ArundoSalon.com
[ ARUNDOSMOOTH TOADCLASSIC SMOOTH TOADG.P. SKRATZBIG MOUTHHAL ("EDDIE") DINSRATZTHE STOREHOMAGELINKS ]

Arundo G.P.Skratz

in which we explore the published work of G. P. Skratz, both in- & out- of print, & listen in on him, daughter Katy, grandson Michael & best friends Andy & Mary Dinsmoor as they goof around with his tape recorder over the years.


EVERYTHING ELSE: collaborative poems by Darrell Gray & G. P. Skratz
(Poltroon Press, Berkeley, CA, 2012)

Everything Else

Poet/NPR Commentator Andrei Codrescu blurbs about this newly published gathering of collaborations by G. P. Skratz & the late great Darrell Gray: “It brought back a wavelet of nostalgia and a horrible desire for coke. Go forth, my child. History’s horny for us.”

Presented with the published book, Andrei enthuses further: “Skratzie! You sure put out a masterwork of concision & ‘I can't say more’ beauty of a book. Congratulations. We will praise it to the stars, or the other way around. The book brought back a lot of memories, but it cheered me up considerably -- the live thing is still there, it ignites on reading, just like Ted Berrigan's poems do, and Anselm's -- Actuality, a real key. We weren't just young, we were THERE, and we were right!”

Here’s a sample:

THE WAY HOME

the way home is a compass:
a bridge spanning
2 points that are always here.

& there.

& our love,
which also is a bridge
between what we forget to say

& say constantly.

The introduction includes an introduction to “Actualism,” the literary/artistic movement Darrell had brought from Iowa City to Berkeley where it sparked a glorious 13 year run.


Pancake Beguine

Everything Else’s grand finale is a song, words & music, titled “Pancake Blues” in the book, but, actually, it’s a “beguine.” So we think of it now as “Pancake Beguine.”

Hear this piece performed acoustically by the current Smooth Toad line-up:

Hear this piece performed:

& here it is, performed in 1997 by the “classic” Toad line-up on electric guitars & trap-set:

Hear this piece performed:

Pancake Beguine

A
i’ll cook the pancakes, i’ll cook the pancakes,
F#m
you watch the northern lights.
A
i’ll cook the pancakes, i’ll cook the pancakes,
E
you watch the northern lights.
C#m
pretendin’ is so easy, you
A E
tell me day from night.

some of us escape & some of us escape &
some of us reform--
some of us escape & some of us escape &
some of us reform--
through the pearly gate, go
back to the same old storm. stars fall & reassemble, they fall & reassemble,
they lighten up the dew.
stars fall & reassemble, they fall & reassemble,
they lighten up the dew.
riverruns off the mountain,
runs right into you.

*

i’ll cook the pancakes, i’ll cook the pancakes,
you watch the northern lights.
i’ll cook the pancakes, i’ll cook the pancakes,
you watch the northern lights.
pretendin’ is so easy,
except for when you’re right.


FUN
(Philos Press, Lacey, WA, 2006)

As Summer Brenner blurbs about this collection of recent poems: "G. P. Skratz is our planet's resident fool. His sly & crafty poems surprise at every twist & turn. He turns black holes into roller coaster, & his FUN house is haunted. My advice: wear a helmet on the ride."

Here's a sample:

ROUND MIDNIGHT

in the body.

out of the body.

es gibt.
es gibt nicht.

"the old man
is snoring."

*

death was the first
television:
see how they
stare at it.


LARRY, THE STOOGE IN THE MIDDLE
(Last Gasp, SF, 1984, 2000)

As Amazon puts it: "Now back in print, this heavily illustrated, richly anecdotal memoir takes a fond look back at Larry, the wild-haired funnyman who helped make the Three Stooges the most popular slapstick comedy team of all time."

Ghost-written for Larry Fine's little brother, Morris "Moe" Feinberg, this book grew from a wide range of sources.


