Saturday, June 22, 2013

Leonard Cohen, and the Bookseller Under the Bridge

There's a bridge near Stazione Trastevere that separates Porta Portese and Piazza della Radio.  If you happen to be walking under it when a train passes above, you suddenly know what it's like to be inside a drum when someone's playing a solo.

There's a man who lives in the underpass who runs a makeshift bookstore.  Dozens of books, some which look almost new, are neatly displayed on old card tables with prices drawn in magic marker on folded index cards.  It's hard for me to fathom the hardship of living without shelter, but I find that man's very existence beautiful.

Once in a while he has a radio playing when I walk by.  A few evenings ago I was walking to Piazza della Radio for some late-night food.  When I passed the bookstore, I caught the chorus of Leonard Cohen's 'Who By Fire' echoing through the static.  Hearing that song at all is a rarity.  Encountering it at that very moment was enough to make me realize that half the songs Cohen ever wrote were sung for people like the bookseller.

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Story: Render Unto Caesar

The new issue of Independent Ink contains my story 'Render Unto Caesar.'  It's about money and religion (in case you couldn't tell from the title).  It'll probably lead to me getting excommunicated, not to mention a few awkward glances at family reunions.  Hope ya'll like it!

You can either get a subscription ($2/month) or pick up Issue #10 on its own for $13.  If you read it, drop me a line here and let me know what you think.  If I've ever written anything with the intention of stirring up dialogue, it's this one.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Chameleons: Script of a Bridge

The Chameleons were one of the finest bands that ever came out of Manchester.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that if they'd had the same level of backstage drama and their singer had committed suicide, today they'd be remembered as romantically as Joy Division.  Their debut album 'Script of a Bridge' was one of those records like 'Abbey Road,' 'Dark Side of the Moon,' Lou Reed's 'Transformer,' or the first Velvet Underground, that's simply flawless from start to finish.  Tight production value, insightful lyrics, and refined technical ability.  Basically everything that made British post-punk so great.  If you're at all into Joy Division, New Order, The Stone Roses, Magazine, etc., you need to check this shit out.