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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Poetry or Mykel's Journey to the North Part 4

Mykel's Northern Exposure
Fourth Entry: Poetry
by Mykel Board

Poetry is like a good beer shit. --Charles Bukowski

A good beer shit IS poetry. – Mykel Board

[This entry was started on my last day in the Faroe Islands. I sit at a cafe near the harbor. It's raining, as it often is in the Faroes. The cafe is nearly full, mostly women and babies... a chubby one of whom (baby, not woman) seems fascinated by me. He looks at me, smiles, drools, looks at me again. It's not happening with the women in the place.

My plane for Copenhagen (transit to Iceland) leaves in about 9 hours. Why am I going back to Copenhagen in order to get to Iceland? I'M STUPID, THAT'S WHY!! Bad planning.

On top of it all, I have a 14 hour layover in Copenhagen... and I can't go into town because I stupidly left the key in the mailbox when I checked out from Marianna's house. So it's 14 hours at the airport with no sleep on top of not much last night.

This is not going to be fun. More later, when my WRITING gets to the Faroes.]

The story continues here:

The book, What Your Poo Is Telling You says that “normal” shitting is from three times a day to three times a week. I don't know about you, but I'm usually a three-a-day guy... punctuated by a bunch of earth-shaking LBH farts that can--- and often do--- wake the dead. That's the fart in my becoming an old fart. When I was younger, my SBDs could clear a building faster than an Olympic applause bomb scare.

My travel shits are different from my usual shits. They maintain a pattern in size and shape as well as frequency. When... er... on the move... my bowel products go from wisps of air, to raisins, to grapes, to fuzzy caterpillars, to potatoes, to never-ending rope twists. Travel with me and you'll get a daily report... just ask my pal Sid Yiddish who's had more than his fill of my shit.

Voice from above: Mykel we've ALL had more than our fill of your shit.

Yeah, right.

This trip has been different. I've maintained my 3-a-day ness... right from the beginning. Sometimes four. Healthy full-bodied cucumbers... right from the start.

It may have something to do with the beer. To the Danes, Beer is food... as well as drink. If you go out, you have a beer. If you have dinner, you have a beer. If you go out for drinks after dinner, you drink beer.

The old Danish custom of snaps (Aquavit) seems to have disappeared. On my first trip to Denmark, in 1972, my new friends taught me how to drink the stuff. (It tastes like very alcoholic liquid rye bread.)

You put a coin in the bottom of a coffee cup. Then fill the cup with coffee until you can't see the coin. Then add snaps until you can see the coin again.

The headquarters of snaps was the city of Aalborg. I made a special trip there to visit the factory and ARTLESS played there in the 1980s.

Since then, the factory closed. I don't even know where they make the stuff anymore... probably China. Now everyone in Denmark drinks beer... always.

In the US, it is a self-imposed rule never to drink before noon. I do it for my digestion, though it doesn't work. In Denmark, I've had to change the rule slightly to: Never drink before noon... someplace in the world.

Where last we left, I was meeting my long-time friend Knud Odde at Peder Oxe-- a famous somewhat hoity toidy place where Oxe does not mean OX, but cow... I think. Knud has invited me and will wind up paying a pretty penny for the whole night.

[Note: Danes are among the most generous people in the world. You'll read about others... and you already met some. It's my favorite country in Europe... but maybe I've said that before.]

Right now, I'm sitting on a bench in front of Peder Oxe with Peter Peter who-- with Knud-- was in THE SODS, one of Denmark's first punk bands... and my first punk contacts in the country (1977).

Since that time, the band evolved into SORT SOL (Black Sun), and then split up... under not very friendly conditions. Two of the members went on to form a new band. Knud has become an internationally famous painter. Peter Peter is a music producer and masters LPs for new bands. Knud and Peter Peter haven't seen each other in twenty years.

Here comes Knud now... walking across the cobblestone square in front of the bench. He doesn't see us yet. Now there's the look of recognition on his face... but I can't tell which of us he sees first. By the time I stand up to give him a hug, he's seen both of us. I brace for acrimony.

I get my hug. Peter Peter gets a fist to the jaw... I lie. It's not a hug, but a very warm two handed hand shake. They say something in Danish... a lot. Jeg kan ikke forstor det. But it's friendly. And I'm thinking YEAH!!! Mykel the match-maker.... the fixer upper. I smile so hard my face hurts. Then I fart... a loud trumpet blast... a Jericho wall knocker-downer. I can feel my face redden. The two former Sods don't seem to notice.

