Weber/Vlatkovich | Elasticity | The Recording

Mark Weber | Photo by Janet Simon | 6feb11 @ Getty Museum, Los Angeles


(c)2o12 Mark Weber & Michael Vlatkovich

ELASTICITY | poems by Mark Weber | music by Michael Vlatkovich | recorded at Studio Le Shedde in Vancouver, BC, Canada, March 7, 2o12 | recording engineer David Sikula | edited, mixed and mastered at Newzone Studio by Wayne Peet in Los Angeles, April – June 2012

with ION ZOO | Carol Sawyer — voice | Steve Bagnell — sax & bass clarinet | Lisa Miller — piano | Clyde Reed — bass + Michael Vlatkovich — trombone, composer + Mark Weber — text

Steve Bagnell, Clyde Reed, Michael Pierre Vlatkovich, Carol Sawyer, Lisa Miller, Mark Weber — March 7, 2o12 — photo by David Sikula — after the recording session

Poem 1

I can feel the currents of
the old arroyo, the ancient lizards
licking ants on the embankment cutting across
our backyard in this suburb, the atomic
energy subdivision, the neutrons and
electrons and protons swirling around my
tin can lids magnetized in the garden
the tentacles of lightning re-invigorating
the dirt so the world won’t become
more desolate, oh, electricity, give
us another emblazoned infinity

Arrival at Le Shedde (recording studio — in rear with skylights), Vancouver — March 7, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Our hosts: Clyde & Sherrill Reed — March 9, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Poem 2

I’d not put time too far forward
after all, it borrows from itself
the scattered leaves of fall
a snowstorm blowing in
partly forgotten
all the clouds of eternity float by
rearrange themselves with feathers
from storks delivering the newborn
even as the termites chew
on our houses, our bones,
our memories, chewing up
the shadows of Cezanne’s table

Lisa Miller — March 7, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Steve Bagnell — March 7, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Carol Sawyer — photo by Mark Weber

Poem 3

It has a certain mysterious logic
even though I’ve never verified this idea
in fact, it’s one of those things you never tell
anyone, one of those things over the years
you’ve learned to keep to yourself

Most of what I eat does not come out of a can, pray
tell. But, on those occasions I must open a can
of food, I always save the lid and put it
in our compost
eventually bury it in the yard
so that
when lightening strikes
it sets up underground tentacles
of electrical conduction between all the other
buried lids
stimulating the garden in ways
we cannot fully understand, I hope it doesn’t
hurt the worms or the ants

Steve, Clyde, and Michael — March 7, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Steve Bagnell — March 7, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Poem 4

Snowed over-night, quite nice, our
second snow this year, rained all
day yesterday, then snow, changes

Good day to head up into the mountains.
Deep into the good side of loneliness.

Or, stay home have a cup of tea and
read a book. Has the invention of the book
become passe?

You never realized how much you can trust
a book — it has no wires or transistors or
digital screen — it never breaks down, you
don’t have to pay a monthly fee to read it,
no On & Off switch, it’s your friend, in fact
— a book and a cup of tea
of an afternoon.

R.I.P. Don Van Vliet

Recording engineer David Sikula and Michael Vlatkovich — March 7, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Michael Vlatkovich — March 7, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber


I might try to chop some wood today
It is not easy chopping wood for someone
so old
And yes, I am not so very old
old enough that the long-handled axe
does not absorb all of the vibrations
Still, some of the reverberations carry into
my bones, and
in the days following the chopping
of wood I feel like
an old tree
with only enough energy to sprout
but a few leaves on each branch
It is so mesmerizing to watch
my wood in the fire
my creaking bone vibrations
the song of spiraling regeneration
in the flames

Michael, Clyde, and Carol — March 7, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Michael Vlatkovich and his art — April 30, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Poem 6

The crows show me where
the pennies are — Albuquerque
is a city of crows and happenstance,
to find a penny on the street brings
good luck — do not confuse luck with
fate — it is fate that the penny I found
Saturday was minted in 1958 and
luck that I got to it before that old
crow who
mocked me strutting with his wings
turgidly outfolded raised giving me the
evil eye — I flipped the penny, caught it
in my palm, said, “Tails you lose.”

