Monday, June 09, 2014

Sippie

1982 and
synth washed New Wave
was the soundtrack
of college days,
and my college pub
modestly marqueed
“LUNCHTIME CONCERT:
SIPPIE WALLACE.”

I couldn't believe it:
The Texas Nightingale,
and her heartache
wise blues
would be singing
for the blonde-haired
blue-eyed
Born Again Christian
twenty-something
Philistines
at Cal Sate Fullerton?

And no cover?

Must be a mistake
I thought,
but I got there early,
took my place
on the side
of the stage,
as her time drew near,
she was escorted
to the stage by the pianist.

She leaned against
the piano,
a legend,
a modest mountain
of passion and pain,
laughter and learning,
singing her slightly salacious,
saucy songs from the 1920’s
 and I loved every minute
of it.

The crowd wasn't interested,
they ignored her.

Sippie and I were both
outsiders here,
and I stayed there cheering
her on,
basking in her glow,
the halo of the gifted.

Her set ended,
and rather than escort her
backstage,
she was unceremoniously
seated out of slight
behind a speaker.

I had to go to class,
and as I walked by
she appeared in thought,
perhaps wondering
how she was received,
where she was,

I broke her reverie
with a stage whisper
“SIPPIE?”

“SIPPIE?”

and she looked at me
trying to place me,
and I smiled and
stage whispered
“I LOVE YOU”

and she beamed
and cocked her head
in acknowledgement,

and we connected
in the way that
the blues connects
us all.



4 comments:

  1. Mosk, you had me at "Sippie"! Have you ever heard her duet with Bonnie Raitt on "Woman Be Wise"? So great, the two generations together. The blues... the only genre of "popular" music that never ages, no matter how old the singer. I mean, Mick Jagger is gross singing his paeans to young girls, ditto Rod Stewart. But give me Bessie, BB, Ruth Brown ("Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean)... so many greats. Your "I love you" touched me deeply, because she needed it, I know in my heart. This is, intro to final note, a lovely piece. Ameleh

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ameleh - hate to admit it but I'm presently listening to The Rolling Stones "Exile..." Yes, I first saw Sippie via Dave Letterman in 1982 when Bonnie Raitt brought Sippie in for a duet. It was heaven. Bonnie also helped introduce me to another blues legend, Charles Brown (but I learned about him more from Buster Poindexter!).

      We got to see Bonnie last year, and she was mighty mighty good. Yes, at the heart of it all, is the blues. Yes, getting to tell Sippie that I loved her was an honor.

      Thanks Ameleh!

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  2. the blues def have a way of connecting us...
    we all fall into them...and no matter our walk of life...or belief
    it comes for us all..and when we lay it out there
    people will flock to see it...because real appeals...

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    Replies
    1. Exactly - the real appeals! The blues is everyone's poetry. Thanks, brother.

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