Akua Lezli Hope


Fuel For Beginners For Lisadean - Poem by Akua Lezli Hope

what song did he play
elbow of shadow street lamp
crooklight of dawncool tile
half flight down to echo
angle of horn calling:

'every day brings a new tomorrow'

Caine-bop sang. Caine
young man, axeslinging hick
from chi-town
Boonie in duh Big Mac
as in-tosh, apple not peter
nor donald, young armstrong
not Louis and wonder, not Joe
or mighty but boy
before mutation of hardtime
fastlife, basement chill and
hunger hit his earnest call
that dawn his second day
he played us his unsullied
brash dream
i got a song for you

his broadbacked southern accent
one generation from lost
and sobbing sod
is it cold off crying eye
of monster lake waiting to reclaim
its closer shore, o hawk

tell me
tell me
tell me

what song did he play, my friend,
that made us goose and pimple
told you you'd never like him
made me rock and ride and feed
him later feed him
hear about homegirl who'd loved
but couldn't wait more hunger
wandering for a bluer source.

echoing arc of dinged and handsome
subway tile half flight out of lamplight
into muskyroseelectric of silent
village summernight in

mighty mythic youth past
adolescence but possibly prime

plying pennies as you vamped the
babygrand at the surfmaid
i hawked your wares and not
inconsiderable charms as you
and Caine spat the changes

duelled the ascent
up them Giant Steps:
fuel for beginners

tell me what song did he play
before we lost him and each other
in a step closer to believing
it would be all right
and the music would awaken
the sleeping sweet deity
in every ear's inner chamber

What he played before later:
scowled slicked curled furred
gangster moment of his snarling
return, his 'i'll never play in
smokefilled basements waiting
for a wasting talent to be
drooled over by toothless hags
and fags or scrawled over by
new world blueballs dallying
with license to pen and buttress '
me looking sorry, unpressed

me wishing to play back
that song, if he'd heard it
again, leaping from the mouth
of the cave with the motion
of a thousand errant, fragrant, sturdy wings

all our lives
waiting for a song
we knew to return.


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Read poems about / on: song, sorry, lost, music, friend, dream, world, sleep, believe, change



Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 31, 2005



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