Michael, Clyde, and Mark @ Sherrill’s place — March 9, 2012 — photo by Paul Plimley

“Breakfast with Paul” — March 9, 2012, Vancouver, Canada — photo by Sherrill

Poem 7

We’ll let it burn up
in the fire — it’s like
I’ve disappeared into a realm
of pure melody — I have to
scratch my foot, my right foot,
it has an itch — fire, melody,
itch, purely burning and disappeared,
this realm floating in smoke
a melody like incense, ancient, found
in a cave north of Persepolis.

ION ZOO photo by Mark Weber

Poem 8

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to
the hole where the air comes out

the hole is surrounded by a forest of trees
who suck the carbon dioxide out of the sky

and their roots make air.

Ion Zoo + Mark Weber + Michael Vlatkovich @ The Prophouse, Vancouver BC — June 27, 2o10 — photo by Sherrill King

Poem 9

Now that I have chopped the wood
slammed the awl and sledge
to split it
my bones are vibrating
my arms quivering
I maybe did too much
it is 20° out there and
I am sweaty
It’s important not to do too much
A person needs learn when
enough is enough
when even a little bit
is perfect

Ion Zoo + Mark Weber + Michael Vlatkovich @ The Prophouse, Vancouver BC — June 27, 2o10 — photo by Sherrill King

Poem 10

I have a thing for fresh air
(just one of my little quirks)

As cruel cold as it’s been lately
I still must pick out one day

To throw open all the windows and
doors get some circulation

I’m not into poems telling me what
to do, but fresh air, baby, there’s

Nothing like it, put on some Supersax
to keep you warm and you’ll

Soon be breathing the air of the Gods

Ion Zoo + Mark Weber + Michael Vlatkovich @ The Prophouse, Vancouver BC — June 27, 2o10 — photo by Sherrill King

Poem 11

Step on cracks?
I ‘m not too
worried about that,
but, leaving my watch
at home is
impossible, I can’t
do it.

If I have one superstition, that
would be it.

My Aunt Fontella was riddled with
superstitions, she’d stop the car dead if
a black cat crossed the street in front
of her, never walked under ladders, all
the classic stuff, and weirdest of all was
that she was scared to be near the ocean
she didn’t like to be anywhere closer than
20 miles if not 60 miles from the Pacific.

I don’t touch handrails or doorknobs
in public, either, but that is just being

On my radio show recently
I did a 3-month run where every show I snuck in
a Frank Wess track, either a sax or flute feature
or something with him merely in the reed section
or supportive role, in fact, I didn’t always
announce his name, unless he solo’d —
Now, it wasn’t a thing where a voice said to
me one day that I had to string out Frank Wess
music for weeks and weeks — it had only
occurred to me
after about 3 or 4 shows that I had coincidentally
played Frank each show, so
I had no choice but to continue! merely for my
own private amusement
I never even
thought to tell anyone, until now.

Ion Zoo + Mark Weber + Michael Vlatkovich @ The Prophouse, Vancouver BC — June 27, 2o10 — photo by Sherrill King

Poem 12

Sitting in lotus before the stereo
John Cage “Sonatas and Interludes for
……..Prepared Piano”(1946)
my variant posture half Sukkasana half Padmasana
Nag Champa aroma of incense cones
roar and grumble of garbage trucks
(they send them out in twos:
one for trash, one for recyclables)
Earl Grey tea
calico Geminy asleep on the couch,
approaching the end of her days

ping — toink — thud — doodle doodle doodle —
plink —
John Cage’s piano flits from one thing
to another
just like the mind, so flighty —
even so, this music is oddly . . .
For so many millennia
this suburban neighborhood was chamisa
and rabbitbrush chaparral

kapooTwing — twiddle dhonk dwang — kerThud

Breathe in the candlelight through your eyes
allow your vision to be a column of smoke
let the smoke swirl inside your cranium
crackling electrical sparks

“Try to feel the skeleton like a structure
and everything else like honey — melting
and relaxing” — Meta chaya Hirschl

opalescent, iridescent sonor

“The ego is essentially an idea we carry around
about ourself” — Dr Wayne Dyer

PLINK — tonnnnng — plink — tweeng — dit

“When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change” — Max Planck

pling — thwat — twonk twonk — kerPLong
kerCage — dhonk

How to inhabit the body inside of Time?

