A Large Brass Hookah


My landlord calls me "Stevie." I like it.

From where he sat, at one of the many red umbrella'd tables which surround the restaurant and, consequently, impede entrance into the building, he could easily watch as I crossed 3rd Street at Monmouth.

He waved and shouted my name: "Stevie!"

"Yo, Abbey," I managed to mutter. The canvas strap of the black laptop bag knifed into my shoulder blade with each heavy step.

"Man, you look tired. You gotta stop working."

"I can't."

"Have you lost some weight?"

"That's what I hear."

"Stevie, you gotta eat something."

"I'm gonna walk into the restaurant right now and order some food."

"Good. You gotta enjoy life. You only live once, my man. You only live once."

Abbey's eyes were pink, his hair tousled, his crooked smile big. His fingers rested gently upon a large brass hookah. "You only live once," he said again.

I looked at him, thought for a moment, and nodded: "You're right."

Later, upstairs, as I sat before my computer, Googling something, I heard: "Brother!"

Todd calls me "Brother." I like it.

I jumped up from the orange couch and parted the long white curtains of my living room window. Across the street, standing before another Barge Inn fight-to-be, Todd was waving and shouting, "Brother!"

"Brother!" I shouted back, and ran downstairs to retrieve my friend.

Todd makes music, and Todd listens to music. Todd brands and markets music. Todd walks with a funny bounce, and often smells like dirt. Todd is music.

I knew he would understand. I left him alone, sitting on the orange couch, moments after pressing "Play." From the kitchen, where I went to pour a glass of water, I heard Todd shout:

"Holy shit!"

David Nighorn's picture

Nice poem! The cadence is not obvious but it is there regardless. Every word is carefully chosen. And it made my day!

Todd Steponick's picture

Holy shit! indeed!I've been hoping the system would reveal secret tracks and parts in my favorite music that my ears were never able to discover. I'd never heard any high-end audio gear before in my life, and reading about it on this blog has had me very excited, and a bit," in disbelief until I actually could hear it for myself.I brought Brian Eno's ""Another Day On Earth"". I feel like I know it pretty well", even though I've only been listening to it intensely since the fall. I could notice a much clearer distinction between the synth sounds. Found some new parts I hadn't noticed were separate from other parts. Minute spatial distances. The synthetic sounds were not so exciting to me as were the actual voice parts. Here, because of the system, more is more. All of the multi-tracked voices of Brian Eno become tangible separate entities. Where Eno is merging the voices into one, the system allows you to see through it somewhat, to take it apart, look inside, and see how the song works.