"Diminished" by Pete Green
Last night we sang of hedonism and
premodern love, sang for the drinking,
drank for the songs — heroes of the small
hours, vertical survivors, miraculous, on
midnight traffic islands. Take us to the
aftershow, the offy, take us to bed.
The fretboard presses
back against my calloused fingertips,
hard as the whetstone meeting
the knife my dad once gutted haddock with
below an icy running tap, his pleading
knuckles raw as January dawn.
Twenty months before my birth
the Beatles split. Concorde couldn’t
stay aloft. Iron, rail, coal and fish:
apologies for former selves.
When I play pop it’s either
defiance or denial, I’m not sure which
nor if it matters. Today instead
these wound steel threads must chorus
closed-down foundries. My translucent
plectrum, please. I want to hymn
the world we’re in, digital, truncated.
My span contracts. I want to strum
diminished chords all day.
My digits vie for fretboard space,
driven as City traders. How strange
the change from major to diminished.
C diminished, cagey and constrained. A chord
for my generation.
(c) Pete Green 2016
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