Doc tells me
that he has the album mixed, Trinity's "Fairy Tales & Nonsense." He says we're not professionals, so the final product doesn't sound as if we were. Yet it sounds good for our stage of development - three ol' guys, high school classmates, two of whom played music together as a folk duo in high school, but not since - not until the Trinity Prep reunion last June. The third one of us - me - is a poet, not a musician, yet I invigled a position playing bass with them in Sioux City.
None of us have made music his life. We've all had other careers. Doc did put together an album previously. Dean and I, to this point, have been more amateur than that. Since we're "amateur" and don't do it for the money, we can do it for love, as our hearts dictate.
When we came together for the reunion in Sioux City, something clicked for us. I didn't know for sure that I could write lyrics for songs from fairy tales. I don't know that Dean was certain that he could write music for the twelve songs, but he was game to give it a try.
When I hear compliments about the words I've written for us, I have to say my lyrics are only "words" until they encounter the magic in the music Dean has written, in Doc's singing the words and music, in Dean's harmonies. Trinity is greater than the sum of its parts - that's the "magic."
Peter Pizzino and I started our promotion of Peter's Story last Saturday with a book signing at Book World in Beaver Dam this past Saturday, and we even sold a few copies. We will continue our work by appearing together tonight at the Northshore Library in Glendale, Wisconsin, this evening - which is where Peter and I met in fall of 2003 while I was teaching a class there in writing memoir. The rest, as they say, is history. I will present a short account of how Peter and I met and about how we collaborated on Peter's Story, and we'll answer questions. Then we will sign books.
The Northshore Library is a fitting place for us to sit together and take the book public, in the very place where it all started.
I will have another signing at the Book World in Fond du Lac on Friday, October 12, from 4:00-5:30 p.m., offering copies of my own collection, The Idea of the Local, as well as Peter's Story.
On Saturday I will read from my prose and poetry in Madison as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival's celebration, "Yes, Wisconsin, There Is a Poet Laureate," at the Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll Street, from 4:00-5:45 p.m. The program features readings by Wisconsin's first two Poet Laureates, Ellen Kort and Denise Sweet, as well as readings by the three runners-up to date, Doug Flaherty, John Lehman, and myself, who are called "Commended Poets."
So, you guys, a little respect here. I'm a Commended Poet.
Which sounds not that much different than "Condemned Poet," I fear.
Come November 10, Peter and I will be signging books at Book World in Ripon from 10:00 a.m . to 2:00 p.m.
And we'll be making a presentation and doing a book signing at Schwartz Bookshop on Downer Avenue in Milwaukee at 7:00 p.m. on December 4.
Milwaukee Magazine will be running a feature-length excerpt from Peter's Story in its December issue, including the passage where Peter and his friends pick up the piano and piano bench in the Plankinton Arcade while a 19-year-old Liberace is performing. The boys move the piano and Liberace the entire circuit of the lobby there, Liberace saying, "Please, fellas," yet all the while continuing his act. This is an episode about Liberace you won't find recorded anywhere else. I know - I've looked.
And a little heads-up for Trinity fans out there: our second album is going to be made up entirely of original "train songs." I've got ten of them written already, and Dean says he has the music ready for them, "and send me some more lyrics to work with."
The adventure isn't likely to end soon.