I WOULDN’T SAY REGRET

Staring absently, the waitress
Demurred to evoke words
In reply to what he thought jocose
Signifying his accidental dissonance in most anything not
Music
At the piano
A good part of the day
Notes singing out a pentatonic sequence
Which were the scales’ iteration of their name
In every key
“It’s fun!” he exclaimed
While I sat on the couch that afternoon visit
Not even a song to me or most anybody
It’s why he’s so good
I mean good
Why his accidental dissonance, maybe, in most anything not
Music

He likes to check out music stores
Why wouldn’t he?
“Listen to this lick; it modulates!” he exclaimed,
After he caught my attention
Playing the baby-grand piano upon asking my permission
In the music store I worked at back then
That day we met, that time
When two roads diverged before me
And I took a different road
Than the one we were both traveling by, then

The crowd wasn’t really listening
At the Grand Hotel’s Cupola Bar on Mackinac Island
Chit-chat, chit, chatter, chitter-chatter
Where we renewed our old friendship
It looked to me like the thrill is gone
Nor, I suppose, on the cruise ships how he makes his living now

Everybody’s got to make a buck

Prone to cults, his harmonic dissonance in everything not
Music,
Almost lost him his parents when he was 20 something
Rethinking the Christian cult’s imperative to renounce his family forever
He narrowly escaped
Now I’ve lost him to Q-Anon
Fortunately, he’s not prone to violence
If we stick to music, we can still talk
He recently sent me some interesting altered blues changes
I’m learning them on my new digital B3 organ copy
I’m going to send him a recording when I’ve got the changes down
I can still talk about music with him, though I fear I’ve lost him
But I always knew him to be out there
Scherzoid in most anything not
Music

MOSES, JOE ZAWINUL, ME AND MY MEMORIES

At 6 AM, before I went to bed, music and my memories floated in my mind
My headphones rendered Joe Zawinul’s “A Remark You Made” in amazing
Ecstasy—the live, orchestral version was all clashing, brassy harmonies, sax
And Jaco’s bass didn’t exactly play a soundtrack to memories in my mind’s
Slow wandering and resting—modulating between Joe’s so right harmonies,
And an afternoon at Almont Church Camp transport of tonal modes, moving
Me to holy moods lively, living memories, placing me playing Moses, as if
He had just descended from Mount Sinai and I held aloft two ceramic Tablets
Fabricated by Eric, fired in his own kiln with real Hebrew writing on them
And he wouldn’t let me smash them like the real Moses did and in a loud voice
I proclaimed the Commandments one by one as best I could remember them
On the sandy shore straggled with grass next the pond at Almont Church Camp
Man!  Those harmonies hit it!  Just guiding the tonal flow into the changes
Of Jaco’s heart-rending solo with the brass and sax of “A Remark You Made”
Ending a good night, musing, music, memories, me as Moses with the Tablets
Eric made and five or so children stood in a half-circle staring at who was it
Behind the white cotton beard, robe, standing there holding up two Tablets
Out of words and one of the five or so children guessed me to be that guy
Who sits on the porch afternoons listening to his Walkman, smoking cigars
Usually joined by a teen who didn’t quite fit in and later aspired to be a poet
And I dragged my attention away from the memory, sad that I’d abandoned
The stunning harmonies in “A Remark You Made” the sax, brass, Jaco’s bass
Fading in memories, back, half aware of the pleasant 6 AM before I fell asleep

OUT THERE

What do you do with time

We shared, when we are no longer we

Those memories of us, photos of us

Places we went together

Time when we shared when we were we

 

How does an individual repair trust?

Broken trust, broken heart

What does an individual do with broken love

Innocence lost, admiring, trusting innocence

Echoes of expulsion from the Garden

 

I can hear blues even in The Ode to Joy

Guess I won’t be happy for a while

There is redemption with God,

Peace in religious systems

If feeling better isn’t cheating

 

I try not to get mad at everybody

They have done nothing to me

But from this place, place of downcast dour

I can’t find equanimity, the civil speech

I must maintain with everybody

 

And so I wait in the darkness

Without hope, for hope would be for the wrong thing

Without will, for desire would be misplaced

There is only the waiting and the darkness

Which shall be the darkness of God

A FRIENDSHIP OF

A deepening friendship of

An old acquaintance

Memories of

When we were both starting out

Life

When we were young

Shared memories of

Us starting out

Time apart, away

Much time

Our separate ways

Separate successes, accomplishments

Lives

Renewing

Friendship

Shared memories of

Our home town

Our early life

New memories of

Us in your home city

Doing the town

Visit

New memories of

Experiences, knowledge, collaborations

New friendship of

An old acquaintance

Moments that Make Us Who We Are

I remember that electric slow dance
As I do our trips together
Moments I remember that make us who we are:
Your anger when I left you while I explored Chichen-Itza
The mystic glowing lake we paddled on together that Puerto Rico night
All those airplanes landing in the midnight sky over Miami as we drove home from Key West
Looking up at the base and down from the cliff at Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump
Family, and the luxury resort at Saint Lucia
These are moments that make us who we are
Family dinners on holidays
My growing intelligence as I talk with you
The splash cymbal in the Blind Faith song our finger punctuates, listening to my iPod on the road
Sunday lunches out after I preach
Talk late at night
These are moments that make us what we are

An Olding Man in Key West

I was a young man

Visiting Key West

When first I looked into

Stevens’ “THE IDEA OF ORDER IN KEY WEST.”

I didn’t understand a word of it.

But I was a young intellectual

Being an intellectual

In a place with a literary history

 

In Key West then, there were many young

Old hippies, tradesmen, college students

Partying

 

I came back an holding man

I re-read “THE IDEA OF ORDER IN KEY WEST”

Now I understand much

Most of it

And I am an holding man with

Intellectual inclinations

 

Coming back to Key West

Old memories barely triggered

But after a couple days

I remembered much

 

But in Key West now, there are families

A resort town

Tawdry tourist shops or high end

No local hand-crafts

I don’t see so much partying

But I am holding now,, and don’t party.

 

Though Stevens didn’t think much of Nature

In Key West now

There is the same lush vegetation

Palms, mangroves, tropical brush

And the blue-green sea is the same

The same