juxtaposed with an unlikely six hour jazz session on a straining static and likely below-the-radar bible-belt FM station and the featureless August midnight blacktop and black backdrop beyond my headlights on route 30 outside of Jonesborough it’s a lonely straight-through stretch from Little Rock to the Texas border just southwest of Hope
even lonely (maybe because of) the jazz stuck in some recess names escape me quiet incessant soft saxbasspianocornettrumpetsnare lowing their mellow walk in my mind’s corner flutter flow flight figure follow satisfied to play and wait sit-in and play to the empty bar save for the one man in the suit and loose tie eyes closed and harmonizing with his thin rocks glass and the sad woman in the midnight blue strapless slow turn and sway and wish heels on the empty dance floor
the jazz stuck as most all things do and the road kept on sunrise caught me somewhere between Hope and the border I read the sign in its lone star largess jazz and dawn aching through
the crazy riff of sage and red-eyed 80 miles per hour
Filed under Poetry, The road
A few classics from back in the day, inspired by music and road trips. And women.
THE AIR ON BOURBON
Her voice was enough to make me
walk in here & I can’t believe
the rose (thorns & all),
her slow anguish in mid-air & the three guys
Sunday suits & that thrumming bass
all in emanation from neon God Damn
what that woman’s doin’ to me.
I stand in the street-brass breeze on the wrong side of town
lifting up-up-up along that shrill trill mid air to drown & man…
that sound squeaks through a mellow lowness—
a low-down that climbs from gutter to kiss soft lips—
a sharp-tongued bird flown
sweet slow wings & my pulse keeps what time it can.
IN BED WITH THE DEVIL
The first time I went I brought a guitar
and an I-don’t-give-a-shit state of mind.
The devil was nothing but the lowest
you could sink to ask a favor of.
I still brought a guitar though.
I still went at midnight.
Sat and played a few chords in the stillness.
When she walked up,
crunching gravel under impossible heels,
she took my guitar in both hands,
frowned and threw it into the darkness of a nearby field.
DRINKING WHISKEY & PLAYING CARDS
IN A JUKE SOUTH OF MEMPHIS
The pot was enough to put
gas in my truck and a meal in my belly—
enough to grab a wink from that fine waitress.
My glass was empty & it was my deal—
five card stud,
I only make it look hard.