Monday, August 15, 2011

What a Party!

Joy is fifty
could be forty
she is accomplished
a software developer
She has a baggy-eyed Basset Hound

And husband, also accomplished
Dean recently achieved
liberation from an oppressive job and boss
He's happier than I've seen him
maybe ever!
He's ready to party with Joy
and the dog who sings along

hors d' oeuvres
There's a lot of good food here
Nice home and weather
a little cool for August
Cedars and salal
beyond a country half acre

Stu says he and Dean are flying friends
Dean gave Stu the unfinished garage aircraft
a model abandoned due to six or seven crashes
four or five deaths among other users
I'd prefer radio control over canyons
But now there are modifications to the design

A guitarist's nimble athleticism on strings
rings a bell I can't not answer
those runs keep interrupting me
eventually I tell the guitarist he's the real deal
No kidding, you really play!
Most guitar players bang on the thing.
I could listen to you all day

More food, folks, and cordial conversations
in several accented voices, Russian, Nigerian
Eastern European, now accompanied by Spanish guitar
The inner strings revive
I had to fight sleep on the drive
but I made it without interrupting Diane
studying her music for The Fat Chance Opera

The Fat Chance is two weeks off
but there is an opera on the veranda of this house
Joy sings with the guitarist and a violin
and Sasha on electric piano, an angel and harp
I'm filled, thrilled
where did Joy find this orchestra?
Among friends

The birds can't do this
Alto and soprano
A duet, Joy and Diane
Man, oh man oh!
Sorry, Woman, oh Woman!
Other side of those Cedars
Must be an envious eagle

The guitarist is a double threat
he plays and sings
with Joy in another duet
Or is it a trio?
How does he do vocal harmony and strings?
Razzle dazzle!
No thanks, I don't want to sing, I'm happily frazzled

After another trip to the table
we eat salmon and steak on the back half acre
Joy stops everything for a prayer by Julie
beautifully said in Nigerian English
Everybody seems ok with Jesus
One never knows
Conversation with the guitarist is interrupted by seating arrangements

There is agreement at my table
We abhor the politics of debt
and making more of it
Where will it end?
Neither taxes nor atrocities in entitlements will suffice
Senators Jackson, Magnuson, now Murry had money to burn
but Republicans are as bad when it's their turn

More music after dinner
Diane and Sasha sing and play
Richard the guitarist and I reminisce
compare numbers in the draft lottery during our twentieth year
of driving trucks and riding trains
his commitment to music, Bach, Segovia
teaching kids who want to get famous without theory or technique

It's late
I like my job
I'll work in the morning
A few more words won't sustain the party
But maybe Richard's music can
This is the song I didn't sing


  1. Rich! Felt like I was there at the party - you really captured the buzz.

  2. How was the salmon? And the steaks?

    Good poem, Michael.

  3. Next time we have a party you guys are invited!
    No hangover this morning. I'm still fine with the food and the friends. Well maybe the carrot cake was a bit much! And the poem needed a few adjustments this morning.

    By the way, Glynn, I talked with guy who lived briefly in St. Louis. I asked him why they want to know which high school you attended. Just like you said, if you tell them, they know all about you, your grade-point average, your parish, family, where your father worked, who his friends were. Qute an amazing little caste system! Of course he didn't attend high school in St. Louis, so he just told them the name of his high school in the Northwest. Then they were really perplexed.