Melinda played her big orange Gretsch. There were
crickets outside, but she could not hear them. She was
listening thru the headphones now, listening to the
night, the blues, the volume, the dark.
The song was
about a daughter & how her mother, all the way to her
dying, kept silent & hidden & scrubbed the floors––her
daughter pinned against floors, pinned to floors.
rips thru her solo on the big orange Gretsch, taking
the words to the out-section now. From her hands you
see a girl in a slip her mother gave her special for
a girl with the penis of her father in her
mouth on prom night. On the fifth take, Melinda bends
each note so hard you feel Time falling thru clotheslines
of torn dresses, falling
& still falling––dead mothers
like archangels falling through the mouths of daughters
pinned beneath sinks. Calmly, she brushes back her
No one in the control room can see that
she unhooks her strap, takes off her fingerpicks,
slips the Gretsch into its case.
The fog of early
morning covers the lemon trees, the blossoming
acacias, the horses, the moss-covered oaks. She
wraps the red scarf around her neck––
the scarf from
a drummer she met in Prague. Melinda stacks her 7 guitars
she brought to the session in the back of her van. In the
dawn air she dreams of the light that lights the light.
18 February 1994
Spoken word version from Walking thru Hell Gazing at Flowers.
Copyright © 1996 by Jim Cohn.
Text from The Dance Of Yellow Lightning Over The Ridge (Writers & Books Publications).
Copyright © 1998 by Jim Cohn.