loss of karen in red white and blues

A week ago my dear and wonderful friend of more than twenty-four years, Karen Wilkinson, was alive and well. Friday she was stricken and felled by a brain aneurysm. Monday they removed life support and, I infer, harvested what organs of hers they could use.

While she was still not technically dead, I tried feebly to do creative things. Here’s what I did on Sunday the 4th:

001 002

The would-be poem seems finished but is not. After Karen died, I tried again, and wrote what I intend to read at the Caffeine Corridor poetry event tomorrow night:

fiddle away over and out

there was this girl in a jeans skirt in the spring of 1990
librarian glasses and face and demeanor like talia shire in rocky
but with a violin that spoke for her
boldly stepping into the sound of the livingroom band she’d just joined
and the girl and her fiddle turned three needy guitars into contrapuntal gold
at times trumping them with platinum

years later “roller derby queen” by jim croce reached new heights
when during the instrumental the sound crescendoed
and the fiddle did a trick of stringzipping into the stratosphere
followed by a beat of complete and magic silence
followed by the resumption of the raucous rollicking sound

the girl and her fiddle went with her piano-playing pal to jazz camp
and they grinned and grinned on their return

elsewhere in 2007
much of the band went to a cabin near grand lake colorado
played and played and sang and danced and snored and hiked and played and played
the promised moose never showed but the music flowed and made all all right
and the fiddler bent and swayed with that music and folded her excellence into it

her face focused transcendence
her rosined bow a dervish

sometimes she’d take the fiddle away from her chin and sing
because she wanted to hold voice-hands with the rest of us

and through a miracle of wishful thinking and overdub
i hear her voice and fiddle now together


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