The next poem in Dragonfly is another
I wonder if I ought to have an epigraph that says "after Philip Larkin" because the poem plays off Larkin's well-known poem "For Sidney Bechet." Larkin's opening line in that poem is "That note you hold, narrowing and rising, shakes." And later, Larkin writes, "Oh, play that thing!" When I was putting together I eventually decided against the epigraph because the borrowing seemed so obvious that anyone who knows Larkin's poem would immediately see the connection. I'd really like to hear what you think about this.
As with the previous poem ("After the Gig") I changed a semicolon in the title to a colon. As I said with the last poem, the semicolon just seems wrong to me now. What else? The word "60s" should have an apostrophe in front. Decided to leave that one alone. If this poem were to appear in a future "selected" or "collected" volume, I would probably then add that apostrophe.
The character Pete is my cousin Peter Padua. It occurs to me now that I should call him "Peter" in this poem because in our family "Pete" always referred to his dad. I had changed it in this poem to "Pete" for the sake of better rhythm in the lines. I put words into Peter's mouth here, specifically the first quotation. But Peter did say that "machine gun" part in reference to Neal Schon and Eddie Van Halen . . . stole that from ya, old buddy. Thanks for that great bit, cousin Peter!
To pay my cousin back, let me give him a plug. Here's a video of his band, Peter Padua and Friends, performing his song "Jammin' Free." They are playing next Thursday, May 24, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the Main Stage at the Sunset Market, Oceanside, California. If you live in or near Oceanside, go check out their music. I guarantee, you'll love it.In terms of form and poetics, did you notice this is a Shakespearean sonnet? Slant rhymes and roughed-up meter. I'm particularly fond of the rhyme between "machine" and "Mission": gotta love that rich consonance.
Music references include the already mentioned ones to Schon and Van Halen. I also allude to Jim Morrison and Miles Davis. As well as to Santana's own discography: "black magic." The ending line in Spanish means "Listen, Santana, to the rhythm, good to enjoy." That's pretty literal. In a looser sense, something like
Copacetic, friends. I'd love to hear what you think of this poem or anything else here (maybe whether it needs that epigraph attribution, say); please comment below. Thanks. Ingat.
#amwriting: Tattoo You
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