Sleep

I wonder what it would be like to be one of those people who sleep soundly virtually every night of their lives. I never have, not since I was a kid. Last night, though, I slept deeply & almost continuously. The extent to which sleep, or my waking relationship to sleep, has directed the currents of my life is extensive. When I think of my childhood, for instance, I often think of lying awake, sometimes in fear of night noises, sometimes listing to rock & roll on a tiny transistor radio under my pillow. Nine volt batteries were expensive and an eleven year old boy needed to hoard their power, deciding on a particular night whether to sip or binge.

Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall? (Tom Russell)

Here’s another video via Scott McLemee. Seems appropriate since yesterday was May Day:

We got fundamentalist Muslims
We got fundamentalists Jews
We got fundamentalist Christians —
They’ll blow the whole thing up for you
But as I travel around this big old world
There’s one thing I most fear —
It’s a white man in a golf shirt
With a cell phone in his ear.

May Day: “To Fan The Flames of Discontent”

Via Scott McLemee at Quick Study, with a further comment at Crooked Timber. And here is a link to the Little Red Songbook, “to fan the flames of discontent.” Back in the seventies I had the good fortune to meet a couple of old Wobblies who had worked the docks in Seattle and knew people who had survived the Everett Massacre. Back then I had a friend named Blake, a hell of a guitar player who knew all the songs. Happy May Day, Blake!

Bonus Track: Shawntay Henry, a high school student from the US Virgin Islands, reads Robert Hayden’s poem “Frederick Douglass.” Henry won the Poetry Out Loud competition yesterday.

Second Bonus Track: A Mayday story from 3QD.