i can taste it... feel it in my bones.
i want it so bad it hurts... to play music.
i watch bands play like a predator stalking prey.
watch them set up, break down...
check the sound, load the van...
like a hawk when they’re playin’.
every instrument, every note...
i watch the bends...
how is it that they make that shrill tremolo sound???
with those shaking wrists and fingers...
like b.b. king and those HUGE wailing notes!
his hand looks like a wing flapping...
pivoting on one finger... one note... beautiful.
i watch the bassman slap and pluck and slide.
all so simple...
like he’s barely touching the strings...
but from the amplifier comes this great booming thunder!
i watch the audience...
and how each individual has his or her own unique
personal style of flailing funk!
i watch to see what moves people...
and to make sure that i am not the only one who cannot
resist the imperious urge to shake and thrash every
part of my body like i have suddenly become victim to
a spontaneous exorcism and at any moment a little red
demon is going to **jump out** through the center of my
chest and start eating people!!!
and sometimes... when i look up... i am the only one.
and sometimes... i do feel like i am undergoing some sort
in African tribal culture, they believed that the sound of
booming drums drove out Evil spirits...
and i believe it too.
it was Hendrix who invited us to the Electric Church,
and i have been a believer ever since!
what it’s like to want to die
when you no longer hurt and you no longer cry
pain you can handle
but pain without emotion is unbearable
the emptiness is uncomparable
when you finally hit bottom
and there’s nowhere left to go
eternal loneliness plagues your mind
a loveless life is all you’ll ever know
so your thoughts turn to death
you’re battered and broken from the fall
suffering the pain and anguish of hell
is better than feeling nothing at all
lying on my back staring at the skies
my legs crossed in front of me,
my arms spread to each side
i’m ready to die on my fallen cross
the only thing to gain is loss
oh lord please understand
i didn’t pass the test, nor did i survive
but know that i only take my body
so that my soul may be alive.
~ may 1997
Photography by Roberto Zariskeeni at Rob Z Photography in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020
Rob Z is a writer, photographer, musician living in Southern Indiana. He has had work published in our print editions of Fevers of the Mind Issue 1 June 2019.
Like a preacher
mad with a microphone
on stage black dressed
unbuttoned cross hangs
chained to his open chest.
Cave’s his name—
through his dark accent
you feel his plight.
With every chord,
the riffs he plays—
the crowd ignites.
He stands like a God
in this house, auditorium,
arena from Jubilee Street
to Tupelo. His British band
plays so loud they can hear
from the clouds all the way
to heaven. Even Methostopolies
loves to feel the burning fury
of his Southern refrains.
With Cave’s Northern soles
he prances and romances
while towering over his disciples
owning this stage;
when his voice rises—
raging poetry, bible verses
he spits out grooves of insanity
from her to eternity
some of his stanzas
will save your sins
with the rhymes, epic anthem
odes to Johnny Cash.
This son of an English professor
pens songs like sonnets, so sinfully
sweet, dedicated for the drowning
and defeated Cave will Nick
your scars as his guitar bleeds.
When you see him live
applause from his electric pulpit
and always scream. Lovers
addicts, tattooed outcasts
heed his choruses, spotlight
untamed. Mad like a preacher
Cave faith has him dropping needles
on vinyl skin, instead of veins.
Let Nick’s sermons and hymns
send you inside the skies
his church is at night
for the price of a ticket
more than a show
all you disbelievers
definitely will understand—
as this singer extols
of his holiest refrains;
as each riff resounds
you can feel Nick’s soul
was saved by the beats as
each night Cave rolls his
tongue with the confessional
kiss of rock and roll.
Nick Cave's Spotlight CravingFrom a photograph by Ted Grudowsky
He sat at the piano, fingers
touching black and white
keys, matching his tuxedo
colored suit, dark tie and
an alabaster shirt stained
with sprinkling sweat.
The singer put an Australian
Dunhill cigarette, letting it
dangle in his mouth. After
playing a few notes,
he stopped, looking for
a match under the spotlight,
but there was nothing but
baggage claims, loose leaf
lyrics he scribbled in limo
on the way to the show.
As the singer fumbled,
in the front row, my balding
friend got up and hurried to the
side of the stage. Taking out his
antique silver lighter from his
torn blue jean pocket, Martyn
in his faded blue Leonard Cohen
t-shirt, reached up from
seats and magically lit King
Ink’s ciggy—Cave winked
and mumbled Thanks mate!
Looking back down, towards
the keys, the singer grinned
eyes closed, beginning
the notes to “And No More
Shall We Part” he exhaled
smoke— savoring the nicotine
on his lips, the music echoed
reigniting the quiet the halls;
as the singer played, we all sat
mesmerized, watching Nick Cave’s
fingers becoming entranced again.
Why Fear Her Tears?Why are all the women weeping?
…They are weeping back at them
— Nick Cave
Every night I hear La Llorona
grieving outside la Ventana,
I no longer close the blinds
or cover quivering under
How to sleep, how to sleep
Instead, I take in the chorus
of her lamenting wails,
and then una mañana
desperté to find her weeping
like a song spinning on
an endless vinyl trying to find
a place where her cries can no
longer feel dethroned. Cada
noche, I rise from bed and stroll
descalso barefoot to la concina,
reach up for a bowl in la alcana
cupboard and bring it back
to my bedroom, leaving it
under my cama mattress,
so, when I hear La Llorona
weeping, I make sure the bowl
is empty, if it’s full I pour
out the pain into an empty
botella, corking each one,
And when the wind does
howl and cuando el viento
sopla, bottling every sob,
I always save for her, keeping
Them safe as she leaves me
the sweetest of invisible beso
where her rosas grow wild
kisses on the floor. She knows
I am no longer afraid each night
I feel her medianoche refrain…
as I quidado carry, trying not
to spill nor leave any trembling
tracks, protecting every huella
drop of her lagrima tears.
