caterpilar

(Kind of Blue, 1959)

Yeah, so we all get born, we die,
the nights are dark between
the two. So what. The room
is dimly lit and I’m no expert on the blues,
white girl sitting here cozy dreaming
of her own gone dad, but hey—
we all pass this way, nights now
and then. The walking bass
that leads us through, the time
kept by that crazy drum.
Time kept. That’s key. The band
swings on, each measure sub-
divided, syncopated, every note a blow
that counts.

                           So
what. We all get born.
We die. We smoke away, fuck away,
dream away the world. Our own
blessed bodies, the smoky corners
and sweaty stains of them, what difference in
the end if sixty years or forty,
black Cadillac or horse-
drawn cart. The exit’s
graceless, regardless. We piss and fight
for one rough breath and gone,
and so what?

                           So
this: these crazy notions, rounded
notes and riffs that come
from breath the same as every first
the same as every last, the rag
and rough and swing of it, bass
line heartbeat walking through it, what else
can we do but just play through it,
the rot and stink and funk of it,
the mercy swing and scat of it,
the yes and so and what of it.
So what. So what. So
what.

Anne Haines on the StratAnne Haines is the author of the chapbook Breach (Finishing Line Press, 2008); recent poems have appeared in Field, diode, Tipton Poetry Journal, Bloom, and elsewhere. Anne’s current projects include “Chasing Angels,” a book-length series of poems about a fictional rock musician. She lives and works in Bloomington, Indiana.

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4 Responses to So What

  1. abby3 says:

    I love the theme, and the very short sentences which emphasize it. Great!

  2. dopeburger says:

    groovy — i can actually hear the music in the writing. thanks for the tune :)

  3. Mindy says:

    I LOVED this, I already said it on twitter but this was fantastic. Thank you for sharing your work.

  4. Peggy Squires says:

    Amen.

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