Let's Get Lost / Chet Baker / RCA Select: 3054

Chet's on fire
a calm burn
the slow drip of heroin (Pulse)
on two and four
glistening warmth of cool stars
  tapping down on his lidded eyes
smoke off the tabletops
  glasses of amber and ice   (Pulse)
Chet strokes the cheeks of his boxer's face
  with the trumpet's mouthpiece
  fingertips fluttering on brass
His sad eyes
  his lidded eyes
  The life-lines in his hands    (Pulse)
  The death and darkness crouching
  in the lines of his aging addict's face

—"How old is he in this picture, when he died?"
—"I don't know, how old does he look?"
—"He couldn't have been that old..."

Now on a cramped low stage in a stranger's heaven
  backed by the soft brush
  of piano, drums, and bass
     his lover's voice
     his father's voice
     his gentle man's voice
Lips pursed he hands us his heart
  (Pulsing)   on polished brass
Cool blue as doomed
  as his last song
  sung from the window
  of a high-rise
  to an audience of junkie's props—
      belts pulled taut,
      spoons, matches, brown froth,
the slow drip of blood   (Pulse)

And when he hit the ground
the sound
of one finger snapping

--Rick Lopez
From Poetic Wax, a record review column in Tic-Toc Rock, November 1989, p.5

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