Playing The Blues

Painting by Lenore Conacher

is to find pleasure in postponing
happiness awhile, letting the lights
dim, and go to those rivers
you have drowned in before
where lament, bronzed with
longing, hovers in the air,
and fill your lungs with it.

Melancholy is gorgeous when
it’s not just yours: no grape
more often crushed
for its fabulous blue note,
no glass emptied as slowly,
the bubble-burst of sorrow
like champagne on the lips,

no melody more played,
strung, as it is, like a bridge
you can cross now—
weep of the guitar,
moan of the sexy saxophone:
all that was,
and all that might have been.

I had the concept of “saudade” on the brain this morning, probably because of Ada Limon’s introduction to today’s poem on The Slowdown. My poem was written quite some time ago and was inspired by a painting by local artist Lenore Conacher.