COFFEE HOUSE

Way back, I went to one Coffee House
Folk music, acoustic guitar, harpsichord
Hot chocolate, and coffee; dim lights
The only Coffee House I ever went to

            they don’t have them, now

Simon and Garfunkel; Peter, Paul, and Mary
And there was Dylan—Coffee Houses and folk music
Poetic, political, sensitive, intellectual, gently passionate
Or so I hear, but for the one I experienced

            passing away as I came of age

I knew rock concerts in stadia, electric, loud
I went to them when they were underground
(Jethro Tull barely filled the cement floor with folding chairs)
Now rock concerts, rock-stars are mainstream industry

            underground surfacing into pop-culture dominance

Music calling to my youthful intentions heavy and I followed
Bore down on scales, arpeggios, mambos, and fugues
Theory filled my interests; I practiced hours daily in late youth
Until two roads diverged; I divested my passion of full-time art work

            conscious submerging into secret recesses, private

In maturity I must modulate my practice time
Rest and build up piano-specific muscles otherwise unused
Not unlike the arthritis in the great E. Power Biggs’ Bach fingers
My wrists, shoulder, hurt, ribs stiffen

            to replay scales, chords, changes

Modulation of effort’s tonality
Depressing keys, depressing decrepitude
Making music’s exercise caution
Within all this beauty, this duet of body and keystroke

            we all call music in our cultural forms’ venues

I recently checked out a new club
I couldn’t follow any pattern to the loud bass tones
A woman wrapped herself in a flag while singing
A song I couldn’t pick out any real melody: only notes

            looks like things are going that way now

I went in and out of a club
Lights flashing, beats oscillating
I think they call it Techno
Bodies bumping into shots dancing

            Looks like things are going that way now

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