Monday Earworm: Thomas Dolby

English musician Thomas Dolby is probably best known here for his hit “She Blinded Me With Science” — and, as a result, probably best known by people in my age demographic. However, as excellent as that song is, his work definitely deserves a closer look.

His album Retrospectacle, a greatest hits compilation, was one of my favorites during my college years, and even now, it holds up beautifully. His work afterward seemed to be largely in the sphere of soundtracks, particularly for video games.

Here’s just a taste of his brilliance. “Budapest By Blimp” is a mellow song and can be enjoyed even if you aren’t paying attention to its lyrics, but the story in the song really opens it up. If you read the first comment after the video, you’ll see the text of a blog post wherein a teacher wrote to Dolby requesting more information about the song’s genesis and Dolby’s incredibly thoughtful response. It’s well worth reading.

National Poetry Month — Day 15

At the last reading I went to, I shared the stage with an old poetry colleague of mine, from many years ago: Stan Crawford. He and I had been published in the same anthology, Untameable City (Mutabilis Press), about the nature, interpreted broadly, of Houston. This reading was to celebrate the book and some of the poets who’d been included in it.

Stan and I had taken workshops together back in the day, and it was so good to run into him again, as it always is. He graciously agreed to let me include his poem “Hedge Fund” here on the blog this April.

 

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Hedge Fund

 

Make a bet about any arbitrary thing:
for example, when a line of bushes
will at some future time enclose a field, or
a pasture, or any predicted area of vivid

growth. Then hedge the bet you’ve made
upon that hedge, to the amazement of those
who hadn’t quite understood that this is now
a world securitized, protected, bet by bet,

increment by increment. Sell this knowledge.
Reap the standard fee of “2 and 20.” Hedge
again. Buy gold, buy oil, buy lithium, buy
homes designed by different architects

on opposite coasts of several continents. Buy
influence, when control is not for sale. Expand
and merge. One day you’ll be too big to fail,
and what is more, you’ll be a man, my son.