Sunday, June 22, 2014

If We Ever Get To Make Music Again…

The body is torn—
Tonight you have a chance
Of making music with a real band
That can come at least a little closer
To the holistic oneness
Than you’ve been able
To achieve in art or life
In the 2 years since you
Lost your lease—

This band,
Beautiful souls
Who can bring people together
Through dancing, but they work
In the alcohol drenched, food stuffed
Dirty corners of appetite
And if you stay there too long
You lose your balance
That you struggled to regain
After the stroke almost killed you

So, you’re trying to find a way
To embrace their core
And throw away the wrapping
To embrace their spirit
Without having to embrace that "lifestyle"

Ah, if only you lived next door
Or you still had your own rehearsal space
Or that bedroom above the nightclub…
Then you could partake and co-create
Ecstatic funk and shake out the devil
With them, and leave before
It came down to drinking
And the social emptiness
That emerges in a world
Or people trained to think of music
As mere entertainment,
Or, just as bad, art
That’s supposed to be good for you
But won’t help you get a job…

And ain’t really about health
No, save that for “music therapy”
Which we all know is lame
And the wellness gurus who tame
What is only violent and destructive
When it is tamed….
                               Yes, like the body, you’re
Torn. In an ideal world of music
You could have the juice without
The clothes that pretend to be the skin.
You may picture an orange---
Coz the skin ain’t edible
And must be peeled….

But you already made a decision
For tonight, not to meet them
Out of fear the negative
Might outweigh the positive
Not that being alone
without music is any better,
But you should work
On that begging letter
I mean that beautiful offer
To a drummer and bassist
Who lock in the pocket
And groove with the funk
Who are probably older...
And who don’t need to be in just one band
But could use your horn
Your graceful crippled dance
Your hand percussion
Your mouth or mind
Or even your keys
For some structured improvisation
That could be easily recorded
And maybe even performed live
In cleaner, healthier places
Like churches or water aerobics events
For seniors of all races
At a Jewish Community Center

To remind you of your mission
To bring dance back to prayer
And the poetry think & feel tank
To hold out for that purpose
To not resign for less than that
And maybe later let yourself play
A grungy bar or two for desert

But in the meantime
To convince all struggling musicians
And their struggling supporters everywhere
Of the soulful fiscal soundness of the train tour,
And the Mississippi Boat Tour
So we don’t have to destroy our bodies
In the hopes of healing others
And can get beyond the ghetto
Or the ruins of what should never be
Called mere “youth culture”
Much less the hangover of
the individual genius….
I’ve seen the need
In the old folks coming alive
To James Brown’s
“Make It Funky”
Beyond the sex and drugs
The corporations clothe it in….
We can serve this…
We can do this…

The ideal is propbably
Unrealistic, goes too far
And yet only scratches the surface
But I have to at least say it
In hopes of opening a door
Because if we call
Each other’s bluff
Who knows what
We could yet find or remake?

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