Side note: There are 17 people in the world who are not on facebook. Peter Peter and Knud are two of them. They exchange emails.

Peter does not join us for dinner. He limps home, holding his stoned kidney. Knud and I sit outside the restaurant enjoying the unseasonably warm Danish summer weather. Knud as has been his custom forever, orders wine. I order beer. It's a great meal. Afterwards, we head off to the library. (WTF?)

There's a concert tonight celebrating the opening of the library's new vinyl collection. It's also to celebrate some long-standing Japanese-Danish connection. Knud invited me, I guess, because he knows I lived in Japan... and have had almost as much of a love-affair with that country as I've had with Denmark.

Nihonjin desuka?” I ask the only Oriental in the place.

He smiles and nods.

We talk Japanese a bit. He tells me where he's from. (I forget.) I tell him about my history in Japan. He compliments me on my Japanese.

[NOTE: In the U.S, Americans expect everybody in the world speaks English. If you don't, it's because you don't WANT to. The Japanese believe they are the only people who can speak Japanese. If you know just a few words, they're amazed and impressed:

SUSHI. “You said sushi! Your Japanese is really good!”]

Then the show starts. First a video of these Danish guys (two of 'em in the band), who were waylaid by a Japanese TV crew, followed around as they discovered Japan, and then had their adventures turned into a YouTube mini-series.

Then the band played:

After the band (long very involved playing with 4 guitars weaving in and out over and under each other), I figure the shows over. I figure wrong.

The librarian takes the microphone:

We have with us tonight, Mykel Board,” who lived in Japan and experienced the Japanese experimental music scene first hand. Let's welcome him here so he can tell you about it.”



I get up and stand in front of three or four dozen Danes, and one Japanese guy... all Danish-Japanese music enthusiasts. Can I bullshit my way... completely unprepared? Can I be calm and present the face of authenticity where behind that face is complete ignorance?

Come on! I'm Mykel Fuckin' Board, of course I can. I do.

Dropping the name of every Japanese punk band from the 1980s. Gism, Nuky Pikes, Genbaku Onanes, Hijokaidan, Hanashtari, Lip Cream, Guitar Wolf, SOB. A few well known labels: Alchemy, 666.. a touch of completely made up shit: Manko Sashimi-- the all girl electronic band from Nagasaki, The Baca Vaca, Shin Ketsu... complete bullshit. I've got them eating out the palm of my hand. Five minutes of talking, then applause, then the questions.

“What do you think the relationship of Haijokaidan to modern American noisebands like...” and then some weird name that sounds like a Norse God... or a computer programming language.

Uh oh!

It may have been a mistake at the time,” I say. “But I did nothing illegal. No classified material was ever kept on my server.”

They didn't get it, but it got me out of the questions... and then it was out with Knud and this local record nerd who pleased me by uttering my favorite words (unless they're spoken by someone with a weapon).

“So you're reallyMykel Board?” he says.

I nod.

That Swanic Youth record... I have three copies....”

He joins Knud and me as we close a half dozen bars. I get “home” at 5AM. Then I throw up.

The next day... er... the same day, they all get mixed up. But one of the days I go to a weird art opening with Marianne, Malene (I met them together in the 80s), and a bunch of completely non snobby artists... The art features a repeating video of some naked Danish girls hitting tree trunks with other tree parts. It makes a mess, but it's only dirt and leaves... doesn't give me a hard-on.

But it's another night of drinking and more drinking... meeting people... and more drinking. I feel like I'm in the ART FRAT at some State University. A pyramid of beer bottles and a street full of blonds and blondes. Ah, Denmark how I love you.

The next day? The day before? Some day... finally.... the summer house where Marianne makes my Danish dream come true. Here she is in her full Rødgrød glory:

Did we forget something? I don't think so... here comes the fløde.

Oh yeah!!! Then it's on to Århus, recently renamed Aarhus.

--To Be Continued

[Extra note: I'm only on my 3rd or fourth day in Denmark with this blog, but in reality I'm ready to leave Iceland for Greenland! From now on I may work backwards and meet in the middle. You WILL want to hear about the BEND OVER BOYS... my big adventure in Aarhus. You will.]

If, for some odd reason, you like my writing and want to see more (opinionated, political, punkrock), you can check out my other blog here.

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