Friday, October 24, 2014

Crazy Rhythm


Django Reinhardt played hot guitar sissoring
Two surviving fingers against the neck perhaps a
Roma homage to the uncanny arithmetic of fire accident
Of subtraction yielding extravagant sums of jazz.

But you’re no Django Reinhardt and I’m no Stéphane Grappelli
Gigging between wars with the Quintette du Hot Club de France
Who never passed through Roseville on a swing through the Rustbelt
But can we agree that “Crazy Rhythm” or “Tiger Rag”

Match the tempo of events the night I severed the tip
Of your finger in the bedroom door blood if not hot
Gypsy blood oozing through Kleenex lights blazing
In every room mom keening all the way to St. John’s 

Dad doing what he did best white knuckling the wheel
Church to Kelly counting backward from 10 Mile to twilight
By the time they turned east on Moross retracing his route to retrieve
Your squib from down low on the jamb lights left blazing

Open throated Chrysler carb inhaling gulps of east side night
Fingering the twist of Kleenex in the pocket of a Pendleton shirt
Wool plaid they last forever who would blame him for wool
Gathering waiting for the light at 8 Mile running toward the emergency

Entrance the way big men run belly out elbows in chin down
But by then you were sedated and asleep nursing an abbreviated
Finger perhaps wincing a little even now on certain chords destined
For guitar if you buy another door opens when one slams shut.  

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