Written by Jimmy Duke on Friday 28th October 2011 9:10 pm
Typically, usually, you locate a feature
Around the eyes, or the shoulders
Or something familiar in the grin.
But sometimes, the resemblance is so stark, and genetic
That it courts a sense of longing
For a life that you now know in fits and spurts.
Selective memory with all the misgivings of a rail trestle
A drainage ditch. A certain way you breathed
When you were sick with fever, or engulfed with a lyric or scent of breeze.
In autumn, I feel it. Sharp. More so than usual.
That tinge of guilt. That lust for the years gone past.
The spines of books and rock and roll legends
Marching in creased sequence
Their metaphors no longer bright, and softly edged with stumbling realization
Their wit, undercut.
The band, the sound, the recognition of age and the game of catch-up.
The black hole that is responsibility, tangled and unforgiving
Despite your push and conscious shove.
There was a time when time stood still.
I did not have an appetite, nor a metric.
It bled like all openness bleeds, but without fear of scars or re-entry.
I remember their faces, and their lack of cause.
I remember their living, and forced pause.
The fear of a fence, the tug of the pen.
It all blossomed freely, way back when.
And now in its shadow, there is dramatic attempt
To reconcile youth, and the years now spent.
I tied shoes for the first time.
Read books for the hundredth.
Wrote songs for a birthday.
Stroked heads of brethren.
I have outgrown myself, have outgrown ideas.
Tossed visions aside, and forsaken to kneel.
And with a lopsided rhyme, and a heart of mid-age
I still wonder sometimes
Will we grow, thus, uncaged.
Written by Jimmy Duke on Tuesday 21st December 2010 10:00 pm
Written by Jimmy Duke on Tuesday 21st December 2010 8:46 pm
Written by Jimmy Duke on Tuesday 6th July 2010 7:34 pm
So Says Emily Dickinson
The bottom of the mind is lined with stones
So says Emily Dickinson -
But not in those exact words. I’m sure I have misquoted.
But what of that notion, or this particular mason.
I picture a cartoonish, purple and rigid landscape
Covered in haphazard rocks
Some sharp, some smooth; others dull and blunt.
And that makes some sense (to me).
The sharp are the brief if overindulged moments of brilliance.
The smooth, our conscious awareness of shortcomings and routine
And the dull and blunt - our mistakes in judgement
That refuse to budge - like round fighting square.
I can’t find that epileptic, dash-ridden flare
That skipped gloomily through her meter
But it’s good to pin your doubt to something firm and fastened
Even if your revelation eventually slips through the cracks
And the foundation crumbles and loses a mutual footing.
It’s not so sophisticated as all that.
A poet needs (demands) an outlet for speculation.
But being neither poet or vocational builder of podiums
I simply felt a teasing tug -
So cunning in its bedrock of metaphor
The bottom of the mind is lined with stones
I would have followed with:
Their weight is all consuming.
Written by Jimmy Duke on Monday 14th June 2010 7:48 pm
Reasons to support independent artists
they have day jobs
sweat is their equity
they write lines like the “color of your bones were yellowed by the sun”
it tends to get lonely
you can count on them to try and please you
with the exception of funerals, they are uncomfortable in ties
their constitution is stronger than you might think
they can rhyme words that have more than one syllable
higher education is a fly-by-the-seat of your pants endeavor
they make intangible sacrifices
independent artists are not married to a single perspective
you could wake up one morning and discover something you didn’t know existed
they see in black, white and color
they tend to wear wife-beater t-shirts
they are fiercely loyal to their significant other
they have kids that think the world of them before they know differently
they tend to be dreamers and generally naive
they are unpredictable
they have fiscally demanding vices
independent artists are role models in their own respect
they are dedicated to a craft that has no obligation to give back
they have spent the night in a car without an alternative
they write on random pieces of paper that are not bar napkins
a crowd is a crowd
dancing makes them proud
their arrogance is really insecurity, veiled in hope
they’ve looked at music, writing, painting, drawing and what have you from dark to light
their memory is short-lived
they see their craft as a cause; not a means to an end
they often have that skinny, muscular look that will make you think twice about ralph lauren-clad conformists
their dogs are mutts because they identify with being unwanted and dispensable
they don’t understand the word no
there is no such thing as making a fool of yourself
they tied her to a tree with a skinny millionaire
they need you as much as you need them