Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Poor Boy Blues

Backgrounder: "The following song came to me while watching the local news last Tuesday night. I must have been suffering a fever because while nursing verses together my wife heard me cry out, where's Kate Young? Where's Kate Young?" gaharrison

Poor Boy with The Poor Boy Blues

1. I’m tired of buying groceries
from the ninety-nine cent aisle.
I’m tired of buying canned goods
that been dented for awhile.
I’d like to buy some new shoes
that seem to fit my feet.
I’d like folks to smile at me
like I’m on Easy Street...


...But I’m a poor boy,
But I’m a poor boy,
But I’m a poor, poor boy,
And I’ve got the poor boy blues.

2. I’m tired of eating wieners
without a shred of beef.
I’m tired of eating cabbages
with holes in every leaf.
I’d like to eat a slice of bread
that's not from the bargain bin.
And I’d like to eat a supper
that's just not a can of beans.

3. I’m tired of getting stuck in line
at each recession sale.
Sometimes I feel as useless
as a mop without a pail.
I’d like to trade my low-wage job
for one that is full time.
And then I’d buy a piece of steak
an’ not the Salisbury kind...

4. I’m tired of buying packages
someone else has opened first.
I’m tired of buying the cheapest beer
to help me quench my thirst.
I’d like to buy some new jeans
with a well-known label on,
And I’d like to have an extra ten
and a girl to spend it on...



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Prose: she and me

Backgrounder: “Two weeks ago my wife and I drove to Fenelon Falls together - a four-hour drive - to help take care of new twin grand-daughters. Shortly after arriving my wife of nearly 40 years was elbow-deep in diapers, bottles, formula, and lovely chatter with our son, daughter-in-law and Anna and Ella. I couldn’t help but think of our life together.” gaharrison

she and me

the whine of the bandsaw
the smell of fresh-cut cedar
and fine sawdust in his hair,
I notice them all
when I step into my
old husband’s workshop.
check under your hood, lady?
he says after he looks my way.

he always says that
he always says that
he always says that and
means the same thing
as when he first said it
forty years ago.
he smiles and trips
a familiar switch
inside my chest -
he and me.


she always knocks
on the screen door of my shop
before she steps inside.
she always knocks and
sometimes I jump - startled -
lost in thought.

check under your hood
seems the right thing to say
before she smiles and asks
if I’d like to stop for tea.
my throat is dusty,
tea would be fine,
I nod.


later, we spend time together.
we sit in comfortable chairs
inside my workshop,
we talk almost a perfect shorthand
and with rhyming tones.
we almost breathe as one
we almost breathe as one
she and me.