Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In Closing

I came to this city when I was still young—just ten + eight
That first year was rough, determining my fate

But as the days swiftly passed, Portland softened the edges
I danced in her streets, was schooled amid green hedges

I commuted to obligations through puddle and rain
When I looked up at her gray skies, my happiness unfeigned

I worked for years in an office of pure magic
They plied me with treats and laughs, leaving was tragic

Through cars and motos and bikes I shuffled
I gained a constant companion, who liked his fur ruffled

It was sex, heartbreak, bliss, contentment I learned here
The taste of good food in my mouth, a hearty liking for beer

I know this city, she is my home
Everywhere else, I only roam

Her trees and leaves, and flowers blooming
The years ahead of me without her are looming

As I pass over the bridges my throat catches, my heart drops
I loved her, I love her, I promise to never stop

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Play Me

Tonight, after leaving the club/bar a teensy bit tipsy, I made my way home past the churches and museums in the park blocks, hoping that the public piano located on Madison (and the space surrounding it) would be free, allowing me to satisfying the night's sky with my chords.
I justified my desire to create noise in a slightly residential area late at night: it was romantic.  Even if people woke up to my notes, it would be as a pleasant lullaby to their ears: lulling them back to sleep.
I turned the corner, and my eyes found the piano with the stick-on lettering plastered to its side: Please Play Me.  But alas, there was already a pedestrian seated at the bench.
I made my way over to the instrument, and calmly smiled, "Are you the guardian of the piano? Making sure that no one plays it late at night?"
Ryan was deeply tan.  He had dirt underneath his nails, oversized clothes garbing his body, and he wasn't wearing any shoes.  He quickly jumped off the piano, "oh no! do you play? play for me.  I am just trying to figure out what a "suspended chord" is".
I answered, "I do play, but I am terrible with theory.  I have no idea what a suspended chord is."
He asked if I had a pen, and I supplied him with one. For the next twenty minutes we poured over his tiny notebook, comparing a six string guitar with the octave of the piano, discussing half and whole notes, and talking about Chopin and the om symbol.  I asked him where he got the music he was trying to figure out (he had handed it to me upside down) and he answered that he had "stolen it from the bench".  I asked him where his shoes were, he said he didn't have any, he had lost them earlier, everything that he owned, I was looking at.

After we argued whether or not the piano should be moved to better light (he won), I clumsily attempted to play.  I admitted that I was slightly inebriated, and embarrassed I stood up to go, slinging my backpack on.  He barely looked up from his notes (a scribbled "Brook" was written above the penned guitar frets in his notebook) as I told him I was headed home and that it had been nice to meet him.  After I had already started to walk away, he called after me, "your pen!"
I told him to keep it.