Don Quixote Driving His Truck
Navigating their way
on N. Buena Vista Ave
to Hollywood Airport,
Sancho Panza in
the passenger seat,
using his iPhone, Don
keeps waxing quixotic
about directions, which
way they should turn.
Wishing he was still
on his horse, doesn’t
like how the truck tries
to swerve onto oncoming
traffic, Listening to Ghosteen
while scratching every
Nick and scar on his chin
following his inner Cave
bright horses, unholy Jubilee
street corner spirits standing in
front of the Jesus graffiti on
the Hollywood sign, Don
loves pushing the sky away
past the skeleton tree,
as another airliner lifts
off above them, Sancho
says go ahead, let’s take
the fork and see where
the road leads us towards
our latest mapquest, seeing
the fringy lunatic gaze on
Quixote’s wandering eye,
Don pushes down on
the pedal like he’s galloping
on his favorite caballo, Yes,
derecho, my friend, no longer
lost, with the windows rolled
down, the maniacal driver roars
it is time we become legends again. Before I Turn Into Gold Online Anthology: 4 poem showcase by Adrian Ernesto CepedaA Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
Bio: Adrian Ernesto is the author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, Between the Spine from Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar & We Are the Ones Possessed from CLASH Books and Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing.
His poetry has been featured in Harvard Palabritas, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, Cultural Weekly, Yes, Poetry, Frontier Poetry, The Fem, poeticdiversity, Rigorous, Luna Luna Magazine, The Wild Word, The Revolution Relaunch and Palette Poetry.
Adrian lives with his wife and their adorably spoiled cat Woody Gold in Los Angeles.
“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.”
― Sigmund Freud
Melodic Virtue has been featured in Rolling Stone, SPIN, Los Angeles Times, Paste & Pitchfork for the work they’ve accomplished ever since Aaron Tanner began what was a Graphic design company that now also puts out very interesting “photographic history” of some of the best bands of the last 40 years. These coffee-table books have rare photos, behind the scenes looks at the bands, set lists and so much more. Melodic Virtue also has a wonderful web page with merchandise and check out which books are currently available and see the awesome bands such as Butthole Surfers, Pixies, and Ministry. Aaron also has a history of working with Ween throughout the years. Aaron is also a wonderful musician himself in bands such as Stationary Odyssey and Off-Ox (check out their music as well)
What Does Regret Mean?
Let’s ask the man who put together the book.
He is a graphic designer, a musician himself
Having been a member of bands such as Stationary Odyssey and Off-Ox.
He decided to dip into his passion of music and put together
A book. A visual history book about the Legendary Alternative band
“The Butthole Surfers” from the Psychedelic tornadoes of Texas.
For this book he compiled and worked with many legendary musicians
such as Gibby Haynes (the lead-man) of the Surfers, Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween of Ween)
Testimonials from Thurston Moore & Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Henry Rollins (Black Flag, Rollins Band)
Many stories about the wild deludes of traveling with the Butthole Surfers.
Are recalled by other great musicians from the early 80s and 90’s
Visit Aaron’s site at Melodicvirtue.com to order a copy of the book today.
Q1: When was the first time you heard the Butthole Surfers? What album? What song? That for most people would be a very hard question to
answer due to the state a lot of people are in when listening to the Surfers. I believe most people know them best from the 90's hit "Pepper" but they had been a very interesting band for a full decade before that song. I believe I got into the Independent Worm Saloon the most when I expanded my musical horizons.
Aaron: I loved the Butthole Surfers' music ever since I heard it in my mid-teens. But it wasn't until I came across Locust Abortion Technician that I was completely hooked. That album permanently altered my perception of what music could be, and changed the course I took to pursue new bands ever since. And considering, I couldn't be more thrilled that the book also includes an unreleased track on flexi disc from those sessions, "Locust Abortion Technician Medley."
Q2: Has the alternative 80's & 90's music always been the first style of music you often turned to growing up? Obviously, you are a huge fan of Butthole Surfers. What other bands influenced your style as a musician? I often heard Sonic Youth and Pixies influences when listening to your work.
Aaron: Most definitely. It's the music I grew up on! I've always loved bands that didn't limit themselves in any way; that weren't afraid to really try something different. The Residents were a great example of this too. They were another big influence on me early on.
Q3: When did you first form a relationship with Dean Ween?
Aaron: I met Mickey (Dean Ween) about 16 years ago. Having just started doing album artwork at a professional level, I approached him about possibly working together. The rest is history!
Q4: What are the future plans for Melodic Virtue? Are you going to be working on musician books exclusively, or are there plans to expand works of other artists? Any sneak peek on some you might have in mind?
Aaron: Melodic Virtue is now strictly a publisher of limited-run coffee table books on bands. We've recently expanded our staff and are about to work on a visual history for Ministry. Nothing but positive things ahead!
*See upcoming posts on Melodic Virtue including info on current & past titles including the Ministry book that had released"
Q5: Any social media, web pages, band promotions for the bands you've been a part of? What would you like people to know about Aaron Tanner and Melodic Virtue?
Aaron: We work with the band's management and social team on all promotions related to the books. Melodic Virtue is a small, hard-working independent publisher with a strong history of award-winning work in the music industry. Originally started in 2004 as a graphic design studio, we're known for telling authentic and unusual stories visually, and now do so through limited-run coffee table books. With over 200 pages of live and behind-the-scenes photographs, set lists, posters, and album art, these limited-run collector's editions offer an immersive and definitive visual history of each band. Additionally, most of our case-bound coffee table books include a 7" flexi disc of a previously unreleased song.