Doughty on Stage, #121

The smattering of folks
who pass the doors early
are jostled to the front,
while the never good ones
who showed up as much for
the thin boozy women
and the drinks that drunk them
hang out in the back, tacked
to the low-riders passed
just below the fishing
line of thong panties
that leave their tongues panting
and thirsty, that leave them,
wallets splayed, picturing,
with the blunted talents
of their icicle minds,
what each twisting backside
would look like low-riding
sans jeans and thong removed
and shadow sleeping long
into the ink black night
when Scrap, the band’s bassist,
ambles onto the stage
to perform his sound check
which morphs into a jam
session without a band
but considerable
talent that plucks into
a beatbox which flips us
like lemming hotcakes.

After a few minutes
Scrap is joined in rhythm,
in his quirky neon
hypnotic trance spinning
putting the crowd under
a spell-whispering us
to wander off in mind,
joined by the drummer jut
out of nowhere to pat
his tom-toms and soon too,
by the flipped over hair
and spare wispy body,
all fingers and nails
of the asian keyboards,
and them three rocketing
the room into a salve
mind bend open heart state
so the next voice can ask
us for the brain widening
and we all in the crowd
jam, raring to clamor
out lyrics, as we rock
back and forth in tandem
to the upbeat viral
skintight meandering,
finally punctuated
by a bend in the light
and the cigarette smoke
that had gathered on stage.
The mic whines us closer.

For an hour we lurch
round the floor, one swarm mass,
crowd and drums and keyboards
and Scrap in rhythm, notes
and words squealed out.
We know all the lyrics
and only stay silent
when the band takes over,
and even then, we rock
in vibrant unison
with the space in between
the taut drum-tops and keys,
in between each member
of the ensemble crowned
head, kind-heart architects
of the moment, kissing
each wire tugged on, chords
pulled like marionette
strings against our strumming
in rhythm, the voices
just one more instrument
raising in and around
us until the keyboards,
smoke black and red, like chess
pieces set back in place
for an encore match-up,
have no more chords, the smoke
no more voice, until drums
are all unthumped and Scrap’s
bass is a put-down horse.

The whole long probation
down out of the heavens
takes a good ten minutes,
the slow jams chilling out
on the audience cools
as we persist clapping,
smoldering our irons
to call back the maestros
for an encore session,
and as each disappears,
each rearrives, picking
back up their instrument
and alternating from
the grimy hot album
jams into old standards
chose to demean the crowd
of late comers, loud mouthed
now drunkards, overweight
college blowhards who don’t
know yet what they don’t know.
You’ve paid for your ticket
and got the show, so now
the band gets to command
the stage and microphone
and play to their heart’s own
desire and content,
loosening a bra strap,
cuddling and tapping
fingers against the svelte
perfect curve of the still
gyrating hiply crowd.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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