TOM C. HUNLEY
“All this new technology / will eventually give us new feelings / that will never completely displace the old ones, / leaving everyone feeling quite nervous / and split in two.”
–David Berman, “Self-Portrait at 28”
Let’s celebrate the coffee hour, when the day
could still take a right turn or a left turn or turn out
better than okay or at least better than yesterday.
Sunlight might splash on your face and you
might hear Nashville in a stone skipping
or in the voices of those whose blood runneth orange.
Let’s call these Winning Lottery Tickets before
we scratch them, in the coffee hour, Realm of Could-Be,
because singing a song into existence feels like
injecting a new narcotic called Bridge-Between-Us
because I have been listening to David Berman for years
and strumming a guitar that wouldn’t let me learn to play it.
Let’s say a garage band opens the door for air
as they work on Silver Jews covers: “Pretty Eyes”,
“Send in the Clouds”; and “I Remember Me.”
Let’s say it’s a real garage door and not a metaphor
unless metaphor means open up and let the music spill out
which it actually does, come to think of it.
Metaphors are a radical invention. They connect us.
Metaphors are O.G. cell phones, and what would
Whitman have to say about Post-punk revival?
Welcome, world of thousands of friends
with whom I’ll never shake hands or share a hug.
Welcome, feelings that sit awkwardly and won’t leave
because the present feels like 66% past and 33% future,
and if you wake thinking knowing anything with certainty
feels like lifting an automobile off a wounded poodle
and a phrase from a tabloid headline
(like Bigfoot steals alien space craft)
rolls and rolls around your head,
let me tell you again about the night I saw a cover band
play a Silver Jews set at The End in Nashville,
how Bob Nastanovich and David Berman showed up,
Bob all goofy charm, David humble and nervous and split.
I wish I could go back, plug that music and that night
into myself, inject a heavy dose of song, let it fill my cup.