Tuesday, December 06, 2005

harp

It’s some dark bar
where the band is not so much secondrate as roadburned
and even as it lurches wearily into
some bassthud 12bar gutbucket blues #
the guitarist is still trying to curse the harp player up
from the latest in a long line of beers
so he grabs the ¾-full glass and brings it with him
washing up in front of a scarred Astatic bullet mike
barely in time, reaching back to pull an E harmonica
from the pocket of threadbare levis
and with the swift practice of habit
dunks it in the beer and shakes it off onto the floor monitor
steps up to the spotlight's oval and stutters a spavined backing line
then maybe the beer or something else goes to work
because his glazed eyes flicker
he shakes lank dull blond hair back from his face
pulls the mike off the stand and cups it around the harp
and hits his solo break blowing slow deep moans
and his eyes begin to burn blue through the smokehazed dark
and he closes them and throws back his head to face the ceiling
sways, smiling savage sweet
and wrenches a howl like the wind at the worlds end
from the reedbrass belly of his instrument
vibrating from dark parts of his soul into the light and back
wiring the band and pulling it with him
shaking the crowd of drunks and slumming students
and just-one-after-workers who stayed too long,
juicing them until they can’t sit anymore
then he opens his eyes again and glares down the room
a naked fury wearing an incandescent halo
his stinging music nailing souls to the grimy walls
in the ethanol haze of a guitarscream night
and the drunks tumble home later still shaking their heads
knowing they’ll remember the moment, knowing that they’ve seen
something
even if they don't know the blues.

2 comments:

Fingers said...

The throbbing loud pulse of this verse reveberates.
I understand, the place is one of those, where the factual technological din makes your heartbeats believe, something wonderful is being belted out.

Alas!

What were they singing, Coyote?

coyote said...

Way I remember it, a very fine version of Kansas City. Although it might've been Stormy Monday, too. In fact, something quite wonderful did happen that night, technological din aside. That harp player was the real deal...