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What Passes
Jack Martin

I guess I don't mean "kick in the stomach music" which is what I was going to call it before I realized what I didn’t mean. I guess I mean lonesome whistle or maybe February wind in the trees. Steely Dan's got a new CD, and I guess it's pretty bad really, but a couple of songs or parts of those songs contain this thing I can't describe, this gut song, this saxophone-played-by-a-ghost-thing that lifts me out of myself into myself. So I guess if a part or two of a song can do that, I really shouldn't complain too loudly about paying $18.99 for a bunch of songs that mostly I don't really like. Anyway, I'm writing to ask if you have any music that affects you like this? Or anything else really. I just haven't heard from you in awhile. I guess it’s probably a nostalgia thing for me. Listening to Steely Dan, even Steely Dan doing a bad imitation of themselves, throws me back to the time when I lived at 1532 Peterson. Maybe it's because I still live in Fort Collins, or hell, if I get objective and stand outside of myself, maybe that's the reason I still live in Fort Collins. Or maybe if I really get objective and try to make this into some kind of formula—say, "x" equals bad music, and say, "y" equals this epistle to you being pulled at by a wind that began to move its hips in the 1970s, and say, "z" is a wet cedar tree under a storm sky when the dazzle we call the sun, approaching the foothills, cracks through beneath the clouds and backlights this same wet cedar and all of the trees and lawns around it, as I ride my bicycle west, and rainwater and street dirt spray from both tires, as I pedal as fast as I can, leaning forward into what passes as beauty.


Cimarron Review
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