I'd sent Ann Miller a bouquet of roses in 1984 while she was performing in San Francisco, in hopes of securing an interview. It reminded her of her professional debut as a fresh-faced 16-year-old dancer in George White's Scandals of 1939, following a Three Stooges pie-throwing contest. Usually, a stagehand would cover the stage with a tarp for this bit, so that, afterwards, they could just pull the tarp to leave a clean stage. This time, though, they'd forgotten to lay the tarp, & the Stooges had left a stage carpeted with whipped cream just as the pert young Ann Miller came bouncing out to do her dance, landing squarely on her tush. The Stooges felt bad, of course, & sent her a dozen roses the following night.

Allen Ginsberg helped, too, pointing us to Jack Kerouac's riff on the Stooges in his Visions of Cody & expediting our negotiations with Kerouac's estate for the right to reprint it in a special Appendix to this book (cf "History Lesson" on the Arundo page).

Whoopi Goldberg--then with the avant-garde theater troupe, the Blake Street Hawkeyes, & one of the rare female fans of the Stooges--was ever ready to chat & provide moral support.

& those are just the people we forgot to mention in our Acknowledgements...


THE GATES OF DISAPPEARANCE
(Konglomerati Press, Gulfport, FL, 1982)

This wonderfully designed selection of prose poems with illustrations by Kit Hirshberg, expertly printed via hand letterpress, has been out of print for 25 years. Here's a PDF scan of it...


GLOSSARY BEADS
(Self-published Artist's Book, 1999)

This wry collection of One Word Poems featuring typography by Tim Lemon and bound with rosary beads by Linda Lemon was published in an edition of three for Books As An Art Form, a juried exhibition at The Underground Gallery in San Rafael, CA. Here's a PDF scan:


G. P. SKRATZ'S FAMILY ALBUM

SPACE POEM
(vocal by Michael Bybel / tanpura by G. P. Skratz, 2010)

Hear this piece performed:

Note that young Michael Bybel is speaking space alien language here. For a sample of his work in English, see his literary journal debut in the Summer, 2011, issue of Tower Journal.

GOIN' FISHIN'
(vocal & guitar by G. P. Skratz / vocal by Katy Bybel, 1976)

Hear this piece performed:

DAY OF DAYS
(vocal by Katy Bybel / vocal & guitar by G. P. Skratz, 1976)

Hear this piece performed:

NOBODY LIKES ME
(vocal & guitar by G. P. Skratz / vocal & lead guitar by Andy Dinsmoor / toy percussion by Katy Bybel & Mary Dinsmoor, 2003)

Hear this piece performed:

GREAT GREEN GOBS
(vocal & guitar by G. P. Skratz / vocal & lead guitar by Andy Dinsmoor / toy percussion by Katy Bybel & Mary Dinsmoor, 2003)

Hear this piece performed:

DEATHBED RAG
(in which we merrily rhyme "deathbed" with "breastfed"--vocal & braguinha by G. P. Skratz / tabla by Andy Dinsmoor, 2006)

Hear this piece performed:

CLOWN MEDITATION
(banjo by G. P. Skratz / flute by Andy Dinsmoor / bird whistle by U. S. Homsy, toy instruments by Cece Bishop, Katy Bybel, Mary & Miles Dinsmoor, Deanna Lambert, &al--vocal by all, 1974)

Hear this piece performed:

Arundo ARUNDO
the contemporary poetry & music page

Smooth Toad SMOOTH TOAD
twisted roots & cast-iron croonin'

Classic Smooth Toad CLASSIC SMOOTH TOAD
ancient roots & cast-iron croonin'

G.P. Skratz G.P. SKRATZ
his library & family album

Big Mouth BIG MOUTH
choral settings by Barney Jones

Hal 'Eddie' Dinsratz HAL ("EDDIE") DINSRATZ
in which we mix & match traditions

The Store THE STORE
buy our stuff or hire us

Homage HOMAGE
the Arundo Salon salutes past masters

Links LINKS
in which we visit our pals out there in cyberspace

ArundoSalon.com Copyright © 2010 G. P. Skratz for the authors & composers. Designed by: Andrei Tallent