The (dreaded) Guitar Lesson

Poetry | Posted by Jannie on 15 October 2008 @ 2:06 PM 22 Comments

The guitar lesson loomed but I wanted to eat chocolate cake
vacuum the cat hair off the green velvet sofa
find the perfect rhyme for “was”
organize my socks
and sleep
 —  anything but The Guitar Lesson.
Somehow I slumped my guitar and my body into the car
and something sucked me towards my guitar teacher’s house
    guitar teacher’s house
                 guitar teacher’s house.
I passed parks
passed signs hungry for dollars and votes
passed obscenely green palms
and merry fountains who didn’t have guitar lessons
                                                        they hadn’t practised for.
Passed a boy on a bicycle picking his nose
a homeless man wearing nothing but a skirt
restaurants and dens of probable ill repute.
I waited at ten red lights with my shoulders hunched,
bottom lip out like a kid who can’t have candy until after dinner.
At the final red light my migraine lifted a bit
and I thought of Noam Chomsy, 
then of Charles Bukowski
then of Jim Ignatowsky.
Soon I was outside my guitar teacher’s house
ten minutes early but still not too late to flee.
I grew more anxious,
told myself I’d lived through worse
hummed a new song, (one I might put bagpipes on)
turned off the motor
put the keys in my purse
went around to the other side
                                     got my guitar
— had a sudden urge to punch it in the face
locked the car
turned in slo-mo to my teacher’s door
rang the bell and readied a smile
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  • 1

    On 15 October 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Bock the Robber said, 

    Better than not having the guitar lesson though, and a lot better than having a Sumo wrestling lesson.

  • 2

    On 15 October 2008 at 5:45 pm

    ruth said, 

    I wish I’d had lessons! I haven’t had my guitar out for months and now I’ve been asked to do 30 minute sing-song with Gr. 3’s on Oct. 31st! Yikes! And I keep putting it off as if callouses are going to magically appear on that day!

    Stick with it!

  • 3

    On 15 October 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Caitlin said, 

    Are these lyrics? They’re fabulous. This entry made me smile. :)

  • 4

    On 15 October 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Patrick Comerford said, 

    Thanks for the kind comments on my blogpage today on spiritual journaling. I have another page on Leonard Cohen’s concert in Dublin earlier this year. Good to hear from you, Patrick

  • 5

    On 15 October 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Caitlin said, 

    Thanks for the comment. Your site remembers my information. I don’t have to reenter it. Thanks! :)

  • 6

    On 15 October 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Tammy said, 

    Hey i read your comment on my blog. You are from Austin Texas that is so cool. A songwriter huh?

  • 7

    On 15 October 2008 at 9:13 pm

    kingofnewyorkhacks said, 

    Noam Chomsky,Charles Bukowski and fellow hack Jim Ignatowsky.I thought I was their biggest fans. You are one of the handful of women I’ve ever heard even mention Bukowski without a harsh followup. Very refreshing!! My uncle just moved to the island of Dominica and left me a brand new guitar…and there is a music lesson place just up the street,,,hmmmmmmmmm….now you got me thinking.

  • 8

    On 16 October 2008 at 6:19 am

    Kathy @ virtual Impax said, 

    Let me guess – you didn’t practice during the previous week!

    This post reminded me of the times I went to either cello or piano lessons without practicing in between.

    Now for the ugly self realization: I probably wouldn’t be any better about practicing if I were taking lessons now, 35 years later! UGH!!!

  • 9

    On 16 October 2008 at 7:13 am

    Jannie said, 

    Ruth, thanks for dropping by again! You know you’re in my favs.

  • 10

    On 16 October 2008 at 7:15 am

    Jannie said, 

    Kingofnewyoukhacks, you know you’re in my favs now too.

  • 11

    On 16 October 2008 at 7:16 am

    Jannie said, 

    Kathy – you got that right, about the not practicing. Thaks for stopping by.

  • 12

    On 16 October 2008 at 9:12 am

    karyn said, 

    Hi. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. (^-^)

    I love how you have your daughter learning Kung Fu. When I have kids, I want them to learn martial arts too. I actually want them to learn Bruce Lee’s form of Tae Kwon Do.

  • 13

    On 16 October 2008 at 10:53 am

    Joy Leftow said, 

    Thank you so much for coming to my blog. That’s very kind of
    you. Tupelo Honey is definitely a painful poem – kind of hard for anyone to swallow including the funster. As a social worker (I was a social worker before I ever got educated & licensed) part of what I do is feel what others feel; I put myself in their shoes.
    I like sharing and noted we have many of the same likes –
    music included.
    I really wanted to email you but I don’t have that option here as opposed to writing an announcement, but hey I get to advertise myself too.
    check out my blog so you can know of what we spake! I am now #27 out of 50 world wide blogs!

    takes all kinds to make the world go round, right Jannie!

  • 14

    On 16 October 2008 at 10:56 am

    Jannie said, 

    Karyn and Joy, the pleasure is all mine. Thanks.

  • 15

    On 16 October 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Heff said, 

    Hey, If ya don’t like guitar lessons, don’t take ’em.

  • 16

    On 16 October 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Heff, I was just having a bad day I guess.

  • 17

    On 16 October 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Thomma Lyn said, 

    *grin!* What a fun poem — I really enjoyed it. It made me smile, and it’s got great rhythm, too! 😀

  • 18

    On 17 October 2008 at 3:43 am

    SnaggleTooth said, 

    I was self-taught from observation until a teen, then had some finger-pickin experience from friends. They say the younger you start, the better-
    Now my hands are so sore from work, I can’t play until I get a few days off-

    I’d prob drive a teacher nuts- I don’t listen well- enjoy improv-

  • 19

    On 20 October 2008 at 11:05 am

    Jennifer Susannah Devore said, 

    Dress up the dog in her new, pink beret, stare at the dog for a while, shop for vintage Gucci sunglasses on eBay, begin research on newest book, get distracted by cute dog action, need more tea, Ghost Hunters is on. . .oh, yes. . .read Jannie’s latest blog. . .and comment. Fun! Here’s to fab lives and fab days! Come on, Cindy!!

  • 20

    On 20 October 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Jo said, 

    Love the guitar punch in the face line.

  • 21

    On 29 November 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Thomma Lyn: Despite all my gloom you always see through to the funstering me – I cannot fool you, girl!!

    Snag: Maybe you and I can jam and sing a bit someday, eh?

    Jennifer: You are so funny! I hope we get to meet for real some day!

    Jo: Yeah, the rest of the poem is basically a shill for that one good line. (Really.) I’m only a wanna be poet.

  • 22

    On 23 December 2008 at 4:23 am

    guitar teacher said, 

    The chords are really hards and it is hurting my finger tips. So regular practice for some time makes my fingers strong and help me play comfortably now.

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