guitar

ALMOST EIGHTEEN WITH HENDRIX & MANTRAS FROM THE BEAT POETS

(A Lengthy Memoir for Family and Interested Friends)

*Scroll down for YouTube Video

Well-meaning promises girlfriends make

When almost eighteen

Trip to Greenwich Village

Four dollars a night room

Oozing weed, house on fire

Herbs inspire

We vowed

To stay together

When meeting guys

If one doesn’t like hers

Move on to the next

Together…

 

Seemed like thousands of hippies

In search of the music

(and weed)

(and sex)

Took over the streets of

MacDougal and Bleecker

Almost eighteen

Lovely lasses, although

I wouldn’t realize that until

Reaching old age

Two guys hitting on us

Not sure if we used that expression

Back then

I liked mine, she didn’t, moved on

Another two guys

Same thing

 

 

She liked the third pair

But I didn’t

Sorry, says she, I want him

Hated his friend

I just wasn’t existential enough

To like someone who bluntly said,

“I want to f*ck you”

Come on man, I think

Lie a little

Reach into your bag of romantic words

Say you can really love me, or something

Because the truth is

I’m a virgin at almost eighteen

 

 

We’re now at the Café Wha

Begging her, saying, “You promised”

“Oh please,” says she, “I think he’s the one.

Go find another, the place is crawling with guys”

Walking around alone

Meeting interesting possibilities

Watching a band set up

Black man with electric guitar

Electric guitar?

Isn’t this a folk music club?

What?

Or should I say

Wha?

 

He twangs

We roll our eyes

Continue talking

Noise level bursting

My not-known-at-the-time

Autistic brain

But suddenly

The guitar

The voice

OMG, I mean, Groovy

Fog of silence muffles the audience

Only the voice

Only the guitar

“What’s his name?” I whisper

To the enthralled guy next to me

“Hendrix, the sign outside said,

Jimi Hendrix”

Heaven must have sent you from above

Jimi Hendrix…

 

So then the set is over

And I just want to be alone

With my thoughts

And the electric sound

That I swore I’d never listen to

Again

I leave the Café Wha

Never understanding left from right

Find myself on the edge of

The Bowery

An Edward Hopper Nighthawkish

Coffee shop

Not hip like a coffee house

Counter the only place to

Drink stale, black coffee

Wow, I think

Looking around

Everyone is male

Everyone is beaten down

Hazed in alcoholic poverty

Can’t even claim to hear

The Beatles singing

“All the lonely people”

Because they’re still singing

“Yeah, yeah, yeah songs”

That’s how long ago it was

 

 

Eyes drawn to the window

Neon-lit sign

Backwards, blinking

Holy sh*t! my mind exclaims

Bickford’s!

I’m sinking all night

In submarine light

At Bickford’s

Paraphrase of Ginsberg’s Howl

Is it my karma to relive

All the sad songs and poetry

Of the universe…?

 

 

Outside again, lost in the dark

But manage to find

Fourteenth Street & Seventh Avenue

Roaches on the walls

Lonely weed smoke in the halls

Shove my stuff into a duffle

Leave a note for the friend

Manage to find the subway

After a conversation with, I’m sure,

A serial killer who wants to take me home

Three in the morning

Subway roaring

Greyhound Terminal

(didn’t Ginsberg write a poem about that too?)

Two hours later

A new dawn in Philly

Just another day in the life of

A lonely teenager…

 

(for a continuation, see my poem Screw You Universe written previously)  https://poeturja.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/screw-you-universe-another-memoir-apology/

 

 

YouTube video (this song not recorded until 2 years after the action of the poem but I like the Hendrix-Dylan mix)  https://youtu.be/TLV4_xaYynY

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Café Wha 1966 NY Daily News

 

 

 

CAJUNED IN PHILLY

*scroll down for a BeauSoleil youtube video*

Last night I wandered into
A YouTube video
Or so I believed
Hometown visit from
The quiet of my Florida swamp
To the screeching insanity
Of the city I love
Straddling the past littered with ghosts
And an unknown future
Metaphored by vultures
Surfing the air currents
So the evening in World Cafe
Was already a bit unreal
Learned that videos are
A poor substitute for reality
Learned that the moon
Isn’t the only celestial magic wand
Learned that the sun not only
Bestows life to listeners
But also radiates its own
Energy
Via voice, violin, guitar, percussion
Live music
Palpable magic spell
Weaving words and melody so well
BeauSoleil creating its own place
Shining between time and space
As I willingly drifted
In their musical embrace…


(c) 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Image: BeauSoleil Avec Michael Doucet

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB DYLAN

 

 

DYLAN’S FIRE AND WATER CHANGING EARTH

 

*Scroll down to hear a YouTube video of Hattie Carroll by Bob Dylan*

 

The first time hearing

“The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”

Scattering his words across my enraged soul

Shoved by the force of the tidal wave

Engulfed in a musical swelling

All went dark

Only Dylan in a spotlight

Dylan, a light diffuser,

As the lyrics gushed

In a pinpointing geyser

Soaking me

Sixteen soon

Guiding me

Down a one-way path

That would last a lifetime

On a search for misplaced justice…

 

© 2015, 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Poetic Alchemy: Talking Blues

 

https://youtu.be/1jiYVUU1RXQ The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, Bob Dylan

MAJA

Came to the club in search of music

Hoping you would fling your magic

Into the stale air of the crowded basement

People squeezed into tables squeezed into spaces

And I would be hit by the wit of your mind

Enabling me to once again write…

Strumming and plucking and bowing the strings

You are the magicians with power over Maja

Maja a lesser reality that I must overcome

In order to realize my true nature

To write the right words…

A co-creator of your illusion

By misperceiving and naming it reality

Knocking on the door of a delusion

Moving through the world respectfully, accurately

Affecting the experience and

Harvesting the consequences of my actions…

© 2014 ViataMaja, Laminas