Well, it finally happened. The Avett Brothers, The Felice Brothers, Mumford and Sons, and the Lumineers (sometimes they invite Of Monsters and Men but not to the BBQ cookout) have all joined together to form one huge musical co-op band called Beards and Banjos (since even the women in these bands have beards). They will share all the money they make touring and recording albums and mp3s, in their isolated commune, which is being built right now in West Saugerties, upstate New York. This was the town where the famous “Big Pink” house was, and where this new band holds voodoo rituals worshiping at the altar of Garth Hudson’s vintage Lowrey organ. This marks a promising day in music history. Someday bands will shout “Yea!” in unison in the middle of their songs, even though these songs don’t have a message or anything interesting to add to the conversation, but they will all throw their fists in the air and scream “yea!” into their microphones, and the people in the large Super Bowl sized area will think they are experiencing the spirit of the 60s and “Dylan and the Band,” or Americana at its best, but what they are really experiencing is a xerox of a xerox of a xerox of a xerox, and it will sound so warm and fuzzy.
May 12, 2013
Despite all the cliché’s and nauseating stereotypes of what the 1960s represent, that 60s “Love Generation,” which starts from Kerouac and the Beats (One the Road, “Howl”), explodes with The Kool Aid Acid Test, and ends with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream is America’s last true effort to radically change the social aspects of the culture with a massive participation. This was the last instance when the youth were united in an effort to oppose the War in Vietnam, bring about Civil Rights, and actually shift the corporate control, and oppression, which was seriously felt and experienced under the influence of drugs, music and self discovery. Was this the closest that American has come in the past century to actually swinging the pendulum in favor of a more democratic and “free” way of life, or was it an illusion? Is there any debate whether America will again have that kind of numbers (in the millions) of youths who want to rebel against the American government, and actually attempt to bring about a new consciousness or way of envisioning the country?
March 24, 2013
February 11, 2013
Here’s the story
October 19, 2012
September 21, 2012
New poem “Living on the Street” published in Counterexample Poetics.
Living on the Street
a dank mausoleum
moss covered gold
Gravity, pulls me down
to gentile concrete cove –
the rain dispels herself
over my ramshackle bones
selling tiny canvases
on the street
like a dead end pauper
Between Market and 5th
near Powell’s book empire
People paying with coinage
pay with questions and conversation
between us, we share
baroque chords strumming
in unison – syncopated
rhythms of words – I love
the passing tones, the fire burning
in your eyes,
notes and counterpoints
Sitting there in the rain
for several days
from life in the undisturbed wilderness
to the gnarling civilization
by the crows
by perceiving the concept
as the sunspots on the back
of wild deer.
July 29, 2012
Waiting for the Flood
I am sitting in a room
with a thousand clocks,
which are ticking slowly.
can be so melodic.
The voices I hear
in the streets
are shouting –
I am finding new time,
as one clock expires
the cityscape dissolves.
As the water rises,
my soul sings
that it is not a clock –
I am sitting
on the roof
with the junkman,
the wind chimes
His wife is inside,
the ice to melt –
His cigar smoke
rises and forms clouds
in the shape
of a thousand
July 27, 2012
The River Muse
her naked legs
as she stands
in the river.
Her skin drips
which are read
by a hungry
cause the river
like a city of glass.
Her face grows amused,
knowing I am listening –
through the trees.
of time and space
Her unpinned hair
Her eyes call
so she can break me free
from the spell
of a mad world.
July 19, 2012
Detergent bottles are empty –
A stocky woman at the other end of the Laundromat
has on a T-shirt of a large face
I can’t make out
either Jim Morrison
or Jennifer Lopez –
I love Hispanic dialects –
So musical – so vibrant
that heavy ‘p’
as in pueblo or puerta –
I am reading something
off the internet
by Zhu Yufu
“It’s time” he says –
Everyone at this Laundromat
sits more-or-less comfortably,
some in Comtek Vending
relaxation massage chairs
rest peacefully in their strollers
separates the classes
people with money
do not wait –
I want to start
a manuscript of poems titled:
Songs from the Laundromat
or The Music of the Laundromat
La lavandería en el cielo –
But my mind keeps coming back
to this poem –
and the poet Zhu Yufu,
probably being tortured this very second
while we wait for laundry –
Those poetic thoughts
keeping his mind steady
on long nights
when the howls of men
walk casually through cell walls –
Why incarcerate a man over a poem?
His body squeezed through
like a cricket caught in a tiny cage
“Are you and I perchance caught up in a dream
from which we have not yet awoke?”
Chuang Tzu said that.
What would Zhu Yufu say
of plum blossoms
opening their delicate hearts
covered in white fur –
His wife said his hair
had turned completely white since she last saw him –
What can we say about The Square?
What does Creon say
to a shackled Antigone?
“And you dare disobey my law?”
“It was not Zeus that made these laws.”
At the Laundromat
folding our warm clothes
in “Pursuit of Happiness,”
happy not to be
trapped in the washing machines
I hear hushed whisperings –
Husbands lean in close
their lips beside their wives’ ears
the scent of perfumes
and fragrant dollar-store shampoos
trails through their nostrils
Excitement and fear
lodged in throats
as they stutter out
a live chupacabra was caught just down the road.
July 16, 2012
April 5, 2012
New poem “Spooked Horse” in the new issue of Burning Word.
Also available in print form
March 1, 2012
Here’s a poem of mine called “Return of the Butchers” just published by that great journal The Camel Saloon.
