38 Special

persimmon leaves

It’s my birthday today. My Lakers swept the Nuggets and are through to the 2nd round. That’s a nice gift. And I couldn’t ask for better weather. It’s warm and sunny, and there’s a sweet breeze that makes me want to drink cool water. But I’ll settle for a glass of wine on the balcony.

Most birthdays I like to do every day things. My theory is that whatever you do on your birthday is the tone you set for the rest of the year. I have a short list of things I have to do. Dance. Play guitar and sing. Play a flute. Write some poetry, maybe a song. Laugh liberally. Do some gardening. And most satisfying of all, do some deep housecleaning.

Occasionally I’ll throw a party, like the now legendary Red Party that I threw when I hit 30. Thanks to my buddy Gil, who donated his house and his neighbors’ goodwill, over a hundred people showed up, and most of them were dancers or musicians or artists. So it was one big audience participation performance, from flamenco to salsa to tango, culminating in the best jam session of infectious dance music that I’d ever experienced. Everyone had to wear red, bring red wine, and I concocted a never ending stream of sangria from a big box of citrus. That’s the gold standard of birthday parties.

foot bath

I had a much quieter party a few days ago. It was at this cool place in Roppongi, called Fioria Ariablu, that’s essentially a glorified karaoke room. I picked out the course menu and the all you can drink option. The room had a little waterfall that emptied into a warm pool of water underneath the table so we could soak our feet and relax while we ate and sang. Towels were included. I also liked the air ionizer that made us instantly feel good as we entered the room.

At parties, I like to have little activities to get people involved and be creative. That’s my credo: creativity, collaboration, community. I try to practice it whenever I can. So I did stuff like write a haiku for each guest. I had everyone say a word of the day, which Erin combined into one text and reads like a beat riff. Here’s the result:

One birthday in France, eternal friendship and a credenza. Tsukiri cocoon. I love the universe!

I had them bring something from their travels. Others had to guess who it belonged to and what country it was from. And we ended the night with a rousing “We Are the World.” We had so much fun we hung out outside for over an hour just chatting.

bent

Yesterday I also bought myself a gift. A little plant that I haven’t been able to identify. It caught my eye when I went shopping for lavender. T’s first words when she saw it was, “Tasty! I want to eat it!” She also wanted to make tempura out of the tender persimmon leaves that are pictured at the top of the post. In my Oregon garden, I had to deal with gophers, squirrels, crows, slugs, aphids, and mold spores. Now I have to ward off my own wife. But that’s one pest I really don’t mind dealing with.

right on the cheek

Tomoko
no poem nor song
can tell of the music in
my small heart for you

trio

Kazu
sleepless vampire thought
skates through mystic cyberspace
watching for glimmers

Prince
in another time
you wore the rags of beggars
seeking holiness

raised
Erin
weaving friends with food,
a warm belly is best for
rainbow tapestries

Kamayani
every morning a
woman laughs and dances to
the sound of sunrise

zach and mariko

Zach
Upholstery is
1 part flowery fabric
2 parts forest dream

Mariko
slipping through the stream
of suits and dark sad faces
is a sparkling stone

hamming it up

Azusa
two cups of late night
hot milk and honey, essays
fall asleep on desks

group shot

Togo
shisha smoke wafts through
curry odors and you ache
for Bradford winters

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8 thoughts on “38 Special”

  1. Happy Birthday, my brother! If you were here, JJ and I would bake you a chocolate cupcake with blue frosting, sprinkled with tiny dinosaur shaped candies. We love you!

  2. Thanks for sharing. All of it. Inspiring. Fancy joining you on some “backyard” explorations. Some day.

  3. Happy birthday, my friend
    I remember that gold standard of all birthday parties—the infamous Red Party. I talked about it for days. It was the first time I met you and what an impression was made! Jon had talked about you frequently and I was anxious to make my own assessment. What a gift you have been. What an inspiration. There is no ordinary way to live as we are all extraordinary—just sometimes too lazy to shine. I love you. g

  4. aw shucks georgie.

    i’m a huge fan of georgie. she’s always got multiple art projects around her house and studio, organizes art circles, brings people together to deepen experience. she’s the kind of person that all artists strive to be.

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