"The Heron King" Once an object of affection passes – a pet, a loved one, even a country or way of Life - the time comes when you must move on. You can only linger beside a grave for so long. The Heron King is about someone who reached that point.
"Eight Truths: On being a musician." In this Life, there is what I Believe and what I Know. I can't speak with certainty on anything else. "Eight Truths" concerns itself with the eight tenets that are the basis of my musical philosophy, which can also be applied to day-to-day life. I believe in them as a Jesuit believes in the Catholic Church because I have seen the truth of them. In a letter written over thirty-five years ago and nearly a full decade after I’d set off to find my own path, my mentor Fred Keith clued me in on why we do what we do: “For people like us, it’s the only game in town.” It is The Eight Truths that make it so.
"The Self-Help Book (The only book you'll ever need!)" “Later, between bites of fried chicken, the Old Man said, ‘Willie, if we could find a way to combine all those books (Out On A Limb, Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Chariots of the Gods, I’m Okay You’re Okay) we’d be on Easy Street.’ 'In other words, you want me to write a book we’d try to pass off as a panacea for all mankind.' 'Either way sounds like money in the bank.' The last five words, intoned in his best imitation of George Stevens aka The Kingfish of Amos & Andy fame, concluded the evening’s discussion. (I can't guarantee the contents of this book will turn your life around and send you dancing down the sunny side of the street. In fact, it is entirely possible it won't help you in any way, whatsoever. Doesn’t obviate the truth of my contention that it’s the only book you’ll ever need …)
"Comet: A Story of North Central Texas" In the 1980's, Texas was run by Reagan Republicans who looked to take the Lone Star State back to the 1950's and by a powerful real estate and land development alliance whose apparent goal was to turn every square foot of land between the Red River and the Rio Grande into high-yield commercial property. Things were booming in the boardrooms of Dallas, Austin, and Houston. But in the towns scattered along the old Texas State Highway system, people watched as more and more land was swallowed up with each passing year and wondered how long it would be before a certified letter arrived with a low-ball offer for the patch of ground they called home. "Comet - A Story of North Central Texas," the tale of an unexpected and unlikely friendship between a former Negro League baseball player and a self-described "broke-dick cable splicer who ain't got no nothin'," takes place away from the glitz and glamor of natural high rollers and the nouveau riche, in the not-as-wide-open-as-they-used-to-be spaces on the map.
"Barking at the Moon" A collection of new writings, none of which address the existential crises which scar the modern reader’s soul when confronted with the dystopian landscape of 21st Century America. Written in the months leading up to his saying goodbye to The Home of Bob Seger, Bacon Cheeseburgers, and Tonk, "Barking at the Moon" is a last dip into “Things I’ve learned between May 1961 and Today.” Beginning with a series of essays on the true meaning of being a musician, Parker holds forth on playing Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby in his childhood backyard, the circumstances that led to his moving to The Netherlands, found him listening to Al Green on a rainy night in Memphis, and how “people say stupid shit all the time” before closing with why there is no one Real World.
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