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POEM: new world man: for Neil Peart

new world man: for Neil Peart

mid-80s, knees wedged against
      the vinyl bus seat
avoiding my fellow students
      with a Sony Walkman
I had to bend the headphone cord
      just so to listen in stereo
I still have good hearing today
      despite blasting Signals
over & over at the limit
      of those cheap headphones
later: band trip to Virginia, John & Scott
      in the back of the bus
boombox across their laps, John on
      air drums, Scott on bass
memorizing every note of
      Moving Pictures
(put sticks in John’s hands &
      he could really play that stuff;
      our hometown Neil)
later still: at the War Memorial
      in the era of the rotating drum set
we heard the harp glissando
      cheered ourselves hoarse as Neil
roared like the god of thunder
      row after row of awkward teens
      beating the air in unison
’91, Japan: borrowed room, borrowed CD player
      Roll The Bones on repeat
till Shoko banged on the wall, yelled — in the
      Japanese I was just learning —
to turn it down (memories of my parents
      buying me a stereo my mom
      would never let me turn up)
this morning: false spring, older now
      than he was then
out for my morning walk blasting
      Signals, Grace Under Pressure
water in my eyes but not from the rain
      drums carrying the weight of years
all the memories wrapped up in those sounds
      seems to me it’s chemistry

/ / /

Jason Crane
11 January 2020
State College PA

Published in Music My poems Poetry


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