Nov 21, 2012
tin cans - doug draime
In Memory Of Ray Charles
I was 15 or 16
when you were helped
from the stage in
incoherently and later
arrested for “narcotics possession”,
partying at the Claypool Hotel.
On that night I was only a 100 miles away
playing “What’d I Say” at full volume
on my 45 RPM,
using 2 large empty potato chip cans
as conga drums.
Dazed, and a little messed up
from some Thunderbird wine I had
smuggled up to my room.
And more than a little bummed-out.
over having missed seeing you.
Half way through the song, my grandfather
flung the door open,
yelling at me to turn that nigger shit down.
The next day after I heard about your bust,
I came home from school
got out my cans and played you again,
at full volume, finishing off the wine.
No one was home and I played that song
at least 15 times.
That afternoon changed me forever, man.
But the wine, with just a little food on my stomach,
made me sleepy and I took a long nap.
I had a dream I’d made it to your concert,
that you played your full set fully conscious,
with 3 encores, and you were not arrested afterwards -
perish the thought.
And the next morning you were given the key to the city
and a lavish gala dinner
put on by the Indiana chapter of the KKK,
bowing and scrapping at your feet.
Doug Draime's most recent book is More Than The Alley, a full-length collection
from Interior Noise Press. Also available are two chaps: Los Angeles Terminal:
Poems 1971-1980 (Covert Press) and Rock 'n Roll Jizz (Propaganda Press).
Draime has been a presence in the literary 'underground' movement since the
late 1960's. He currently lives in the foothills of Oregon.