When The Big Man Blows

local_library When The Big Man Blows

by Phillip Henry Christopher

Published in Issue No. 188 ~ January, 2013

When the Big Man blows,

relive those glory days

rockin’ and rollin’ in the back seat of

a beat up old Buick,

an Asbury Park tune,

a hemi-head

double-barrel bass guitar,

wild and innocent

shufflin’ down E Street,

when Adam first raised a Caine

dancin’ in the moonlight Rosie

low tide summer,

and the tilt-a-wheel

caught us by the collar

and we hung on

and went around and around,

when the Promised Land was

clandestine alleyways,

heavy breath moist

air-fogged window

gasp of a woman child

back street September sixteen,

rockin’ back beat crashin’

fifty ton plates,

furious splooshing

ladles plunging into

liquid steel,

skinny silky skin

long-haired boy

trying to flee

the future,

the mill waiting

to turn velvet hands

to sand paper,

skin to leather,

the quick nervous

wrapping of limbs,

bumping of bellies,

then a house filled with silence

and forty years

of punching in and punching out,

of hot molten slag

like hell fire.

 

No Jersey Shore fantasy,

just the short ride

down Main Street

to the flats.

No sandy beach ocean,

just the Brandywine Creek.

No neon spinning carnival rides,

or stroll down summer boardwalks.

Just plod along under

smoke stack steeples,

clock in and out forever,

but never forget summers

of desperate fumbling

on back street back seats,

of alleyway heat,

of the Big Man blowin’ righteous

saxophone songs of

Sandy, and Rosie

and Crazy Davey,

while you sang a

song of yourself.

account_box More About

Phillip Henry Christopher spent his childhood in Paris, France, Biloxi, Mississippi, and the Green Mountain State of Vermont before landing in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, where he grew in the smokestack shadows of blue collar America. Since then, he has been a news reporter, industrial mechanic, taxi driver, karate sensei, political activist, educator, Reggae singer and Mambo orchestra leader. He has published in The Caribbean Writer, Gargoyle, New York Quarterly, Lullwater Review, The Haight Ashbury Literary Review, The Argotist Online, Blazevox, Perigee, Slow Trains, Blue Collar Review, Blind Man’s Rainbow, Hazmat Review, Indented Pillow, Curio and Melic Review. When not occupied with survival, Christopher can be found performing a sometimes joyous, sometimes disturbing blend of Cuban, Jamaican, African and American music with his psychedelic group, Mumbai Taxi, or as “Philadelphia Phil”, playing original acoustic Blues.