Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 12
Spring 2015

I Attend a Concert

by Sylvia Levinson

Too old to backflip, somersault—
trademarks of his wild man days, 
tonight, paunchy, jowly, grand old man 
still grinds fat-toned guitar licks, prowls 
the stage lip, his black hair streaming,
eyes hidden under the brim of his brown
cowboy hat. He enters the crowd 
and plays it sexy to the women, 
plays it with his tongue, behind his 
back, across his ass, and the audience howls.

We’re all on our feet and
the darkened auditorium vibrates,
with shouts of “tell it, man,” “oh, yeah,” 
whoops and groans amid the blistering 
pyrotechnics of Guitar Shorty. Grinding
blues, Texas shuffle, New Orleans funk, 
his electric Fender screams, cajoles, seduces.
For a moment I stop my clapping,
head-bobbing and hip-shaking, 
sit down in my seat and smile, 
remember, this was the music 
that once made me want to 
take my clothes off.
It still does.


SHJ Issue 12
Spring 2015

Sylvia Levinson

moved to California in 1962 and to San Diego County in 1974, which she hopes qualifies her as a “local.” Her poetry life began when she worked in marketing at the Old Globe Theatre for several years. She is the author of a chapbook, Spoon (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and Gateways: Poems of Nature, Meditation and Renewal (Caernarvon Press, 2005). Her work has been published in several journals and anthologies including: Blue Arc West, City Works, San Diego Writers Ink, Magee Park, The Christian Science Monitor, The Reader, and Serving House Journal.

She believes “retirement” is an active verb which propels her poetry, workshops, volunteer work at KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM, and attendance at many theater and jazz performances each year.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury