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

the prom––

   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

platinum hair.

   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.