Daily Archives: March 20, 2017

Sir?

It would be worth your time
to learn how to lie, 

sir. We can see
the smoke rising from

your pants, can see
your nose growing;

perhaps these are illusions
as well, tricky lighting

caused by the waving of
your flagship hair, the shadows

emptying from your mouth?
Sir, we can’t see you behind them —

unless all you are is shadow?
Sir? Are you nothing but smoke

and bad lighting, only a simulation
of human — some kind of 

puppet?  Sir, understand:
we are asking, do you bleed?

Do you weigh anything at all,
sir, or is your incorporeality

so galling to you that you feel
you must stamp this hard on the world?

It would be worth your time
to learn to be a better liar, sir.

Your smoke is showing.
There is nothing in the mirror.


Praise Song For The Rhythm Section

Praise for the Hammond,
for the towering Leslie
and how it warbles, how
it can break any jaded 
weariness, how it argues
against atheism, how it
silkens lounge air 
after midnight.

Praise for the 
hollow body of the archtop,
how it has seen better days
as its scars and scratches attest,
but still chops and pops as it 
always has, how it cuts
into thick despair, how it 
tosses back a pulse like
a whiskey cocktail.

Praise for the mysteries
of the kit, how hands and feet
are employed upon heads
and pedals, how the sticks
mediate between fresh heart and 
old smoke, how brushes
hiss like summer rain, how
immediate the church of the solo.

Praise for the dark cocoa burr
of the upright bass, how it
slips its sweet oil into and through
everything else, how it marks
time with shine and weight, how
it opens the floor below to show
how profound the depths are
below its solid footing.

As for those who stand aside now
as the rhythm section holds
what was and will
soon enough be theirs again:
as for singer, sax,
trumpet, cornet, clarinet?
Tonight is not for them.
Tonight is for this praise song

to what holds them
to the spotlight.
Tonight, instead, a praise song
of foundations,
bedrock,
a landscape from which
all else rises;
a praise song for
what sounds like
home.