Travel By Haiku – crankie by Marian McLaughlin

This is just about the coolest gift imaginable! My sister commissioned the ever-amazing Marian McLaughlin to make a personalized crankie based on my cross-country road trips.

Subscribe to my Patreon to see the full video: https://bit.ly/PledgeToHaiku

What is a crankie, you may ask? It’s an old storytelling device where a long, illustrated scroll is hand-cranked through a viewing window while a story is told. @marianmclaughlin makes them on demand on any topic or idea. Send her a message if you’d like to commission a gift like this for someone you love. She’s open for requests and as you can see an extraordinary dream laborer. This storyboard features the likes of Parse Seco, and the unicorn Ma Ja Ka, as well as a snapshot of the Poets For Peace.

As far as the new book, it includes haikus like the ones featured in this clip. We’re a quarter of the way to funding a release party that’ll feature performances like this. Your pledge to my Patreon campaign means I’ll be able to pay performers and promote the new book.

For as little as $1 a month, you can read all the rough drafts and watch the accompanying animations. For $7 a month, I’ll mail you a signed copy of the book when it’s released in March 2021. All tiers of support have a chance to contribute to the behind the scenes of a book of poetry being born out of the dust of the road.

Travel By Haiku – crankie by Marian McLaughlin

WE’VE GOT THE POWER

philly01

 

WE’VE GOT THE POWER

The lights dim and you can hear the soprano sax in the stairwell echoing a rambunctious discordance. It provides background to the dull hiss of the noise track the DJ’s cued up and everyone who talks over it.

A musician walks out with a kora, handmade from the driftwood of the Delaware River.

Another musician walks out and starts kicking the keys of an upright piano, the not-so-subtle signal for the crowd’s dull din to slow.

Sounds of the saxophone descend the stairwell and enter the darkened hall. Held by a hooded figure, an African Lion in a cloud of fire emblazoned across the breast of the player, who is busy summoning the heartbeats of the ancestors with squeals of lightning struck out by his every puff of thunder.

The room is shook to pause. Everyone frozen as this chieftain rounds the room and takes his throne. From there he begins to strum the winds to storm. The kora like a sorcerer’s staff bending under the weight of all the years casting spells. He does this till everyone is properly stewed and mind’s are blown.

Then the golden soprano sax is again drawn. It lights up the room all on its own. Staccatos and frequencies that jar the audience to life.
The whole crowd snapping fingers, shouting, “Yeah, man! Go!”
Kicking legs, toppling drums. Piano again kicked to riff some dreams to be born. The whole sound cosmic. Like Sun Ra re-embodied. But this ain’t the Marshall Allen show. This is the midnight after hours post-show. Desert to a five course meal. It has some of that same soul and takes it further with elements of magic exposed by the light of the moon.

The sparks fly upwards. West Philly atmosphere grows. All those healing tones. And everyone knows…these moments fill the spiritual impact of all this city’s potholes. Chemistry for the heart chakra.

Zip! Zoop! Doo bop! Beep! Bam! Boom! Go Man! Go!

The machine can cut at the life chords. Stomp on this city’s residents’ souls. Pound away at them with all that concrete gloom and doom. Tear away at the pieces that are dearest to hold. But no one’s got the power to make the legends grow old. They’re not dying, no. They’re growing more power, full! Feeling the call. Blasting those spiritual hymns and tones. The jazz that’s needed to take us home. Back to our hearts immemorial!

Reminding us, we’ve got the power! We are the power of storms!

WE’VE GOT THE POWER

A very beat thing on the way to the ocean.

Last night a very beat thing happened to me. I watched a man play a saxophone to the San Francisco Bay under the carpet of stars above, backlit by a whole digital mainframe animating circuit board of city lights glittering like tiny solar systems orbiting the ground here where we stood. I was stoned and a little bit drunk from drinking more than an adequate amount of pirate’s port wine on a friend’s pink sailboat in the marina. We all feeling extra nimble with our loosened bodies we listened snapping our fingers, dancing weird jigs, and tapping our weird feet enjoying being star struck by such a quintessential imagery. It was all very merry and glorious and could’ve gone on much longer, us clown bums and dream punks and country beatniks far from over with the day’s rêvelutions, but then the Weed Ma, she came over to me and she grabbed my attention and she said, “Look, Ma! Look at the way the bay responds”, and that’s when the universe really started to click and snap its fingers back at us taking on that divine curvy glow of subliminal ecstasy.

A very beat thing on the way to the ocean.