Friday, April 14, 2006

2 AM at Crazy Pete’s

The end of a long night
We’re playing on the cramped stage
At Crazy Pete’s
Following the familiar bluesy path
Exploring beats and rhythms
Cadences and silences
Harmonies and melodies
And the punters and the staff
Have long gone
But we’ve still got the beat
2 AM at Crazy Pete’s

A drunk sleeps in the corner
Pete hadn’t the heart to turf him out
His body draped across the table
Sticky with spilled beer
And here's the man himself
Tall, awkward - with a squint -
A trophy from his days as a getaway driver
And he listens for a while
Sheds an unlikely tear
And he sings, I’m for an early night
And he sings, I’m dead on my feet
And he sings, When you leave, turn out the light
2 AM at Crazy Pete’s

We play on, almost scared to stop
What do we have to go home for anyway?
Only the day job -
Another stint in the Tunbridge Wells office
Examining paperclips
As a means to a slow, slow suicide.
Then - the exit door bangs open
A chill breeze scatters cigarette ends and beer mats
Rattles glasses and optics
And she walks in
As though she owned the place
Her face pale and indistinct
She drifts between the tables
Like a draught
Easing aside
The heavy fog of stale cigarette smoke.
She sits beside the drunk
Like the dull whisper of defeat
Like a mother’s shadow
2 AM at Crazy Pete’s

Well, we can’t play forever
And Mick the drummer gives us the cue
We pick our way through the sharps and flats
Find the familiar bluesy path
And head for home
The bass brings the twelve bars
To a familiar end
And we hit that last note
Which hangs like a corpse in the air
The visitor has gone
And the drunk
Slides from his chair
Slumps to the floor, dead
And as the drummer makes
The final beat count
It's 2 AM at Crazy Pete’s


Roger Stevens said...
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Roger Stevens said...

Happy Easter all. Or possibly Happy Holidays – depending upon your beliefs.
Thanks for all the haikus and tankas. Maybe we’ll have a best of – later on. Some excellent and very entertaining stuff.
2 AM at Crazy Pete’s is a new version of a poem I posted some time ago. It’s longer and I don’t know if I’ve improved it or not. I’ve rewritten it with a view to being read aloud. One for poetry performance. Anyway – hope you like it.
Meanwhile we’re having a relaxing Easter ourselves. Just pottering about, gardening (if the weather improves) playing games, watching DVDs (saw Sideways last night – very enjoyable) – and so hopefully time to pay everyone a visit.
Peace and love.

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Happy Easter to you and yours Roger

I think I need to know exactly how Crazy Pete got that squint whilst being a getaway driver

Cocaine Jesus said...

Happy Easter Roger to you and yours. Love this new version. Read out loud it has a 'drama' to it, or maybe i mean a dramatic feel that hops the groves as it were. not making a lot of sense but nonetheless bloody good.

Laura said...

I like this a lot. Can hear it being performed as I'm reading it - - where are you going to perform it? I want to come and see!

The day job sentiment is just right.

velvetgunther said...

A happy Easter to you, Roger!
This sounds like a Tom Waits song

Russell Ragsdale said...

Happy Easter Roger!

Prmod Bafna said...

Hey roger! Happy easter :) i like this improvised version.. it does sound quite like a tom waits song :p Have fun!!

Nick Zegarac said...

You've managed to capture the garish unhappiness of happy hour and beyond - a turgid den of stragglers whose one saving grace after two am is that their accoustic nerves seem still to recognize a few notes worthy of their limited attention spans. Great read.

Liam Wilkinson said...

Hi Roger. Great poem. The rhythm of the poem reminded me of a Beefheart song.

Glad you enjoyed Sideways. Brilliant film. 'Merlot?!!!'

If you're planning to do Cambridge, booking opens in two weeks, but I'm absolutely 100% certain it will be sold out within a few hours. Ring quick and, if you're camping, get on the Cherry Hinton Hall site. It's just a few tiny steps to the main stage!

Hope you've had a good Easter.

Roger Stevens said...

Thanks for all your fab comments. Yes, it does have a Tom Waits flavour - I guess because of trhe subject matter. Beeheart, too.

I listened to some Howling Wolf the other day and was struck by the smiliarity of his voice and both Tom's and beefheart's. Hadn't really noticed it before.

Peace and Love!

NicoleBraganza said...

This would make a super-awesome song....maybe you should put this to music. Or is it 'set' it to music?? (hope you had a lovely chocolate marzipan easter)

temppixie said...

Loved this, reminds me of my local!

Anonymous Poet said...

Sounds like a wild time. You'll have to tell me when the next gig is.