So much of the world seems to
operate on recrimination

The Buddha sayeth: Turn the three poisons around:
Anger into compassion
Greed into generosity
Ignorance into wisdom

tunk, tunk, tunk — kaploing — bonkZweek

The human fetus begins to hear at 17-19 weeks
at age 57 hearing becomes super-sensitive, every
jet overhead and refrigerator hum sounds immediate
and present, not exactly loud, but certainly
coming at you —
I read somewhere that as you age background and
foreground sounds merge and collapse into one focal
plane, so to speak — that
younger ears are able to focus on specific
and particular sounds, filtering out
background noise —
with older ears
the filters are gone
could be
BUT sometimes quite interesting!
like my favorite Stockhausen records!
other times, when I’m feeling less charitable
it makes me

bgggToing! — donk dhonk — keeKonk — pyoing

Breathe in the candlelight through your eyes
iridescent tidal intimacies

ION ZOO — Lisa Miller, piano, Clyde Reed, bass, Carol Sawyer, voice, Steve Bagnell, reeds & percussion — June 27, 2o12 @ The Prophouse Cafe, 1636 Venables Street, Vancouver BC — photo by Mark Weber

Poem 13

An afternoon of Chopin preludes
and nocturnes
haunted house versions so intensely
rendered the elderly frail eccentric lady
who lives with a dozen cats not sure she
should bow afterwards standing next to
the huge piano her large eyes
infused with red in darkened oceanic sockets
wow, Chopin
so far deep into Europe
it’s like history stopped so that Frederic,
a young man, could take some pictures for
us, a summary evaluation
of life in those wide-open plains of Poland
brooding, stark, severe, all with tiny little
bubbles of a beauty so poignant it stops
your breath, it’s like a Dostoyevsky novel,
you can taste the atmosphere —-
afterwards, she showed me a photo of her cats
all jumbled together on a couch who she says,
“listen to me when I practice,” who wouldn’t?
those cats know good music when they hear it,
and then
another photo of the wild horses who come for
the water she sets out in pails, “I hope nobody
hurts them,” (she must have read the same news
item this morning that I did about BLM’s annual
western capture of wild mustangs to thin the
Every year she books an afternoon at our local
jazz club and ventures from her mountain village
to play the exact same Chopin program, year after
year, to a very small audience, as is frequent
in America for a recital of serious music, which
is okay with me, I’m uncomfortable around crowds
— she has the entire program memorized, her frayed
book of Chopin music is merely to sit
on, like how children use telephone books, interesting
that she said to Tom and myself while looking
at her cat photos that it upset
her that she “missed a page on the second
nocturne” (Nocturne Op. Posth. 72, No. 1) during
the performance.

Bright sunny piercing icy clear afternoon I
misunderstood the time and arrived an hour early
which afforded the opportunity to stroll
this merchant quarter of the city how much the
stores have changed. Living Batch Bookstore and
Birdsong Books are gone, pizza joints in their
place and cell phone brainwashing emporiums
(how readily we sell ourselves to The Machine).

And there’s the Olympia Cafe, still across the
street from the University, how many years ago?
twenty? Janet & I and Todd & Barbara having
dinner near the front window when a large rock
crashed through the glass two booths away didn’t
hurt anyone, fortunately, except
the Greek food which was replenished easily
enough —
what did it mean? a former disgruntled dish
washer? it was tossed from a passing car, and
reinforced my superstition
never to sit near windows, like in
jail, always sit with your back to a wall.

I privately like to entertain the notion that
ancient yogis traveled through the Celtic realms
from India through Hungary to the British Isles
and were known as Druids, those mysterious
sorcerers who left traces of themselves in
the DNA of seers like Frederic Chopin and
Johann Sebastian Bach — how
else do you explain the intricacies of
these musical energies? it is difficult,
beyond explanation
or, maybe explainable
you just need use the Mandelbrot Set
in the equation — fractals,
ever unfolding spiraling regeneration
and elasticity.

