{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Linda Stern

co-published, with her husband, the poet David M. Katz, a small poetry magazine, Endymion, and now serves as contributing editor for Umbrella.

She lives in New York City and works as an editor.

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You have a dream of music in your head.
The lyrics that you wrote must be sublime,
and there must be a melody that you
are humming softly as you strike the ride,

the tom, the high hat, and the crash and now
the bass that you have just begun to pound
with a new foot pedal you’ve added since,
your mother said, you lost the one you’d found

at some guy’s house in Brooklyn where you jammed.
You’re fast—so very fast, in fact, I think
you must have trouble keeping the right beat,
with singer and guitarist both in sync—

and loud and hard. It vibrates through my wall.
You’re struck by inspiration’s steely gleam,
that spark of revelation in your head,
and I’m not one for stomping on your dream.

I think you should play hard and loud and fast,
but maybe not today, the Sabbath day.
So why not watch TV this afternoon
or hang out in a park or a café

and speculate with pals on girls you know—
who is easy, who has a pretty face,
who might be open to a drummer’s charms?
Leave me a quiet time to also seek God’s grace.