Rock ‘n’ Roll was here to stay…

Mirrors, hallways, dust, Tim Buckley,
the Troubadour, Glinda, I reach back, grasping
trying to grab some of it, but it”s gone, like a lost
cat. It’s gone. Goddamnit!

That blond hair tumbling down, freely with all the
vigor that youth has, all the passion, it becomes
her and I think and wonder: Am I lost? Too many
echoes as the rock ‘n’ roll plays on the car radio.

Turn it up, I do. I used to wait for the next record.
It was a deal. It was a day. Music soaring
above my head while my belly was filled with
whiskey and girls. Oh, the girls were majestic.

One touch. One smile. One breath, my way and
the day, night was born again, again and again.
Rocky streets of San Francisco bristled in the
wind, blowing you back, forth like a ping-pong
ball, rock ‘n’ roll was the answer to everything.

My guitar, always out-of-tune, slung around my
shoulder like a ragged shawl, dangled down my
back, waiting to be uncorked with all the fury
loneliness and resentment can bring. “Unleash
the hounds of anguish,” I would scream to no one.

To no one. Always, sitting next to a dog, looking
out at the empty sidewalk, where souls lose the
battle daily to survive. Just to survive. Breath in and
out. Keep moving. Keep ducking, they say. Goddamnit!

That word caused a furor in the Midwest once; once
when a building and more than 200 souls died in an
attack of unbridled tragedy. Children, men, women
no more. No more is the day of calm. No more.

And all anybody cared about was the Goddamnit!
Words cut like razors unexpectedly flung at you with
weights finding their mark. It doesn’t hurt until right
after the cut; then it barks its presence. And it hurts.

I’m stumbling, bumping into things, losing sight of
the reflection of today. I keep grasping back to
the belief that rock ‘n’ roll would save the day.
Goddamnit! Is all I can muster now. And it hurts.

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About stevewhitmore

Former award-winning newspaperman and broadcast journalist, both radio and TV, spanning three decades. Army-trained paralegal, court bailiff and prosecutor's lead investigator for the 8th Infantry Division's Judge Advocate General's Corp., Mainz, Germany. 1973-1975.
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