Mason-Dixon Lines p o e t ry B y M i c h a e l M c F e e Plunking the rusty washtub bass was simple, tautening or relaxing its rope so that a few thumping notes rose or fell at the floor of a bluegrass tune. And it wasn't that hard to squeeze some buzzing chords from the budget guitar when the rehearsers took a break to step outside the basement for some cokes. But cousin Marc was the only one stubborn and patient enough to teach himself to play, fiercely as Scruggs, the banjo: he'd stand perfectly still, head tilted forward, watching his big pale hands flashing as if they weren't part of his body anymore, the right one with slipped-on picks speedily crawling among the twanging strings stretched over the full-moon belly, the left one racing along sharp steel wires up and down that skinny neck until his finger pads started bleeding again, fresh calluses splitting as he played "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" one more time, my cousin only wincing slightly as the music scarred and healed his flying touch. From That Was Oasis, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012.
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Feb 1, 2013
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