Two poets on Pat Metheny

November 28th, 2022

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Dorota Koperska Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pat Metheny 2019 03

Pat Metheny; March, 2019

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Pat Metheny, circa 1980

Like multiple cups of caffe macchiato,
Pat Metheny’s guitar sent us up to the
stratosphere at American U. that year.

After watching and re-watching Triumph of the Will
After counting the frames in Meshes of the Afternoon
After all those hours listening to Harvard educated
professors expound on Silvia Plath’s and Ted Hughes’
poetry—

we were set free with electronic arpeggios,
elevated beyond the civil war monuments,
out past those classroom battlements,
and in every other moment saw stars
shooting out of Pat’s amp, his face
twisting above guitar strings
in rapt expressions of sheer pleasure.

His music laid siege to the whole campus,
his notes growing seeds in the gardens,
his chords spinning into constellations
of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

During intermission, we smoked cigarettes
outside in the cold humid air of D.C.’s
early spring. Our ears ringing, conversation
impossible, we couldn’t wait to get back in.

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by D.H. Jenkins

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Pat Metheny

Another Mr. Popularity
(& for good reason)

Profoundly sad &
sweet
alternating
joyous & sweet
(ad infinitum…)

Nice & easy

Easy is nice, too

Warm summer evenings
windows rolled down
Meth (lite) cranked up

Ride us to the town
called love
(it’s in the pink)

No tip, you know
better than that

The pleasure was always
both of ours

And don’t wait outside,
we’ll be up late
listening to it all
bleach out
white silence

Highly produced, yes
(Mr. Popularity, &
for good reason)

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by Stephen Bett

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D. H. Jenkins’ plays have been staged in California, Arizona, Australia, and Japan. His poems appear in the art films “Call From a Distant Shore” and “Our Autumn,” and in The Tiger Moth Review and Jerry Jazz Musician.

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Stephen Bett is an internationally-known Canadian poet who has had 23 books of poetry and one book of non-fiction published. His earlier work is known for its sassy, edgy, hip, caustic wit―indeed, for the askance look of the serious satirist… skewering what he calls the ‘vapid monoculture’ of our times. His more recent books have been described as incredible accomplishments for their authentic minimalist subtlety. Many are tightly sequenced book-length ‘serial’ poems, which allow for a rich echoing of cadence and image, building a wonderfully subtle, nuanced music.  He is recently retired after a 31-year teaching career largely at Langara College in Vancouver, and now lives with his wife Katie in Victoria, BC.  Click here to visit his website.

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Listen to Pat Metheny and bassist Charlie Haden play “Message to a Friend,” from their 1996 recording Beyond the Missouri Sky [Universal Music Group]

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Click here to learn how to submit your poetry

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