Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring. The gravel roads are dissolving into mire. The tar roads have buckled into badlands. Every afternoon I sweep bushels of grit out of the house. Oblivious to the drizzle, the white cat stares into a mud puddle. The poodle, festooned with twigs and leafmeal, celebrates the thawing compost pile.

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.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

1. I am surprised that a white cat is still white in this mud season!!!
2. I do love those remarks. Cliches last for a reason; however, these two rise above that, I think.
3. My favorite from an Open Mic I frequent when we unexpectedly do a song together is "Oh, just like we practiced it."