The Drones play live at the Corner Hotel
It’s winter. I’ve started to sweat.
We’re packed in the darkness
behind me the crowd crush;
a waiting, fretting beast.
The band looks bored- they tune and turn their backs.
Gareth’s sneakers are just out of reach.
He sneers at a heckler “Give us a sec”
then looks at the muttering, smoky air
and idly picks at his guitar like he’s wondering
what the hell he’s doing here
and we still and shush like a tame dog
lapping it up
as he peals off- one by one
sad notes to throw
like seed to starving chickens;
bare, lamenting and southern as
swamps, slave plantations or baling cotton.
With a shrug he doles out a chord,
Noga drums it into purpose,
Kitson and Periera feed it rythmn and
they’re on a mission-
pulling the sound like a belting train behind them
‘til it disappears round a bend to
a sudden hush as
He tells us he’s alone
and sitting on the edge of the bed cryin’
as though he’s saying “Honey, I’m home”
like he’s telling us to turn the T.V down,
like he’s asking us for a loan of
fifty bucks, and we’re his last friend
Then he tears the chorus from ear to ear,
mangles the lyrics,
throws bloody chunks of song
cut from his heart, his flesh
like an ecstatic butcher handing out chops
-What am I to do with this?
but clutch my beer in my right fist,
shake an urgent palsy with my left
and feel the whole useless, beautiful mess of humanity
claw its way out.