June 23rd, 2011


I went to Charles Shaar Murray's Sixtieth this evening

Blues 4 for Charles
There is a music only old men know
who've had the years to etch their fierce throats
with dark smoke and strong drink, who wear long coats
that fit so well, the shoulders seem to show

each shrug, each pose, as if a spur of bone
had joined them. It's a music made of tears
carving deep valleys, deaths paid in arrears,
the sense that friends go. That you are alone

up on the stage although you have a band
around you, and they're solitary too
held in a net of mood. All that you do
is what the years have made you understand

how sadnesses hold, twine themselves round joys
what life builds in us, each time it destroys.

(no subject)


They stand arms at their sides in the large room
where a last supper happens. Don't intrude
upon the conversation. Someone's nude
or someone weaves a battle on a loom

that she unpicks next day. Not their concern.
They bring in wine, or lobster on a plate.
Mostly they stand around the room and wait
until the hero and his friends adjourn

elsewhere. They can at last go home to bed.
Take leftovers to eat, or give the cat.
Gods, lovers, heroines and clowns have sat
around their table. But inside their head

Diners are diners. Their relationship
is bringing food and getting a large tip