October 17, 2009
Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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Sonnets

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Supper

You made crusty bread rolls filled with chunks of brie
And minced garlic drizzled with olive oil
And baked them until the brie was bubbly
And we ate them lovingly, our legs coiled
Together under the table. And salmon with dill
And lemon and whole-wheat cous cous
Baked with garlic and fresh ginger, and a hill
Of green beans and carrots roasted with honey and tofu.
It was beautiful, the candles, the linen and silver,
The sun shining down on our northern street,
Me with my hand on your leg. You, my lover,
In your jeans and green T-shirt and beautiful bare feet.
  How simple life is. We buy a fish. We are fed.
  We sit close to each other, we talk and then we go to bed.

Ulysses

Here by the enormous swimming pool at the Biltmore
Twenty-six young dark-skinned women lie
In tiny bikinis like mermaids on the shore,
And I, bound for Ithaca, just sail on by,
Heading for you, Penelope, to tell the tale,
How that whole Trojan War gave me the willies,
The pointlessness of it, and I set sail,
Having paid off Homer and left Achilles
In his tent, and was lucky to get a favorable wind
And stopped here at the Biltmore to recompute
My course, and found twenty-six dark-skinned
Women, their breasts displayed like fresh fruit.
  Thanks but no thanks. They only want a tan.
  You, dear, love a good story. I’m your man.

Christine

Christine was the smartest girl in the eleventh grade,
Tall with dark hair tied up in a tight French braid,
The only girl I knew who read Albert Camus,
And for that very reason I did, too.
I stood behind her in choir, a lonesome baritone,
But when I smelled her exotic French cologne
And felt the existential heat of her body,
I became Luciano Pavarotti.
In chorus when I was seventeen
I met the mysterious Christine,
The tall dark girl whom I adored
And when we sang praises to the Lord
  I gave praise to the back of Christine’s head
  And sang to her what never could be said.

77 Love Sonnets

These 77 of mine include sonnets of praise, some erotic, some lamentations, some street sonnets and a 12-sonnet cycle of months. If anything here offends, I beg your pardon, I come in peace, I depart in gratitude.

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Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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