Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tribute to My Tom Petty Tribute

This is not the blog post I expected to write, but it's the one I needed to.

Last night, after taking a solid two hours to finish my tribute to Tom Petty that I started over the weekend, the website froze and I ended up losing the vast majority of it. I'd swear I saved it several times, but alas... I think it is going the way of my Scott Weiland tribute.

It sucks. I had some pretty great anecdotes about my life that related to my Tom Petty fandom in a way that was lightly humorous but sensitive enough about the man's passing that his fans would hopefully, really appreciate. I was emotional but not sentimental. Basically, I followed the standard personal essay rulebook, and it all really came together.

Part of me wants to start working on it again, but I just don't think I have it in me to ever actually try. I had these pent up emotions about this guy I never met in real life that I just needed to release, and now it's just gone forever.

Don't worry, though. I think this is turning out better. Like, not better in the technical, "I'm a college graduate" sort of sense, but, in a, you know, I don't know... That thing. Yeah. You know what I'm talking about.

I don't want to give you the wrong idea. While my Tom Petty Tribute nowhere compared to the actual Tom Petty, or truly could give justice to him as an artist, as far as this blog is concerned, it was like the absolute shit! Not absolute shit. Or maybe? Something, it was definitely something.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Control Room

Photo illustration courtesy of Geralt on Pixabay.
Sitting here at my computer, listening to conversations going on out in the yard below and back though the french doors, from the kitchen, which sits across the semi-lit gulf of dining room that separated me in my study from the conversation I had just momentarily parted from.

Scrolling down through my music, I hit upon Wilco, and have a sort of moment of Zen as everything all around me connects through the music I play, and I feel slightly outside of it all, on a parallel plane, sitting at the helm of the control room of the universe.

I play "Radio Cure," which feels in my gut the right song for that exact moment, the thoughts all swishing through my brain floating on my office chair on the waves of a deep red lake of Merlot, the wine class sky distorting the world outside in a sort of hazy otherworldly blur, and I smile, the notes of the song falling all around me, like a misty rain, warm in my sunlit face, closing my eyes as I look up in the vast open eternity beyond the illusion of blue skies and clouds... The song climaxes, the hairs on my arms standing as the rush of sonic pleasure runs through me,"Our distance has the way of making our love understandable" soaring...

My mind drifts back to my physical surroundings, the dark of the night, the fluttering voices broken by the occasional outbreak of laughter. I let the album play on, grab a handful of cigars from the humidor on my desk and absorb into the rushing current.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Updatably Updated

It has become my habit to listen to two albums on Sunday mornings, Breakfast in America by Supertramp and Paranoid, of course, by Black Sabbath, among whatever else I am feeling at the moment. I am currently on the B Side of Paranoid, "Electric Funeral."

I'm not even sure where to start, to be honest.

I suppose, it would make sense to start with the biggest revelation and work my way down. Yeah, that sounds like a reasonable way to structure this. Go!

While things on a macro level are crazy and fucked up, in my own little bubble, transparent though it is, I have actually accomplished some shit.

On literally the last night I could register, I found myself filling out this online form for this thing. It seemed like a good way to spend $15.00 that I had no hope of ever seeing again, so with my wife's encouragement, and the encouragement of close friends and family, I applied for a fellowship with this new locally-based organization, dedicated to the arts.

And then the unthinkable happened.



Holy shit. It was actually happening. I was actually going to be an Akron Soul Train Fellow!

Thank you Amy Mothersbaugh, Nancy Brennan, and Natalie Grieshammer as well as the Board of Directors. I am so excited to be part of such an amazing project.

I am working on some ideas, but the basic gist of what I plan on doing involves spending the first half of the month-long residency writing a new chapbook, and the second-half doing the art and design for it. I'm really fascinated by screen printing, so I might do something with that. My big event at the end will be a chapbook release party, hopefully with live music and lots of wine.

In the meantime, in addition to keeping writing plenty of new poems just because, I am also working on finishing some short stories because I have two short story collections in the works, Auto and Bastards, and I am also trying to finish the first draft of my second novel, The Ash People.

It's actually not as bad of a workload as it sounds.

Auto contains some of my best-known, previously published stories, including some from my out-of-print first book, "Greasy," "A Hipster Confession," and "The Opossums," one that has been self published as a single, "The Day the Music Died," and one that was published by a literary journal, "Truck Shop." For this new collection, I am writing two new stories, which is why it is delayed from my original goal publishing date. Anyways, it is my first priority and will be out soon, I just have to finish "Highly Evolved" and "Xennial," which like the rest are fairly personal first person narratives, fictional stories based on my life, hence Auto. These two stories really round out the collection well and make it feel complete.

