Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ridin' the Blue Train


Better catch that steel-wheeled ride
‘fore it takes off and slides on down
those tracks ‘cuz it’s a one way ticket,
and there ain’t no goin’ back.

Jump that rail and don’t tell Mama
cuz she don’t ‘bide by rattlin’ rooms
and shakin’ hips, but baby that song makes
you move in all the right ways of wrong.

And I’ll take back all dem days I lived
‘fore you cuz ain’t nothin’ I wouldn’t do
to swing you once ‘round the floor.

Gonna throw open all the doors so folks
can flock inside and heat up this joint,
pass it ‘round, so cool, so hot.

I got five dollars in my pocket, just enough
for a shot of juice. So, you can break loose,
lift that skirt just enough to see yo’ knees
and laugh when I beg please for more.

Hear that horn, baby, feel that thump.
Trane’s got a riff just for you and me.
He cooks that beat ‘til all you can do
is snap yo’ fingers and nod yo’ head.

Everyone said the man was goin’ places
but the only place I wanna go
is a straight-shot towards your South,
yo’ Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana too.

We’ll ride this blue train beneath the moon,
the tall pines runnin’ alongside and stars
burstin’ into white heat like my heart.

Take my hand, baby, and let’s fling
ourselves into this black night, show ‘em
how it’s done when the wheels slow down
and the bass is just right. The two of us
spinning like old vinyl ‘til the music stops.

And we scratch a powerful itch ‘til
the needle drops, and we ride
that train again.

© Ami Mattison



For One Stop Poetry's One Shot Wednesday

19 comments:

  1. You caught Brian's g-dropping disease.

    *laffs, runzzzzzzzzz*

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  2. this is such good blues for me that I can almost here Buddy Guy singing it.

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  3. Yep you got inside the blues, traveling the rails all the way up into the Deep South of jazz, gin & jezebels. It's always risky, a white person singing in black slang -- lord knows how many wannabe's have crashed and burned in the attempt -- but your lines stay true. A stellar "seize the night" poem. A shot of that for me, please - Brendan

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  4. Thanks, Brendan! Totally jazzed by your comment! Btw, that's the way my folks talk in the South, my friend. And this Southern born and bred Pacific Islander speaks a lot of languages. ;)

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  5. ami great feel to this poem, love the blues and the ride you take us on...i may need a night like that to let my hair down and kick up the heels....

    shays all about the g's this week...hmm....

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  6. you move in all the right ways of wrong.

    I can't believe there are so many 'blue' offerings around today! We all seem to be on the same wavelength...

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  7. This rolls right along with a great groove, just like a good dancin' tune. Rock on, Ami!

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  8. I cannot tell you how much I love this. It made me shiver and tear.

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  9. "..that song makes
    you move in all the right ways of wrong.<-Classic line, Ami. I always see Coltrane as more cerebral, but there's no doubt as your poem explores that underneath its the raw feeling, the blues in a new language, the feeling in a more sophisticated package, but the sensuality far from subordinate.

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  10. great poem ami - john coltrane is one of my fav sax players- so that was a double pleasure - reading your fine poem while listening to him...loved the..spinning like old vinyl and the ride you took us on

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  11. tell fireblossom to kiss it. if god wanted we should use all them g's, they'd be hangin from the trees.

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  12. I love it ...there should be a blues revival throughout the country...it fits the mood of it right now...whether black or white...the blues are blowing from sea to sea...thank you...bkm

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  13. Love your comment, Ami, about speaking a lot of languages. That you do, and this poem is just one excellent example. I hear this in my head as I read, the lines taking a musical run. Some very cool lines.

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  14. This to me naturally extends your unerring "way" with language-- you have your way with her, at home in any lyric style, I think. I'd love to hear you read this: I can see the moves. It makes me think of the Roethke line, taken out of context: "I am martyred to a motion not my own." I especially like:

    I got five dollars in my pocket, just enough
    for a shot of juice. So, you can break loose,
    lift that skirt just enough to see yo’ knees
    and laugh when I beg please for more.

    Hear that horn, baby, feel that thump.
    Trane’s got a riff just for you and me.
    He cooks that beat ‘til all you can do
    is snap yo’ fingers and nod yo’ head.

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  15. This piece is lyrical; I hear you singin' girl, with your 5 dollars and your skirt that lifts to there, just above the knees. I feel you girl, with the riff and the beat and a snip-snap a your fingers. You've dropped me into the middle of this smoky club and got me swayin' to the beat and dreamin' a this keen-hearted blues man...

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  16. Ooo til the needle drops, and all the right ways of wrong. So tempting to get up and dance right here and now!

    Really enjoying your potent words, Mattison!

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  17. one of my favs by Coltrane...heard it sway as I read your write...some fabulous lines as well..great jazz..rock on ~

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  18. Jazz-eeeee! Awesomely done :)

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