Friday, May 8, 2015


Mothers Day Proclamation 

by Julia Ward Howe


Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosum of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

The "Appeal to womanhood throughout the world" (later known as "Mother's Day Proclamation") by Julia Ward Howe was an appeal for women to unite for peace in the world. Written in 1870, Howe's "Appeal to womanhood" was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The appeal was tied to Howe's feminist conviction that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level. 
It's not about the magic of the uterus.  Give the Hallmark bullshit a rest. Sorry, it's not about YOUR mom, unless YOUR mom thinks terrorists are going to steal the laundry off the line in the backyard.  Unless she deals with that fear by voting for the Ashcrofts and Patriot Act peddlers of the world.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A EULOGY TO ANNE TKACH


Thank you very much for joining us here to celebrate the life of Anne with her father, Peter, the rest of her family and all of her friends and loved ones, including of course, my friend and Anne’s long time man, Adam Hesed.

 My name is Brett Underwood. I’ve been an Anne fan since I met her through the music scene back in the NADINE days, after she returned from New Mexico where she had enjoyed much success with HAZELDINE.

Shawn Barton, her friend, roommate and bandmate in HAZELDINE wrote, “Anne knew Claudia and I were starting a band, so she bought a bass and learned how to play it. When we were accepted to SXSW, she bought a van and drove us there. She made my first wedding bouquet, then she drove to Colorado from St. Louis to help me pack and leave that first husband. She made catfood from scratch and loved whiskey and her parents and knitting and playing music and overalls and St. Louis and Adam”.

 I, personally, came to know and love her as the angel that she was and is, really. Every one of her subsequent St. Louis bands played at the Schlafly Tap Room, where I tend bar and promote music and it was an honor to be asked by Anne and Adam and the rest of her band, MAGIC CITY to pen the ridiculously fun “liner notes” to their one-and-only full length album on Gotta Groove Records.

As many have said, it was an honor to work and play with Anne in any way.

 I’ve spent the past several days reading and listening to other people's experiences and friendships with her and this is all more-or-less a collection of those memories.

Of course, Anne Tkach was “family” to many outside of her blood family -- her bandmates, local showgoers, the customers and coworkers at Wild Oats and then Local Harvest and those in the world of sustainable food.
She was also a supporter to many in the arts scene.
She served many in so many ways as a friend, a teacher, a guardian, a confidante, a source of wisdom, relief, and inspiration.
Early on, a classmate wrote, she was known to take time out to say something to a random goofball in the hallways of Webster Groves High…and the musical community, especially on the South Side of St. Louis, consists of oddballs, freaks and misfits.
Believe me, that’s a good thing and Anne knew it, too.

 She approached life at once with incredible dedication and fierce stubbornness.

SHE WAS TOUGH, but may have been the kindest any of us have known.

If you were lucky, you were in on her sense of humor. You were rewarded with her laugh, her guffaws, her smirks, her raspberries and even the occasional belch and certainly an acutely thought provoking commentary.

To be close to her was to be locked into her blue-eyed gaze.

If need be, you were gently put in your place with a charming, if irreverent quip. 

A fellow musician wrote, “Anne was warm, and kind, and smart, and always had that look like she knew something you didn’t. Comfortable in her own skin. Effortlessly cool. Beautiful.”

She was quick to share/shrug off the spotlight, praise, and attention. She left you feeling: seen, heard, welcomed and appreciated as a player, a musician, an artist, a co-worker, a human being.
That combination of talent and humility is exceedingly rare.

To Anne, though, that was all part of the work and the celebration of life…and she did see work and play as a celebration, in particular referring to work in a recent letter to a friend as “a balm of the soul”, adding “ I realize how important it is for us to take care of ourselves, how important it is to connect with each other, how important it is to respect each others' boundaries, to communicate, to hold the space for growth, to listen, to lead by example...so much. I just want to move into the future with integrity and respect and love.”

Anne was a musician admired by those that witnessed her majesty as much as any musician in town. On bass, on drums, as a vocalist armed by what one referred to as a paradoxically fragile and sinewy voice, as a songwriter or simply strumming a guitar, her versatility was remarkable.
She was as comfortable sitting around in bib overalls knitting as she was in a dress, rocking out in a club, duckwalking across stage.
Few musicians had her reach, or energy, or comfort jumping in and out of genres.

Anne Tkach was a dream.

She didn't just play with dozens and dozens of musicians and bands in St. Louis and elsewhere. She believed in them, supported them, worked for them and inspired them…and she was in some of the finest bands in town.

