Rocky Top

My brain pummels me to sleep
and drills me awake with

“Rocky Top” playing on loop

Reminds me 
of a band (what the hell
was their name?)

that used to play at
the Depot Lounge
on Tuesday nights

over forty years ago
and once again it’s 
time for that virus of

damnable nostalgia 
that ties a regret stone
to each ankle — stones

torn no doubt 
from the summit
of Rocky Top

I shall drown soon enough
in past happenings
(what in hell were the names

of all the hellions
from back then?
Not even sure of my own)

The Depot Lounge 
was where I learned
the extent of my drowning skills

No amount of Rocky Top
could keep me afloat back then
and it’s not helping now

I’m sinking fast listening to
a song of Tennessee 
in Massachusetts

(as is the whole country
as is the whole world 
but I digress –)

What in hell was the name
of the band that would set up
in the front by the bar

on Tuesday nights
under the projection screen
(was it even the Depot Lounge

or a different local bar?
There were so many
I have lost the names for them all)

They’d play Rocky Top
Home sweet home to me
and all us Yankees would sing along

In a downward spiral
I sing Rocky Top
Good Old Rocky Top

Had me a girl once
Half Bear, other half Cat
What was the name of that band

and the name of that girl
or any other from then
or anyone from then

Who was I back then
but another drunk
circling the drain

I wish I was in Rocky Top
Rocky Top home to me
but it wasn’t and in my head

there is no place like home
and horror and all the music
of the past can’t hold me up

I should put a hole in my head
and let this out
What was the name

of that band
I don’t blame them 
for being forgotten

I wish I was in Rocky Top
I could hold on to the edge of this pit
while singing dumbly along

until I could stand no more
 let go and swirl away
Vanish like that band has done

once the song was done

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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