Wendy Klein: Remembering Blueberry Hill

With our second supplementary post this week we take the opportunity to commemorate the recent passing of legendary pianist, singer and songwriter, Fat’s Domino. The UK-based American poet Wendy Klein has sent us a touching poem that takes us right back to the early days of Rock ‘n’ Roll. We asked Wendy if she had anything else from the same era. That way we could make it a twofer. You’ve got to remember, kids, that back then there was only vinyl and every record needed an A side and a B side. Wendy of course obliged and, what’s more, she directed us to a recording of one more dedicated to the memory of an icon of a more recent era: http://www.wendyklein.co.uk/Pretending_to_be_Queen.html

*****

Although Blueberry Hill, released by Fats Domino in 1956, will be forever associated with him, he didn’t actually write it. You can get the full story here and hear Fats singing it here.

*****

You can read more of Wendy’s poems on the high window here: Wendy Klein

*****

Wendy Klein: Two Poems

GOODBYE FATS
RIP 24 October 2017

How many times that year
cheek pressed to spotty cheek

I found my thrill

floating in a haze of Brylcreem
and Old Spice

on Blueberry Hill

the bony body of the latest flame
his ribcage pulsating

against my own
my barely-there breasts

The moon stood still

Precious 45s, their covers plastered
with his face, his cheeks so shiny

on Blueberry Hill

that love seemed almost possible
like his love for New Orleans

The wind in the willow played
love’s sweet melody

a love so strong he wouldn’t leave
while Katrina snapped and snarled

Though we’re apart

reducing that world to wet and rubble
and mud and grief and death

you’re part of me still

like Richard and Jay
and Bob and David

you were my thrill
on Blueberry Hill.

CLASS PHOTO, 1957

I’m not the pretty one, not
the one in a skin-tight sweater
with padded out boobs.

I’m not the one laughing,
posing, looking down
at my lap, my neat hands

folded there. I’m the one
you won’t notice right away,
if ever, the one a little left

of centre in the back row – too tall
for the middle, too short
for the top, lips closed tight

over a late-fitted brace, eyes
on something very distant,
above the photographer’s head,

beyond the goalposts,
the bell tower, the bus stop
the county line, searching

for something I’ve not yet
defined, not sure I ever will,
but the background music

will not be Elvis, Buddy Holly
or the anodyne Pat Boone,
I’ll be looking out for Leonard,

Bob, for Janis or Joni, for all
the Ladies of the Canyon,
waiting to welcome me.

*****

Wendy Klein was born in New York, but left the U.S. in 1964 to live in Sweden, and on from there to France, Germany and England where she has lived most of her adult life.  A retired psychotherapist, she is published in many magazines and anthologies and has two collections from Cinnamon Press:  Cuba in the Blood (2009) and Anything in Turquoise (2013). Her most recent collection is Mood Indigo published by Oversteps (2016).

*****

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s