Friday, September 02, 2016
This is a rough draft.
At sixteen eye was
the Prince of air guitar,
a lavender shimmer birthed
by a purple beacon
and nothing was real except
your half-laced fingers on six strings—
which would not be boxed in.
Suppose heart as an empty room,
a kind of wooden box.
In the wooden box
U then called home
there was Our Father’s piano,
forbidden as anything in Leviticus,
still U were bold enough to plink
its ivory keys while he was away.
Until he left like a Gypsy moth
in the cruelest month.
Before U were mine “Skipper”
U were 12 years old
and neither boy nor girl,
doe-eyed under the halo of an Afro
and crying to be allowed
to return home from a phone booth,
which is not a wooden box,
even in the dying northern light,
especially since it lacks
the sound sculpture of pianos,
even a piano warped
by the purposed rain of memory.
And to be denied,
to sleep on an Aunt’s couch
or in Bernadette’s basement and hear
Louisiana tease your tongue
like a bigger kid on the playground
and hear that all soul-sounds
even the bass below,
can be guitar-sounds
because guitars are wooden boxes
with tuneable strings
on which the Grand Progression
could one day mean your dovely strut
up the ladder of the charts.
There is the missing kiss
of your mother to sing of.
How she tried to satisfy herself
in the arms of another man,
her hair falling down
and her heels rising up.
Does down elevate up or up elevate down,
this question ping-pongs
into the paisley swirled sky,
No matter. Baby, you're a Star!
Grand Marshal of a parade of women,
all that applause drowning out
the insomniac feedback of night.
A sound round as counterfeit Vicodin,
a hurt that craves the 24 keys of dawn.
Neither cocaine nor cold coffee
can hide the soft hammers
of the blue piano on your strings
but now U are an ocean of violets in bloom,
marshaled and amped up
because aren't amps boxes too?
U are amped louder and louder
into Jimi’s rising heir,
portrait of the Artist purple as paradox—
desire hums around your head,
bathes U in a sonic scent,
an untongueable symbol being brushed,
the most Beautiful One,
eyes lined with dark longing
until Daddy’s black piano
becomes a mere wooden box of air
on an elevated stage,
although not the way
an elevator may sometimes
be a wooden box.
The paisley stage is empty now.
Filled with an air of Cloud guitar
the stage is dear and dearly beloved.
The only home
U could always return to.
Eye never wanted U 2 be
my beacon, or lover.
Eye only wanted 2 be
some kind of friend.