November 2001

Bart Becker


Bart Becker is from Nebraska, way back in the country. He is the author of 'Til The Cows Come Home (Rock 'n' Roll Nebraska) and is in the Nebraska Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. He now lives in Seattle, where he's working on Last Set at the Pressure Drop.

Last Set At The Pressure Drop   

I Can't Help It If I'm Lucky

This all started right around Easter with a song I couldn't get out of my head—"Casanova" by LeVert. I was sitting on a green park bench singing it when he sat down next to me and struck up a conversation so familiar you would have thought we knew each other from kindergarden. It couldn't have been even five minutes before he turned and said, "Hey, Sweet, knock me a kiss." After that we just kept on going. I can't help it if I'm lucky.

Try A Little Tenderness

At Tiny's Fruit Stand, a disintegrating tin-and-plank juke joint, it is after hours, which means only that we stop drinking B&B or Blue Ribbon—what we call "legal"—and start on the homemade white shine-"corn" or "jar." This is Tiny's idea of protocol; she won't serve the lightning during business hours. She is huge, beautiful, and counting cash at the bar with her stoic boyfriend Dimples; "cute" is the word women use about him. A couple of half-drunks with bleached bouffant hairdos start singing pretty harmony on "Try A Little Tenderness," Tiny makes that delicate little movement with her mouth, and pulls Dimples in close.

Guy Shot at Him, Got Me Right There

"It was on a Sunday afternoon at the Pressure Drop. Band was playing 'Messin' With the Kid,' fight break out. Everybody was running, I ran, too. Guy shot at him, got me right there."

"Jesus Christ!"

"Bust that big leg bone. Laid me up for about six months, then on crutches. I ain't doing too bad now. Leg give out now and then."



Bart Becker: Poetry
Copyright © 2001 The Cortland Review Issue 18The Cortland Review