Twelve-Bar Blues

“The river gonna rise” in rapture, laughed Highway 61. Twisting and turning, and straight-away; Up and down across, always double-daring the Mighty Mississipp’. The faded blacktop and steel versus the ageless wonder of glacial scrape.

Dancing together to twelve-bar blues with the girl that brung ya from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Memphis and on to the bayou bottom, the Gulf, and the rest of the known world.

W stations in the east, K radio to the west; a frontier watershed straight down the middle. From the tippy top to the bayou bottom.

Where a million of every shade north south east west.. Down by boat, across by float, or just roll the windows down and drive, drive, drive. Migrate.

Where the bald eagle soared as the seal of a new empire;

Where river-rat Samuel Clemens became somebody else;

Where Jack Kerouac hitched and wrote of a washed clod in the rainy night;

Where you and me pick up a pen and give it a go, should we rhyme, should it flow? Please just shut up and give it a go.

And when it’s all over and when we’re all gone, the river’s the same and the roadway remains;

Muddy Mississipp’ and Highway 61.


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