listening to townes van zandt | poem by Mark Hartenbach

The Sound of Music by Mark Hartenbach

The poem below by Mark Hartenbach is included in his Hcolom Press book of poems titled “The Sound of Music” which can be purchased by going to this link…

listening to townes van zandt’s “live at the old quarter”
thinking how my therapist said that here in the valley
most of the people have a fatalistic world-view…

Mark Hartenbach

a documentary was released recently
on the life & music of townes van zandt
a hard living songwriter
i bought this on vinyl maybe twenty-five years ago
but i’m listening to the cd now
i found it in a bargain bin
not on the original tomato label
but i think since tomato has re-released it
because of the renewed interest in him
there are two dozen tracks
but strangely enough
he kicks it off with “pancho & lefty”
by far his most well known song
that’s been recorded many times
& i believe was a big hit for willie nelson
my favorite van zandt song is “waitin’ round to die”
i read that he wrote this song right after getting married
he went in a closet & told his bride he was going to write a song
she must have been expecting a romantic love song
but instead he sang this fatalist ode about wife-beating
robbery & prison, a woman taking all his money
& the best friend he’s ever seen — codeine
i’ve played this song hundreds of times
it’s one of a few that i can remember all the words to

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