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.