Old Junk and Past Ramblings, Part 1

Kind of a cop-out post, something I ran across today from awhile back. I have something else in mind, but it’s not quite cooked yet.



the singer stomps a square-toed
boot his hair moussed skyward clear
voice trembling roaring at the mic stand
tilted eyes squeezed shut and straining
to the words the lead guitarist’s scalp
gleams purple thin goatee and lip-ringed
snarl his red ax riding lean and leathered
thighs the bassist holds his five-string
like a second member pigtails whirling
round his ears the drummer smashes
cymbals with abandon four limbs churning
thunderheads beneath electric blue distortion

and then the set is over making way for who
the people came to see outside the
crowd sounds less somehow the knot of people
at the gate a clear devout minority his voice
is clear but quiet now he thanks them
signing shaking hands the drummer
handles questions softly lest they
break the bald guitarist hangs a leather
jacket from his shrunken shoulders looking
tired the bassist stands removed and eyes
the door and then a silence as somewhere
beyond the wall the crowd erupts

j thorp
01 feb 02


I used to get handle media when student groups would bring musical acts to campus. Stood right in front of the stage, behind the “security,” even. Looking up from the floor, even a second-rate band looks larger than life. Get ’em out in the light, though, and they shrink somehow …

5 thoughts on “Old Junk and Past Ramblings, Part 1

  1. I just can't figure out why you break your lines like they do. Seems like it would make more sense if each line was a thought or something. Makes it hard for an old cowboy to understand. Is that the purpose?


  2. Okay — in this case, I was trying to capture the disorienting nature of a rock show — manic energy/strobe lights/everything blurring together. Thus everything blurs together in the first stanza.

    I'm not sure I should've stayed with it in the second stanza, because you're outside the show now — on the other hand, if you've ever emerged from a dark arena during a rock concert and stepped in the the light and (relative) quiet outside, it's quiet disorienting — and then seeing these smaller-than-life guys when your ears are still ringing …

    Shoot, Jinglebob — I was experimenting. I like to try stuff out. What I like most are the images …


  3. I tried breaking the lines where they “should” last night, and didn't like it. I like that the action and the lines blend together in the original. Who's looking tired: the guitarist or the bassist? (Probably both.) Is the drummer worried the fans' questions might break the bald guitarist? Maybe!

    Six different people would have six different impressions of the show and the scene afterward. The fans saw four rock stars and wanted their autographs. I saw four shy and tired guys who just got off work …


  4. Okay, now it makes sense. Sorry, I am just not hip enough to figure most of this stuff out. Hank Real Bird is a Crow indian who does some stuff like this. It never made sense until a guy told me each line was a snapshot. Watch it like a show. Then it all made sense.


  5. That's cool; I'll have to check him out. But I'm still not sure this is any good — I know why I wrote it this way, but even I don't think it works completely.

    If I've done my job, I shouldn't have to explain, should I? What is a poem, anyway? >:- )


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