Saturday, November 10, 2018

James Babbs writes

Noises From Under the Ground

the basement walls painted blue
blue carpeting covering the floor
it makes me think of water and
I stretch out
down there on the floor
and pretend I’m floating
in the middle of the vast ocean
some nights
I sleep down there
on the fold-out bed
the couch I bought for fifty dollars
more than 25 years ago

listening to the Warren Zevon album
I bought a month ago
from the record store in Champaign
it came out in 1987
the year I turned 21
I don’t know
how many records I own
I haven’t counted them
in such a long time
Mr. Zevon succumbed to cancer
in September of 2003
for a couple of years
I lived in a different town
before buying this house
and moving back here
Mr. Zevon’s last album was called The Wind
one of the records I’m still trying to get

last time the basement flooded
I used a utility knife and
cut through the carpet and padding
before peeling back the layers
so it was easier for me to dry them out
I was able to save the carpet
but I vowed
if it ever flooded again
I’d pull up the carpeting
and throw it away
an inch-wide gap runs along the floor
separating the carpet into two pieces
but so what
it’s not hurting anything
Image result for warren zevon wind paintings

1 comment:

  1. Champaign, Illinois, is 135 mi (217 km) south of Chicago. It was founded in 1855 as West Urbana when the Illinois Central Railroad was built 2 mi (3 km) west of Urbana because the land was flatter there than in town. When Urbana was settled in 1822 the area was known as Big Grove but in 1833 it was named "Urbana." West Urbana was renamed Champaign in 1860. The two cities comprise a metropolitan area Champagne-Urbana (locally referred to as "Chambana") and contains the flagship campus of the University of Illinois.

    Zevon was born in nearby Chicago. His best-known song was "Werewolves of London" from the album "Excitable Boy" (1978). Later albums, such as "Sentimental Hygiene" (1987) were less succesful until the release of his last one, "The Wind," in 2003. He died 12 days later; the album won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album, and one of its songs, "Disorder in the House," won one (with Bruce Springsteen) as Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. He had announced his fatal illness on the "Late Show with David Letterman" and commented that "I might have made a tactical error in not going to a physician for 20 years."


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