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A poem about traveling with a guitar


jannusguy2

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I thought one or two forum members might enjoy this. It was published in my paper this morning. Brought me a smile. Enjoy.

 

Traveling with Guitar

BY DEBRA MARQUART

For you can travel with a screaming red rolling bag

and float unnoticed on conveyors, through terminals

 

or you can lug half a moose rack from Maine

to Minnesota, carry it like a broken wing through airports

 

as my friend Gro did, and draw only the curious touches

of children waiting at gates. But dare to travel with a guitar

 

and invite confessions from strangers in pinstripe suits

of garage band summers, invite winks, gotcha smiles,

 

and devil's horns rock on gestures. Invite finger points

and winks, the long tongue licks, and the rubberneck glance

 

to check if you are someone famous. To dare to travel

with a guitar is to mark yourself charismatic megafauna

 

of the airport terminal. Old friend, what else could I do

but carry you? I have stored you in closets, propped you

 

in corners, hunched over you late-nights, staring perplexed

at the mysteries of your neck. Body of my body, string

 

of my strings, see how the world began to hum and sing

that day at thirteen when I opened the big birthday box.

 

[smile]

Poem copyright ©2015 by Debra Marquart “Traveling with Guitar,” from Small Buried Things, (New Rivers Press, 2015). Poem reprinted by permission of Debra Marquart and the publisher.

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Loved that, and it's the absolute truth.

 

I travel on business a lot, and usually carry my carbon fiber travel guitar (Composite Acoustics) in its gig bag if I'm going away for more than a couple of days. I can't begin to tell you how many people will stop and talk to you when they see you lugging a guitar through an airport, or if you sit down and take it out to play in the departure lounge.

 

It's gotten me a few upgrades, especially when a flight attendant or pilot is also a guitar player.

 

Come to think of it, I bought my 000-28 EC from an airline pilot who had just upgraded to a D-45.

 

"Charismatic megafauna". Dig it!

 

Thanks for posting that, Rob.

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Loved that, and it's the absolute truth.

 

I travel on business a lot, and usually carry my carbon fiber travel guitar (Composite Acoustics) in its gig bag if I'm going away for more than a couple of days. I can't begin to tell you how many people will stop and talk to you when they see you lugging a guitar through an airport, or if you sit down and take it out to play in the departure lounge.

 

It's gotten me a few upgrades, especially when a flight attendant or pilot is also a guitar player.

 

Come to think of it, I bought my 000-28 EC from an airline pilot who had just upgraded to a D-45.

 

"Charismatic megafauna". Dig it!

 

Thanks for posting that, Rob.

 

"Charismatic megafauna" That was my favorite....

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"Charismatic megafauna"--------those two words speak volumes. Guitars are special. They're very personal instruments. It's different than if you were carrying a trumpet. When I see someone carrying a guitar case there's seems to be an automatic human connection. I don't think you need to be a guitar player to feel it. People just have a natural tendency to watch with interest someone who is carrying a guitar........There's an old photograph I seen several years ago that someone displayed on one of the Johnny Cash sites. There was a big discussion of just what the pic represented. I've got two old Cash friends of mine who are helping me search for it. It's Dylan and Cash walking in New York City and they're carrying guitar cases. The looks on the faces of all the people are amazing. It's like they see these guys coming with the guitars and seas are parting for them to walk through. Certainly, these people knew who they were seeing, but these two guys are the kind of people who play guitars. You see some guy or gal at the airport carrying a guitar and you kind of figure that person is a human messenger........ If I can find this pic, I'll post it here. "Charismatic megafauna" is exactly what it is.

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Isn't the poet, though, saying she's uncomfortable with carrying a guitar when it seems to "mark yourself charismatic megafauna"? The very next line: "Old friend, what else could I do but carry you?"

 

I think she is, for anything else would be vanity too vulgar. :)

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I think the writer loves what the guitar does for her. The last words tell exactly where she's coming from: "see how the world began to hum and sing that day at thirteen when I opened the big birthday box." I think the rhyming scheme is pretty clever too. She uses words that don't necessarily rhyme, but they sound good together.

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@MissouriPicker: Aye, you may well be right, chap.

 

Meanwhile, I ponder over

 

All the hours spent

Playing to the wind,

Intimate circles...

Perfect hours.

Waking to see no land...

Occasional island.

Joy amidst privation,

Dionysus' visitation...

The blues.

 

:)

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@MissouriPicker: Aye, you may well be right, chap.

 

Meanwhile, I ponder over

 

All the hours spent

Playing to the wind,

Intimate circles...

Perfect hours.

Waking to see no land...

Occasional island.

Joy amidst privation,

Dionysus' visitation...

The blues.

 

:)

 

Nice words, Fraser. In my own way, I can apply them to myself. Quite often when I'm playing guitar I'm in my own world and nothing else matters. Maybe there's something I should do, but it can wait. If I'm stressed about something, it seems to fade away. I don't have to be playing anything in particular. I'm just playing. If I'm hungry, it can wait. I'm finding another kind of nourishment......my favorite line is "Dionysus' visitation."

 

Anne, I like that article. Food for thought. I do think the writer's viewpoint is too limited though. I agree that most of those people likely would not want to give-up everything they own to be that guy, but I'd bet one of my pension checks that most of them would like to do what he does.

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