In the Garden

Laurie over in the Garden suggested we write a poem about bottleneck.  She was inspired by a poem written by Peggy Goetz.   There are several definitions, but I went with this one:

Here's the definition of bottleneck, according to Webster's New World College Dictionary (© 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio)-

  1. the neck of a bottle
  2. any place, as a narrow road, where traffic is slowed up or halted
  3. any point at which movement or progress is slowed up because much must be funneled through it: a bottleneck in production


designating or of a style of playing blues guitar in which notes and chords are formed by stopping a string or strings with a broken-off glass bottleneck, knife blade, etc. (read the interesting history behind this instrument/music here)

(transitive verb)

to act as a bottleneck in

Variations might include bottlenecking, bottlenecked, bottlenecks.

When I saw the blues guitar mentioned I went to YOUTUBE and found this video.

I decided to go in this direction!   The tone is haunting in this arrangement. Are you familiar with  bottlenecking?  I thought halted traffic sometimes was the case of rubbernecking?!   You know hanging your head out the window, to see what the hold up is or staring at a vehicle off the road, etc.

Blue notes slide
along life's tracks
mirroring mood 
waiting n' watching for
black snake-coal train
dim your eyeballs
the cow cage arrives instead
cabbage locals love the cow cage
music of the pistons firing
the heat kink
lashes up
watch for Wilma's eyeballs
 listen to the gritty soul
 of steal strung along the
latitudes and limitations
of history's muse
subject to
luminous tones
fretting away
tonal resonance
road map's culture
will not fret away
start the blues in A
F#,C# and G#
tap your foot and 
connect your thumb
let the tone ring
watch the turnaround
and double stops



Scriptor Senex said…
"Blue notes slide
along life's tracks
mirroring mood..."

What a great start! Really captured one straight awasy.
kaykuala said…
Yes, the sound in the video is haunting. And likewise the crashing of the trains is intimidating. It appeared very much a real crash with flames and all.

The style of playing the guitar is similar to the Hawaiian style where instead of glass some steel or wood implement is used. But the guitar is made to lie horizontal and the steel thing is made to slide along the strings. That gives out the typical Hawaiian guitar sound. Thanks for sharing Ella!

Shadow said…
love your interpretation. the opening, especially, grabbed me. and thanks for your visit, i appreciate your comment.
Sreeja said…
loved this take....enjoyed the video and..your poetic lines.....
love your take on the prompt, Ella ~ this kind of guitar playing {which i had seen and heard, but didn't know the name of} and trains really fit with the blues, don't they? just about my favorite kind of music. i loved the way you wove references to music and trains throughout your poem. enjoyed the music video, too.

wonderful write!!!

Shelly said…
Interesting...this would be good for a poetry slam.

Hugs and chocolate,
interesting poem, Ella. Wishing you a relaxed weekend!
Liza said…
There are some neat images here!
Very awesome, Ella! It's not a trick I would try with my guitar, but I like the direction you went with your piece.
Mary said…
I love the beginning of this poem, Ella:

"Blue notes slide
along life's tracks
mirroring mood"

These words ring true on so many different levels!

I can definitely hear that gritty soul in your poem!
Laurie Kolp said…
This is wonderful, Ella. The poem itself has a bluesy feel. I especially love the ending.

Oh, and I love your blog header!
Kerry O'Connor said…
Wow! This is just excellent poetry, Ella.
I so admire these lines:

listen to the gritty soul
of steal strung along the
latitudes and limitations
of history's muse...

