Right Place, Wrong Time

Poesy plus Polemics

haze “Mountain Haze” by Bill Davidson

this wilderness
teaches tranquility
joy found in freedom
that comes to the lost
without compass
or maps no agenda
no time but the time
to explore to imagine
directions toward
everything possible
everything needed

this wilderness
too late discovered
impassive impatient
it should have told
eager young bones
plangent tales of antiquity
given its wisdom
to years yet unlived
not stand wasting itself
upon calcified dreams
and abandoned ambition

View original post

davidbrucehaiku: PERFECT BALANCE






I have what I need

I don’t have what I don’t need

My perfect balance


Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)


Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)



David Bruce: Audiences Anecdotes


Frances Langford sang with a big-band style, and she was popular on the radio, in movies, and on USO tours with Bob Hope. While performing with Mr. Hope in Salerno, Italy, Ms. Langford found the accommodations very primitive indeed. For example, her dressing room was constructed out in the open. A fence enclosed the dressing area, although it lacked a roof. However, while Ms. Langford was in the dressing room, she happened to look up, and she saw a hill on which were some trees; in every tree were guys. Ms. Langford says, “I think that the biggest audience I ever had.”

In 2007, author Christopher Hitchens had some interesting experiences as he toured to publicize his best-selling book God Is Not Great. In New York, he saw this sign put up by the Second Presbyterian Church: “Christopher Hitchens doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” In Raleigh, North Carolina, he appeared before a huge crowd at a Unitarian church, whose rector whispered to him, “I ought not to say this, but the church has never been this full before.” And in Austin, Texas, an audience member asked him if he knew the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, another anti-Christian author. Mr. Hitchens replied that he did, although he did not always agree with Nietzsche. The audience then asked if Mr. Hitchens was aware that Nietzsche was suffering from terminal syphilis while writing his anti-Christian works. Mr. Hitchens replied that he had heard that, but that he didn’t know whether it was true. Finally, the audience member asked if the same explanation accounted for Mr. Hitchens’ own anti-Christian works. Mr. Hitchens immediately thought, “Should have seen that coming.”

Al Jolson was a huge entertainer in vaudeville, but his fame declined and then was resurrected when the 1946 movie The Jolson Story, which starred Bert Parks and won an Oscar for Best Score, came out. How forgotten was Mr. Jolson? He watched the movie in a theater, feeling very proud. At the end of the movie, which was a huge hit, people cheered, and Mr. Jolson overheard a woman say, “It’s too bad Jolson couldn’t be alive to see this.” When Mr. Jolson was big in show biz, he was huge. He often starred in musicals on Broadway, and when he felt like it, 20 minutes into the musical, he would tell the other members of the cast, “Go home.” Then he would sing and entertain solo for two hours. The audience never complained; after all, they had not come to see and hear the musical—they had come to see and hear Mr. Jolson.

Stand-up comedian Kristen Schaal used to practice her act in front of an unusual audience: the cows on the Colorado farm where she grew up. She says, “I had time on my hands. I would perform in front of the cows. They never mooed. They never heckled. They were very polite. That’s how I learned to not expect anything from an audience.” Despite its being unusual, this kind of audience is good practice for real audiences; as Ms. Schaal points out, “I went back home recently, and I looked at the cows again and thought, ‘God, they have the same expression as audiences.’ Just expectant—they want something but they’re just, like, waiting. And they have no idea what they’re waiting for. After that training, I was set.”

Audience members will applaud vigorously if they know that a big-name vocalist is singing, but if they do not know that a big-name vocalist is singing, they will remain quiet. Albert Reiss was a competent tenor, but he lacked a big name although one evening he did not lack laryngitis. Enrico Caruso, who had perhaps the biggest name among tenors, offered to sing Arlecchino’s arietta for him while he mouthed the words, and Mr. Caruso also bet Mr. Reiss that no one in the audience would know that he was doing so. Mr. Caruso sang for Mr. Reiss and no one went wild, but the next time Mr. Caruso sang and the audience knew that he was singing, the audience went wild.

Anita Berber, known mainly as a controversial dancer in Weimar’s Berlin, performed in many countries. In Fiume, a city now in Croatia, she performed in a very small club where she could hear the comments members of the audience made about her. She overheard one insulting comment and memorized where it had come from. After her dance was over, she walked over to that spot and slapped the man sitting there. Unfortunately, Ms. Berber was nearsighted and did not know that the man who had insulted her had gone and that a man who appreciated her talent had taken his place.

