Hanging With the Cool

I waited by the gate where we’d planned
to meet, leaning against the metal
barricade hot in the sun as sweaty arms
and legs brushed by to get closer to the
stage. Robert Cray was jamming, sweat
dripping down his face while his mouth
worked, chewing on lyrics like he was
eating barbeque with a kick, fingers
picking that guitar clean, leaving bare
bones where meat used to be.

I saw you coming, walking fast like you
had somewhere to be, eyes focused on
the roped off area behind the stage, guarded
by a big man in red with shifty eyes. I waved
frantically and caught your attention, slipping
between two barricades as you reached ole
shifty eyes. Y’all hugged like long lost friends
and he unsnapped the rope to let you through
while I stood there, confused.

You were going to the backstage party and
only had two passes – one for yourself and
one for the other friend you brought along,
“You don’t mind, do you? I only have two passes”.
Aw, hell no.
How could I mind my friend having backstage passes
to Robert Cray? A three hour wait and wandering
the fairgrounds alone ain’t nothing between

10 thoughts on “Hanging With the Cool

  1. haha..you know i bet you can find something just as interesting to get into around the fairgrounds you know..sucks but what will you do…love the part about chewing words like eating BBQ and picking…nice description that…


    1. Brian, this was just a small part of a full day at Jazz Fest. I ended up running into other friends and grooving to Etta James which was phenomenal. It was a great day!


  2. Gotta love festivals! Lovely narrative piece here that speaks about friendship as much as the music! Nice!


  3. Friends like that, who needs ’em…cool indeed and arrogant, insolent, and losers…after all who’d keep him after that? Not me, for sure. A page from the book of life here, written into poetry. Wonderful.


  4. AHH!! “chewing on lyrics like he was/eating barbeque with a kick, fingers/picking that guitar clean, leaving bare/bones where meat used to be” … that is phenomenal. Really great description!


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