Friday, September 6, 2013

Death of a Street Musician

By John Grey

The man whose head is a guitar
sits on the sidewalk, against the bank wall,
on the Providence east side.
The man who knows the song you’d love to hear.
His legs fold underneath him.
His fingers stroke invisible strings,
move up and down a non-existent fret-board.

The man whose real guitar is busted
strains to set a melody in motion
with a squeeze of brow, the cooperation of the sounds around him.
The man who has your worth at heart,
who makes the point that the tune comes not from the instrument
but from the willingness to play it.
He’s more than willing.

The man who can only do one thing well,
and your humanity is required.
He strums, he picks, he plucks.
Such a busy, vigorous silence.
It hums. It strokes. It touches you.

The man who once made music cannot diverge from his own history.
It occupies this place on the sidewalk,
against a bank wall, on the Providence east side.
This place where you forever stand and listen. 

John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Chrysalis and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze”with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Sanskrit and Fox Cry Review. 

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