Listening to Sinatra

Listening to Sinatra, Blue Eyes
sipping his blues on the rocks, cigarette smoke
curling up into another September song,
three a. m. in his soul in some half forgotten
side street bar, alone and far from eternity
on the nightside of town. Just listen:

to the Sultan of Swoon with the Dorsey swing,
to the Hollywood songs by The Voice,
to the loss and heart aches remembered
as the music ripened, a fine wine aged.
Frank, like DiMaggio, perfect grace and style,
this Hoboken kid sure made Little Italy proud.

All “high hopes,” “young at heart” and counting
his “pennies from heaven” those very good years
“the summer wind blew” as he flew us to the moon
“nice ‘n’ easy” on The “Guys and Dolls” Express.
Sang those “old black magic,” street-of-dreams tunes
his way, Pal Joey in Vegastown.

Luck was his lady a second time around
during the Rat Pack days of Frank, Sammy
and Dean, his “Oceans Eleven” gang playing
“Robin and the Seven Hoods” just for laughs.
With his gambler’s heart he threw the dice
and scored a great American songbook.

“There used to be a ballpark” where he sang
of Emily and Nancy with the laughing face.
Then the autumn days, the summer years gone
and his once upon a time, ‘til suddenly
he was eighty with only duets left. Just listen
to this Chairman of the Board, Zen-maestro of Song.