Last night, once again, I was transported along with many others on and around the dance floor when Kelley Hunt and her band brought us over the threshold of 2011. As we danced, people yelled in my ear things like, “We’re back in the vortext,” “I feel like we’ve always been here,” and “It’s all happening again.” We sang “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” with her, we were bedazzled by an electric guitar player who brought us out to Jupiter and back home, we were astonished by Kelley on piano, her voice loud and low or fast and wide, and we truly came home to something far more real and alive than everyday life usually shows us. Here’s the poem I wrote last year about it all:
The night is made of song in this moment, the chords ringing
through our bones in harmony or dissonance at the end of one world
and the beginning of another. She closes her eyes, leans forward, sings.
The first velvet words land right in the center of whatever we thought
we knew. By the time the next words arrive, we’re ready: hips tilting
to one side, shoulders to the other, the drum beat an ocean of rhythm,
a hummingbird in the center of our chests. The fire warms us
across the distance, from the CD player in the car on an icy day
or right here, in Liberty Hall, on the last night of a decade.
When we inhale, we’re down at the riverside. When we exhale,
it’s clear that it’s not over when it’s over. The band explodes
at the top of the mountain, her hands dizzy across the keyboard
or the red guitar, each low note catches sun right below horizon.
Then the sudden rise of voice and bass, horn and drums,
following us into the dark, falling away but always near, light
as the strongest wings, heavy as the siren calls of all we’ve lost
but still love in our lives. She sings this, here, a new shade of blue
that rushes us back toward the dance floor right into music
that chimes our hearts open, boogy-woogies our muscles
into the lone star road of twist and rise, lifts our sights above
the blue notes and uncertainties so that finally, maybe forever
nothing holds us back from how we were meant to move.
***Thank you, Kelley!***