Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hey, Paint Can


My paint can and brush,
my paint can brush it away,
my paint can smudge,
my paint can do as much
as my pain can any old day,

hey, paint can, hey,

hey, paint can,

pain can,

hey.

(first publication)


Note: I wrote “Hey, Paint Can” early yesterday morning shortly before I took a shower. When I was in the shower, the poem became a blues song:

My paint can and brush,
my paint can brush it away,

My paint can and brush,
my paint can brush it away,

my paint can smudge,
my paint can smudge,

my paint can do as much
as my pain can any old day,

any old day,
any old day,
any old day,

hey, paint can, hey,

hey, paint can,

pain can,

hey.


And now I can’t read the original poem without hearing the song, complete with percussive stomps and mournful uh-huhs.

I do have a good microphone, but it’s put away. It was given and shipped to me by a friend before we moved, with the idea that I could use it to record some of my writing. I had it set up for awhile where we used to live, but I never learned how to make it cooperate with the software on my computer.

Meanwhile, my computer doesn’t have a webcam. My son says that’s easy to remedy. I think having one would be like having a window into a strange new dimension. But the days fly by. Oh, yes, the days fly by.


Updates:
“Hey, Paint Can” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: Hello, Bob, happy birthday.

11 comments:

Woman in a Window said...

The idea of voice to word is so completely exciting to me! I've thought of it for me, too, as the voice is a whole other dimension. It is the bed on which the words live. I think of those diaromas again. I tried it once and it was somewhat miserable, but it lives in me still.

I have the Damian Rice song, Me, My Yoke, and I, in my head. There is a great deal of screeching and pounding out of short lines. It is, erm, ahhhh, a special kind of song. It is powerful. I lent this cadence to yours. It is great fun, with the meaning resting like this on a razor's edge, losing one letter giving birth to a whole new context.

xo
erin

William Michaelian said...

Erin, I found the song online and am listening to it now. He really lays into it, doesn’t he? My version is much slower... maybe if I were to try showering with cold water.... In any case, our voices might well be the best instrument at our disposal. But like any other, we have to learn to play them. And to learn to play them, we have to listen to them and really hear them. We have to wonder at their source....

Wine and Words said...

Well everyone is on the same page today. I was reading the poem, thinking to comment on how it should be a song. Loved the play on sound in Paint Can vs Pain Can...just one little lettered omission. Quite intriguing.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Annie. And now I feel like a kid in the schoolyard, running around with a t and just dying to show it to everyone....

RUDHI - Chance said...

Would like to hear that *PAINTERS HYMN* from Z.Z.TOP;-)

William Michaelian said...

Okay, Rudhi — why don’t you ask Mr. Billy F. Gibbons?

Janice said...

William you see and hear so many wonderful things in letters and words and it is fantastic how your brain puts it all together, takes some of it away and it all makes perfect sense when you write it down!!! You are so talented!!!

Joseph Hutchison said...

I just hope you didn't ruin your guitar while strumming it in the shower....

William Michaelian said...

Janice, I missed your comment! So much for that fantastic brain of mine! Please accept my belated thanks. People don’t accuse me of making sense very often....

Joe, my son’s all-metal resonator is already beginning to rust....

Old 333 said...

Liked the song. Definitely would enjoy a few live on the web! I think playing electric guitar in the shower might be dangerous, but would make a good album title. As long as it was well-grounded. I really would like to hear the songs composed and performed in the cold-water shower, as well. Instead of an 'unplugged' recording i guess.

William Michaelian said...

Obviously, what’s needed is an entire shower-recording-studio. How dry I am.