Monday, October 24, 2011

Big Guitar Blues

Big Guitar Blues

   Inspired by three works of art (assemblage and acrylic paint) by Becky Frehse:  
Col Legno Battuto, Divisi á Due, and Playing By Heart (2010)

An old guitar enlarges, disrupts my evening, goes
through the roof, and multiplies its frets on up. I fetch
a step-ladder and start climbing between the d
and f strings. In night-air soon wind strums strings
and they buzz me to my bones. It doesn’t take long
to climb past that circular cave-mouth (weird echoes)
and get  too high—nice view of city lights: I feel
as if  I had to mention  that. Knuckles numb,

I start to hum a song I think the strings imply,
as now I hear all six and keep on climbing. Where
does this neck end? Won’t neighbors have reported
this by now? Mist has wetted frets. I slip, barely
hook my elbow on the pipe-sized string, recover.

I’m old, cold, and tired. Now one by one, each string
groans like a different-voiced, mournful beast. Somewhere
in clouds, some picker’s  tuning up. O man, O woman,
I got me some of them gargantuan guitar blues,
and I got my slippers on, not shoes.

Hans Ostrom 2011
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