Thursday, October 31, 2013

I remember it all

A Life

Here’s the rock and roll memoir  

I’d like to read:

It was loud
I didn’t like Bill
our first drummer

or was he third?

The riffs, I stole  
the words, written
by a callow youth
torment me
to this day like
a swarm of

                                                wet bees

the body of
my obituary
written by interns
at Rolling Stone
lays waiting

for a call

I don’t remember
(in no particular order)

where the name of
the band came from
the outcome
                                                of the lawsuits
what happened
                                                in Dallas
                                                a song cycle about Madame Curie
                                                in ambulances, limos, helicopters
marriage to 
                                                Margaret Trudeau
                                                Burton Cummings, and

if you say we played
Farm Aid twice, well, then
I guess you would know

I can’t piss standing up or
hear a word you’re saying and
my doctor says
we simply must
get a handle on
my liver before
we even begin
to think about

                                                          lungs, but

I’m booked to play
our first three albums
in their entirety
live in February
at the Beacon Theater
with the New York Philharmonic and
our original bassist
Ian somebody
with scheduled interviews
on Fresh Air and Imus and
a concert film

by Jim Jarmusch.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Did Yorick have Blue Cross?


Hamlet for a moment, you pierced my foot
with a gimlet eye, cradled it aloft
in your hands like an ingot of peat, or
door stop yam or maybe a hay stack of
a Dagwood, critical appraisal
shading to a deli lunch of talus, the
pleasing crunch of metatarsal on rye
toeing a big pickle and a side of slaw.
Imagine my relief then, when, pen in
hand instead of fork, you brought me nearly
to tears tickling arch and Achilles
with a birds nest of blue line, Hamlet
once again, explaining, alas, surgical
technique to one jumpy Horatio.   

Monday, October 28, 2013

Warm tone, cold nose

Horn Dog

The album of duets with Willie Nelson
isn’t my favorite, though
there are some interesting moments
in your interpretation of
I Wanna Be Your Dog  
Willie’s idea
I heard you mention to Terry Gross
done live in one take
late one night in Bob Dylan’s Malibu studio
eyes crossed by turns
on your axe, then the vaporizer
“Miles Davis”
you said when asked
to recall your earliest influence.
News to me
when it wasn’t that long ago
I threw a ball and you brought it back
to Louis Armstrong or
Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
smiling around
your fuzzy prize, tail up.
I didn’t think you had the lip, frankly 
with paws like that
I always pictured you draped, panting
over an upright bass.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Breakfast recommendation

Washroom at the Bourgeoisie Pig

Sometimes when I’m out of town, alone
in some restroom smack dab
in the middle of nowhere, or
occupied behind the locked door
of a big city washroom
hot and cold spigots preaching
sermons of rust to an enameled sink
waist high in ancient wainscot
sunlight by faith alone
transcending one small sash window
stained dumb with alluvial grime  
upturned face pale in watery adoration
The Great Hive humming
just the other side of the old tympanic
membrane of a door, I flush
with the not altogether unpleasant feeling
of hiding from a fitful world, or
maybe more to the point
that the dogged world has suddenly dropped
everything to look for me
a spell easily broken by three sharp raps and
nagging guilt from my failure
to follow posted hand washing protocols.
I settle on
dark roast coffee
the breakfast bowl and a heaping
side of disappointment to find out the world
(in a hurry as usual)
has already come and gone
(espresso to go and a bear claw)
without once inquiring after my whereabouts.