Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hot Night

I was trying to read Harold Bloom's brief little book The Art of Reading Poetry last night with every window open and two fans blowing in a wan hope of staying cool. All to little use, for as I read onward about Falstaff's rotund grasp of ambiguity and
the how the word "ruin" is derived from the Latin, I stuck to the sheets. Neighbors had the right idea, to sit on their porches, have cocktails , and chatter away on a clouded-over night sky. It was all I could do to finish the last page I was reading before I bent down the corner and set Bloom aside. It was a night when no one felt or sounded smart; the heat makes you stupid and grubby and very vain in the face of
other people's affairs. My mood was to toss an old shoe at the folks next door, but I didn't, I restrained myself, half because I was too lazy with heat to rise and exert effort,half because I am too old to think I could win a fight. Not in this town. Rather than squabble, I plugged in my amp, put my harmonica to the window and blasted a ten minute solo across the shared back yard, blues trills and riffs played in a fantasy of Hendrix flexing his whammy bar on "Voodoo Chile (slight return)". The clouds did not clear, the moon did not show, the heat only lingered.

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