click to hear: EVERYBODY KNOWS by G.P. Skratz An original:  just me on vocal & ukelele, aimed at my dear, dear bride–hope ya dig!– G.P.

O, my love,
who I adore,
who I serve
with all my heart,
who kind of likes me
on merry occasion…

EVERYBODY KNOWS

she’s a vision wrapped in silver,
shinin like a star.
she’s a flyin saucer voyage to the center of my heart
& i’m roaring to the rooftops,
ain’t no lie.
everybody knows that i love my bride.

ain’t nobody,
ain’t nobody
cook a frozen dinner like my lovin bride.

she lifts me up,
sets me down.
leads me off to glory from the lost & found.

& i’m roaring to the rooftops,
ain’t no lie.
everybody knows that i love my bride.

Photo of Smooth Toadclick to hear: ASK THE RIVER by Smooth Toad recorded a few days ago in  G. P. Skratz’s living room by SMOOTH TOAD:  Hal Hughes, vocal & guitar; Bob Ernst, country harp; G. P. Skratz, guitar.


ASK THE RIVER
(words & music by Hal Hughes)

If you don’t know
Why the moon hides its glow Behind the clouds
It’s just because
It’s up there all alone

If you don’t know
Why the willow weeps all day It’s just because
There’s no one there
To wipe its tears away

Bridge:
If you should ask the river
Why it flows unto the sea
You’d understand why I keep
Running back to you
Now don’t you see

When I’m alone
There is only one way home My love, it’s true
That winding road
That calls me back to you

 

click to hear: LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI by Smooth Toad This SMOOTH TOAD performance features G. P. Skratz on vocal & guitar, Hal Hughes on fiddle, & Bob Ernst on percussion.

This is my setting of John Keats’s “La Belle Dame sans Merci.” I made a few edits here & there & tweaked a few lines:  eg he has, “And there she lulled me asleep, / And there I dreamed, Ah Woe Betide! / The latest dream I ever dreamt / On the cold hill side.”  Really, Johnny?  “The latest dream I ever dreamt”?  Happily, I’m able to cover for him here in the 21st century… G.P. Skratz

LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI

O what can ail thee, Knight at arms,
Alone & palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the Lake
& no birds sing!
m
I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist & fever dew,
& on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.
*
I met a Lady in the Meads,
Full beautiful, a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot light
& her eyes were wild.
m
She found me roots of relish sweet,
& honey wild, & manna dew,
& sure in language strange, she said
“I love thee true.”
m
She took me to her elfin grot
& there she wept & sighed full sore,
& there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.
m
& there she lulléd me asleep,
& there I dreamed, Ah Woe betide!
The dream that beat my beating heart
Beneath the cold hill side.
m
I saw pale Kings, pale Princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried, “La belle dame sans merci
Thee hath in thrall!”
m
I saw their starved lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gapéd wide,
& I awoke, & found me here
On the cold hill side.
m
Alone & loitering
& palely loitering
& no birds sing
& no birds sing

SMOOTH TOAD is@ MySpace


CACTUS by G.P. Skratz

February 11, 2011

CACTUS
i love these cacti:
twisted thoughts spiking
the vast open mind of the desert
cactus skeleton
cigarette skeleton
sunset skeleton
fast crow flies
out of my skull

G.P. SKRATZ

February 6, 2011

Here’s a Valentine piece I translated way back in 1974.  It became my biggest hit at poetry readings & resulted in a video taped performance of it that was shown at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1979.  In 1997, the composer/guitarist, Andy Dinsmoor & I recorded the mp3:  I’m delighted with it & think you will be too.
M
Kurt Schwitters did his own English translation of his, “An Anna Blume.”  Mine is better.  For one thing, he extends his “thou thee thy” riff (as he does in the German) to include “I love thy.”  Well, there’s more tolerance for rank silliness in the German tradition than there is in the American one (at least in the wake of what Bennett Cerf called “The Golden Nashery of Ogden Trashery”).  I center my poem on the genuine statement, “I love you,” no fucking around, messing with archaic declensions there!  Also:  he translates her name: “Anna Blossom.”  O, come ON!  Anyway, like I say, mine is better!
m
m

TO ANNA BLUME

O mistress of my 27 senses, I love you!

–Thou thee thy thine, I you, you me–We?

That belongs (by the way) somewhere else.

Who are you, room of countless women?  You are–aren’t you?–

People say you’re–let them talk, the bastards, they don’t know

how the church tower stands.

You put your hat on your feet & wander off on your

hands, on your hands you wander off.

Hello, your red dress with white folds.  Red

I love Anna Blume, red I love you!–Thou thee thy

thine, I you, you me–

We?

That belongs (by the way) in the cold fire.

Red bloom, red Anna Blume, how do they say it?

Readers:  answer this question & win a prize:

1.  Anna Blume has a bird.

2.  Anna Blume is red.

3.  What color is the bird?

Blue is the color of your golden hair.

Red is the call of your green birds.

You plain maid in your everyday dress, you lovely green

beast, I love you!  Thou thee thy thine, I you, you me–

We?

That belongs (by the way) in the coal chest.

Anna Blume!  Anna, a-n-n-a, I trickle your name.

Your name drips like soft cattle droppings.

Do you know it, Anna, do you know it already?

One can read you backward, & you, you most magnificent

of all, you are the same from back or front:  “a-n-n-a.”

Cattle-droppings trickle stroking my back.

Anna Blume, you dripping beast, I love you!

–translated from the German of Kurt Schwitters

G.P. SKRATZ

March 29, 2010

MY LIFE AS A DAVID BROMIGE FICTION

In the late 70s, David & I would often run into each other at San Francisco poetry parties where alcohol was consumed, pot was smoked & someone would always set a typewriter up with a blank piece of paper in hopes of fostering collaboration, usually long & rambling exercises in gibberish.

One night, David & I huddled by the typewriter in a more minimal mood, typing the following two collabs:

THE EDGE

Most tightrope walkers don’t die
from falling.

WHO WOULDN’T BE DEPRESSED?

There you are in the 12th century,
& there’s 8 more centuries to go,

at least.

Read the rest of this entry »

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