Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

Ringo — Amorak Huey

Ed Sullivan Theater, 1964

I wanted to be a singing cowboy, you know.

Got chills when Gene Autry threw his leg over the saddle burn

and sang: South of the border, down Mexico way…

I walked tough, talked tougher, carried a razor blade

behind the lapel of my Teddyboy suit in case I got grabbed.

That was before drums. Before I fell in love.

Before anyone chanted Ringo never, Peter forever

but they kept me anyhow, before America, before New York City

reached up its tentacles to pull us and dropped me here,

sticks like hammers in my hand, mates shadowy

ahead, ready for the lights. From this platform

I see everything: where we are, where we’re going,

even that someday it will end. It’s their band, but they need me

to keep alive the time: the perfect imperfect cadence of blood.

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