My guitar does not play like butter
it pays like a saw
it rips my fingers,
my blood drips on the fret board
falls and stain my pants
I am forever fighting for what I hear
there in my heart and soul,
attempting to capture babies breath melodies
arpeggiated from within me
I’m a slave to the struggle
even so I barely make it through verse, bridge, solo
it’s not the wood, nor the steel of these…
It practice,—the lack there of I mean
that causes my lament, I am not a guitarist
I just play the guitar
I’m a sketcher, not a landscape artist,
nor a portraitist, I am an artiste
I’ve just enough discipline
to touch the mystery but fail the mastery of the song,
I know what it should be,
what it could be but fail the scales called for

I detest the lazy in me
I am perfectionist enough to
know my song will never be perfect
so there I abandon it to an empty living room
where the song just almost lives

I abort the climb and wipe the blood,
shed privately the tears for my
once a contender-ability
I have sat before masters,
felt the romance of their commitment and devotion
to the instrument, to the listeners,

marveled at their combined abilities
In retaliation I reject and accept my mediocrity,
I loath my lack, feel sick and old, too weak to fight back
half giving dominates me,
seduces me, stifles me, it kills both, me and the passion

Once there was music in me
a wave to crescendos, and pianos and fortissimo
I don’t even know what those words mean
I had to look them up to find that I did those things—
once, twice, a hundred times
in complete uneducated bliss, what a trip

I miss the fluidity, the funk, the groove,
that one note sustained and the audience screams,
Lord, these days my guitar is a weight
I do not play like a believer
time is now spent writing about what is not
instead of doing what could be,
When did I stop being a believer?

Writers must write what they know this I know,
that guitar, and all those past,
accompanied by an uncountable number of amps
costing more than the thousands spent
all to get the sound unattainable

Sam Cooke’s words now seem to have been sung for me
A change gonna come, prophetic I believe
a slow change is in motion away and toward something
something with out strings

Slick solos, funky grooves
become lines of words in poetic blues
It was once so easy, that song now gone
lost like a childhood friend whose moved away
distant now like Old Aunt Gibson, family I once knew
—RIP,

I confess that in sparse moments of peace
I remember you Gibby, the love of holding you
still teases me, excites me
but all that now is but bitter-sweet memory
of times when you play’d me, and I play’d you.
when I knew you, and you freed me,
I will not stay chained and bound to the past
No, I’ll cherish deep-rooted and trusted memories
as I venture a new day in new ways the days yet to come,

Amen

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