A flash is threat, fire is sweeping
but, you, Keith, brother, a shot away
can never fade away, sliding up my imagination,
double-stringing me against the drone,
each line of mine, a fret, a kiss away from
fuck stains, mad bull fallin’ off the wagon.
gritty, grinding gitty guitar, playing me dirty as a poet’s guitar,
how minor here, suspended there, how oooh and daaah.
It’s you, finding the moves toward my lost chord nobody’s found before
just in time.
Keith, me, your
lonely little lady a kiss away,
mangling and a tangling
no properly to it.
Oh, your Rosetti, your f-hole Hofner Blue Boy, Harmony
played properly, nah, nah, throwin’ flick-back, with
Quaaludes, sister morphine, what you want, another hit or two
Stones’ cynical, nasty, skeptical, rude
titles of songs, anti-girl, lyrics, anti-me and mine, but—
unlike Mick—you stretch yourself into other people’s hearts
verily winging in from the ether,
writing me open-tuned, wearing only your trademark five strings, my
x-rated lonesome melancholy for your simplified sound—
you, Keith, from, of, me,
zoftig instrument whom you’ve given plush shelter.
KARLA LINN MERRIFIELD has had 900+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies (many of them in the UK), with 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018 Psyche’s Scroll (Poetry Box Select) is the newly released full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. She is currently at work on a poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, inspired by famous guitarists and their guitars; the book is slated to be published in December 2021 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, NY).