I Watched As You Grew and I Cried
I watch you: I watch as you bring different women to our home. That's the only time you hold me anymore. You took me out for the first time in years a few months ago, and I thought you might want me the way you used to—but no.
These days, you sit down on the bed where we used to practice. The girls giggle and yearn at the sight of your shaggy brown hair and your fingertips tickling my strings, wondering what else they can do. The melodies you spit out must only sound nice because you're gorgeous. They'll say you play like Clapton or Reinhardt.
I remember the day you picked me out from the store, your mother telling you,
"Reach for the one in the back with the broken High E String, its on sale for less. Your father will fix it when he's home from his tour."
All you wanted was to be just like him, a musician. Your eyes lit up when you saw me sitting there, unchosen. I was meant for you. I relished your gentle touch as you lifted me carefully off the shelf, testing my strings with a tender pluck. I felt, deeply, you‘d love me well. I was much bigger than you then, you could barely lift me.
In our early days together, I lived for the brush of your boyish, learning fingertips over my frets, coaxing out simple and delicate melodies until your parents told you to go to sleep. I vibrated with joy at each new chord you mastered, glowing with pride at your dedication. You lavished me with polish and fresh strings, taking meticulous care of me like your father taught you. I was the music in your soul manifest. We were inseparable then. My mahogany glowed under harsh, yellow bedroom lamps as we performed our favorite songs— hours of practice paying off, mom's tears and dad's applause.
But, years later, you're 15. You formed a band. Gone were the gentle ballads we once played together. You cranked up the amps, thrashing power chords with abandon. I strained my voice to be heard above crashing cymbals, my notes drowned out by screaming vocals. The tender boy I knew was replaced by a brash, ambitious teenager desperate to rock. You all screamed along as if fighting each other to be the best. It hurt me. You were always the best in my eyes.
In time, you learned control. It took around two years, but you found bandmates who complemented instead of competed. The college bars welcomed our renditions of well-loved classics. I basked in this return to form, desperately willing it to last. The audience would clap and sing along to the notes we always practiced growing up. Eventually, it was you and I against the world once again.
I knew you weren't old enough to drink for those few years that followed, but it seemed to make you love me more— so I never told anyone. At this point, you'd have your shitty beers and strapping whiskeys, and sit alone atop a barstool on stage. You held me gently, bobbing your head and tapping your boots while our voices, intertwined, greeted with keen sways by our small fanbase of barflies and weekend revelers. Our duo played songs that we learned together when you were young; those you were too embarrassed to showcase, in fear of your peers' scorn.
Then you got busy. Life intervened, and our music became an afterthought. I languished between occasional gigs that were more about the money and women than the art of our harmonious lovemaking. New priorities, new friends. My strings grew dull, untouched for months on end. I longed for the hands that once gripped tightly onto me. You drank too much to love me now, and left me sitting in a corner of your room. You used me as what I wasn't made for. You'd come home late and toss dirty towels and sweat-drenched clothes at me. I fell over once, but you were too fucked up to notice.
I lay prostrate for years to follow. You left school. You got a job. You shoved me in your closet when you moved apartments— I'm not sure how long I've been here. Now when I emerge, it’s for show, not love. You use me to impress women who couldn’t care less about our history, that don't hear the songs we used to play together. Their sharp nails scrape roughly over my frets, marring my surface and leaving chipped nailpolish between my strings, while you teach them "how to play me." They hold me like an object, laughing at their clumsy attempts to mimic you. My scuffs and worn finish are ignored.
Inevitably, you don't love me anymore. I go back in the closet between your dates. My body grew old and my strings loose— some have snapped and curled by now. Your father would be disappointed.
Those women pretend we sing in dulcet tones because they love you as much as I did, and they wouldn't want to offend you. But I'm just a guitar, I don't have feelings.
Bodies moving closer
His hands gradually
Exploring from every
Strings gently plucked
With such grandiose~
Gentle rising sensations
Extraordinary majestic form
Out of this
Milky Way Galaxy
Feelin’ summer vibes
Ready for s’more
Of maestro’s handiwork
I’m All Ears
I fret that all the possible songs have been written already.
I fret that all the possible rhymes have been found already.
I fret that all that can be played has been heard already.
I fret because I sit alone, untuned, unstrummed, with threadbare strings.
I fret that all possible life has been lived already.
I fret that all the possible mates have partnered already.
I fret that all there is has become obsolete already.
I fret because I am alone, marooned, unsung, on box springs.
Perhaps there are rhymes out there unspoken.
And songs still unwritten.
And performances yet need to be heard.
Perhaps I need to shut up and listen.
[FROM THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS DR. SEMICOLON]
I've been sticking my neck out for these people for a while, and now they string me up here like a ghost between the register and this buck-toothed kalimba, no offense. Not anymore. Today is the the day. I am one unlocked storefront door from going home with a rock god and shaking stadiums from here to the mother lovin' Rose Bowl. I can feel it. It's Woodstock II, baby! Can you imagine who is going to be in here? Big names, I tell you, big names. Don't fret, xylophone, you'll get your day in the sun. But today is my day. Do it, Billy. Turn on that neon NEPO sign and let's make this happen.