The world doesn't often give you someone so magical, smart, crazy, talented, dedicated, fun, challenging, perfectly imperfect, and alive in all ways. And before you can say "Thank you" the world takes them away again.


Now her powers are legendary and her friends are a nation.

“In a way,” one fellow musician said, “the way she died, it’s like we all got struck by lightning.”


DEATH EXPERIENCE 
by
RAINER MARIA RILKE 

We know nothing of this going away,
that shares nothing with us.
We have no reason, whether astonishment and love or hate,
to display Death, whom a fantastic mask of tragic
lament astonishingly disfigures.
Now the world is still full of roles which we play
as long as we make sure, that, like it or not,
Death plays, too, although he does not please us.
But when you left, a strip of reality broke upon the stage
through the very opening through which you vanished:
Green, true green, true sunshine,
true forest.
We continue our play.
Picking up gestures now and then, and
anxiously reciting that which was difficult
to learn;
but your far away,
removed out of our performance existence,
sometimes overcomes us, as an awareness
descending upon us of this very reality, so that
for a while we play Life
rapturously, not thinking of any applause.

__________________________________________________

 I had lots of help. 

Thomas Crone's writing was a lovely insight into the life of Anne at Webster Groves High School. Besides the guidance of Roy Kasten, Chris King and a "roundtable" in Adam's kitchen, there were countless posts on Anne's Facebook page. I am grateful, too, for all those who visited the Schlafly Tap Room on the night that MAGIC CITY was to play...just two nights after that lightning storm. I thought it best to capture as many thoughts as I could, spending several hours gleaning, copying and pasting. Shawn Barton from Hazeldine, Chris Ward from KDHX and another friend, who shared with me a letter than Anne had penned to her recently, were especially enlightening. 
Oh, and the lightning quote is from Robin Allen.
Amazing.
Another dear friend suggested the Rilke poem.
I got to meet a lot of people who were part of Anne's life on Saturday. That probably wouldn't have happened if they had not seen me on the altar. I helped a lot of people cry yesterday.

I hope you're well.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

AUTUMNAL DELUSION

AUTUMNAL DELUSION
 Funny racism or runny fascism while
ye prisoners of hope and fall colors eat
pumpkin-spiced cold meds and mucous to avoid
neti pot death hot dogs and waitresses flying
in every direction.

Put wastoids in your gravitas.
 Load ether with lead-ladened muchmuck.
 Cough up gravy into your designer tissue.
 Oh, and Ichabod's head is off the top of the
visitor’s dugout and kagarooing up
the aisle in that horse's ass.
van hit the soybean head shoot dead boy.

 Root for the one percent in your muumuu.
Chug aluminum –bottled water and hoot.
Live it up.
 Toss lewd verses to garbage. Your days are few.
 Your wool is worthless.
Replay these days and they’ll go back
and look at it stored on yourtube or
reflected in a mirror coffin or
another threat to the environment
babbling DADA in a six-wheeled stroller.

NEVER

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Monday, March 18, 2013

DESTINATION Tower Grove Park pond reflection photo Ifsummerwasperfect064.jpg DESTINATION
 Green, yellow, brown, bright, Sure.
 I miss the terribly, beautiful Sunsets.
Red, orange steaming heat Yeah.
 That’s part of it.
 Breezes and bicycles
Flowing skirts and leaves blowing
 Hot dogs and horses All right.
 But I like the gray the monochromatic and the subtle hints.
 And I know that all those colors are captured in the one
 The white light.
 I like the magic in a screaming snowball in the night
 All the colors in that jagged orb.
 That is where I am headed.
 That glaring sunlight of one circle
 The gross of pain and love.
 Take me there.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012

KLEENex




KLEENEX

Snotty sheriff, surely you
remember the sky is stingy yet
breaking water in a Montreal
spoon sticky wet stool and wasted eggs
revealing some fabulous white hexagonal tile
can’t deny cheap poutine.
Labor, sore feet and beer tits
over the desperate attempts of hair spray
in spite of this hick dynasty
attitude leave creation to
some news pipe breaks in the grass
leaves. 

Meanwhile a matter in the
yuppies’ “local”
tortellini sprinkled with
 mounting corpses
and a need for maggots
when all we got is flies
deep to right
to the left of a hobbling
Dominican bouncing once
on the perfectly manicured
dilemma as the peasants dial
for fascist pizza rolls
on the homeless to transition
from bifocals to safety goggles
due to inclement bukake
if I thought that there was
any chance of the turtles
overtaking the snails.