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the long way around

The living room is a forest of mic stands and cables. A cup of coffee, a large glass of water and a shallow shot of whiskey sit on the tiny white table. I alternate between them, making sure the guitar is in tune, trying to understand if the chair will creak when I lean my head back on the second chorus.  There is a hush in the room. I can hear my own heartbeat. The lyrics are printed out on a fresh piece of paper, large and thick so I can read them easily even though I sing with my eyes closed and will surely forget a handful of words no matter what I do.

The guitar sounds dry, perfect - even honest. I can play a simple D chord with a long strum, or the side of my thumb and it sounds so different. I record a few takes, barefoot in the bright room. I am going too fast in some parts, and my fingers are already sore from the chord changes.

And then all at once, I am thinking of a show I played in an old factory in Brooklyn, way back when I had just started writing songs almost twenty y…

from plastic cups

I’ve been drinking with the guards again, from plastic cups. There were tiny blue plums from their summer house, soft and mealy. There were meat pies and cucumbers, arranged carefully on paper plates.

I take a long walk home in the dark, across a river. A warm wind begins to blow.

It’s been an impossible few weeks. Living on the rubles in my pocket, staring at the full moon. A plant is dying in my office. I talk to it every day, as more leaves fall quietly to the windowsill.

Winter is coming already. I can feel the warm wet windows, and the pale grey sidewalk. I can see the first snow coming one night. Just a light dusting. Not enough to sled in, or roll into a snowman.

That will come later, after New Year’s Eve.

Comments

brenda said…
my god. m. so poignant and hauntingly beautiful and alive, these meditations on aloneness and love for a child and the coming snows. i've missed you. and am so so sorry it took me so long to catch up. tough times, here, too. which makes for too small and selfish a world. don't stop. i love reading you.

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