Bastards, for the most part will be new stories in the vein of dark humor/satire. The only old stories in it are "Starving, America" and "The Bananamen Prophecy," the rest are all brand new, with titles like "Snowflakes," "Bukake," and "The Balloon Man."

The Ash People is kind of a combination of the two styles that I write, realism and dark satire, which gives it an interesting texture that I think you, my readers, will enjoy a great deal.

Anyways, expect me to post more often. I am going to stay busy writing and making art, but I will try not to be so busy that I neglect this website, which I have kept going for a quite a while now. There might be lulls every now and again, but, at least for the foreseeable future, I will keep on keeping on with it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Non-Sponsored Content

Roll that beautiful bean footage...

Nashville Skyline is a rainy summer morning kind of album. I turn it up kinda loudish and walk across the dining to the sun room where I begin this short residence in front of my computer.

These past months, I haven't purposely been avoiding this... activity, but, just the same, the other day, it hit me like an epiphany that I had not done it in forever. After taking a few days to contemplate the absence, I have come to the conclusion that taking a break is a healthy thing to do, sometimes.

Sometimes, it's more important to focus on living your life for a while, and just taking it all in until you realize you have gained not only some bounce in your step, but also a new sense of clarity, and you remind yourself why you do what you do.

I'm sure it's not my longest break. Through the years, I have taken breaks, and I have always managed to come back to this blog, all in good time.

Good things are happening in the world of Gabe Gott. It's better that I keep them to myself now, but when the time comes, you'll be the first to hear from me.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Divided We Conquer? A Meditation on Society in the Over-Share Age

Originally, this week off was to be solely designated for finishing my second novel. Then, of course, I became hugely distracted by my Strat and just kind of went with it. Playing guitar is probably the best way that I've found to relieve stress and find my sense of self. Kind of a mental health sort of thing, you know? It's good to have a stay-cation every now and again to remind you about what's important.

Writing and music are both important parts of my life, there is no doubt, but I just need to let things unfold naturally, and just focus more on writing how I write and playing guitar how I play guitar, producing the works that I produce. I have actually started to feel pretty comfortable doing these things how I do them, so I am just going to go with it, for better or worse. Naturally, my job is also important to me. Not just as a means to make ends meet, though, because I feel like I have finally found a company that will give me a chance to prove myself. When it all comes down to it, the thing that is most important to me is my life with my wife, our starting a family, or rather, starting a new branch of this large extended network of family I was both born into and have built up over the years, and the prospect of that, as much as we both want it, is also very nerve-racking with what is going on in the world today, and especially in our own country.

We, the individual parts of society, just don't see ourselves enough as one collective entity. We become too localized into our own lives, and our grievances--some real, some imaged--that we forget that, like any body, if any one part of us is weak or suffering, then we all are weak and suffering. We are supposed to all be branches from the same tree, but we have lost insight into what makes us us.We really just need to sit down and decide what it means to have the trait that we conveniently named after ourselves and then gave a meaning to that we have no hope of attaining if we expect too much from nature and each other and expect too little from ourselves.

We need to try harder to respect each other. After all, if we can't at least agree to do that, then why do we think we can accomplish anything else meaningful? If no one else's input is valuable, except those whose agree with our own opinion, then how do we expect to learn anything from someone who's had different experiences with life, having developed different ways of thinking about things, and can maybe even provide some perspective on our own lives---helping us find the things that we all share?

Those are the things that make it worthwhile to agree to disagree, at times, while also expecting more of ourselves, and holding each other to the same standards that we hold ourselves. If we let our standards be too low, then it is our own fault that we end up a certain way. There are some things that are worth hoping for, and that does include peace, but peace doesn't come without mutual respect.

I always wished that my kids would grow up in a world that was better than the way that I found it, but the prospect of that, right now, seems pretty dim. Hope isn't entirely lost, but we take it for granted that much more each day, and each day, that much more of it is lost. How long will it be until we have none?

Let's not find out, let's aim higher. In order to hit our mark, we all have to be trying equally as hard, and helping those who need the help, when they need it, and not ask why, but ask, instead, how are you? That's the kind of world where I want my kids to live, and while I am sure it is idealistic, there is nothing wrong with having ideals. What else should we be aiming for?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

My New Direction: The Bookish Rocker

Sitting in my recently cleaned and organized office, the chaos of thoughts blowing and tumbling through my brain as I look out the window at my backyard and try to figure out what to write. I close my eyes, my breathing measured as I take in the light that peeks through the blanket of clouds resting over this winter-kissed Akron morning, and I realize that it's been too long since the last time I meditated.

