Keep It Real

the smoky haze
so beautiful
to the eye
because
it hides reality

as i walked
into the five spot
everyone jivin’
swayin’
to the music
i was lost
to the rhythm
the throat of the sax
the piano banging
out the notes
of my youth
I was
reaching
for something so
elusive
i wanted
the fantasy
of being a grown up
connected to a group
in control of emotions
that had not yet
formed

i was seventeen
i was living a lie
being a grown up
drinking and smoking
loving jazz
in the village
the five spot was
thelonius monk’s place

i did an abstract of the 5-spot
all reds and purples
my college roommate
asked for it
i told her “only if i
get kicked out”
she has the painting

heard his kid play
forty years later
there was
no comparison
no fantasy chase
for me now
no fullness in the
notes

you cannot go
back
you cannot go
forward
for all you have is
now
today
so bang it out

there is
no more haze
no more smoke
just that odd
glass of scotch
or bubbly
dates with the hubby
movie night
cosy
snuggled up with a
reel
it’s good
get’s no better

©
Liz Rice-Sosne November 2012

25 thoughts on “Keep It Real

  1. Oh, yes, those days of youth. That must have been cool living in or near to the village and being able to go to Thelonius Monk’s place. They must not have checked ID’s in those days. Your poem created a vivid picture of the times then and also compared them to later and now. Too bad your college roommate has the painting…… enjoy those reels. they can be fun to watch too.

    • Forgive my lateness in response. Actually it was purposeful. I have been savoring the words of each person who has responded. I cannot grasp why just yet but the words of the few whom I read and share poetry with online in my blog are very important to me. Oh they checked! One of the first things that one did when going away to school was having a fake ID that actually passed – fixed up. I was 15 when I had it done. I am lucky that I did not turn into a lifelong drunk. This new idea of date nights is really cool. We did it again last night and saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Thanks Mary.

      • Ha ha…about the fake ID. I would hope it is harder to fake them nowadays. I loved The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, by the way!! One of the best movies I saw in the past months. In fact, I saw it TWICE.

      • I agree, last night was night two for me and night one for David. I really Loved it. I felt as though among friends as I watch little or no American TV. I watch a ton of Brit TV on Netflix and Acorn. Mummy was an Anglophile. I knew that she had spent time in London. I just never really knew why or when until discovering her two (after her death) scrapbooks of her time there. She was there during the Blitz of all things working for the US OWI. WE were not close. Actually I left home at 18 and returned very little. When the book and movie “Mommie Dearest” came out I was truly amazed and said: “wow, that is my mother to a T.” Significant healing has taken place since her death and my discovery of her “combat days” for that is surely what they were. I am meant to write a book about it all. I just really do not quite know how to go about it.

  2. Nice mood to this, dear friend. It makes me remember my young days of alcohol and silliness, acting grownup, thinking one already knows. When I hear the songs from those days, bring me back, never quite the same, something remembered, cherished, smiling at one’s childishness. One day, as written about in your poem, I hope I will come to understand the way of “now”.

    • Ravenblack you are dear to me. Isn’t that strange … that this dearness began with our names, both names; and such coincidence. The “now” part is I think related to age and aging … but I am not sure.

  3. smiles….i remember those days of sneaking in dives….i was def as much interested int he music as anything…live music just does it for me…over the last couple years i have struggled with the tension of not so many of those times, but also gladly accepted as well just time with the one i love…smiles..

    • Brian thank you for sharing your thoughts. I do not have to tell you that it means a great deal. “over the last couple years i have struggled with the tension of not so many of those times.” Tis gives me sort of a chuckle of wisdom. It is a sweet song of growing older and wiser.

    • Yes, a different world Ollie. And I do not want their world. But, I cannot imagine that they would want ours … but I do not really know. Their world of feelings is all that they know.

  4. That was one fine journey – way back there – and to be brought back to now. I’m grateful to know now’s peace. I really enjoy seasoned folks talking about the joys of their love relationships. It is refreshing and REAL, Raven.

    As an aside, somehow in my early days, I learned about Thelonius Monk. I adored his music and was very alone…few contemporaries had an appreciation for the man in my part of the world. I wonder if the roommate kept your artwork. Wouldn’t it be great to see a photo of it?!

      • 🙂 Oddly, I don’t have any wish to go back in time.

        Hope you are passing the days pleasantly, Liz. We’ve had a whooping storms, but no harm done. Rain makes it so nice to curl up and write with a hot cup of tea on the side.

        Many blessings,
        Jamie

  5. There was a heaviness to that first part–I’m not sure if it was you…..or me. Or, maybe that’s a yes to both, huh. But that last bit, the clarification of no forward/backward/just now and what that now IS–made me warm inside.
    I know bits of that one–and NOW is an excellent place to just BE.

  6. It’s good. It gets no better … Indeed a truth.

    What a picture of life and its evolution, you and your evolution. Delightful! 😉 Wish I could have seen your painting, Liz.

    Altogether well done … and “now” does in fact turn out to be the best place.

    • Thank you Jamie. e had better live now for we really cannot live in the past and the future is not yet available. That is not to say that for much of my life I wished for a time machine.

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