notes from the cafe table

19 02 2005

back in binghamton last night at the cyber cafe west, my decaf coffee & half of susan’s mocha, chris beaming when “long way” hits washington, hans had his kids there glowing in the blue light of their portable game machine & his guitar hands are still like a rocky forest stream that i could sit beside for hours, & the cell phone in jeff’s hand kept lighting up & we weren’t sure antje & her poor, under-prepared, not-yet-vermontized toyota were going to make it, but they did, she did, & despite the battery’s pow & the potential for the undazzling to ravel out it never did, she just kept smiling, & on a borrowed guitar sang a few old songs between the new ones, & told new snow-colored “i left the city” stories, & reached out to touch my arm in recognition between sets, where we stood at the counter & told school stories & planned out her next career. i’ll let her tell.

things are gonna change,
that’s what they do,
o but change has never been known
to wait for you

re ants: “they’re like the only wildlife i’ve seen since i moved to vermont. like, if moose were to come into my house, i’d be like ‘yay!'”

i got a hundred-man battalion who’ll lay down at my feet
but there’s a songbird who will not sing for me

re the rambling tale in the middle of “long way”: “this is the part where i usually play the harmonica, but i left it in the cabin. i hope the ants are practicing.”

boys grow out of the rust
spin their wheels & turn to dust
on blackbird lane
i can hear my momma saying
halleluiah, halleluiah, halleluiah

re finally getting the borrowed guitar into key for the next set: “hit it, ants!”

“dublin boys”
“go now”
“hold on”
“the streets of soho”
“merry go round”
(angel in chains)
“long way”
(penny’s farm)
“reason land”
(the wedding song)
john prine’s “angel from montgomery”
buju banton’s “murderer”
woody & jack guthrie’s “oklahoma hills”
“oh lord, help me love you, babe”

re the song she wrote for her friend’s wedding: “it’s hard to write a song for somebody else’s wedding. so i made up the guy i’d write it to, who’d be like my perfect dream-husband; yeah, his name is martin. he sort of took on a life of his own.”

this is a promise from my bones
this is a light you can call your own
this is the train that will take you home

re the new cd: “two weeks!”
“antje, the last time i asked, you said two weeks.”
“i know! it’s not my fault. it’s these people. i actually had my cd release party two weeks ago, and i had to have it without cd’s!”
“damn, & i told my friend in california i’d get one for him.”
“the one who got you into my music?”

yeah, him. the one i’m supposed to call & gush to about being here at all<– i left that part out, of course. but trust me, i was thinking it, & thinking all the way back home through the whiteblue silver moonwashed snow.

& a p.s. note for m: "tell your friend–what's her name, the one who gave me the scarf–tell her–i’m not wearing it tonight, but tell her i LOVE the scarf!”




One response

20 02 2005

Sorry I missed it! I *did* enjoy dinner, and I’m glad to hear the rest of my mocha didn’t go to waste… šŸ˜‰ (Besides, you needed a bit o’ caffeine for the drive home.)

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