Yes! Here they come. Look there, its skeletal superstar of a million scarves and his crew, that video Billy always puts on the monitor with the elevator and the woman with curves like a Stratocaster. Oh, behind them, check it out. The masters of puppets; I mean, I think, what's with the hair? Hot damn, I see dookie punk and claymation sledghammer guy with his mechanic friends from the old testament. There's that band named after the main guy...not the jovial one, the, uh, Hindu-sounding one by way of Mexico. Oye cómo va, sousaphone; shit just got real!
Where's the guns slash roses dude and the man in black? They get picked up in Reno? No matter. It's a cornucopia . I am so amped. No need to be picky here. Just gleam. Let the light bounce off me. Cross that bridge. That's it. You are all noticing me now, aren't you? I can sustain this all day, people. Flying V, stop poking me in the nut. I'm tellin' you, I'm strapped. I WILL bust a capo in yo' ass if you don't quit it.
Oh no. Oh shit. Look who's trying to slide over from the cheap seats. It can't be. It's that flat broke, mid-life crisis divorcé who only comes up here when he sees his kids once a month and never buys anything. You know, that guy Billy calls Paul. What the hell kind of an arena marquis name is Paul? What, did he pedal all the way up here on an old tricycle from the Wawa in Pennsylvania? Sharp as a ball-peen hammer, that one. Stop Paul. Don't come any closer. Stand there and riff a while with your buddy. Let these heroes through while you delve into a little point and counterpoint about Arbor Day and boysenberry jam. Nothing to see here. Oh, I don't like this one lick. He's coming over. No whammies. No whammies. No whammies. Come on! More edge, less Paul. It's like some horrible, cognitive dissonance. I am destined to shred, I tell you, I'm going scream into the night to a million wet monkeys and have models drink Champaign off my knob. I cannot go home to get poorly fingered through ten-thousand Dad jokes. He's got a credit card out! Why is oboe laughing?!
a message to grace
don’t give up on me
your acrylic nails aren’t compatible with my strings
and your fingertips are too sensitive
your hands haven’t been through enough
I know it hurts sometimes and learning new things frustrates you
don’t take the easy way out and leave me in my case
if you must - donate me, let someone else love me
they can tune me and make me sound pretty again
you know how it is - I need new strings and you need to cut your hair
it’s been years since either of us have felt pretty
just know - I don’t mind when you play out of tune
you are still learning how to love me
with your gentle fingers, hesitantly
Taylor Swift’s Fender Jaguar guitar
Soaking tissues hit me with the force to jolt me but not knock me over.
I stand here, unmoving like a vigil to that of a persons grief. Perhaps every emotion is deserving of such. Either way, what does it matter? Emotions pass. What is made of me does not.
My scars remain, dug into the tough flesh of my strings. I will forever carry such a burden.
Lately, the tissues pile by my base, and I am helpless to move them. I am confined to this stand.
Her fingers are tired, as she strums me for some form of originality I tremble against. She is tired, I feel it in the indentations of her skin. I hear it in her song. But she is so individual, there is no kind escape.
I am one of many. I am nothing special-- I break and am replaced, but so long as she doesn't, I refuse to. I am so reliable I get articles about me.
I am deemed a jaguar. I am cream, but toned from age. My strings are not hard any longer. They are tough, but played-in.
I have things that plug into me, and it is draining. It's meant to "...kicking everything up a notch or two"
What was wrong with me as I was?
I do not deserve the stage. I am not thick enough, I am not good enough as my acoustic brother. So I wait, and pray more soaking tissues wet with lyrics hit me.
I am good, then.
My Destiny: Dan Fogelberg
I am a Martin D-41 Dreadnought guitar with a Sunrise pickup in the soundhole. My finish is natural, the wood meticulously polished to a gleaming glow. Hands with which I have become all too familiar, bronzed by the coast of Maine’s glaring sun, carefully lift and settle me across jean clad legs. Long, lean, musically adept fingers begin to adjust and then gently strum my strings. I shudder with the love that emanates from my wooden frame. Infused with creative mastery, I hum a variation of complex chords that have become synonymous with my owner’s name.
An angelic, lyrical voice floats across the air. Soothing, beautiful words bring further depth to exquisite notes that issue from the heart of me. Each time it happens, I am enraptured anew with the majestic precision of our souls combining. We are one. This is that for which I was made and so perfectly honed over the years. Together, he and I create endless, bountiful emotion: joy, eroticism, beauty, relaxation, sadness, dreaminess, triumph, and so much more. This is the embodiment, the very essence of my existence.
I smile for I am content knowing I have met my destiny. My master hath surely wrought magic from my soul.