Commercials, old songs butchered on behalf of big pharma and luxury carmakers, their originals whittled down to lifeless jingles. First thought and image when I hear them? Sound studios and the bored, even tortured look on the musicians’ faces having to perform this tripe day after day for a living
as they wade through vaguely recognizable melodies chopped into painful parodies of themselves to move and sell a product. O Fortuna, can you carry a tune?
“Yeah, we’re doing so-and-so a forty-second spot today, no sweat. What a laugh, and to think that I saw ’em sing it live to a packed house right here in L.A. all those years ago,
and today with ‘You can go your own way’
we’ll prepare another injection of Novocain
for a once-thoughtful head:
‘I may as well be laying bricks
for a living,’ the bass player said.”
After living variously in Austria, California, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire, Gary LeBel now lives in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area. He is the founder and co-owner of an optical alignment consulting firm that has been serving heavy industry throughout the southeast for two decades. He’s also a poet and artist (primarily collage, montage, and assemblage), whose work has been published in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Japan. He believes that art, or anything else worth doing, is a life-long pilgrimage.
Self-taught, LeBel has been image-making in words and pictures for many years. Abacus, his first collection of short poems, haibun, and prose poems, was published as an e-book in 2008 by Modern English Tanka Press. His haibun have appeared in Contemporary Haibun Online, Haibun Today, Lynx, and Modern Haiku; and his tanka prose, in Contemporary Haibun Online and drifting sands haibun. His haiga have been shown in Haiga Online, Modern Haiga, Modern Haiku, and Reeds Contemporary Haiga. He’s at work on his second book, a collection of haibun and other short-form prosimetra.
Looking at Christina’s World, ekphrastic tanka
prose by Gary LeBel in drifting sands haibun (Issue 1, April 2020)
Brings to Life, ekphrastic tanka prose by LeBel in
contemporary haibun online (16:3; 30 November 2020)
Vox Humana, haibun with haiga by LeBel in Haibun Today
(Volume 5, Number 1, March 2011)
A Game of Tag: Gary LeBel on Tanka Prose by Patricia Prime in Haibun Today (Volume 6, Number 3, September 2012)