Gig at the Amtrak | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Gig at the Amtrak 

Last Updated: 08/13/2013 4:01 pm
I was rudely awakened by a man
who set down his suitcase
next to the bench I was sleeping on.
If it wasn’t for all these travelers
I could get some rest.
I checked to see if my horn was there
and found my left hand still squeezing
the handle on the case.
I took out the horn and looked inside
and there were still some notes left in it.
Some college kid with a guitar sat down
and asked me if I played and
I said, “a little bit I guess.”

I saw two men come in carrying briefcases
and wearing gray suits and it got me to thinking
that it’s a long time since I’ve been in a bank.
So I put my horn back in the case and
went down to the biggest bank I could find and
they were playing some stupid arrangement of
“Round Midnight” on the Musak and it made me mad
so I got out my horn and blew a few licks
and then they told me to leave
so I did.
I’m always leaving places.

I hadn’t eaten yet
so I walked back home and
a train pulled in just as I got there
and a crowd of people poured in
so I pulled out my horn and started playing
and two women came over and put some change
in my horn case and I stopped playing and
bought a Danish and a cup of coffee.

One of the women came back and asked me to play
something by the Duke so I played “Sophisticated Lady”
which I thought was sort of funny and I think she caught it.
Then her husband came over and pretty soon there
was a small crowd and I imagined I was playing again
with Miles and Trane and then I heard the change dropping
into my horn case and I remembered where I was.
Someone applauded and then everyone applauded and
some guy walked up to me and said I sounded like Hank Mobley.

I counted my change
and went down to Tony’s for a cheesesteak.

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