"Del Monte Blues"

A napkin-noted deluge of thought
just smothered my brain
with fond (and not so fond) memories
of being drunk and running the drunken hallways
while alarms rang in the elevator
and our arms, loaded with stolen silverware and ashtrays,
slam bang the do-not-disturb doors

we take the salt-n-pepper shakers
we jump the balconies
and I am the fool who fools
everyone looks my way when they know it wasn’t me

We’ve already gone through that pancreatic shock
and survived
survived the moonlit zombie
the shocked adrenaline
the chain cigarettes stinging our eyes
Zak. Nelson. Randy. We ran on empty with our three pots.

We roamed the midnight of Monterey
Alvarado, Lighthouse, Del Monte
and all snug in Snug Harbor
I…we lived the mouse-ridden poverty

Snug Harbor comes back vividly
in its 20’s slum decor
and the loud instruments of its rooms
echoing from within me

Del Monte Blues hum the windowpane!
across a table that took up all the room
mixed with the Sake orange juice birthday bash
it all tasted like shit
but it was a hum that set our lives in rhythm

The all night music meditation
in the green porchlight dark
to the sounds of the humping neighbors
that Dave, Jesse, and I listened in on
the expounded philosophies
on the tapedeck Sony
the hopeful powers of the mind
whether we had ESP
and if we could have any superpowers
what would they be?
All this came from the night’s symphony

Dreams were acted out, played out
shouted out, screamed, cried, and drummed on those walls

Memory fades in to the house next door
where we all used to live
where Randy, Sid, and I ate the blocked cheese
stomached the tomato-ketchup-herb soup
which, simply, was all we had at the time

We mastered the art of the 11:00 epitome
the noise to wake the neighbors
the music to sustain us
and did it all with mouthwash and rum
sickly sweet joints abuzz in the air
we pissed the stoned nights away on top of white BMWs
and dodged the phantom cop cars searching for the tree of relief

Zak would call upon us
drunk from the Chico scene
with drunken ramblings on the answering machine
off frolicking as he were
we all wished he were here

And when he was! The four was complete.
the PsychoDaisy psycho daze
pots pots pots pots of coffee
three screams four sugars and the cow
we’d come home singing in our castle of love
in grand Golden West
the four corner haven for the four complete

Like cogs in a machine clicking instantly
smoking the bottomless cup guitar magazine
we swam in the music of midnight that never ends

I just caught myself in a half truth…half lie
the nights did end
day broke over isolation
the occasional frustrated pause
which to this day I believed would never happen
and yet it did

The understanding is still there
isn’t it?
That the music’s gestation will bear new nights
new songs and new beginnings
despite the lost sold trashed drumsets
and the smashed cold white guitars

The understanding that this will all return
birthed from the womb of L.A., Monterey
Chico and Carmel Lane
weaned from the jobs with gasoline
cd’s and tapemachines
bathed like the dishes in barrels of fat
this will all return
our hunt will resume
we’ll scrounge for the butts to smoke
the pennies and dimes and steaming cups
the freedom that the music promised us

And when we put the stubbornness aside
when we call again
and sing the Del Monte Blues once more
we’ll have our reunion
we’ll put our gears in place and motion
and with our tune
and the napkins for our notes
we’ll have the time
it’s time to go