The blue guitar, p.1
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       The Blue Guitar, p.1

The Blue Guitar
The Blue Guitar

  By Lenny Everson

  rev 1

  Copyright Lenny Everson 2017

  This free ebook may be copied, distributed, reposted, reprinted and shared, provided it appears in its entirety without alteration, and the reader is not charged to access it.

  Cover design by Lenny Everson


  About this time, you might be wondering, "Didn't somebody already do a poem about a blue guitar?"

  Yes, indeed. Mr. Wallace Stevens published a poem called, "The Man With the Blue Guitar" in 1937. It has thirty-three long sections ("cantos") about art, performance, and imagination.

  My wife, Dianne, always remembered a couple of lines of the Stevens poem:

  Things as they are

  Are changed upon the blue guitar.

  I'm not saying my blue guitar poem is better, but at least the lyrics, for the most part, can be played on a guitar. Even a blue guitar. Far more suitable for drunks. The stanzas come out as something somewhere between the Stevens' poem and Dylan's "Desolation Row."

  The intention that the lyrics be singable has led to most of them being subject to the rhythm and rhyme schemes that make them suitable as songs. (Try doing that with Stevens' poem!) There are a thousand tunes you can used for most these stanzas, from "Chili Parlor Bar" and "Desolation Row", to "Home on the Range" and "Botany Bay."

  Generally, the rhymed verses are in groups of three stanzas. The first stanza defines the subject. The second includes musical words (chord, key, etc.). The third ends (or at least includes) the words “Blue Guitar”, or some equivalent. This is a general, not a hard-and-fast rule.

  The poems talk about "a" blue guitar, not "the" blue guitar. Blue guitars are, in this work, associated with change of some sort, positive or negative. The entire poem is a series of short segments; they are not particularly related to each other.

  And, in the end

  The music of the universe, you know

  Is found in tones and stars

  The power of a cosmic song

  On an infinite blue guitar


  A poet's reality’s sleuth

  Poking an aching tooth

  Ember and fire, the poet’s a liar

  Who always speaks the truth

  Feel free to dream the impossible dream

  Though each page, your hearse

  We’ll remember you guys with crazy eyes

  On the road from bitter to verse

  Yelling “ things as they are

  Will damn well get changed

  Upon somebody’s blue guitar!”

  Please, on my blue guitar


  Sunset and evening star

  At The Poet’s Retreat

  Tennyson drunk at the bar

  Finally admitting defeat

  Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

  Feeling the touch of frost

  A poet reduced to Christmas carols

  Feeling somewhat lost

  I give you the tears of sonnets past

  Beyond a bridge too far

  And all that breaks the silence now

  Is Hansel’s blue guitar


  After pigs have spread their wings

  One little truth be known

  It’s easier to be mad with the other lads

  Than to be sane alone

  Those two roads, that yellow wood;

  In a moment, your life is changed

  To the coda of falling leaves

  All is rearranged

  Let me tell of Heaven, now

  The door is still ajar

  I know, for now I hear

  Faintly, that blue guitar


  Oh, I think, when I've doe my route

  I am, I am, at best

  If someone were to puzzle it out

  A leaf, not yet at rest

  Clouds are gambling with the day

  As I set pack by tree

  On a hilltop, grasses sway

  And winds sing songs to me

  The trail is never twice the same

  This year is not the last

  A blue guitar may change tomorrow

  But it lets me keep the past


  To the edges of drown and sing

  That’s what a canoe is for

  And on a cold November day

  I’m paddling once more

  To the edges of drown and sing

  That’s what life is, too

  To laugh at icy waters with

  A guitar in my canoe

  Scudding clouds are chords on

  A freezing winter sky

  Paddle against the icy winds

  To live is not to die.


  Summer light in afternoon

  Dazzles on the lake

  Shattered by my paddling

  There are diamonds in my wake

  The small bow waves of my canoe

  Scatter sunlight. then

  Light comes back on the portage

  Through leaves, to me again

  And when the sun goes down

  I make a little flame

  And playing a tune on my blue guitar

  I add moonlight to my name


  The world is a madhouse, she told me one day

  Inhabited mostly by clowns.

  They whisper together but talk about weather

  When the Big Guy is doing his rounds

  There’s a secret way out,” they tell each other

  So be strong and brave until then.

  They talk of a key and how one day they’ll be

  Dancing on the streets once again.

  They grow old, these clown-faced men

  Hearing strange chords from afar

  And scratching their balls, they wander the halls

  Seeking that lost Blue guitar


  Come to me in the night, sometime

  When only old men are awake

  Come to me when even fish sit silent

  In the deepest part of the lake.

  We’ll play banshee songs on a saw

  And laugh in the face of the moon

  We’ll conspire, laughing by fire

  With another renegade loon.

  The darking clouds that rise in the west

  The fall of some lonely star

  Are the chorus of night, darkness and night,

  An indigo guitar.


  Computers someday, with think like us

  Or so someone said

  But the danger is real that someday we’ll

  Think like computers instead

  Charlie says when someone asks

  Just where the heck he’s been

  About five years ago he got

  Absorbed into the screen

  He travelled down the furthest string

  From here to Zanzibar

  Was nothing, then everything

  And became the Blue guitar


  Civilization advances, I’d like to say

  Year by year, day by day

  In every war when finally you’re

  Killed in a brand-new way

  Long after the boom when the rest are dead

  And you’ve finally begun to hope

  In the breeze you’re brought to your knees

  By some unseen isotope

  Then some ancient ghost stands over you

  Whispers, “au revoir”

  Laughs and plays your eulogy

  On a plutonium blue guitar.


  I struggled up the Jesus hill

  Fearing there might be changes

  God tries to keep things
as they are

  The devil, rearranges

  I tell ya, Murphy’s other law:

  Anything that can change, will

  As, to the sound of distant strings

  We climb Golgotha hill

  It’s not done by constellations

  Not even falling stars

  Devils do it every day

  Playing blue guitars


  The measured heart of the planet beats

  Yesterday’s loving tomorrow

  Though time is a tide that never retreats

  Ashes, ashes, and sorrow

  The moving finger writes once more

  And having written my name

  Laughs, whistles, and laughs again

  Levels, the gun, and takes aim

  Oh, the last glowing candle’s lit

  At the setting of the sun

  And the blue guitar plays once again

  Because the changin’s done


  We cling to the known but to our sorrow

  Someone’s strumming on blue strings

  We cherish the known but in Brazil

  A butterfly’s flapping its wings

  Somebody’s playing a changing tune

  That consumes both moth and flame

  And I wonder, yes I fear

  That I’m part of someone’s game

  There’ll be time enough for counting

  When the dealin’s done

  A new tune on the old guitar

  Ah, the setting of the sun


  I’ve done my time at my desk

  Pretending to be me

  I am in truth on river bends

  Fierce and fine and free

  A flash of paddle on the lake

  A dancer on the creeks

  In May the old men call my name

  But only distance speaks

  I pledge my love to water now

  My soul to the morning star

  And my life to the music on

  A shining blue guitar.

  **** END ****

  (well, or part one, anyway....)

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