Tuesday, July 14, 2009

poem of the day 07.14.09

lessons from a master

this sandy beach
those girls in small brown bikinis
playing volleyball near
the surf
this seaside bar
full of pictures from the 19th century
and over-priced beer.
we’ve been sitting here
for two hours
sucking at bud lights
and smelling the fried clams
while the elf sitting next to us
talks to himself
and nurses a draft
keeps getting up to play
the same five songs on the jukebox
aretha franklin’s “freeway”
louis prima
petula clark
the bird is the word, man.
he had everyone dancing at first
moving their heads
lightly tapping their bottles
against the bar
he was the musical madman of the joint
playing everything we all wanted
to hear.
people smiled
and winked at him
but come the third round
of the same songs
the place started to thin out
sick of aretha
and sinatra and all of the rest
but the elf just sat there taking in the music
singing as loud
as he could
as seat after seat cleared
he just sat there laughing
this four-foot tall genius
an unsung master
the best i’d ever seen
at clearing out a room.

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