February 19, 2012
A new poem of mine “Night Music” has been published in the new online journal The Bamboo Forest it can be seen here THE BAMBOO FOREST. The Bamboo Forest is the poetry blog that supports the petition site to free Zhu Yufu: http://freezhuyufu.blogspot.com/
Who is Zhu Yufu? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-16977615
February 15, 2012
Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low?
Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear?
Wherefore feed and clothe and save,
From the cradle to the grave,
Those ungrateful drones who would
Drain your sweat -nay, drink your blood?
Wherefore, Bees of England, forge
Many a weapon, chain, and scourge,
That these stingless drones may spoil
The forced produce of your toil?
Have ye leisure, comfort, calm,
Shelter, food, love’s gentle balm?
Or what is it ye buy so dear
With your pain and with your fear?
The seed ye sow another reaps;
The wealth ye find another keeps;
The robes ye weave another wears;
The arms ye forge another bears.
Sow seed, -but let no tyrant reap;
Find wealth, -let no imposter heap;
Weave robes, -let not the idle wear;
Forge arms, in your defence to bear.
Shrink to your cellars, holes, and cells;
In halls ye deck another dwells.
Why shake the chains ye wrought? Ye see
The steel ye tempered glance on ye.
With plough and spade and hoe and loom,
Trace your grave, and build your tomb,
And weave your winding-sheet, till fair
England be your sepulchre!
I had to post this Shelley poem because of how relevent it is today as it was almost two-hundred years ago. This poem has shook me to the core.
February 15, 2012
I had to post this because it’s one of the courageous poems of the past two-hundred years. I don’t know why i took me so long to read it, but I feel like Shelley was a poet of revolution and spoke for the common man.
December 21, 2011
September 7, 2011
The new issue of Yes, Poetry is available for free download on lulu.com a poem of mine “Birth of Music” is published in it. Here’s the links
And the Yes, Poetry websitehttp://yespoetry.com/post/9847245486/vol-2-issue-9-september-2011
August 26, 2011
(This one’s from 2002. It’s one of the few from the period that are halfway coherent. It’s from one of my self-published chapbooks from the past.)
The crucifix hangs from the ceiling by a shadow
Snow angels melt in the sunlight
The open smell of living rooms obscurity
The trance of visions perplexed by the television audience
Late at night
No assembly of thought
Open admiration for decline
Open the windows and watch whores in the mud
Pleasuring the pigs, on blank moons
Laws are only in the budget for so long
The rumor is that you tried to
Behold the existence of time
In your credit weathering freeloading area
Some stranger with a Benjamin Franklin face
I wrote my name
Seven times in the sand
It was still there a million years later
Your gravestone peers out at me
Those cowardly eyes; faceless
Your pain is stone and your sorrow covered in moss
All your eyes tell me is your quiet desperation.
“Man throwing poetry off the roof of a six-story Building” published in New Issue of The Bicycle Review
August 25, 2011
Check out the new issue of the Bicycle Review
August 24, 2011
“Night Baseball” Circleshow
“Waking the Dead in the Land of Make-Believe” and “Now that the Revolution has Begun” published in the Camel Saloon.
August 22, 2011
August 11, 2011
“Song for the Postmodern Void,”"Aftermath,” and “Chain Gang” are two new poems of mine published in the superb online journal The Calliope Nerve. Here’s the link…http://calliopenerve.blogspot.com/search/label/Craig%20Shay
and wrists –
which lull us
into a state
of acquiescence –
Why is it
that the circus
distracts us so?
Why is one’s soul
for handfuls of ash?
August 11, 2011
“Widow of Catherine Street” was published in the inspiring online magazine Underground Voices…here’s the link http://www.undergroundvoices.com/UVShayCraig.htm
July 30, 2011
Three new poems “House Sitting,” “Waiting for the Flood,” and “Cognitive Dissidence” have been published in a terrific online publication Carcinogenic Poetry the link to the webpage is here:
I want to repost this one here, because I feel it explains a lot about human nature at this time in history, and how we deal with knowing truths and living with the reality of those truths, whether we like them or not, whether they are right or wrong.
There are nights
I almost forget
on my hands and feet.
I almost feel free –
Then I remember
the streets are still on fire
and there are no firemen.
I watch years pass
as the fires rage to destroy.
No one talks about the rising smoke clouds
engulfing the sky and blotting out the sun.
No one is ready to confront the avalanche
of violence and fear.
No one believes it is going to destroy us.
July 29, 2011
A new poem of mine, “Blue Atlas Cedars” was published in the Canadian journalPigeonBike: Beyond the Broken Bridge issue available through their website.
July 15, 2011
I’ve had Bringing it All Back Home, in the tapedeck of my car all week. Check out these killer lyrics.
Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying
Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying
Temptation’s page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you’d just be one more
So don’t fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing
As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don’t hate nothing at all
Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred
While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked
An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge
And it’s alright, Ma, I can make it
Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you
You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you
A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy, insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to
Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to
For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something they invest in
While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in
But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him
Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn’t talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony
While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer’s pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely
My eyes collide head-on with stuffed
Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?
And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only
Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music
July 14, 2011
I have a new poem published in a terrific online magazine called Catapult to Mars, edited by Gordon Mason.
Here’s a link to the website http://catapulttomars.blogspot.com/2011/07/wall-street-by-craig-shay.html
Please check out the latest issue of a great online magazine called the Audio Zine, published by Daniel Dissinger of In Stereo Press. I have two new poems published in it here’s the link…
Here’s the link “Riding Alone for 3,000 Miles”