FOUR|THINGS: One Photo, One Video, One Meme & One Epigram

Here is a roundup of various art-formulations, reworked creations, meme-ifications and rainy night, hipshot-snapshots for your consideration. These all are of recent vintage or recently revived vintage vintage. | PS: Please free subscribe if you’re new around these parts ~ douglas john imbrogno


THE DETAILS: ‘ONLY CONNECT’ | One rainy evening, looking down Third Avenue in downtown Huntington, W. Va. | january2024 | Urban Appalachia Photo Bureau
TITLE REFERENCE: Thank be to this connection from E.M. Forster.
BACKSTORY: Fun facts in iPhoneography: I was moving at a clip to cross this Huntington street on the way to dinner with friends and noticed the cool lighting, accentuated by the slick rain. I quick-snapped this single shot, my phone back in its cellphone pocket a second later. It was only a day later, while slightly torquing the saturation to pop the image better — so that the photo looked more accurate to how the scene ‘felt‘ — when I noticed the perfectly framed word ‘ONLY.’ It had not been seen by me at the time I clicked the shot. Serendipitousness. ‘Only connecting’ ( a la Forster) can come anywhere, even dashing across an urban Appalachian street.


TUNE: ‘GLADIATOR SONG by The Silent Gondoliers
INSTRUMENTATION: Douglas John Imbrogno on guitar, cheap CASIO keyboard, and hand-percussion, plus a little post-recording Garageband knob-noodling.
BACKSTORY: I first composed this instrumental in 2008, after returning from a trip to Italy with my son and his cousin. You can hear it on my Youtube ‘ITALY’ playlist, accompanying a slideshow of photos titled ‘A TIME AGO.’ After hearing the tune again recently, I liked it so much I decided to make an experimental/impressionistic new music video, inspired by its moody concatenation and sinuous vibe.
VIDEO FOOTAGE: All the footage is mine, shot in 2023, in West Virginia and Washington, D.C., except for the shot of upheld cigarette lighters — um, I mean cellphones. That’s from a 2023 Jonas Brothers concert in Lexington KY, to which I accompanied my offspring as part of Dutiful Dad service after a friend canceled — and because I really like “Love Bug”. Plus, my daughter.
PS: Below is the inspiration for the band name I use for instrumental compositions: ‘The Silent Gondoliers.’ It’s drawn from Lord Byron’s “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (Canto 4)“. The inspiring lines are below, as Byron laments the passing of the glory days of Venice and the poetic verses chanted by gondoliers of the famous, yet often tortured, 16th century poet Torquato Tasso. I switched the line from ‘songless‘ to ‘silent‘ to indicate these are instrumental tunes minus words. Maybe some of them, too, have a whiff of the elegiac, wistful tone of Byron’s take on Venezia:

In Venice, Tasso's echoes are no more,
And silent rows the songless gondolier;
Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
And music meets not always now the ear:
Those days are gone — but beauty still is here.
States fall, arts fade — but Nature doth not die,
Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity,
The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy!


THE MEME: A verse excerpt by the poet Cardinal Crowes, about whom I know little, so far.
FROM: “Hail, Venezia,” a piece I found somewhere, sourced as being from ‘LA CITTA GALLEGGIANTE: Il piu antico editore de Venezia’ (TRANSLATION: ‘THE FLOATING CITY: The oldest publisher in Venice’)


THE EPIGRAM: “Dispossession No. 2” by himself.
FROM: ‘EPIGRAMMAR: Short Poems and Epigrams for a Post-Dow Industrial, Anti-Delusional Age,’ a limited-edition chapbook I published in 1997, via the self-imagined ‘A-OK Poetry Press.’ Out-of-print, but with enough encouragement I may revive it. Especially, since I am working on ‘EPIGRAMMER Volume 2: Short Poems & Epigrams for a New Old Age.’ Free subscribe to this publication for news of its release.

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