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a poem by John Yohe

The jazz blues

You sweat through standards
like My Favorite Things
with polite clapping at the break
from people eating dinner
that would cost you two weeks groceries

you lay your bass on its side
and head to the bar for a vodka seven
seeing them coming
the man smiling in his tux and gold watch
holding out his hand
saying you were great
asking if you like Thelonious Monk

his blonde wife
in a tight black dress
pearls diamond earrings
heels nylons
taking your hand
looking at your fingers
asking if it hurts
to play like that

three songs into the next set
they get up to go
smiling and waving

you nod
and at the end of the night
pack up your bass in a ten-year-old station wagon
getting your fifty bucks
driving home to your apartment
collapsing in bed
smelling like smoke

© by John Yohe
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #28 ~ October 2013