shades of ray --- For Ray Charles dark shades of ray swaying to fatback funk & blue indigo incognito, comping dirges so slow, the drummer’s lost & looking for a tempo -- sweet gospel heal your soul throw your crutches away -– lean on ray say amen somebody… river of fingers leafing through keys looking for a lost note – the flatted fifth of the apocalypse… i think i heard it today just about the time ray's unbound soul quit this bone cold world on angel wings of thunder a world without ray – who wants it? i’m gonna paint my windows black as foster-grants & go to bed forever bricks living totally inside my window where i’ve stood too long -- watching bodies in the streets below caught in the undertow of some unseen tide -- holding onto myself each day by keying words into a cold machine sketching a wounded architecture of letters to fuse splintered thoughts enclose swiftly disintegrating bits and pieces less tangible than the wind struggling to add one brick to a temporary wall that might, for a time, hold back the storm of life’s relentless, leveling force beat it’s cold. bleak. no freedom in the frozen streets 75 cents & a chewed-up copy of “naked lunch” in his over-coat pocket taking a break over a warm metal grate listening to subterranean trains rumbling back & forth on static steel tracks to nowhere -- blue eyes cracking like ice no dreaming on the sidewalks tonight a satori-seeking poet dragging history around town in a brown-paper bag blood-colored tokay blunts memories that won’t go away visions of benzedrine-fueled ghosts spitting out winding lines of beat-inflected bullshit with rust-covered voices howling about chaos in the cosmos -- the last desolation angel takes a drink & thinks about a stroll to the depot -- sit & raise a toast to the 3 a.m. greyhound leaving empty for the coast american nomads jagged january wind cuts like a cold-chisel through cemetery rows of watchful parking meters tombstone reminders that time never sleeps waiting grave markers for graying prodigal sons stumbling, done-in down naked narcotic streets still unwilling to swap half-worlds of unfillable space & gratuitous suicide for a valid world of comfortable clichés & pipers playing sweet songs of coming home -- american nomads following feeble streetlights that mark the way from failing grace to dream-empty rooms
D.B. Cox Watertown, MA, USA Blues musician/poet/Ex-Marine originally from South Carolina currently resides in Watertown Massachusetts. Uses a Les Paul Standard, tuned to open E chord for slide guitar, and prefers a glass slide to a metal one. No longer takes requests when he plays out. Donnies first book “Passing For Blue” is being published by Rank Stranger Press. You can contact the publisher by Email at AWHITLEY2@nc.rr.com, or by regular mail at Rank Stranger Press, 313 Smith Chapel Rd., Mount Olive, NC 28365, Charles Whitley, editor.