Wednesday, April 1, 2015

poem of the day 04.01.15

the drum teacher

had me as his first student
at nine in the morning
after a friday night of gigging

his eyes were bloodshot when they were open
and he smelt of cigarettes and beer
which made me think of my grandfather

he never took off his newsboy cap
and his ginger goatee always had egg in it

when he asked me
why i wanted to learn how to play the drums
and i said, because of micky dolenz
he said, awwww, man, then slumped into his seat

the drum teacher had me do beats
on this piece of shit kit in a cramped room

i did fourths, eighths, sixteenths, whatever

when i stopped drumming
the man was still bobbing his head with his eyes closed
saying, yeah, man, yeah
to some great gig in his mind

i let him ride out the fantasy
thinking that this wasn’t anything like being on the monkees

the drum teacher excused himself a lot
maybe three or four time in an hour

he told me to hit the skins while he was gone
but i just sat there thinking about all of the girls
who would like me when i could play

i should’ve been out in the cold
jogging my fat ass down a size or three

the drum teacher sold me a pad and two sticks
so that i could practice at home during the week

i tried it once or twice
but the pad mostly sat on the floor
and the sticks, my brother and i used to sword fight with

i watched the monkees on rerun instead

the last time i went for a lesson
the old man and i sat in the car, waiting

we saw the drum teacher come staggering down the street

christ, my old man said,
he looks like some of the guys i used to loaf with,
as the drum teacher tried opening a door to the wrong store

he shouted, fuck it, before going to get a cup of coffee

i think i want to quit, i said
me who’d quit baseball, football and pretty much everything else

usually my old man rode me
for wasting money that we didn’t have
for not following through

but as the drum teacher came out of the coffee shop
trying the wrong damn door again
shaking it and shaking it with a passion
he’d never exhibited in two months of lesson

my old man just nodded
and turned on the ignition

and we waited for our old car to warm up
as the drum teacher stood waiting
for the wrong store to open

fumbling in the cold to light a bent cigarette


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