By a campfire on Owl Creek, Dave reads an instructional guide to hitch-hiking about a November trip from South Carolina to Rhode Island with a series of tips including smiling, signs, watches, and going with the flow while Dan Funboy noodles on guitar.
While summertime camping alongside Owl Creek and charging the recorder with the rays of the sun, Dave reads a short story written while on the road with ole dead Grandpa called “So the Legends Go” – a portrait of life one morning in Navajo Nation in 1987 – accompanied by adolescent observations and musings. Accompanied by Dan Funboy on guitar and solar-powered vaporizer.
From Halfmoon Bay on Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island, Dave gives it up for zen poet hero Gary Snyder and recounts beat history from The Old Ways and logging culture from Myths and Texts plus poems about hitchhiking, girls, baths, clear-cuts and the Buddha – then finishes with original freeverse poetry about the transient experience called “Railyards Passing By.”
Alongside raging Lynn Creek, Dave remarks about boulders which are indeed interesting as the sign pointed out, then reads a haibun about books and statues on a curly maple shelf, and poems about buying hardware and fruit in Bucerias, mysterious curves and clouds, and solace for weary delirious travellers, while Wm. Lenker sings the traditional folksong Moonshiner (Rye Whiskey).
From a skunk-scented perch along Mosquito Creek, Dave spiels about feverish dreams in a Mexican clinic, personal archeology, mirages about the Wonder Hotel, and reads verse about late trains, dammed rivers, watching ships, and men in white coats walking past.
Visiting the Woodshop on Steamboat Island amidst hayfever and national holidays, Dave and Wm. Lenker exchange spontaneous musical freeverse tales of Pennsylvania, Agana Harbour (Guam), Jericho Beach (Vancouver), and Lake Crescent (Washington) while wounded Samson howls along.
From a Lougheed skyscraper comes an improvisational reading with guitars – first more ocean-inspired works from Tristan Corbière, Victor Hugo and Dave Olson into a freeform spoken word account of trip down the Pacific Coast highway to a haunted roadhouse with sequoias growing an inch a day.
Starting at the Steamboat Island Woodshed, Dave rambles salty original freeverse with Wm. Lenker on banjo and traces personal poetic lineage winding through French impressionalist/symbolist and Brittany sea-coaster Tristan Corbière (prefaced by Victor Hugo).
Then – as sleet, slush and hail beats down on the Mosquito Creek studio skylight – rolls into the beat American 50s and 60s with John Sinclair‘s chronicle Brilliant Corners, Jack Kerouac riding trains from Atop an Underwood, and Gary Snyder arriving from sea from The Backcountry ~ fortified with jazz, joints and hot sake.
An aural montage of past new years’ evenings featuring Dave O reading from Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” next to crackling cabin woodstove on Pender Island (note scratching dog and someone with a stuffy nose), followed by a latenight freeverse message to Napoleon, a languid tale recorded in a garage about a bewildering New Years Eve in Japan, and finally a poetic nugget of memory and hope for the future.
Okinawan folkmusic by unknown artist
Wm. Lenker of Steamboat Island – c/o Woodshed Music
Wrapping up the White Poppies for Remembrance series with a narrative late-night wander through Westminster, London, DaveO meanders past military monuments, victory squares, cenotaphs, palaces, royal parks, war museum, war chambers, riot fences, war protesters, churches, parliament and finishing at St. James park for a sitdown under a weeping willow to consider monarchy, individual rights and responsibilities, and the role of class division in waging war as London’s sirens, trains, and Big Ben fill the night.