Monday, November 30, 2015

poem of the day 11.30.15

i was thinking about nashville
                        --for dan fante

i was thinking about nashville back in 2007
when i was looking for a word or two of wisdom in your emails
something that told me how to survive it
a little tip from the years of hard boozing and bad jobs
some tidbit from those novels and poems
that i sucked up like cheap wine
and you wrote atta boy, atta boy keep going
like blind faith would save and anoint us all
i was suffering in nashville in the grand opulent library
almost nine hundred miles from new york
traveling coast to coast on unsubsidized student loans
and the embers of a savings account
no job prospects no home a future on hold
over a decade out of college and my own sketchy resume
that made me look like a career drifter
but all you could ask me was if i had an editor
and, if so, could i give you his email
i was dying in the library trying to find a cheap hotel in memphis
writing shitty haikus next to budgetary woes
in notebooks that weren’t bound for glory
thinking about the honky tonks on broadway
full of blonde southern women shaking their asses
at men who weren’t concerned with poetic immortality
as i sucked down pabst blue ribbon at layla’s bluegrass inn
feeling less like a gin-pissing-raw-meat-dual-
carburetor-v8-son-of-a-bitch from pittsburgh
and more like a complete failure
with thousands of miles left to go
thinking that if you were still hustling for the word
how in the hell was i going to make it in the writing game?
i was thinking about nashville last night
half drunk on vodka when i heard about you being gone
another shooting star  another outlaw
no longer spitting raw juice on this scorched earth
guts and blood and brain turned into dust
i was thinking about nashville
how bright light builds only to fade away
oh, dan, i think that i was thinking about you.                                              

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