Monday, May 31, 2010

Just Two Turntables and A Son

Scratched in the heat of a Kingston love song,

an introspective bass line so guttural

it sometimes drowns the world out with a rumble,

so I let it listen to the bleed,


Crafted in an instant,

a wriggling demo between two soundtracks

close to their big time

but just couldn’t make it


a coffee-colored mixtape from two records

one you played if you liked your songs

to hit the track drinking,

he was soft rock

on rare Sunday brunches,

the other rocked me to sleep

she was like Al Jerreau in the mornings

time for school was the hook


Never matching each other’s

beats per minute,

they complimented each other

when played together

he sounded like the blues

dipped in a Johnny Walker Black hue

that’s all I knew about him

his favorite drink,

his favorite song,

that famous refrain

from Clapton’s Cocaine

and liner notes filled with excuses


I made an effort to listen

but craved distance


from his lost album

and am afraid to request it,

fearing I'd hear the chords

I'd inherit.


Hers are the songs I'm less

reluctant to spin,

the sounds of cooking against

the din of all the nicknames

and 2-minute tag games,

her chorus some days was Sade

and some days Marc Anthony

sometimes she sang to me


sweet and halting just to make

me smile because she wanted

to see me happy and catchy

like Swedish pop

even when she was sick

from chemical breakdowns


her own lymph nodes sold out

and ended like every Behind the Music

for anyone famous in the 70's,

despite missing her sweet melodies

I still carry them within

proud to be the son of

a black magic woman.

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