Saturday Night at the Blue Note

She had long given up
on any hope of conversation
until the sets were over.
They had their traditional table,
first row, to the right of the stage
closest to the piano player.
The usual Saturday night trio played.
She enjoyed the music, especially
the upright bass, but he was in love,
closing his eyes during keyboard solos,
wide smile when the sax took over.

Two stories up from the basement
level club, the smallest apartment
on the block, notes ooze up through
the floor as a young man takes a break —
gently placing his old, used six-string
on the stand —
so he can change the band-aids
on his bleeding fingers.

A hat full of dollars at her feet give
her the confidence to keep playing
the dirty street corner, knowing
there would be a hot meal tonight,
hope for a room at the shelter
would occur to her later.

The bartender at the Blue Note
gets lost in the songs — forgets
drinks, loses tips — seeking inspiration.
She knows she will not sleep tonight,
her soul coursing from pen to page,
a torrent of words seeking a tune.

The couple at the front table
hold hands and drink their wine.

Double-bass player

Double-bass player (Photo credit: echiner1)







Witten for dVerse Poets and a ‘music’ prompt from Stu.

Also posted to the Imaginary Garden.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

16 responses to “Saturday Night at the Blue Note

  1. poemsofhateandhope

    Mark- this was great- you totally took me there, to the club, smoke stringing through the air, the hum of the double bass, the jazz guitar, and then the contrast with the busker, creating music just as beautiful- showing how anyone with passion can create music of substance and meaning. And then to the club owner- being inspired by the music, not being able to sleep because of the words and the inspiration coursing through her head. This says a lot about art itself – how it can takeover the senses and the soul. Great piece.

  2. k~

    A gifted poet you are.

  3. A splendid, atmospheric poem. I used to travel to work on the train with a double bass player whose fingers were always raw and bleeding. You’ve shown it so well.

    “six-sting” ? string?

  4. man, great job setting the scene in this…i was right there and wanting to leave a tip in the hat. ha. def would not mind a seat in front of the busker…i love street musicians…

  5. lenwilliamscarver

    wonderful imagery I am enthralled…thank you!

  6. Awesome, Mark. Like watching an old black and white movie. Great write, man!

  7. Like the opening to killer movie I think. Great setting and all of the sensory paraphenalia you can use. Great tone, great images. This had soul.

  8. remarkably vivid and a superbly etched collage of images.

  9. Mark – this is an amazing set of vignettes! I love them and wish we could follow them more…really well done!

  10. Shawna

    These are my faves:

    “but he was in love,
    closing his eyes during keyboard solos,
    wide smile when the sax took over”

    “The couple at the front table
    hold hands and drink their wine.”

    I really like the subtle way you compare passionate souls (the musicians, the poets, the hungry, the hurting) and those who are passionless (the couple at their “traditional” table). Nice framing too, beginning and ending with the couple who would probably really like to experience the music and the words on a deeper level.

  11. Yes, you offer wonderful insight into the worlds of two players, both in love in their own way, with the power of the music at their bleeding fingertips.

  12. Nice capture of that scene, with different perspectives of the music and the night. Enjoyed this ~

  13. Enjoyed this scene and story. Lots of wonderful details too, how the player closes his eyes as he plays, the young man changing bandaids on his fingers, the hat on the floor.

  14. hobgoblin2011

    love the way you painted this club so perfectly, from the club itself to the patrons to the music, but the musicians in the opening stanza, I really like that a lot. Thanks

  15. “gets lost in the songs — forgets
    drinks, loses tips — seeking inspiration”

    I really enjoyed this segment, Mark, a very visual piece all together~ smiles!

  16. Marian

    there in the moment, without knowing where to land later. this is a beautiful and biting observation. much appreciated.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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