Bessie Smith and the Pretty Kitties

(Michael Ondaatje vs. alicia sometimes)

At first she refused to sing. But here she was. A long brown dress, with fringes. Fred Longshaw at the piano.

I slip by the mike, throw trashed words into laps.
my bass is chalk. the dearth of the carpet shows,
especially on the sad ones with grenade smiles.

She wore wings. They raised themselves with her arms each time she coaxed a phrase. The feathers black as the Steinway. You should have been there.

my words are mint. the cigarettes heckle for space.
I’m lost for stage wit. more porn dancing
in the corners and record men with old pens.
when the chorus comes I’m found out like a junkie.

When she returned she brought out the band. They were glad to have arrived on Earth, but they too had hoped for Havana. By midnight her voice was even better. She talked more between songs.

counting the heads. how many have the potential to love me?
too many shoes have been used as belts. this ending is pastry.
the feedback is messing with my encore.

We stood like sudden wheat.

I wait for the rider so I can give it to someone else

But she could not hear us.

this isn’t poetry

She could not see us

but it’s too wet for rock ‘n’ roll

Then she died again.

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About

Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

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Posted in i would like to recommend these people's writing, lines I wish I'd written, new poems, new ways to procrastinate

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ta-wit-ta-woo
Quelle Grammage!
only a fan of 2/3s of the folk in this pic but mesmerised by the story @angustrumble relates below it. . . . I watched last evening’s general election coverage (ABC, natch) in the company of a high Commonwealth official, among others in an undisclosed location, whose name, it soon emerged, may not appear on the electoral roll for reasons of national security. I confess that gave me a bit of a thrill. Canberra: Bless! However, it was also fascinating, extraordinary, in due course to witness that person’s several mobile phones evidently going bonkers, and the measured plans, contingencies, forecasts, blue books of an entire federal bureaucracy duly (one presumed) shredded, turned upside down, just like that. Nothing at all was said, I should emphasise. One simply observed the body language, which was moderately graphic. Whichever way you look at it, this has been an astounding personal victory for Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He believes in miracles, the sexy thing. Pre-polling methodologies in this country, meanwhile, have quite obviously met with serial unforced error on a colossal, epic scale. Who would ever pay them good money again? On my way home, I collided with the (ex-)campaign manager of one of the independent ACT Senate candidates who was alone, drunk and in despair. The campaign manager, that is, not the candidate. This was at about half past eleven on the corner of Jardine and Eyre Streets in Kingston, right next to the rubbish tin, you know, the rectangular green one. He told me he wanted to burn everything down, which was worrying enough, but then he suddenly hurled his mobile phone into the gutter—smashed it to bits—and staggered off into the night. I found myself wondering: Who would touch politics with a barge pole? I should add that this frightening encounter left me, literally, picking up his bits and bobs, then dutifully popping them in the bin. Responsible, me. Back home, I had a cuppa and played patience. I’m not kidding. . . . #Repost @angustrumble with @make_repost
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Thursday morning tableau
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