damn this heart

a song from 1972
on the radio
in a restaurant
thousands of miles
decades later
from the images
it brings forth
of a smile
those long legs
a dance in candlelight
a faraway look
in eyes
and a bottle of wine
cannot erase
all those years
all those miles
damn the song
damn the ache
damn this heart

on listening to old music

It is no surprise to anyone that music triggers emotions, memories, associations we would either relish or wish to avoid, and I must admit to punishing myself periodically by my choice of CDs I play. I once had over a thousand records and now my CD collection outnumbers that and so often I stare at the shelves without any thought in my head trying to pick something to kickstart the day or put the evening to bed. And this morning, after righting my scooter which was knocked over by the ferocious wind that blows here for the third time in two days, I decided I needed some oldtime memories of a different life, one I often contemplate on returning to in some fashion, and so I turned to the R’s: Tom Rush, Leon Russell, Tom Russell, Linda Ronstadt, and the Stones (that’s in Rolling for anyone who was born in a different universe than me) and, for some unexplained reason, Hall & Oates which was not in the R’s but lying on a bookcase waiting to be slipped into my DVD changer one day. Now that one started off the set which is probably why I went from lacing my coffee with Baileys to shots of Tullamore Dew chased down by ice cold water before the noon hour. Always a bad idea but since I do not work on Mondays anymore and thus have that day off, too, I figured whatever residue of whiskey still floating through my blood stream could not impair my judgment in anything other than deciding what to eat for dinner tomorrow since the broccoli my neighbor bought me yesterday at the open market pretty much handles that decision for today.

Anyway, back to music. These songs, these artists, bring back pictures in my mind, conversations long left unfinished ages ago drifting through what’s left of my memory, and I start dancing, of course, to Delta Lady and now, quite exhausted, the whiskey, you know, does do something to the stamina, but feeling quite conflicted, but not necessarily in a bad way, just in that way that regret mixed with remorse with a touch of satisfaction has on one’s sense of wellbeing. And I finally begin to understand why a certain Chinese poet has been talking to me of late through the centuries and think of Jeff Schwaner who has had similar conversations with a Chinese poet from the same dynasty and though I do not plan to resurrect my soulmate like he did, I have a deeper appreciation of his art, or I should say of their art, and thus have finally made up my mind to accept my comrade-in-arms Randy Signor’s suggestion of a reunion with Jimmy Powell before the three of us go to that darkness that awaits us all, and to take my place once again in the struggle I walked away from, and so will go stand in that wind right after I post this, barechested, barefoot, in just my sweatpants, and dare that creator who has unleashed this wind upon us here in Izmir, Turkey, to try and knock me over if He/She can.

poised before the new year

I would like to have
only good memories
of this day
this time of year
but I just see hospitals
both parents dying
this first month bodes heartache
for me
so I approach January
tentatively
like a door on a house
one fears might be haunted
for ghosts reside here
and though I see candlelight
a woman dancing naked
friends huddled around fondue pots
three floors of live bands
parties with casinos
and people dressed as elves
dinner at the Duck House
a woman in a tuxedo
and fishnet stockings
tap dancing her way
into my heart
there are still those ghosts
hovering
like birds of prey
waiting for another soul
to stumble to fall
in the desert
that is sometimes
life