The repetition of 'l' and 's' and 't' add real resonance to the lines.
Unknown said…
Oooh... you made me want to turn on my Tom Waits, my Leonard Cohen, my hot, sultry blues. That is a killer instigation. Thank you, Ella!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Them's the blues, all right, and played so fine. Loved especially "blue notes slide along life's tracks".
Helen said…
WOW! The combo of the music, the crashing trains and your words ~~ mighty powerful.
Susie Clevenger said…
Oh the sound of a train...the blues it plays on the tracks of where its been where it is going. Love your take on bottleneck!!
Cynthia said…
Lovely poem! I too have believed that slow traffic comes from rubbernecking.
Mary Ann Potter said…
Wonderful! A beautifully metaphorical piece --- so unique in its interpretation. Love the railroad motif here.
Susan said…
Lots of eyeballs here! Sure woke me up!
Though I think I missed half the references, I did so love the train on the tracks.
scarlett said…
You're such a great writer! Your words have that 'blue-sy" feel, such a talent for creating word pictures and feelings!
Hannah said…
Oh, soul sister indeed...when I arrived here your monarch picture and quote were here to greet me and my poem topic is the monarch!! Sweet serendipity.

The voice in your poem this time is unique, Ella, carrying a tone and tune a soulful mood.

I love this section:

"listen to the gritty soul
of steal strung along the
latitudes and limitations
of history's muse"

This and "fretting away," so cool!!

So nice to read you my friend.

((hugs)) and I hope you're feeling better.
Ellie Garratt said…
"tap your foot and
connect your thumb
let the tone ring"

Loved that. And your right, the music is haunting.
Dave King said…
Some lovely resonant lines here. These two of the best:

cabbage locals love the cow cage
music of the pistons firing
Marian said…
wilma's eyeballs! love it.
Ella said…
Hi Marian-slang for the lights on the train ;D

Dave-Thank you! I had to look up some train lingo. I loved so many words, but knew cabbage locals n' cow cage had to find their way into my poem :D

Ellie-We need to dance! lol It does reach the soul doesn't it-that sound!

Hannah-Thank you I am better! I had to add a few frets in there ;D
I loved the butterfly connection and now elephants with your! My other blog
ellasfont has an elephant, lol SS111 :D

Scarlett-Thank you! Maybe I will write some music. I did write a song, once upon a time ;D You are so kind, thank you~

Susan-I am happy you are awake :D
Eyeballs are train lingo for lights... I had to go

Mary Ann-Thank you...I couldn't help seeing the connection of the steel and the track, like a guitar.
:D I did think it an interesting combo~ You are sweet~

Cynthia-So glad I'm not the only one! :D Thank you~

Susie-Thank you! The video took me on that path...I liked the fit! :D

Helen-Thank you~ I couldn't find the right song, then I find this one! I love how haunting it was... :D

Sherry-Yes, I think we both know of that trip! Who doesn't...
Thank you! Yes, I could see my Dad picking his guitar! He was saying he was happy when he was a picking n' a grinning! He was a performer/ham!

Kim-Crank it Kim, so I can hear it over here! lol I could see my Dad playing Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues-I hear that train a coming..l
:D Thank you~

Kerry-Thank you! I had fun writing this one and reliving guitar and train memories. My Dad played the guitar and a neighbor worked for the B&M Train. Fun to combine the two! :D

Laurie-Thank you! I thought it was a great prompt...thanks for challenging us~ :D

Mary-Thank you! We all find a bit a grit along the way helps us see the shine, when we find it! :D

Alex-Thank you! I understand...but what a great haunting sound ;D

Liza-Thank you so much! It was fun to pair them together~

Dezzy-Thank you! I hope this for you, as well~ :D

Shelly-Thank you! :D (((hugs))) n' chocolate for everyone, lol

Dani-Thank you! I thought they went together~ You know I once partied on a train! I don't have the pictures to prove it, but they do exist. My Mom is going to mail them...and yes I played guitar! :D
I too love the sound~

Sreeja-Thank you so much! I worried about sharing the video, but it went with my poem~ :D

Shadow-Thank you! Yes, it was a prompt with so many interruptions~
I had fun...thank you~

Hank-Thank you for sharing this knowledge~ It is intriguing and such a beautiful sound~ :D

John-Thank you so much~ It was amazing the parallel thoughts, of the two ideas-trains and the blues~
Anonymous said…
This is so intriguing it just draws me in. I love the two different strand running throughout.
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