Last night at band practice, after we ran through the song "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover" (made famous by Bo Diddley), our bass player mused, "You know, you really can't judge a book by its cover. It's so true!" And then, not ten minutes later, the guitar player sighed and pointed out, "You can only get as perfect as you can get." At this point we did start to laugh, and I suggested that perhaps we should begin selling copies of Doughty Hill Aphorisms at our shows.
Still, I've been thinking since about the way in which music so often makes complex use of what, in poetry, would be rank cliche. And I've also been thinking about the sweetness of listening to a person earnestly work to figure out something essential about being alive.
"You know, you really can't judge a book by its cover. It's so true!"
"You can only get as perfect as you can get."
Today, as I page through my poems to get ready for tonight's reading, I'm might try to let these two remarks guide my choices. I'll be interested to see how that set list turns out.