Rachel B. Glaser

Guitar Teacher

the girl loves the guitar teacher but loves everything
but especially, that summer
the guitar teacher
whose life has beaten him into teaching guitar
in second floor music stores
the dim underground of suburban homes
in the grass like a god
or someone who’s seen god

guitar teachers don’t have good clothes
their heroes haven’t really helped them
and stare from album covers
while the guitar teachers sigh
and strum
and summon youth
and conjure the feeling of wisdom
walking the gritty parts of the city
or parts that used to be gritty
but now are maybe just worn and dead

the notes
there is something clear in the notes
guitar teachers lay beside their acoustic
thinking the guitar is man’s best invention
a more honest woman
or an obedient protégé

the girl makes the guitar teacher feel old
but occasionally legendary
she holds her little music book
though she refuses theory
she wants to learn a Doors song and he laughs
the song is all bass
but he figures it out for her
remembering a dream he had
just the night before
he was dancing with the girl
while a boy watched them
a boy that didn’t play the guitar
or even own one
a boy who didn’t have a voice
at least not a singing voice

eventually the guitar teacher backed away
and let the boy try to dance
the girl was, of course
in the very highlight of her life
like a sea creature shimmering in the sun
the guitar teacher has been tracking this light
this growing understanding of her own freedom
inside and outside a guitar solo
the wandering song that led the guitar teacher out of his parents house
and into the exciting, gritty parts of town
into the arms of girls who liked the Doors
liked Jim Morrison
though no guitar teacher really loves Jim Morrison
no good guitar teacher

the girl isn’t very different than those girls
has the same wild laugh
has taken the idea of a hippie and ran with it
with scarfs and lamps
and the poems of Charles Bukowski
the guitar teacher wants to show the girl sex
how it was shown to him
but she is dancing with the boy
and her light is blinding