Then and Now – New Poem

“Then and Now”

On the top of Beech Mountain
stands an old abandoned fire tower,
reminding me of Kerouac
Abbey.  Snyder.  Others
eager for time to write, think, and be

Overlooking vast forests and blue lakes
they closed their eyes and heard….nothing
except an occasional motorboat
or a distant car
much as we do today

But even then they thought
civilization was encroaching
capitalism had run amuck and
the skies were filled with electric lights
blocking all the stars

the real stars

there had to be a better way

they were right

Wonderland

Rogerthecat really digs this new poem of mine, “Wonderland,” which just appeared in the latest print edition of Blueline, a fine literary journal out of the Adironacks. Hope you enjoy it as much as he does

Wonderland

Sitting by the swollen river
on fireplace remains
the wonderland hotel
an old abandoned line,
I hear nothing but the wind,
scattered leaves a-crinkling,
voices of a couple
approaching from the distance,
either lovers in the moment or
ghosts rising from the past

(Doug Hoekstra, 2021)

Buster Keaton, Doug Hoekstra, and the Bay Area Mindfulness Center

No, the title is not a long lost psychedelic band from the 60s, it is the thing to tie together all the news that’s fit to send, re; The Day Deserved CD and Ten Seconds In-Between book.  The July recap follows….

First up, a new recording, answers the question… what do Buster Keaton, Tippi Hedren, and the Bay Area Mindfulness Center have in common? Answer – they all appear in “Silently,” a flash fiction that’s also included in Doug Hoekstra’s latest book, Ten Seconds In-Between. The tale takes a walk with two cousins, immersed in endless competition, and the game of expectations, the recording stands between song and spoken word. More July press, radio, and video news from the past month includes…..

–Nashville Scene.   It’s always good to be called a polymath, so thanks to Ron Wynn and the Scene for the nice feature, covering both “The Day Deserved” and “Ten Seconds In-Between” –excerpt:  

“…an ambitious and distinctive new album The Day Deserved is diverse and intriguing idiomatically.  Whe the solid rock foundation and writerly lyricism are dominant features, Hoekstra explores many other musical areas, ranging from vintage dub reggae to edgy and politically potent soul on Elements of jazz and folk are integrated into the basic framework, with Hoekstra’s hushed singing voice and assured authorial voice binding them together…the book’s material is no less diverse or compelling.” 

Writer’s Voices interview is live and posted(radio/podcast), on the book and the record, with live reading included. Writers Voices is a cool show, Monica Hadley and Caroline Kilbourn run the ship; online and broadcast on KOHE 90.5 FM in Fairfield Iowa and KICI 105.3 LP in Iowa City.

–Lust For Life (Netherlands/print magazine) ran a nice 4 star review of The Day Deserved, with praise for the record, a spotlight on the closing track, “Outside Looking In,” and a shout out for musical compadre Dave Coleman. The wrap is that “the music of Doug Hoekstra is worth listening to, as a singer and an important poet.”

–Rock ‘n Reel (UK/print magazine), which ran a 4 star review of The Day Deserved in their May issue, featured a track from the record “Carry Me,” in the current CD sampler/edition (#88), showcasing Hoekstra’s “blend of imagination, invention, and poetic songwriting.”

–Midwest Book Review weighed in on “Ten Seconds In-Between”, testifying that it’s a  “memorable, thought provoking and original collection about connection….deftly written and a thoroughly absorbing read…especially and unreservedly recommended.” 

Baseball Bard posted Outside Looking In,” a video from The Day Deserved that premiered at Big Takeover.   The Bard is a fine hardball poetry site, also featuring Hoekstra scribblings in the past.

WMOT 89.5 Local Brew/Roots Radio continues to feature tracks from the Day Deserved, so special thanks to Ana Lee for keeping it going.  In case you missed it you can read the accompanying interview at Liner Notes Liner Notes WMOT Murfreesborowith that quote we love –

“The Day Deserved is the kind of record that draws you back again and again, and with each listen comes a new discovery in the stories he sings. Songs like, “Gandy Dancer”, “Seaside Town” and “Higher Ground” could each be a Netflix or Hulu series.”

Silently – Spoken Word

What do Buster Keaton, Tippi Hedren, and the Bay Area Mindfulness Center have in common? Answer – they all appear in Silently, a flash fiction of mine that’s also included in the latest Doug Hoekstra book, Ten Seconds In-Between. The tale takes a walk with two cousins, immersed in endless competition, and the game of expectations.

Today, I give you the accompanying recorded piece, which grew into something that stands between song and spoken word. It started with Japanese drums, looped and slowed down. Then I did a few recitations, careful to shoot for the spaces. After that, I built the music around those two elements, adding bass, guitars, keyboards, and a sung chorus. It was recorded at home, in Nashville just me and Rogerthecat manning the board. Enjoy! (DH)

New Interviews

Been getting a lot of nice press blurbs and radio play on the record, and sincere thanks to these journalists and radio presenters out there, folks doing it for the love of it, keeping the independent arts flame burning. .    Just recently, we had three really nice, long interviews come out, which is cool, because it allows us to go into depth regarding both The Day Deserved (record) and Ten Seconds In-Between, (book) from

The Netherlands – Kultuurffabriek

(from Harry DeJong, we did this one over Zoom and it’s in Dutch, so put on google translator “…with his whispering voice he sings ten extremely poetic songs with downright literary texts, beautifully framed by Dave Coleman’s twangy guitar playing. This is music you should listen to with the lyrics at your fingertips, because Hoekstra is a poet and a singer.”   This also includes a picture of me in Marrum, the town my grandfather emigrated from, taken on a tour from the past.)

Scotland – Pennyblack Music

(from John Clarkson in Edinburgh, as we discuss the record, current events, my son Jude (of course) and all the great folks who contributed to the making of the new album The Day Deserved (musicians, artists, videographers).    As the man says about the album “Its ten songs are all lengthy, few coming in at less than five minutes and several stretching out to over seven minutes, and, embracing components of jazz, pop, folk and country, none of them finishing at the same point upon which they started. Lyrically they reveal the humanitarian Hoekstra’s political and social concerns.”   I met John on my first-ever gig to Edinburgh, many years ago, at  Virgin instore on Princes Street in the shadow of the Castle, and it’s been great to stay in touch and catch up as our lives unfold.   Pennyblack has been around for years and it’s a testament to his hard work and talent.

Liner Notes WMOT Murfreesboro

(from Ana Lee at WMOT 89.5 Liner Notes.  Ana picked up on the new record right away and has been playing it on her show.  Really great questions from her on this and of course, I/we love this line: “The Day Deserved is the kind of record that draws you back again and again, and with each listen comes a new discovery in the stories he sings. Songs like, “Gandy Dancer”, “Seaside Town” and “Higher Ground” could each be a Netflix or Hulu series.”