Comedian Larry Storch was doing stand-up comedy in Detroit at a time when Soupy Sales was doing a Detroit children’s show that was widely watched by adults. Mr. Storch heard that a local TV celebrity was in the audience, and he thought that the audience would like to know that, so he announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a guy named Soupy Sales in the audience who you might know and he’s sitting right over there. Let’s say hello.” Big mistake. The audience mobbed Soupy Sales, leaving nobody to listen to Mr. Storch’s act. Mr. Storch says, “It was embarrassing. They left the joint empty.”

Not every dance affects the audience the way the dancer/choreographer wants it to. Paul Sanasardo choreographed three solos about death titled collectively Three Dances of Death (1956). The third solo was “The Sentimentalist,” and when he danced it, he was surprised by the audience’s reaction: They laughed. When he finished the solo, the great choreographer Paul Taylor, who was also dancing on the program, told him, “That’s a really funny dance.” Not surprisingly, that was the last time Mr. Sanasardo danced the solo.

George Balanchine choreographed Liebeslieder Walzer in such a way that some members of the audience regarded it as a series of “love-song waltzes,” and some members of early audiences would leave the theater between acts. Lincoln Kirstein once watched the audience between acts, and he moaned to Mr. Balanchine, “Look how many people are leaving.” Unperturbed, Mr. Balanchine replied, “Ah, but look how many are staying!”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


Edgar Lee Masters: Daisy Fraser (Spoon River Anthology)



Did you ever hear of Editor Whedon
Giving to the public treasury any of the money he received
For supporting candidates for office?
Or for writing up the canning factory
To get people to invest?
Or for suppressing the facts about the bank,
When it was rotten and ready to break?
Did you ever hear of the Circuit Judge
Helping anyone except the “Q” railroad,
Or the bankers? Or did Rev. Peet or Rev. Sibley
Give any part of their salary, earned by keeping still,
Or speaking out as the leaders wished them to do,
To the building of the water works?
But I Daisy Fraser who always passed
Along the street through rows of nods and smiles,
And coughs and words such as “there she goes.”
Never was taken before Justice Arnett
Without contributing ten dollars and costs
To the school fund of Spoon River!


ACROSTIC POETRY // Droid Avunculate

unbolt me

Uncle, tell me a bedtime story!
Promise me sleep right after that?

Bearded myths say there’s a purgatory
Right after death, right after begat.
Its goddamned inmates are forever doomed to
Never succeed in finding ease of breath,
Getting sick with chronic, emotional flu,
Insides torn ‘tween flame life and ice death.

No way, Iron Uncle, do they still have human pith!
Godspeed, Tiny Tin. People are just a silly ancient myth.

© All rights reserved 2018

View original post

Lao-Tzu #31: Weapons are meant for destruction, and thus are avoided by the wise.



Weapons are the bearers of bad news;

all people should detest them.


The wise man values the left side,

and in time of war he values the right.

Weapons are meant for destruction,

and thus are avoided by the wise.

Only as a last resort

will a wise person use a deadly weapon.

If peace is her true objective

how can she rejoice in the victory of war?

Those who rejoice in victory

delight in the slaughter of humanity.

Those who resort to violence

will never bring peace to the world.

The left side is a place of honor on happy occasions.

The right side is reserved for mourning at a funeral.

When the lieutenants take the left side to prepare for war,

the general should be on the right side,

because he knows the outcome will be death.

The death of many should be greeted with great sorrow,

and the victory celebration should honor those who have died.


Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)


Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)


Aesop: The Peacock and Juno



A Peacock once placed a petition before Juno desiring to have the voice of a nightingale in addition to his other attractions; but Juno refused his request. When he persisted, and pointed out that he was her favourite bird, she said:

‘Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.’


Juno is the Roman Queen of the Gods.

The peacock has an unattractive cry; the nightingale sings beautifully.


Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)


Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)


My Anti-Bucket List — HappymessHappiness

I understand the idea of mulling over and writing down the things we wish, hope and want to do and ticking them off once we’ve accomplished it and for me, it somehow helps me to live out the best possible life I could, though sometimes, I just end up disappointed as it ends up ruining […]

via My Anti-Bucket List — HappymessHappiness