Mr. Soul
Well, hello Mr. Soul, I dropped by to pick up a reason / For a thought that I caught that my head is the event of the season. / Why in crowds just a trace of my face could seem so pleasin'. / I'll cop out to the change but a stranger is putting the tease on...

That was Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield, singing the classic "Mr. Soul." Welcome to Radio Hummingbird. I'm Luis, and I'll be playing your favorite records till dawn.

Oh yeah--that's how I started writing. Late nights in the bedroom of my haunted house. I'd spend the days at school being a wild boy. I'd spend my nights in the crazy poverty of our ruined house listening to records and feeling desperate. My dad was a tooth-grinder, and he'd grind through his tormented bad dreams all night--louder and louder. I have written about this before in one of my million books, so forgive me if you've heard this. But he thought the angry dead were pursuing him through time. He heard knocks on his bedroom furniture. His bed bounced for no reason--I felt it. My mom, in her own sad room, whimpered and shrieked in terror all night. How could you sleep?

I was down on a frown when a messenger brought me a letter. / I was raised by the praise of a fan who said I upset her. / Any girl in the world could have easily known me better. / She said, "You're strange, but don't change," and I let her...

I was alwasy the last guy picked for sports teams. How about you? I found myself onstage in the drama department of our high school and believed I had a place in the world. And the universe of writing opened up to me when I fell into the perfumed world of young women. The jocks did not want me, but I was astounded that the girls did! Yeah, man! I wrote and wrote! Somebody wanted to listen. I had these little black books we'd pass around, and then I had my own record books full of bad poems. And hid in the late night room, listening. Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Shawn Phillips, Jack Bruce (with lyirics by Pete Brown), David Bowie.

Prudence--I used to call you at night and play you records over the phone. Colette, I used to talk to you on the phone in your bed because you wanted to listen to my voice as you fell asleep. And many of my most beloved people were far away from me, so I wrote letters, big yawping full long letters. I wrote Spanish epistles of madness, long rolling documents full of cartoons and poems. I started to write letters to people I saw anyway. Rockie Lee wrote me round letters in a spiral with purple or pink ink. Other bad poets wrote duels with me. Writing. It grew and grew. I was frantic to escape, and I developed a faith that writing would carry me. And it did. I wrote myself out of San Diego to Harvard in 1982.

In a while will the smile on my face turn to plaster? / Stick around while the clown who is sick does the trick of disaster. / Though the race of my head and my face is moving much faster. / Is it strange I should change? I don't know, why don't you ask her.

I will try to offer you some gathering chapters about writing and this writer this year in this blog. Let's write a book together. You let me know what you are curious about, and I'll answer it. I'll give you The Updates. Gossip and haiku and trivial crap--which is all stuff I enjoy. But I also want to write. As if I don't write anough already. You might have noticed some of the entries in the archive are really some kind of pieces of a book...or books. Why stop? Life is short, but writing is not.

By the way, I'm 2/3 of the way through Broken Angels. UIC goes back in session next week, so I don't know if I can keep up this blistering pace. But the deepest most dangerous part of the book is upon me.

Is it strange I should change? I don't know, why don't you aske her.

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