Saturday, September 30, 2017

Welcome to Stacie Marinelli!

Photo by Jovica Trajkovski
Tonight I'd like to post some poems by my close friend Stacie Marinelli.  We met in a writers' group that met in Boston years and years ago.  I hope that you will enjoy her poems inspired by musicians born in the 1940s Michael Franks and Mickey Hart.

Breathless – for Michael Franks (born in 1944)
Stacie Marinelli

So now we’re on a beach in Rio
and the saxophones tremble, the flutes trill,
and we’re drinking margaritas,
but it’s so not Jimmy Buffet,
it’s New York cool, Paris chic

And now we’re strolling the Tokyo streets in the rain
and the cookie jar is empty and she has popsicle toes
and Michael dreams he swam with dolphins and
wrestled a live nude girl

Practice makes perfect when it comes to love since
love is a string of pearls, a slow dance, a symphony,
and, as we all know, love is the answer we seek

And Monk’s mixed into the melody
and Miles and Paul Desmond and even Van Gogh
and the cry for freedom echoes
from Red Square to Soweto

but mostly it’s all love love love

He’s a skinny guy with thinning hair,
growing older like I am,
and I’m showing my age just by writing about him.
Christ, this guy hasn’t been big since the 80’s
and now his music’s called “smooth jazz”
which makes all the purists I know cringe.

But I don’t care when I'm inside this musical dream
where jungle parrots scream, jaguar and python fight
to stay alive, and we all roast bananas, drink mate tea
around a fire, and are engulfed by the raging river that is love.

And as the lyrics gradually enter me, I'm no longer in DC,
I’m lounging in a kimono on a breezy Sunday, somewhere
seated on a patio flooded by sunlight, listening to waves
that resound endlessly


Stacie also provided some music by Michael Franks:

When the Cookie Jar is Empty:

That moment  - Stacie Marinelli

dedicated to Mickey Hart (born 1943)
and his classic percussion album "Planet Drum"

I was writing in my journal and you had that drum CD playing and
it was driving and urgent and
it was all the things I wanted it to be
as I wrote with the rhythms and remembered
a scene from back in college, dancing with a troupe of Puerto Rican men -
and as I was brought back with the music,
I remembered all the living I did back then,
all the living for the moment.

And the CD in your apartment ended
and I was left with the memory and the music.
This was not a transistor moment –
this was the edge of the world -
and you were there and you
were in a completely different moment
but for that moment
that one single solitary moment
it really didn’t matter
 Stacie's memory in the poem has even more poignancy, given what Puerto Rico has suffered from Hurricane Maria.

Photo by Juan Tituana

If you'd like to listen to more Mickey Hart, here is his "Umayeyo":

Here is his "Elephant Walk": 

I'll add a video of him with Kodo drummers: 

I'll finish with a version of the Grateful Dead's "Fire on the Mountain" that features him:



  1. I love these because I think you've really captured the some of what music means to us and how deeply it is embedded in our memories. Makes me think of the music I loved and listened to long ago...Thanks.