14 days to

May 16, 2014

Two days of warmth. After all the rain this feels good. It is nice at around 20 degrees, but we know that the real heat is coming. It will come, sweltering and the sweat will pour off of all the bodies walking on the street dreaming and yearning for shade until October.

Tic toc, time travels its forward course. 13 days to my residency permit extension appointment. I’ve been teeter tottering on that one, worrying, thinking, pondering way too much. 4 days ago I almost bought a ticket back to Los Angeles, 5 days ago there was a ticket for Montreal for $450…. my finger was up in the air above the keyboard, I just could not commit. Cannot still. Something holds me back from doing it. Like there is still more to do here… I cannot seem to be able to find the logical thread to the next move. The “throw everything up in the air, get in motion, just for the sake of it” option is not making sense at this time.

Yesterday Mahir, my roommate mentioned this thing of how much more we could see, do, explore while here. We settle into a small circle of habits that become our lives when this place has so much to offer at every turn… He is also wondering about his next move. Stay or go. This place takes a hold of your heart. There is something unique in this city. He did go home after spending a year here, he experienced a total cultural shock upon returning “home” (home being Germany for him) I can somehow imagine the magnitude of the shock. I did experience that a bit going to Crete and Crete is nowhere near what the cultural about-face that landing in Los Angeles would cause.

in the mean time,

Thursday was perfect. As I walked to the venue for my show it was the perfect Istiklal moment; running into multiple friends, basking in the end of day glow of gold light and enjoying a rush of late caffeine. Then to Atölye where I was greeted with such warmth, hugs, kisses on the cheek, laughter and mercimek corbası, Turkish hospitality. Eren was already there we had our soup together, then set up and started to play


Eren leaves Beyoglu in two weeks… I am going to miss him so, so much… we played two sets to a very appreciative audience. At midnight Eren left, I was asked me to play more, I did. A group of 4 men from the Netherlands came in, they were hilarious. There was a couple from Brittany, Özgür a Turkish motorcyclist and painter, and the rest of the crew there. I played my heart out. My strange little guitar responding perfectly.

I played the new song I wrote the night before.. it’s a political song. if you have heard about the mining accident in Soma… well that night there had been protests and of course the police tear gassed and water cannoned the people… that day had started with learning about the accident and then hearing about the idiotic response of the government. later that night I witnessed an incredible amount of police with busses, toma, armed vehicles piling up at the TRT building parking lot. I saw the crowd of protesters filling Istiklal with flags, shouting slogans. Minutes later, tear gas filled the air. The usually quiet Balyoz Street was filled with people escaping from gas and police. the same old scenario again.

When I arrived home, Tarlabası’s night was sliced by screams, cries, the smashing of bottles, loud noises.. I wish I could have understood what they were screaming about. Men and women shouting, loud with intense anger at about 1:30 AM, it went on for a good hour. Tarlabası is like a thermometer of discontent… the poorest live here and the resentment to pain and unfairness is expressed with anguished immediacy. When there is unrest, you will feel it here with tremendous force. The social veneer is so thin, there is no artificial taming of the impact of events on the souls of people. No social analgesic to mask the pain. At that moment, I had been sitting with my guitar, I grabbed a pen and started to write. The whole song was given to me in way of sounds and voices. I was recording each event as it came, like painting a tableau: the rising voices, the anger, the smashing of a bottle, the voice of a baby starting to cry… Then I was running with it. I wrote it in french which is a bit ironic… political Turkish song written in French…


Murs décrépits
Perles de pluie sur le gris
des mots qui s’envolent
Pigeons voyageurs

Un panier monte et descend
L’argent s’évapore
Les hommes comme les matous
ils crient leur rage dans la nuit

Sur le pavé
bouteille fracassée
Mais ce sont les éclats de voix
qui font pleurer bébé

Un voile qui dévoile
Une femme au dos brisé
La vie qui taille à coups de hache
les visages et les rêves

Les médias muselés
nous servent des pingouins
Pendant ce temps sur la rue
ce sont les enfants que l’on tue

Et sous la terre à Soma
Plus de 700 hommes ensevelis
sous la glaise noire des mensonges
et de l’indifférence

Un vote contre un crouton de charbon
Pivoine à la boutonnière
Les politiciens se pavanent
Ils mentent, fermentent, fomentent

Klaxons, cris de rage
impatience et trop de cigarettes
La fumée nous enveloppe
d’une fausse cécité

Et que coule le thé
Les chansons à se couper les veines
Les heures trop longues a tenter
de reconstituer

Et que coule le raki
Pendant l’appel à la prière
Avec les gaz lacrymogènes
La révolte est dans l’air

Y`a une rage
qui ronge
comme la rouille

Y`a une rage
qui ronge
les infortunés

Y`a une rage
qui ronge
les abandonnés

Y`a une rage
qui ronge
ceux à qui on a menti

Y`a une rage
qui ronge
ceux que nous avons trahis


I’ll have to work out a translation… actually I want to translate some of it in Turkish, the meter of the song is 10\4 which is kind of cool as it happened by itself (the local rhythms becoming internalized)

So… what will I do? I am getting together the required papers for the residency appointment. That will determine much of what happens next.

One day at a time, said the life addict… one day at a time.

I am just happy that I wrote some cool things lately. maybe that is all I should worry about. And speaking of writing I have been finally reading the edited version of my book, my friend Danielle Liard had painstakingly revised for me. Maybe I will finally put it out in some sort of format.


3 Responses to “14 days to”

  1. Lucien Boisvert Says:

    Very nice writing . love it . Great song . from Loup of LaGRange

  2. connie pryor Says:

    A book would be absolutely awesome!!!!! Enjoyed your writing. you make everything so vivid in your writing. Seeing the world through your writing & your pictures. It is absolutely AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Danielle Liard Says:

    Love that song! Ce n’était pas si difficile que ça la révision. 😉

    Much love


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