Song Fool, Part 1 | Creative Writing | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Song Fool, Part 1



Published November 15, 2007 at 3:37 a.m.


On days he's desperate for a new song

he'll buy a sack of CDs, rip one

open in the car, slide it into the player —

and almost immediately see the fool

again, the one whose mother sang to him

so softly while she nursed him his first day

out of the womb, whose father had a band

and more 78s than anybody

in town, the fool who suddenly understood

his own galactic insignificance

and glimpsed the prison of his ignorance

hearing Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel"

at Kay Barnett's thirteenth birthday party,

fool who nearly wrecked his car pulling off

the Autobahn to hear the Womenfolk sing

"The Last Thing on My Mind" and sit there and cry

for a lost old girlfriend back in the States,

same fool who realized what a fool he was

for volunteering to serve in Vietnam

when Buffalo Springfield asked him, "Hey, now

what's that sound?", made him see what idiotic

politics he had, how fear and trembling

was okay to dance to, and by the way,

Aretha Franklin had something to tell

a fool like him about sex, and then Hair

took him somewhere he'd never been but had

always wanted to be without knowing it,

which was just the beginning of this fool's

education, but he's got it now, he's ready

to vote for Bruce as President, Emmylou

VP, Nanci Griffith Secretary of State,

Steve Earle Secretary of Defense — this fool's

ready to pledge allegiance to the only

country worth dying for, the place he wants

to live out the rest of his days, and if

they've got a god there his name is Johnny Cash.