Said the man on the street
who shouted high to the rooftops
and low to the little children in the streets
between saxophone toot toot ta toots
that rang true to even seasoned musicians
on the Brooklyn streets.
“I’ll give you what you need
if you can answer me one question:
How the hell you learn to play so well
like the devil blowin’ when he takes a soul to hell?”
After tying a yellow looking shoelace
frayed more than those on my cleats from high school days
he cocked his head up.
“Funny you ask me that question
for the other day
some guy with a pitchfork
and a pointy tail sauntered by
and begged to know my secret.
Know what I told him?” he replied
as he crooked his finger my way.
I bent over to hear his secret.
And he said
– no shouted –
in my good ear
“I need a BIG whiskey.”
After the ringing subsided
in my now other bad auditory canal
I slipped him a twenty.
Sax man shoved it
in his pocket, patted my shoulder
and told me his secret.
Today, you can find me
on a different street
playin’ my horn
and asking for handouts
as I always seem to thirst
for more than I’ve got.