The Moondog Poem Saga

June 1, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Posted in blogging, writing | 12 Comments
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“The only one who knows this ounce of words is just a token,
is he who has a tongue to tell that must remain unspoken.”
Moondog. (from Bird’s Lament)

Moondog was a jazz composure who lived homeless on the streets of New York for twenty years. He dressed as a Viking and invented his own instruments which is very cool.  I am trying to write a poem about or based on him for the Extempore Jazz Writing competition. But it is proving difficult. My brain is geometric and I seemed to have lost that instinctive feeling for the architecture of water which is so much a part of jazz. Still, I have one verse, so we’ll see.



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  1. How tantalizing – a homeless Viking in New York who composed Jazz. I look forward to your thoughts in verse.
    Thanks, Elisabeth, I look forward to them too. I hope they arrive before the deadline, haha.

  2. nothing lost, the moon tumbles. rolls water and resolves again in a kind of planetry refreshment. then again out to be shining. (the image of a geometric brain is cool machinery)
    The machinery is need of grease Tipota. It is rusty and grinding.

  3. one man’s geometry is another man’s jazz
    what you perceive as a straight line may well be a snake in the grass
    The slithery music of Eden, Ozy

  4. ive been there. the fluid of jazz is seasonal to capture. that is an amazing feat you’re after. good luck! what an interesting person
    I’m getting more and more fascinated with him as I learn more, Mrs Ott. His music is something out of time, ancient and before it’s time simultaneously, somehow.

  5. Very cool and innovative that he made his own instruments, makes the bond between the musician and the instrument even deeper, more profound. Thanks for introducing him. Good luck with the poem. I’m sure you’ll find the spontaneous flow that is jazz.
    That is a good point, about the musician and the home-made instrument, Cocoyea. You’re right. Don’t be surprised if I lift it into the poem somewhere, haha.

  6. I love that song, very familiar. I’m sure you’ll come up with something for the comp.
    It’s been sampled and used lots of times, Gabrielle. I’ll come up with something for sure.

  7. Wow! Do you have any Moondog LPs (on CD etc?) What is he like across a whole album, if you know? I have to investigate – thanks, Paul – very interested, especially to see what you come up with!

  8. hmmm, delicious!

  9. way cool…who knew here in america we could have a homeless beatnik viking named moondog…i wonder if he used any reference to gidget and her moondog?? do know gidget had a moondog right??… maybe that’z where the naked cowboy took up when moondog went to the sky….i do like his music as it is very would be interesting to see and hear individually each one of the instruments he created…i wonder if he ever played with other people or just hung out in the streets playing…best of luck to ya on the poem….

  10. “feeling for the architecture of water which is so much a part of jazz,” that is what I was just trying to tell a jazzman who wanted to teach me about jazz by teaching me theory — of course it’s possible that I’m unteachable (that seems to be the rumor traveling some corridors)

    dont mind me just me feeling sorry for myself — I only wanted to play a little music as best I can and didn’t want to analyze it

    is your brain geometrical? I thought it was very jazzy and aquatic. I cannot think of anyone more suited to put jazz into word sound.

  11. My I also add the fact that he was blind.

  12. Did you ever finish the poem?

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