Ion Zoo + Mark Weber + Michael Vlatkovich @ The Prophouse, Vancouver BC — June 27, 2o10 — photo by Sherrill King


Awake to whiteness
blanket of snow
the northern hemisphere tips away from the sun
howling swirls of snow dust
Nataraj, Lord of Dance, gyrates whirling
pure whiteness and quietude the city
is shut down, space folding, forsooth
I must venture out into it
my Tuesday morning yoga class
with Supriti, walk the walk
of Lukulishvara, King of Yogis, a distance
of one cosmic mile

When I first heard Chopin’s music, it was
the etudes, then the nocturnes, I was
for several years right out of high school
I worked in factories, and after such long
nights in the jazz clubs of Los Angeles,
forsooth, there is more cosmic truth in
a Charlie Parker solo than most of the poetry
ever written, I needed an alarm clock
to get me out of bed early in the morning
but I loathe those damn clanging rude barbaric
noisy dumb cartoon clocks, so, rigged a timer
to my stereo with Chopin on turntable
and that’s how I awoke all those years,
delicately and civilized, less jarring
than some mechanical bell
you might as well have a Rube Goldberg device
club you over the head or some maniac with
a bugle or that knucklehead who woke me in
the drunk tank in Barstow (long time ago, 1973)
to ask, “Are you going to eat your breakfast,
I’d sure like to have those pancakes,” and I
sure would have liked continue sleeping —
sleep being a great way to wait out your bail
from that horrid little town — but, at least,
he asked, most jails
I been in they’d simply steal your breakfast
AND your shoes

Alas, it is all a mirage

Mark Weber, Michael Vlatkovich, Clyde Reed, Carol Sawyer, Steve Bagnell, Lisa Miller — photo by Raymond Torchinsky

Michael Vlatkovich & Mark Weber — June 27, 2o12 — photo by Clyde Reed

Wayne Peet @ Newzone Studio, Los Angeles working on ELASTICITY tracks — April 29, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Wayne Peet & Michael Vlatkovich @ Newzone Studios — April 29, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Poem 15

It was last summer that
I found out how little food
is actually necessary to keep
how an apple, a handful of raisins,
a hard-boiled egg, and a slice or
two of cheese with two or three crackers
and some water, good old water
was enough
like a cloud
you can feel between your molecules
breathing through your bellybutton

It was two weeks ago
I blew my eye out doing a yoga variation
of a headstand — merely a hemorrhage
little capillary
left eye shock blood red
I looked like one of the devil’s chosen

This quest for sacred inner peace
cartwheels in all directions

Steve Bagnell, Clyde Reed, Michael Pierre Vlatkovich, Carol Sawyer, Lisa Miller, Mark Weber — March 7, 2o12 — photo by David Sikula — after the recording session

This is Zerx chapbook # 67 | First printing February 2011 | 400 copies | Note: That quote in poem 12 is not actually attributable to Max Planck (Max is the first cat to poke around in quantum theory). These poems written through the winter December into January and February 2011. All graphix and squiggles by Mark Weber. (c)2011 Mark Weber


  1. Mark Weber

    You can’t go to Vancouver and not visit Paul Plimley !
    One of the great piano players, whew.

  2. michael vlatkovich

    It was a great experience both the recording and the subsequent performance. It’s documented wonderfully here!
    Hope those that listen, enjoy.

    Michael Vlatkovich

  3. Mark Weber

    This cafe is called The Prophouse because they also
    rent a lot of bric-a-brac to movie studios like Lions Gate
    (located in Vancouver).

  4. Carol Sawyer

    This looks great Mark – thank-you for sharing all these cool photos of the process. Great project, great company – let’s do more!

  5. Carol Sawyer

    PS: sounds great too!

  6. ronald baatz

    mark, sweet poems, sweet and beautiful and smart. thanks…r

  7. Daisy

    Thanks so much for sharing the pics, the poetry and the “squiggles”.

  8. Michael Vlatkovich


    I listened to elasticity this morning after not hearing it for some time and REALLY LIKE IT! It contains all the elements I really wish to have on a CD, variety, organization with repetition, development of ideas, spontaneity with a touch of chaos and unpredictability, and most importantly energy, conviction, commitment to the ideas being executed.


  9. Mark Weber


    We’re in a parking lot on Granville Island, surveying
    the tightly-packed cars and people emerging from market
    with ice cream cones and bags of fresh bread

    We watch families and children coming & going
    Mikal says, “Did you hear about the family that left one
    of their kids behind?” and tells us
    the urban legend of the family who inadvertently left
    one of their kids in a parking lot —

    And a few miles down the highway completely oblivious
    they look over in the next lane and there’s their child
    waving at them from another car —

    This probably never happens in Canada.


  10. David Sikula


    Just found this! Wonderful to hear the final product. Sounds great. Kudos to Wayne Peet for the fine mix.

    Hope that all is well, & that we can all work together again!


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