Spoonful Cafe'

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Author Topic: The Spoonful Caf  (Read 58220 times)

Jm

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The Spoonful Caf
« on: December 31, 2005, 05:56:35 PM »

Last May our resident poet laureate, Doug Lang, shared this
stream of thought with us. While we haven?t yet managed
an actual ?Spoonful?, we do have The Spoonful Caf?.
Make yourselves at home.

Thanks Douglas.


I hear a violin tonight.

It's competing with the rain, but I hear it. The neighbour's dog
is asleep in his house on the porch, and I hear a violin.

I can tell by listening that the musician's eyes are closed, and
she is trusting it, letting the old wood talk.

Sometimes when I can't sleep I imagine a town that doesn't exist
just yet. In my mind I create the streets, the houses, walkways
that lead us down to the town square, the harbor.

I'm walking there with Disa. Should we put a park here?, I ask.
She's interested in a water fountain for the thirsty, building nooks
where those whose feet are tired can curl up and read a book.

If the insomnia is extra intense, I begin making lists of the people
I'd like to have living in this imaginary town. Oh, sure, it'll be a town
at first, maybe a small city in time. On Sundays, no one will work.
It will be a day of music and feasting, stories told by elders.

I'll invite Gandhi, Goethe, Gibran and Rumi to live there. If Jesus
feels like company, he could live there, next door to Buddha.

We'll have poetry nights with William Blake, Rilke, Pablo Neruda,
Dylan Thomas if he promises not to knock things over. Raymond
Carver, e.e. cummings, Marquez, Elizabeth Cotton, Fred Neil,
Flannery, Joni, Thelonious, Laxness, Kundera, Yeats...

I want Boo Radley to live in our town, with his own housekeeping
room at the Mazappa House. Did you know he had a crush on
Sylvia Plath at one time? Let's invite her, too.

I'd ask Mickey Newbury to live there. Leonard Cohen could stay
in town when he's not at the monastery. Buffy Sainte-Marie could
live beside us; that way I'd get to see her smile every day. John
Fahey, Steve Young, Nick Drake. I'd have Cowboy Johnson and
Jonmark Stone there, Marie Rhines, Gillian and David, and that
gypsy girl named Lou who knew the entire Hank Williams songbook
and sang in a way that made the whole night sky want to cry behind her.

I'd like Emmylou to come and sing with me sometime. I'd like
Frank Harte to teach us all a thousand Dublin street ballads.
Karine Polwart, Magne Hellesjo, Martin Simpson, Phil Ochs,
Egbert Meyers, Sandy Denny, Townes, June Tabor, Taj Mahal,
Texas Granny, Dar Williams, Roy Stamps, Willie P Bennett...

The list grows long, the town becoming a small city. In another
dream, I ponder what to name this place. A name ought to be
a kind of medicine, an elixir, something that fills you back up
when you're running low. Let's see...

Imagine. A town full of people you love, people who inspire you,
people who give you the courage to stand up to your gift.

I swear I hear an old violin coming up from the harbor. Do you
hear it, too? It's windy and the eaves make noise, but I hear it.

It's not the violin that drips with honey, not the self-conscious one
they sneak in back of movie scenes to make you cry on demand.
No, this one is an elder one, deeper, more brittle, more honest.
The oil has left the wood, and there is a longing that stretches
the notes out between us.

I like to think in our lives there is a kind of lemon that our souls
bring their own honey to.

Let's call our town Spoonful.

Doug Lang


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Doug L

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2005, 07:40:03 PM »

I see you've poured us all a cup of kindness, Jonmark...
It's New Year's Eve, and I can think of no finer beverage,
my friend, to begin 2006 with.
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ColoradaKidd

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2006, 07:00:26 PM »

I can see you been busy...nice look Jonmark!!!!! Happy New Year!!!!
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Kurt R. Milliken
"ColoradaKidd"

Ron L.

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2006, 03:16:22 PM »

I'm sitting in the back lefthand corner of the Spoonful Cafe looking down at the crystal-clear and clean waters of the Honeybear River. It is a magic place, this town. I light my first cigarette in 20 years and suck the smoke deep into my lungs. God, how I missed 'em. There's just something about dangling one from the lips, hearing the click of the lighter, and inhaling that first bit of smoke.

