All Blues

mbta

CBS Boston

On a commuter train –
Track 4 – kind of blue, living in
the rhythm of wheels on the rails,
the muted horn at the crossings.

Heading into the city for the night;
got no money but so what?  I’m going
miles from our last conversation.

The train soothes my angry
nerves.  Thinking back to a ride,
years ago, I took on the Wabash run.

Ate at Eugenia’s, where we met.

You picked up the bill as the pianist
played Blue In Green.

The rhythm soothes my jagged
nerves.  A bebop run soars in my head.

I’ll call when I arrive.

28 thoughts on “All Blues

  1. Charley, I don’t even know where to begin! You are speaking a language that runs in my veins with this one. I see all kinds of allusions and play on words. Kind Of Blue is on the top of the heap for good reason and track 4 (All Blues) does indeed sound as though it is a melancholy train ride. Love the references to the players, too. That pivotal line – going miles from our last conversation – turns this into a soundtrack for failed relationship and the fallout. Lastly, moving from ‘cool’ to bebop – I’ll call when I arrive – that speaks of change in the relationship as it did in jazz. This is excellent!

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    • Thank you! It is amazing what that one album holds… for me and for others. If someone says, “cliché.” it is only because this one so obviously dominates the genre. Perhaps Davis repented recording it, but so what? It is ours to love — to trash or treasure as those in the teaching profession so often say. All I know for certain is that this story poem has haunted me since I first heard this track, and I just had to climb on board.

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  2. It’s a fascinating thing Charley. I read the poem. I listened to the music. I read the poem. I listened to the music. There’s no doubt we are on the rails here and the palette with which you paint is very much yours and so full of suggestion and verve. It takes in the rhythm and the sounds and it echoes them to a fade at vanishing point. Beautifully done. On a side note, as a drummer I was really hooked on the groove and sitting there offers a good perspective of the whole journey. I heard different things to you, but that is stating the obvious right? Really good writing. Really good.

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