Sonic Youth's "Teenage Riot" comes over my Spotify and I decide that it would be better if I put on the album, and search for the CD. I can't remember if it is in the pile of plastic squares sitting in a stack next to desk, or on my shelf. I used to really pride myself on this collection, and it is pretty expansive and diverse. Overall, though, the music that I own in all the various forms could always be more expansive and more diverse. My record collection is still a baby, and needs more time and care; my folder of MP3s contains all the best from my CD collection plus all the stuff that I have bought on Amazon over the years. In my car is my iPod, which has all the music that I have bought from iTunes and copied from library collections, and I realize that I need to copy everything from it onto my computer before my Nano finally bites the dust. It is on its deathbed for sure. I can no longer listen to it unless less plugged into something (like my car). That is why I am determined to put more music on my phone so I have more options when I am at work.

My mind switches directions with precision, and I open  Dottie's case and stare down at her sunburst smile and it makes me smile. On the other side of the room sits my bass and my new Mexican Strat, which I realize I have had for two weeks and I have yet to name it. Sacrilege! I must remedy this at once!

If I had another guitar amp, a drum set and a small, powered monitor, I could easily get a jam going here. Hell, that would just be the ideal scenario--including the organ, I could really get a good jam going with what I've got. That being said...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My First Blog Post of 2017, or How Not to Cook Waffles [in Three Easy Steps]

Today I decided to make myself brunch. I used my waffle iron that was the wifey's gift for my birthday, and I must say, if Wally Waffle was a real person, he would be ashamed that I ever ate at his establishment.

At least they turned out how I prefer my waffles--a little on the crispy side. They were edible, they just came out of the iron in small mangled chunks. Unfortunately, the waffle iron doesn't have temperature controls, and I definitely didn't use the right type of oil.

They tasted fine, though, and I also had some sunny side up eggs, which turned out fabulously. I mean, you would have to be a totally idiot to fuck up sunny side up eggs, though.

Anyways, I am glad to be writing my first blog post of 2017! Huzzah! I hope everyone's years so far are going well. I have zero complaints on mine. Rave reviews, really. Here's to keeping it going, no matter what else is happening in the world!

One thing that will being happening on Friday that doesn't fill me with anguish and dread, my poetry chapbook, Live Organ Transplants, will be making it's way out to the world. In the last couple of weeks especially, it has just kept getting better, and I can't wait for people to read it.

I wasn't originally planning on doing anything else poetry again after this, but I have definitely reconsidered that, as I think it's be safe to say that this will be the best thing that I have published so far. I know that I say that every time, but every time it turns out to be true, which is a good thing, and even though I shouldn't be, since I am the one who puts in all the work, I am surprised every time that it happens.

Well, it's not Leaves of Grass or anything, but I am pretty happy with how it has turned out, at any rate, and if you are a poetry fan, I hope you dig it, as well. If not, I have more new fiction coming out on April 1st.

There's been a rumor going around that some other event is happening this Friday, but my mind just can't fully accept that is really happening. I hope that my poetry is some kind of counter to that whole train wreck, at least. While many of the poems were written prior to November, some by years, many of those are surprisingly prescient, and, of course, most of the brand new ones are directly in response to the election.

Please also check out this new literary magazine on Medium, Literally Literary, to which I have contributed some poetry and fiction. Not only am I happy to have some stuff published there, I also really enjoy reading it. There's new work posted every week. Jessica, Heath, and everyone who contributes are truly passionate and gifted writers and I feel really lucky to be counted as a part of their community. If you're curious, and you haven't read them yet, here is what I have published there (so far):

This looks to be an exciting year here at gabegott.com, too. I have many post ideas swirling around my brain, and now that work is slowing down, I will have the time to keep this website updated on a weekly basis. I am not committing necessarily to Saturdays, but to weekends, in general. There could even be more midweek posts, too. Anyways, look for more about music and other topics, and less about my writing and the projects I am working to complete.

There will, of course, still be some of that, too, but less of it. A moderate amount. How does that cliche go, that variety is the spice of life, or something to that effect? Well, that's what I am shooting for here in 2017.

Time to go clean up my waffle mess, before it is too late--otherwise, I will need a chisel. Peace!