Hillman City Haibun 7, Father, Lawns, Bangs, Chickens

Going through Fatherhood a second time, there are many notions that go through my mind on a regular basis. One is what will be my youngest daughter’s earliest memory? I think about dancing in the kitchen to Charlie Christian with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, or to the Isley Brothers. I think about her leaning back, mouth open in joy, while on the swing in Lakewood Park, or all the Disney movies she watches, or the engagements I have with her mother, not always pleasant. There are those who believe the first childhood memory does not come until age 7, but I can tell you of events I remember from kindergarten.

I think she is a little bit of a screen addict. So it did not take long when I vacated my chair to see Ella in it to watch what I was watching, one of my favorite musician/composers EVER, Carla Bley with her beau, Steve Swallow playing a composition entitled Lawns.

So if that first memory IS Carla Bley, on some level I have done my work. In a male-dominated profession like Jazz composition, arranging and band leading, Carla Bley is up there with Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Count Basie. She is an original, a creative genius and quite intelligent, the qualities you want in a role model for your kid. 

Ella watches Carla

2.21.15 – Her first memory could be Carla Bley’s Lawns or what hides behind bangs.

2.21.15 – Carla Bley gets ideas for melodies listening to chickens.

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB in Seattle and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. He wrote a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger.) He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets, has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com

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5 Responses to Hillman City Haibun 7, Father, Lawns, Bangs, Chickens

  1. wadmin says:

    Dude in San Francisco hit on me once claiming I reminded him of Carla Bley. No doubt Ella will have wonderful memories.

  2. Buffy says:

    I particularly enjoyed seeing Ella’s purely physical response to the work.

  3. Splabman says:

    The way she does sort of a gymnast move?

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