November 6, 1996
P.O. Box 12078
Cincinnati, OH 45212
A few words to say hullo and what not. We’re home for a short spell from the Double Cure Fall Tour and frankly, well, we’ve had sweaty fun. We found ourselves in an odd assortment of rooms night after night which I’ve come to believe is not a bad thing (guessing is good) and we’ve made that different music together and learned a subtle form of prayer. (There was a thread that wove itself through everything: Let Go.) And even now I learn to let go.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who pointed to a map and said, “By gum I’m going yes I am” and found us and brought good thoughts and ruddy smiles, shoulder to young shoulder. You’ve put fine memories in boxes for us over there in the corner by the inside window.
I’m happy to say that the faithfully patient Rhinelanders should see a cloud approaching, the size of a man’s fist, coming in from faraway. We promise rain and do no rain dance. You join the secret club and you wait for the first secrets told to no one. You’ve done your part. Now how about us. I kept a journal during the first leg of the tour which is going to serve as Northern Spy #1, and Shelly is going to type it for me this evening faster than you can imagine. Then I’ll look at it objectively on white paper and make sure it’s not too earnest. Maybe you’ll glimpse the inner life of the busted troubadour, cheer for the hopeful grinning monotone at the talent show. Thank you.
This weekend if you’d like a truly surreal evening (especially with someone you could dream of becoming even more attached to) bring that someone or those someones to the Carnegie Theatre, 1028 Scott Boulevard, Covington, Kentucky, (606.655.8112) for “Songs of the Blood.”
This is Jay Bolotin’s brain child, and Jay is one of the last of the renaissance men, a real Leonardo. He’s gathered together himself, Karin Bergquist (you know her), Michelle Red Elk (a slender, anointed American Indian with prophetic words flying through her like angry starlings out of a startled gathering tree), Terri Templeton (a displaced, willowy, New York vocalist and violinist) and Linford Detweiler (you know me.) We’re meeting down there tomorrow to rehearse and mesh our songs and words into a Crow Black Sunday School Program and I know for a fact that Karin and Jay will be closing out the evening with an extended excerpt from the opera which Jay is working on. So you’ll get to hear Karin take a foray into legit modern repertoire and she’ll be going for the high notes and clutching an old doll all the while, an old doll from my collection, at least this is the plan, one of my favorites, with old red hair and long cloth legs and high heels.
One of the reasons I’m happy is that I just finished an unforgettable novel, the kind that makes you a close friend and makes you want to trade your life in for a different one, or at least make better of the one you’ve got: ‘Ellen Foster’ by Kaye Gibbons. The Southern Female Writers just keep swinging the door wider. They sweep me off my feet even though I’m married so I live up North here. And the cold rain falls today, the graying of November goes deeper into the roots of everything, Old Saint Mary’s bell tower chimes 3 o’clock and gusts me out the door.