All the pennies may be gone but even the four year old across the street knows the taste of them.  The lingering scent of copper, the way tin dust makes your hands softer.  Pennies are still around in forgotten tea cups left to dry in bookshelf corners.  Behind doors where the carpet has lifted and frayed.  Under the cupboard liners, sticky with kitchen soot, making their unheard operas alongside paper clips and broccoli elastics.

Things that do not get thrown away.  Flotsam of house wifery.  Jetsam of urban hibernation.  They came with the house, immigrated, or never left.  Everything you are aware of is a stranger among the things that you do not see.

I fumble over this in my mind as I’m rolling coins.  (Because we get into the music business for the coin.)  Three eye hooks and a button and a dollar and eighty cents occupying the inside of   what can only be called a decorative goblet.  I went a little mad over it.  These things haven’t collected around me, I moved in with them.  Angry archaeologicals, waiting for me to finish my blink of existence.  So.  So they can carry on popping into being, undisturbed, so.

Objects of residue, that’s all.  But never garbage.  Never gone.

This year – the year that was and will never be again – this year was a eulogy, start to oncoming finish line.  2017 will be a kind of hangover for a while, as we recall the names of our strange new bedfellows, how we got home, where we left our credit card.  And launch into ignoring the things we are ashamed of, but only a fraction as well as we ignore the things that do not happen to us.

There will be residue.  And residue, though inoffensive and far past the corner of one’s eye, is discoverable.

There are very few moments in the time of women and men when one thing does not, in fact, lead to another.  I find I am hoping for some of those moments these coming days.

This year was hard.  Let’s be careful in leaving it.  Any part of it could linger, pennies in a decorative cup.  And even the four year old across the street will remember the taste of pennies.

( November 4th 2014, Six Shooter Records )



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