It's a wonderful thing that the air is so pure here, smoking seems to be OK.

Young, sweet. and sassy Dorothy with that thick Texas accent brings the coffee and takes my order for fried eggs, thick bacon, home fires, pancakes, sourdough toast, and a side of biscuits and gravy. It's all homemade and fresh here and you don't gain weight. That's a good thing.

Miss Bree comes in after her morning run with her tied back blonde hair shining in the Spoonful sun. With a laugh that sparkles like the river, she says: "Hi, Honey. I feel WONDERFUL!"

The Spoonful is filling up in anticipation..

And in a few minutes, he arrives and Dorothy sets down the extremely strong cup of coffee he likes so much. He takes a sip and sings these few words:

"Well, mornin's come".

And we all grin.

(More to come)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2006, 12:33:28 PM by Ron L. »
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Jm

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2006, 07:31:42 PM »

Beautiful, Ron.
Looking froward to the next chapter...
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Alaska Shirley

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2006, 11:24:31 PM »

Ron, I have a BIG grin ;D on my face.  Like Jonmark, looking forward to the next chapter.   WHAT'S FOR BREAKFAST???  :P
Or will it be lunch?

Alaska Shirley                                   
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Doug L

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2006, 03:45:18 AM »

That first cigarette... dizzying. Is this the same Dorothy that used to work
at a place about halfway between Fort Worth and Dallas? She'll be happy
to be off the graveyard shift, I'm sure. I'm going to bring her a rose next
time I stop into the cafe.

My favourite part about this cafe is when, on Friday and Saturday nights,
they clear the two tables out that are just opposite the back lefthand corner
and allow some of the local pickers and poets to hold sway. Folks chatter
a bit, but a few songs in they listen, and later on a lot of them sing, too,
the way people do when they love a song enough to know it's impossible
to ruin it. It's a good place, open day and night, and nobody ever said
you couldn't bring your feelings with ya.

That guy with the strong cup of coffee winks at me, waves me over. "It's
about time we met, stranger," he says, pulling out a chair for me. I put a
hand on his shoulder. "You've been reading my mail," I tell him as we share
a chuckle and settle in for the breakfast special...
« Last Edit: January 06, 2006, 03:47:54 AM by Doug Lang »
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Ron L.

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2006, 03:52:46 AM »

He looked to be about 30 as he slid into the booth across from me and Jonmark who had picked him up down at the train station.

A pack of Camels appeared from the pocket of the bluest shirt I had ever seen. As I lit his cigarette, ?there was remembered warmth in his eyes. It was a moment. His hair was in waves of brown and I noticed the tattoo was gone from his right arm.

"God, I loved the train", he said. "When I heard about Spoonful, I was real happy to find out that's the only way to get here."

There was quite a crowd gathering. All the seats were taken and Larry was at the grill wiping his forehead as those wonderful smells drifted out of the kitchen. Of course, nobody ever paid for anything. There was a Wurlitzer Jukebox that only took dimes and they were in little stacks in every booth....and they were all Roosevelt diimes, too.

Everyone was respectful and waited to hear what he had to say and wondered what it was like. He took a big hit from his nuclear coffee, exhaled some smoke and the first thing he told us was: "I haven't coughed since the last time I talked to you folks".

"And the truth is you people believe. I go to a lot of places and most don't see me. Remember when I told 'ya that we were all receivers. Well it's the truth. Butcha gotta be open for it. I can't say too much about where I am except it's wonderful but I will tell ya that Hank really did do it that way. You betcha.....even said my stuff wasn't sad enough."

He burst into laughter and so did everybody else especially when somebody punched up "Cowboy's Don't Cry" across the room. And when he laughed, there was no gravel.

JM and I ate as we talked but he stayed with the coffee and Camels. As we sat, a man left his place at the counter and joined us....sitting next to him.

