“Man,” he says, “I’ll tell you how it is.
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You can’t just listen you gotta jump all in.
You gotta put your back into it, that’s all.”
The old bluesman stepped into dim light,
pulled a harp from his coat pocket.
He pointed to the drummer
and the band dove into a thick groove
just about walking speed.
When he put that microphone against his harp
a freight train exploded from the amp,
ten sledgehammers struck steel, sirens wailed,
dogs howled and a Lincoln town car peeled out
from a dirt parking lot; all of this at once.
The crowd was loose with liquor.
A hooker, a dancer, a librarian,
a few ironworkers and teachers,
four waitresses, a public lawyer
and a nurse sitting at tables and booths,
looking weary from the weight of dreary lives –
swaying with the blues groove,
1 – 4 – 5 and turn around,
juking to the riffs,
slapping on the backbeat.
The worst thing in the world is the homesickness that comes over a man occasionally when he is at home.
- E. W. Howe