People ask me, "Spoonman, are you born in this country?"
No, I am not born in this country. Spoonman first come to this country in big alien surfer invasion of 1968. Spoonman's first day in New York, America was spent in student protest. Second day was spent in L.S.D. experience. Third day was spent in arms of dark Mayan woman. On fourth day, Spoonman walk up 6th Avenue, and say this is my country, for better or for worse. America is unique land, that is still defining itself. If Spoonman can be at home here, then there is room for everyone.
But like most of us, my ancestors are from someplace else. I am close to last and most highly visible survivor of ancient culture that springs from Ural Mountains, on border between Europe and Asia. We speak Finno-Tartar; special dialect, a cross between Egyptian, Sanskrit, and Portuguese. Very difficult. Today language is still spoken by progressive saxophone players, but others will find it difficult, no doubt, to understand.
On fifth day in America, I watch TV for the first time, I Love Lucy. There is no going back now, I say, no going back to candlelit village of my youth. On sixth day, I have vanilla malted milk shake. I am fast becoming American man. On seventh day, I watch Willie Mays play baseball, and decide baseball is better game than goatskull. On eighth day, I help old lady carry groceries home, after which she beats me at pool and floods my brain with powerful light. On ninth day, I watch two idiots argue about two sips of beer. Wisdom is no prerequisite for life. On tenth day, I watch a child practice violin. We are all amateurs I think. On eleventh day, I visit Ribs and Bibs Bar B-Q, now I have favorite food. On twelfth day, I sing harmony in park with new found friends. America is now my home.
I come to California in 1974 to investigate phony guru activities. In guise of garbanzo bean wholesaler, I am working for secret government that consist of six people; myself and four others. One day while infiltrating ashram of some phony guru I have experience that change my life. I am sitting under blanket, pretending to meditate on tip of my nose, when suddenly I hear a thunderous noise. I open my eyes and discover a piano has fallen through the ceiling. Seated on top of piano is man named Norman, who in the matter of thirty seconds asks me for spare change, tells me he delivers babies, admits to being a phony guru, and plays Rhapsody in Blue to perfection. On that day, Spoonman cry because he realize he no longer has to put life into order. Order of unordered events is order enough. Wait, you will see what there is to see. Suddenly, I know what man must feel when he is driven to be a phony guru. I stopped investigating activities that day. Phony gurus are as good as true gurus, maybe even better. There is more to laugh at.
After that, Spoonman go into show business and join circus; Don Spoonman the Balloonman, I join up with Jolly Wally's Wonder Follies. I walk tightrope, juggle, and speak voices of puppets. First Spoonman puppet shows. We build fantastic stage wagon, complete with trap doors. We travel around performing for unsuspecting citizens. Wherever we go we leave behind crowds of gaping mouths. From this came idea for Cobra Lounge. Then, as now, I look into faces of audience and see face of higher power. Higher power waits there with mouthful of milk and fate of mankind, trying hard not to laugh, and maybe higher power can hold it in, and we can keep going on, but if higher power blows it and laughs, then milk will shoot through his nose, and we will have blown it too. Thanks for the memories.
Now I am only registered Spoonman in California. People ask me what is Spoonman. He is friend as well as difficult to master boomerang personality. He is man who knows that difference between human mind and yo-yo is only one of shape. Spoonman is artificial limb to higher power just as spoon is artificial limb to man. Apollinaire said, "... the stage is no more the life it represents than the wheel is a leg." Things are rarely as they appear to be.
We go through life trying to mix the right parts of this and that, so that we will be happy, our children will live long, and our memory will be respected, and in doing so sometimes we forget larger picture. Spoonman is here to remind us of beauty in everyday life. Spoonman is spirit inside spoon that feeds your face. Not the spoon in me, but me in the spoon. Spoons of life, spoons of death. Like plow cuts earth, like ax chops wood, so spoon digs into piping hot clay pot and delivers up steamed clams and answered prayers. Mighty spoon, most ancient symbol of civilization that has not been improved upon since the dawn of time. You, me, and the Spoon.
(If you like this one, try the Romance of Lady Love Glove)
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