Poem #63

Walk of fame music festival
in the Gennett Gorge,
Eighth of September 2012

I.

Rain remained.
No one knew if its crone of clouds
could cave (to confer
even one bleached brother of brightness).

We were supposed to celebrate and to share
spools of sound.

We, the young people excused from halls of lectures,
their elder educators, or keen collectors,

were fortunate for a friendly foundation
to feature this fair.
Yet, the weather meant to
bully any fervent for a festival.

II.

Uncle Ron drives us
to my Grandma’s.

We take Hub Etchison parkway,

which, for me, is not remembered
for the legendary leader
of high school pig skins
my father idolizes over our male bonding,
purchasing for me a popcorn and a coke.

When walking by the football field,
you might see a cantankerous coach
directing his drills at students,
yet he sees it as solidifying soldiers,
preparing pencil jerks for battles
with other stumped students, their rivals,

who have long since forgotten
the goal of a game
in a cocktail of concussions:
for fun.

No, by this road,
where November snowed,
I turned from Dad’s alma mater
to a factory on fire.

When I said, “What a shame…”
(to see history of a town in such a state of flame),
my uncle was quick with his harsh reply,
“Good riddance to vagrants”

For me, so squared by his reply into silence,
it was more than a boarding house for bums,
where the Gennett stack still stood,
but delivering a different smoke to the sky.

III.

Was it German immigrants that whittled the wood,
which would house the hammers of strings
(tied into eighty-eight white and black keys)
that make rhythms good?

Germans interest me, in my maternal Hahn heritage.
You see their architecture in little brick haunts of homes.
I was fascinated with factoids from history, when eleven.
Upon that year’s field trip to the county museum,
we were told, upon Gennett pianos, “There’s no where to put them.”
The traveling instruments saw the world and returned
to this place of origin as clutter. This is what I learned.

After watching the remnants of the roaring twenties tank in orange and red,
this child cried many nightmares, winter after winter,
unsure of where the pianos would go.
He wrote a letter (later printed in the local newspaper),
suggesting a model for a monumental park.

IV.

Underneath a shelter of a recording studio,
blues light up a red indicator on a tube-filled amp, warming up.

 

 

 

 

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