Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Boys and Dick's Ball: Callin' in Another

“Used to play Mabel’s weekends, out Caddo Lake. Lunchtime in Uncertain, quick fillet or two, catch up with the boys about eight.”

“Way I hear it, that was usually more like ten, long past sound check. Wasn’t for your quick fingers and the poverty of drummers in godforsaken Caddo, you’d a been long out the job. That filly or fillet?”

“There a difference, brother? All wetlands.”

Snickering, “Wet indeed. You and them birds.”

“Heron sisters, Eve and Sallie. We weren’t exactly medieval, O my brother. Dorsey wouldn’t budge, but old Jelly Roll—now, Jelly wasn’t above hookin’ some cat. Play that last set, get out the lightning, go prowlin’ out Bossier way. Barksdale boys in they uniforms couldn’t touch us, once we got rollin.”

“Jelly, you say? Hell you talkin' about, Jelly?”

“I’m talkin the one and only. Man, the brother had a mouth. Talk the damn scales offa cottonmouth. Prissy Dorsey wanted all the same, just didn’t want to work for it. Dames be chuggin’ for lady mongrel, little Jimmy be all about wantin’ assurances. Assurances. Weren’t no assurances out Caddo. You want assurances, you go down Alexandria for the statelies. Pirogue about all the assurance you gonna get out Caddo.”

“And cats be bitin’.”

“Oh, assuredly that. Them cats assuredly be bitin’.”

“I don’t exactly place Mabel’s, cousin. Hell she were?’

“Out Mooringsport way. In a dive out back the post office. Used to piss in the PO, if we made it back up the hill.”

“Mooringsport. That’s Huddie country.”

“The one and only. Mayhaw country, too.”

“Either way you slice it, plenty fine jelly down in St. Paul’s Bottom.”

“Lord, those be gorgeous days down in the Bottom.”

“Fannin Street and St. Paul’s put a stop to all your bleedin’, you come with the right prayers, brother. I seen Leadbelly stab many an audience in they cheatin’ hearts. A righteous swoon of abeyance. “

“Lead had plenty practice on his own kinfolk, what I hear.”

“Hearin’ ain’t believin’. Ole Governor Neff ain’t gonna pardon Satan, now is he?”

“What I hear, ole Neff’d pardon Meph and all his fallen brothers for a gumbo pot fulla green filé.”

“Or the B-side to Goodnight Irene.”

“So, what happen to you? Iowa City take the kismet outta you? I hear them farmers kill the soul faster’n ole Leadbelly’s righteous poison. Goddamn Harvester com-BINE your ass to death.”

“Corn will have its way, my brother. But then so will a baby and its mama.”

“I see the roadway now, cuz.”

“Thought I seen it too, and the way out, till wicked catch up with me and set me straight. Reverend Australia Carr Collins up Iowa way was havin’ none of it.”

“None of what?”

“None of blackstrap on the street. None of wishin’ for the midnight lager. None of—”

“—sashayin’ away from that manger. I hear you, brother. We all been down that righteous alley. They call it the Jersey bounce…

“Do they ever. The rhythm that really counts…”

The temperature always mounts…”

“Caddo Lake. Mabel’s. Ella sang it. Jelly played it.”

“We lived it. Still livin’ it.”

“Turn up the set, Seymour. I believe Dick’s about to call the ball down on another.”

[Thanks to drummer Charlie and the seed of memories out Caddo way. It was a good old-fashioned New Year's Eve, with Charlie decidedly NOT in abeyance...bless him.]

Labels: , ,


Blogger San said...

"Man, the brother had a mouth." Pascal, that says it, with regard to the author of this post.

"The rhythm that really counts": Them cats be bitin'. Assuredly bitin'.

"A righteous swoon of abeyance...either way you slice it, plenty fine jelly."

One question though: Filly or fillet?

3:45 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

As the interrogative #2's always used to say to Patrick McGoohan's #6 on his The Prisoner series, "That would be telling," but I believe Brotherman had a penchant for the equine and the feline.

Thanks for the read, San.

4:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home