B Flat Minor Seventh Flat Five

a sharp as brittle as glass Susan and Lisa Above Refugio
spikes strikes oiled wood
tie the ground below
a rose bubbled bottle

easy flats as surf foams
loosen smiles and sea
splashes rock dome
circled cutwater

as soft as flurry breeze
whistles and leaves
as hushed as memory
conjurors breathe

as down inside the chord
fingers fasten figure
for suggestions
in fretted spaces

as sluice and mosey walk
the line above the ocean
in single lens reflex
in frame free accord


  1. bristlehound says:

    I kept a close look at this heart of mine while reading this. I kept my eyes wide open also. Because it’s fine I may also walk the line. I’ll see how it goes ! B

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Great comment, B. You can’t go too far wrong, walkin’ down the line.

      1. bristlehound says:

        Ah! The line in the sand, the line crossed and perhaps the line too far. I gird my lines for the unfolding path for as the line king my fate is sold. The line sleeps.B

        1. Joe Linker says:

          The line sleeps tonight, one toke over the line.

  2. I like the melody of this poem, and … easy flats as surf foams
    loosen smiles and sea … accords with my senses.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      The poem was a challenge I could not resolve and I abandoned it but didn’t want to toss it. The photo shows the chord, the feet placed in the frame of the ties like fingers on a guitar fretboard in the shape of an inside chord, almost a shape of a m7b5, one of my favorite guitar chords (the poem begins “a sharp,” the same note as B flat, depending on if you’re walking north or south). There is a trestle built over the Refugio River (a creek most of the year) and entrance to the campground on the ocean cove called Refugio, about 26 miles north of Santa Barbara. The track area was not easily accessible to walkers or hikers, and we never knew the train schedules. A train or two would roar across the trestle every night, shaking the campground. Wonderful noise crescendo and decrescendo. In those days, guitars would provide the only evening entertainment as the surfers came out of the water and the sun went down and the open fires glowed like roses and maybe there was a card game and kids’ games and later walks down to the beach and along the cove in either direction and in the middle of the night you could hear the waves breaking and splashing water rising and falling. So the poem tries to bring all this together, the chord and music, the train track as fretboard, the shape of the legs and feet the fingers in the shape of the guitar chord (which, btw, in poem’s logic, is probably a Maj9b5, which is one reason the fingers might be asking for suggestions), the lines of the rails the strings of the guitar the lines of the poem, the memory of it all, and the song of the actual sounds of the place, and the walking the line as purposeless and therefore as valuable as poetry.

      1. Lisa Groves says:

        yeah, it’s like that! i love it.

        1. Joe Linker says:

          Hey, thx – it was like that! perfect comment, and thx for the pic! Here’s to a sluice and mosey day sometime soon.

  3. I thought I was missing something, not that it took away from enjoying the poem. I got the mood. My ex http://palmguitars.com/ would have lifted the meaning, he plays anything with strings.
    For laypeople, terms like fretboard and chord would help. The lines … tie the ground below a rose bubbled bottle … are possibly too mysterious.
    Rich memories…. open fires glowed like roses … I remember fires like that, in another place.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Probably need a comma after “tie.” But all that summary in my comment is just how the poem came to be written, not that it is the poem, so yes, readers will find something to enjoy if they are open to poetry. Have checked out Palm Guitars. Most cool. Thanks for reading and comments. More rain. Need more sun poems.

  4. writeamy says:

    very vivid imagery that conjures up a lot of emotions.

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