Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lives In Snapshots

I finally hooked up my "new" (one year old) Kodak scanner, copier, printer, fax, photo printer.  Now I'm scanning old photos as fast as I can.  For starters, here are a few of my mother and me through the years. All but the last two pictures were taken by my artist aunt Jeanie Garner.   My Dad, Gene Baker, took the one of Mom and me in our back yard, and the last photo was taken by Cheryl of Lizzy Frizzfrock fame at her house last October.  So much fun putting these memories together, and I'm excited to do more in the coming months!

My future's so bright I had to wear shades! 
Uh, put me down, Mom, I have a reputation 
to maintain...

You smiling 'cause I'm just too cute? 
Damn skippy! 

I learned by watching her play.  The piano teacher 
gave me a piece to learn: "March Of The Wee Folk." 
But I watched Mom's fingers, remembered the song 
and positions, and learned to play "Für Elise" by 
sight.  Teacher was not amused.  Said I wouldn't 
learn theory like that.  She was right.  "Für Elise
didn't need theory.  I was the star of the recital.  But 
I do wish I knew piano theory.  

Anyone can tell by looking at these three preceding 
photos that I had a horrible childhood.  There was 
laughter.  Fun.  Games. Family. More laughter.  I should
write a book about how deprived of drugs, booze, and  
domestic violence my upbringing was.  You can see how 
I was hurting inside.  Hurting from laughing!  I can still 
make my mother laugh, and when we laugh it brings 
tears to our eyes, and a couple more crows feet on our 
temples.  Thank goodness for my "horrible" childhood! 

Even back in the lean years we traveled together. 
TWA flight 533 from Amarillo, Texas to 
Honolulu, Hawaii via LA.  The flight from Amarillo 
was on a Lockheed Super Constellation, the one with 
three tails.  From LA to Hawaii we were on one of the 
first Boeing 707's.  It was September, 1961.  Hawaii 
had just recently become the 50th state.  I was out of school 
for two weeks.  Teacher was not amused! Gave Mom an 
attitude when she brought me to school after the trip. 
I guess she was a bit envious that we had gone to such
an exotic location.  I mean, from Amarillo to WHERE? 
Really, now......

During my high school years, my mother 
always stayed close, even when I went 
through those stupid pre-adult mood swings. 

 The years dont' stop to reflect.  But thankfully, 
we can.  My mother is a amazing woman. I pray 
there will be many more years of these photos, 
weathered as we may become, but of us laughing 

Rick Baker 
February 26, 2011
Rochester, NY 

Magpie Tales 106: Some Call It Art. Some Call It Food.

1965, Manhattan, New York, New York, 
USA  Andy Warhol looking at Campbell’s soup cans in 
Gristede’s supermarket .  Image by © Bob Adelman/Corbis

an argument for art: 
Andy's condensation 
of history 

there was no need. 

the wheel had been 
invented by some 
"one", or some 
collective, and 

here we were: 

searching for artistry 
in the past;  a grand 
condensation of ideas 
spawning creativity. 
or not. 

but money talks. 

as do the dead. 
as do those whose 
somewhat original ideas 
revolutionized everything 
and nothing 
at all. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo shared by Tess Kincaid

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Magpie Tales 105: Calling Home

Finally.  This past week's Magpie prompt came to me.  I've been traveling for work all month, living out of a suitcase, getting up at 3:30am every morning, working till 3 or 4pm every day, and totally unable to even think about writing or doing anything remotely creative.  Finally.  I'm back home in my own bed, tired, but surrounded by my books, art, music, and dirty laundry.

And here's my rendering for Mag 105.  Too late for anyone to read, but here goes!  Cheers everyone!

 Photo shared by Tess Kincaid


even as we do 
we leave much 
undone, cutting 
swaths of life-forests; 

blazing paths 
following leads 
connecting dots 
of drudgery and 
every beautiful 

a number of days 
to accomplish 
your life, 

then reason, 
if you will, for the 
ample calling of 
that last breath. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Note:  The theme for this poem was actually inspired by Steven, of The Golden Fish fame!  Wonderful blog!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Magpie Tales Photo Prompt 103: Laying On Of Hands

serpentine night

diabolonian dreams
beg the question of 
how many orgasms
in life are enough; 

how many lives are 
required to satisfy 
an insatiable fragrance
of flesh.

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo shared by Tess Kincaid 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Magpie Tales 103: Hands And Legacy

A grave in the Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow


I was the last one standing 
in the driveway to wave goodbye. 
visitors come then leave 
and it is our custom and 
good manner to wave as the 
visit ends.  remember to 
look back, look to your right, 
or to the left if you turn in a 
different direction, but look. 
remember my face, even if 
all you can see 
is my arm outstretched, 
my salutation, 
my hand open
to fading daylight 
and coming 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo courtesy Tess Kincaid 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Adult Content: My Trip To The Liquor Store...Rated R

A co-worker gave me a $50 gift card to a liquor store for Christmas.  I didn't realize I presented myself as the kind of person who would need that much liquor, (A $5 bottle of Thunderbird and a brown bag would suffice) but I finally got around to spending it this week.  I did good:  Spent $50.78!  I actually don't go into liquor stores, but boy did I learn a few things this week about all the different beverages.  There's something for just about everyone at your local spirits retailer!  Here's a sampling: 

I wonder how this tastes with bran flakes?

What I know about wine is this: The 
fancier the label, the better the wine. 

Well, guess not.  I'll stick to 
something that is more suitable 
for a hick from Texas: 

Well I'll be!  Here's a little something 
for the plastic surgery ladies in 
California.  (Oh.  I thought that 
said "Botox")

For the sun worshipers:  But NEVER 
drink this while directly in the sun! 

Ah! A politician's wine of choice: 

The registered Democrat's wine of choice:

The registered Republican's wine of choice:

Yeah, I thought it tasted pretty bad, too:

Please don't ask for this drink while drunk: 

OMG.  It was bound to happen, right?


Finally, truth in advertising: 

Remember: Never drink and drive.
Keep both hands on the wheel.  
Drink BEFORE you drive! 

(Just kidding, folks!  Just kidding!) 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Aging: Youth, Your Time Shorter Than You Think.

Photo: Google Images

fabric skin 

imperfections covered, 
clothing stylish and cut 
to strike a dashing figure 
               til' night arrives. 

               in subdued lighting 
I peel fabric skin 
revealing years of  
               flesh's reality. 

grateful to be, 
embarrassed to be like this, 
eager to cover the once taut self 
               with darkness and sheets: 

years demand a toll paid 
with youth and desirability, 
the onward journey a road to 
               humiliation or humanity: 

a difficult choice indeed. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo borrowed from Google Images