Abaft the Blues Fest

Red-orange earworms admonish taptoo! fashion,
now clear the drum is an old, beat suitcase
rigged with foot pedal, and, too, there they are,
tin bells on his curled toes, as literal as pencil lead,
as calloused as an oak pew hymnal.

Lavender fresh, she sang at Hop’s Hootenanny,
sipped mint juleps from a food cart pulled
by a calico cat in zither shade by a stream
under an old willow, but the bell pull string broke
under the weight of his monolog cartogram.

On top of it, academic aristocracy whizzed
by dressed in pressed berets and scholarly drafts –
what difference they followed the leader or not?
Collectors yodeled passwords, unlocking a juke joint,
and raspberry chords popped up oily fishes.

No need now to call placid plumber, three blue
hydrangeas wilting in bath humid heat,
down by the river, down by the wash,
down by the singing and the top posh posts
written with plush plumes of lacks and noods.

Safe sound spillway falls, noise overflows,
ears carp and loud lips cop bad press,
but dolce glissando this urgently close still
makes some sense, and at the first aid tent
they polish their moonstone eyes.

Paste fast food milk turns cast iron sour,
and butter curdles her chlorine-yellow hair
as they stuff bitter newspapers with trust,
dogpaddling thru pull duck old cobwebs,
but empty, golden juke boxes near finish him.

On Line 15 on the way back home, the night
quietly spinning, the river sparkling crinkly
as the bus crosses the Hawthorne Bridge,
a lone accordion pulls and lulls images only
understood asleep or listening to music.


  1. Lisa Groves says:

    i dig your sound, man.


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Ain’t that somethin’? !Hey, Lisa! We’re havin’ a heat wave. How ’bout you? You would have dug the blues fest. Saw Boz Scaggs, Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys, but the highlight? This guy: Leo ‘Bud’ Welch, the real deal. Talked with him a few minutes before his small stage set. Check it out. “Somebody Touched Me.”


  2. bristlehound says:

    The drive home must have been pretty foggy in that old gas-guzzler?
    Sounds like you were trailing a load of grass clippings, all well secured and ready for the dump?
    That BMW that wizzed by could well have been the owner of the local cheese factory?
    Methinks a little too much fun beheld at the local.B


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Hey, B. … Line 15 is a local bus line. It features in a few of the posts at the Toads. Here’s one you might enjoy as winter comes your way – talk about fun!


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