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Joel Lane, from The Autumn Myth

Homesick

Maryport, 2006

Homesick James, born in Tennessee
and the oldest Chicago bluesman,
is helped onto the bare stage
and guided to his stool,
where they strap on his guitar
and fix his microphone.

After eighty years of playing
slide guitar, he needs an amp
to get his strength back.
The audience are restless.
"I'm gonna play," he says,
"you listen if you want."

His first note cuts
the night cleanly in half.