Rich Wilhelm

Archive for 2018|Yearly archive page

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

In jazz, John Coltrane, music, North Philadelphia, Philadelphia, poem on April 4, 2018 at 7:14 pm
coltrane

29th and Diamond, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 2, 2018

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

gazes over the old neighborhood

from his vantage point at 29th and Diamond.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

recalls struggle and triumph in his house on 33rd,

now with a sign noting his long-ago presence.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

is poised to play his saxophone,

but his lips never touch the instrument.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

remembers the nearby, long-lost jazz clubs

where he honed his craft:

820 Club

Café Society

Crystal Ball

Web Bar

Sun Ray

Blue Note.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

meditates on afterhours sessions at the Woodbine

with Tyner, Pope, Ali, Smith, Morgan, Golson, and Philly Joe Jones.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

knows his sheets of sound would rage

wild and free amid these sheets of snow

and yet, his lips never touch the instrument.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

has never heard of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Trump,

and even if he had, his mind would be elsewhere.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

might wonder why everyone from Bono

to Sheryl Crow

to some guy in Phoenixville

feels the need to invoke his name.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

could impart great wisdom

to the father and son talking Kanye and Kendrick

in the car below him.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

is one of my favorite things.

 

Coltrane in the Nor’easter

prays that each of us will someday encounter

a Love Supreme.

Advertisements

2018: The Year of Taking Better Notes

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2018 at 10:20 pm
IMG_2999

Here we have two notebooks that I made from a box that contained a six-pack of Fireside Chat winter spiced ale, made by 21st Amendment Brewery. I hope to take better notes in these notebooks.

As the end of 2017 approached, I began to feel like I had not accomplished anything all year. I was feeling like I had nothing to show for the year.

This was not an accurate feeling. Throughout the year, I continued to be a husband and dad to the best of my ability on any given day. I continued to be a news editor, even traveling to New Orleans one week to do that job. I gave tours at Laurel Hill Cemetery and I made and mailed Really Cool Notebooks to every corner of this country and beyond. I have largely shown up for the various roles and responsibilities I have in my life.

But I did realize there was something that I did not do in 2017. I did not take good notes. Days and weeks passed by in which I didn’t write in a journal, didn’t post any blog entries, didn’t really check in with myself. Which is perfectly fine, except that, as someone who someone who considers himself a writer, I ought to have done more.

Also, I didn’t read much this year. I read one book — the fascinating Lincoln in the Bardo — and that’s it.

Really, though, I read quite a bit. Nearly all that reading though, was online news stories.

Therein lies the problem. In order to try to keep up with a very weird year, I gave myself over to the task of simply trying to keep up with the ongoing saga emanating from Washington, D.C. And Mar-a-Lago. And various other golf clubs.

In short, I spent an inordinate amount of time tracking the activities of our president. But I’m done with that.

Don’t get me wrong. I am going to continue to follow the current situation, and to try to continue to voice my concerns and to figure out what I can do to make a positive contribution to our country and world right now.

At the same time though, I think I need to cut down on my grim fascination with the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. And I think I need to recover whatever part of myself I feel has been lost in the shuffle of 2017.

I’m not doing this to bury my head in the sand, but to find a way to be more engaged that simply staring with bemused horror at stories of the latest inanity.

The way forward for me is, I think, to find ways to be more positively engaged in the world around me and in the world within me. And, as this is happening, to take better notes.

If I do start taking better notes — real, pen-to-paper notes, maybe even in the “Fireside Chat” beer box notebooks shown in the photo above, that is — I will hopefully occasionally organize those thoughts into entries for this blog. I make no promises, but I’ll give this a shot.

Here’s to a productive, positive 2018 for us all!

Patrick F. O'Donnell

writer, editor, general wordsmith and scribe

A. Panda's Tiki Lounge

A resource for all things Polynesian and Tiki

Sons of Saxer

"For Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Championships"

WeBetterThanThat

Talkin' Shit, Bein Dope and Keepin it Real

talking points

Started as a political blog. Added sports. Now it's just what I feel like writing about.

Yeah, Another Blogger

An Arts-Filled, Tasty And Sometimes-Loopy Jaunt Through Life

RetroRoadmap.com

Vintage, Retro & Cool Old Places worth visiting!

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

45spins

A creative guy, looking for a few good records

Reading & Writing With Teacher Corey.

Philadelphia Teaching Adventures.

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

504ever.net

a writer with a camera, living in new orleans

Listen Up!

Listen Up! airs live on G-Town Radio (www.gtownradio.com) every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm EST

1 Picture, 217 Words

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Music for the Hard of Hearing

Trust me. It's good for you.