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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…

tiny movements

A midnight snow, now slush
and the women clicking on high heeled
boots clutching umbrellas
the workers pushing
makeshift, plywood
shovels, and great brown
puddles back and
forth.
Me, clean shaven
working with the lights
off, sipping the first coffee
in a week. Some sweet
bread
and people to call
meetings to hustle to, waving my hands
around, hoping things translate
hoping these guys really have money to spend
not just half-baked questions
like last time.
Ah, remember to take those
vitamins, remember to set the
right time on my watch
remember that some things
get solved by ignoring them
remember that there is nothing
better in the world than
a guitar with new strings, or a
Sunday night lasagne
or the snow that just fell as I
wrote this, as the smell of
a woman's hair, as money found
in pockets of never-worn coats
as my daughter's tiny
movements
as she sleeps.

Comments

brenda said…
Life happens when you're not looking. Just made that up, M. But it seems appropriate. Wooden shovels?? Your fresh snow. I can feel it. and ah yes, hoping clients have money not half baked questions. I live there.

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