"I'm Doug Lang and you don't know what it means to meet you"

"Well, Doug, I know who you are and pal, you are one hell of a writer and poet. I really appreciate your help in keepin' the porch goin. It gets a little weird."

He turned to us and said it was time to go and didn't want to miss the train to Springfield.

There were no hugs and somehow that seemed to be understood. ?He asked Doug to walk him to the station because he wanted to hear more about Doug's music and all his friends on this "big, blue marble".

As Dorothy opened the door of the Spoonful Cafe, he blew her a kiss and yelled to Larry he expected some barbeque next time.

The instant he walked outside, soft drops of rain began to fall. He paused in his step, turned to Jonmark and said with a sly grin:

"Looks like rain, don't it, son?"

He and Doug continued to walk in the rain with the sun streaming through. In the distance was the sound of an approaching train and it's whistle.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2006, 04:06:15 AM by Ron L. »
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Dave

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2006, 04:13:37 PM »

Damn, Ron.  You sure can write.  Made me want to be there.  If fact, I was there, if only for a little while.
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DH

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2006, 05:00:50 PM »

Ron,

I saw him and heard him.  He had that special way of saying a person's name when they called--like it was the highlight of the day him. 

I ground the coffee fresh just the way he liked it.  There are some beans he especially favors.  I held the door for him and Doug when they were leaving so I could slip them a package with some of Big Emma's peach cobbler inside.  There will be a package for you to take with you when you start home also.

Ya'll come back now, y'hear?

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Bree

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2006, 05:42:37 PM »

            Ron
    You wonderful man.................. Breath-taking story...........
I told you, you were a writer.
You should listen to your sissy.
Love you, Mean it, Bree
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Laura Shayne

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2006, 08:17:14 PM »

I'll never forget how I felt when I heard that train comin'... like I was on my first date again, singing my first song, writing my first wrong...

He stepped off the rail before the train came to a stop in the bluest shirt I've ever seen... a camel dangling from his lips and a smile on his face. And he ran to us... it was more of a shuffle with his guitar and leather duffle bag balancing him out on either side...

And he was wearing his favorite pair of boots... the ones that wouldn't fit when we were packing for Cottage Grove... the medicine always made his feet swell....

But there was no swelling now. The dimple in his chin was ever aparant, and he was glowing... I never heard him cough. Not one time. He had the same gravel in his voice... the Newbury trademark... but I heard everything he was saying more clear than I had ever heard it before.

He couldn't stay long. There were words to say and songs to play... and for the first time, he invited us along. My heart warmed as we pulled into Spoonful on threads of steel.... the music had already started, Larry was busy at the barbecue, and Granny greeted him with a hand on his cheek and a kiss on his lips...

And all was as it should be.
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Jm

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2006, 11:08:44 PM »

You have no idea how much you ALL have lifted my day.
~.~
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DH

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2006, 12:26:37 AM »

Ron,
This is the third time I've been to the Spoonful cafe  today.  I keep coming back, reading and reliving the experience you created for us today.   I was a little afraid for the visitor's family to read it.  After all my eyes were streaming.  Some things are so beautiful you almost can't bear it.   
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Doug L

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Re: The Spoonful Caf
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2006, 03:13:53 AM »

On the stroll down to the trains, we stopped in under a few awnings
to keep from getting soaked. He said someone had sent him a tape of
a song of mine with his baby girl on it singing with me, and told me he'd
just about worn it out. Then he asked me about The Road, asked if I
knew which line he'd sent me. "Give me a minute to think about it," I
said, as we flew back out into the drizzle. He had the leather bag and
I carried his guitar. Man, that ax was heavy...

At the station there was a blonde girl in her twenties waiting to ride with
him. He gave her a hug, then introduced me. "This is the Girl Hero," he said,
"and she's heading back home, too." The conductor shouted something,
so they got on board. I handed him the guitar. As he turned back to say
good-bye and see ya soon, I told him what line he'd sent me. "...And he
whispered 'bless you, Susie'..." That one? He winked.

The conductor pulled the step-stair away and closed the door behind
him. The train lurched once, and began to roll west.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2006, 03:18:34 AM by Doug Lang »
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