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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Trailer Park Ghost

Brad Mehldau, you were
born a week after me

and have spent a lifetime

Your albums come in so fast
that buying the new one

I often get the unrecorded
one after that by mistake,

and am grateful. You name-check
Derrida in your sleeve notes

though he never once mentions you
on the back of his books.

Is it time to bid farewell
forever again to the past with

another suavely whispering standard?
Goodbye storyteller, sings

a wispy line four octaves up,
meaning, once more

round the contraflow,
my rakish chromatic uncle:

a remembered condom of fluff
on a needle, an umbrella hat

permanently expecting rain.
A trailer park ghost

dodges bass-lines in 7/8 time.
I’ve heard some rueful whistling

in strange hotels, but only you
have chased leaves round the porch

in all the places I’ve never been.
This venue not on the T-shirt.

There is no T-shirt.
Against what modulations,

what untold fallings away
should I steel myself,

remembered as they happen,
heard through arpeggio drizzle

and tipped from a lazy weekend’s
shopping, the door key passed

greedily over the shrink wrap ?
Too late the left hand sees

the turn off the freeway:
no bridge passage now

till New Jersey and no one but me
in the car to sing along.

1 comment:

Alison said...

Liked this very much - full of the ghosts of songs.