH a tribute to captain beefheart & his magic band animal world recordings awr 020

the usa based participants in the tribute project mainly played cover versions. one of the three beefheart related exceptions is the addition of music to an existing van vliet text. but the transformer seems to have forgotten to check out the two examples of 'poems with sound' which have been released: 'golden birdies (from 'clear spot')' and 'sam with the showing scalp flat top ('bongo fury' collaboration with frank zappa and the mothers)'. instead, he decided to follow his own ideas and put together a tune which merely is monotonous electronic noises backing an uninspired recitation. or better: drowning it.

so, not quite a successful try.

*


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INFRA-GRAMS


note:
for artistic reasons i left the capitals intact
Infra-grams - that hot old woman's jams and jellies and Marmalade by the fire roasting her licked paws one cushion four toenails curled under the couch argyle across wood floors... tiger-like fur diamond patterns loops that jump through under the icebox afraid and cold in the corner hisses with ice "E's" plugs into the wall's ear... around the corner old man sits with white chin on denim collarbones inspects a lump on his thumb and groans... in the garden one pea shoot chlorophyll pod cocked open upon a yellow pulp cloth pansy panting a bee dancing in his fine yellow hair black shiny legs retreive nectar bubbling and popping on the stem... a white patent leather hand with red fingernail polish grasped the doorknob and tore off the room bled light into the dust curtains... a mouse moved three feelers and pranced into the noise open hole... broken blue Diamond match hair strings dust shining diamond pin ignited in darkness its thought loomed important to a Coke cap... "I'm home" broke up on a mahogany table... leg celery gleamed green over paper teeth eggs glued down the drainboard... a towel ran into a silver loop... knees seen under table tancloth sticks oxfords with square folded toes fell into a pool of motion... Marmalade her wet red plastic mouth clicked and winked her eaten pelt "I'm glad I don't work for a living," her black rubber mind thought... white dots that wrote and broke in liquid i found footprints in the jam and dark tiny logs dripping from a tiny eyes that small probably don't blink as much... Winkies head turned up flashed two glass explosions of blue swirling into light crimson threads on white his pupil parted by excitement childish glee registered on his little pink fur ears "Let's find 'em Infra-grams"... a white cane with a red tip tapped on a rubber ball that skidded dizzily into the damp black jaws... the fireplace black feather ashes blew into weightless chips that danced in black shadows crumbled into cinders the size of specks and fell deep into ink made logs... a rawboned old woman a knife stuck into a mayonnaise body spread and after it went onto a piece of bread and into her mouth... blue flannel arms hugged her up... one powder blue heel chipped against like a fat white spider a plastic shoe that made a mouth "What're you eating, old woman?" it smeared on my cheeks and made me look like a clown... "Boy you can't catch that mouse they're slippery little grey clouds of speed and they can see where you'd never be able to see"... total darkness falls and tiny eyes look out of a dark holed area -
what's that little boy's name?
what's that little boy's name?
what's that little boy's name?
don van vliet 1987
***


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captain beefheart electricity
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