home
selected
verse by other means
links
  cv

 

 

Open G for Blind Joe Death

 

In a California coffeehouse
You struck the strings of a big guitar.
Finger rolls and slides and strums,
Judgment Day in the whisky jar,
And love and falling out of love.
And now your music comes around again,
Your marches, your waltzes - time's cotillion.
You in your grave, I hear you once more
In the lacunae, the lacrimae,
In all the spent dreams of life.
You'd been far-seeing with your
Fingerpicking style—

—John Fahey, of all the exponents of your instrument
America in her blisses and agonies spawned,
The most Arcadian, the most caustic of them,
You orchestrated for our delectation
An American Dis in seventh chords,
You Mississippi John Hurt and Theocritus,
Blind Blake, Bukka, Patton and Virgil
Of the Eclogues messianic and otherwise,
Your years, what else? bittersweet:
1939 – 2001.

 

 

top of page