Gary's Musings

Listening Night at Henry Miller Memorial Library

My modern-day radio;

I tuned into a Podcast on the Internet

And began listening to an audio short doc….

The feature dialogue led by two guys bartering at a garage sale

The buyer was shell-shocked by the price of the merchandise

A used bandanna somehow asking $16 dollars

When the seller amusingly justified;

That this sacred hippie headband had been touched by the Dalai Lama

Unable to come to terms the squabbler’s quickly move to the next trinket in the trunk show

A used Pink Floyd T-shirt

The seller… all the merchandiser

Had the good sense to bleach out the faded underarm rings

Yet he was commiserating over parting with his orchestral acid rock memorabilia

When the shrewd sniper raised his price to $3 and the gavel went down!


Knowing of my adroit ear….

An intimate confidant recommended I check it out;

A whimsical Big Sur Sunday night summer schedule of podcast and historic audio archives

Featuring curious sound bites from the likes of ‘the Kitchen Sisters, Wiretapped, and Deprived’

The mercurial mad-haired master of ceremony… one Mr. Magnus Toren

His moniker for this earful of entertainment simply “listening night”

Nothing more than the rapture of nature… old-fashioned story and accompanied sound 

To be aired on the sacred ground of Henry Miller’s Library


So I sauntered solo down the South Coast on a Thursday eve

Proving my short-term auditory recall wanting and slight

For when I arrived there was not a soul in sight

Yet before I could self-whisper the words… smooth move dumb ass!

I was sworn to trespass

And on the inside the scene was hauntingly serene

A forest of towering redwoods encircling a cobbled makeshift stage

Their thick wide trunks casting incarcerating shadow stripes across the grounds

As I capered through the dark with all the grace of a Peter Sellers jailbreak

Seemingly directed to my listening post by the dappled mottled glow in the open meadow



Initially it was stone cold silent

I was left to displace the chirping of crickets with the chatter of my subconscious

And despite the storied grounds on which I lay

My auditory senses could not discern the slightest musical resonance

Not a single decibel emanating from Folk Yeah’s legendary line up of eclectic performers past

And then unexpectedly… in the instance of doubt;

Before my back began to wick the moisture of the tattered grass

The quiet of nature was abruptly interrupted by a crackling radio broadcast

An episodic series of Gilbert Nieman’s psychotic symphonies had made their way to my brain

Multi-dimensional fractured sounds rapidly encroaching on the sane

The legendary characters of Henry’s Hieronymus had arrived on cue

Embedded in my gray matter like a bad song intent to rein…

Or perhaps these discordant notes… could be more accurately identified;

Echoing among the sheer walls of Anderson Canyon

Seeping through the ill sealed windows of Emil White’s shanty prisoner shack

Where a despondent Gerhart Muench… desperate for an outlet

And long deprived of movement 4 Op. 30 of Scriabins lavish Sonata

Through force of will and dexterous fingers

Clangs the keys of Emil White’s… ‘distempered clavichord’

As he scribes and composes his delirious sheet music

Scrolling complex braille that only the ghost of a player piano could rightly execute

Its sumptuous descending scales silencing the demons of Gilbert Neiman’s distorted noggin


And as I straddle and snag my pants on the splintered Cedar pickets upon departure

I am oddly reacquainted and attuned to the trickle of the slot canyon creek

Down the hill past the stench of the Library’s overtaxed porta potty’s

Amongst the fresh smell of Sempervirens… the faint signal of a radio’s static output

Muttered as if submerged or placed creek side

By some wryly literary prankster yet to be throttled by Gilbert;

In the depths of the storied Big Sur listening night!