Late Nights and American Muses


All by your lonesome waiting for the clock to strike at the midnight hour wondering, why? Why not sleep? You’re too tired to get up and too busy to stop thinking about it, so why not talk to yourself instead? The bottle of cheap red wine you bought at the Russian liquor store down the street that you’ve been drinking out of won’t save you now. No matter what happens you’ll still be a transplanted white suburbanite from half way across this broken dreamland misplaced like a peanut in a bag of skittles.

You were born in the country but never lived there. Yours is a world of fluorescent lights and store bought goods. Stand there tomorrow at your stove-top and contemplate the universe contained in the thin shell of the free-range chicken egg. Whirl your self into a frenzy and be mystified over Nina Simone and the wonder that is a halved grapefruit in sunlight. But for now in the waning minutes of this day, pinewood dust, the same color as your pale skin, is littered across your new apartment floor and arms sore from cross cutting on the miter box for what felt like the same time it took to grow the once majestic tree rests now neatly at your feet like fresh snow on Christmas morning.

Charlie Parker fills your mood of discontent over 11:57. Solo to a new low and swing back up into an early morning serenade but don’t forget to slow dance with your dreams on full moon beams streaming in like mp3 downloads off the worldwide void. Boom. The clock hath stricken and thy still awake.

Crash! The sound of beer bottles cluttered. Let’s dance together. Labor Day. Living a Labor Day life. This is your life.

There is no poetry that could encircle the slide guitar notes of Robert Johnson singing his tune about life in this great big American party.

You stand at a crossroads and look East and West. What’s it going to be junior?


Mind up in a bind while trying to find a piece to the pie. “Can I get a regular slice?”, two dollars and fifty cents to happiness, why not? Get it while you can. Keep it moving over hot sauce and fresh basil. Belly full dig deeper into the bottom of that bottle and find the ancient wisdom of old sages in fermented harmony with the universe. Roll back the kind wishes and start saving them for rainy days in this autumn season. They say winter will be cold and the women are covering up their toes in leather shoes and boots. Combat operations commence on the rainy days sure to come. It’s the end of summer-skirts, as overcast skies roll on till Spring.


Kick back Jack with that old indigo mood on parade. It’s just a smooth brush stroke or two to the point of being happy or not so make it happen kiddo. With the sweet taste of Mexican beer on my lips I listen to Mississippi John Hurt wound me in gentle song. He had the softest touch of all of them combined. He could kill a man with his delicate old hands on that guitar. We all have to walk that lonesome valley our selves. It’s just that when I started I took along with me a bunch of stuff to schlep for the trip to keep me occupied. I got a harmonica in one hand, a beer in the other, and I’m toting a wagon filled with a case of Tennessee whiskey, paint, and a wet canvas that won’t leave me the hell alone. Now if I'd a only brought some ice.

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