Monday, April 03, 2006

Never Blend In

Today is Marvin Gaye's birthday, the day after his death day. (Note the timely Sopranos reference and the use of Marvin Gaye's name as a verb relating to his father murdering him-- ie, "He Marvin-Gayed his own nephew.") The first time I went to the Motown Museum in Detroit, the guide talked about the two people who first had creative control over their own music on the Motown label -- Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. According to the guide, this control was granted to Stevie Wonder because he was a "genius" and Marvin Gaye because he was "unbelievably stubborn." I love both men's music, but I can relate to being stubborn more than I can relate to being a genius. Of course, Marvin Gaye was both. I travel a fair amount and on the way to the airport, there's several billboards advertising Hennessey with a beautiful picture of Marvin Gaye in the rain that always reminds me that I'm leaving Detroit or returning to it, the place Joyce Carol Oates calls "that most complicated of American cities." The drink of the day is a lovely after-dinner drink that helps to ease complication, mostly due to its perfect simplicity.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Saints have no moderation/ nor do poets/ just exuberance." Anne Sexton

Inner-City Blues
One part Hennessey
One part Starbuck's Cream Liqueur

Served chilled or on the rocks.

Benedictions and Maledictions

"There's only three things, that's for sure -- taxes, death, and trouble." Marvin Gaye

Never Blend In
Marvin Gaye looks down upon me
in the grey Detroit rain, his luminous face
on a billboard for Hennessey. I drive
the chewed-up streets, the streets Marvin
drove while writing those perfect songs,
knowing I cannot write anything anyone
would want to hear. My songs say I am
a small petty person, that there is jealousy
in my heart, perhaps no love can last.
Marvin says, If I could build my whole world
around you, and when I look into his eyes far off
and sad, I think just maybe he already has.


Amy said...

Michelle, you are so beautiful!

Paul said...

Wow, Marvin's the best. Your poem rocks! And you ARE beautiful. Your profile also rocks.