I Met Jackson Browne Today

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There he stands.
Looking strikingly like the man,
the musician, I’ve always known.

Strange meeting him here,
in a toy shop,
if, in fact, this is
Jackson Browne,
the folk troubadour wandering through my living room record collection back home.

He’s disarming,
with calm eyes and posture.
It can’t be him.

It doesn’t matter now.
It’s so special to meet this man, whoever he is.

He says nothing.
He looks at me like he knows me.
Like he cares.
People – customers – don’t do that. How strange.

But I do know him,
from lyrics sung about heartbreak,
truth, and celebration.
Maybe,
if it is Jackson Browne,
he knows how gratefully I embraced each of those.

Impossible.
The real Jackson Browne
has too many fans to know such things.

This man –
short in height
with beard rubble protruding from a compassionate face –
wears cool, casual clothes,
conveying warmth
(freezing images of his stormy life on the rock and roll road, the megastar I expected to see).

There’s no less appropriate moment
to meet a soulful artist
than on a market showplace sales floor.
I almost want to apologize, but then,
because we understand each other,
I know he is with me.

But so quickly,
he is gone,
whoever he was,
lost in a customer crowd,
and out the door.

Yes, I did meet Jackson Browne today.
I know this man.
He looked at me like he knew me.
Like he cared.
Just like he cares about his songs
and his connection to the domain of people.

From spoken lyric
to microphone
to vinyl
to radio station
to wavelengths through space
across to me – on Earth, in my town, my world, this shop – and my little transistor of senses.

So light a journey, so weighty his peaceful, universal words.

That’s a super star.

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4 Comments

Filed under Blog, The Daily Thought

4 responses to “I Met Jackson Browne Today

  1. This was great, Mike. Very natural and easy. It flowed, and I liked the idea of him looking at you like he knew you. If it really was him, he probably saw in your eyes that you recognized him, and if he’s a good guy inside, which it sounds like he was/is, then you all exchanged a really nice moment between fan and artist. Nice post. Something to chew on.

    • Thanks, Walt. My first ‘poem’ since high school, and it felt good. Glad to hear it resonated with someone I respect like you. It was such a strange yet enlightening exchange I had to mull it over and pour forth words.

  2. Most non-pros overwrite their poetry. You didn’t. Reminds me of the time I saw Harrison Ford at a restaurant. I just gave him the head nod, and he gave it back.

  3. Don

    Oooh!!!! If i had been there (in your place), I would have prefaced a brief greeting w a question “Jackson?”. I would have been burning w curiosity and validation of identity!!! If “yes”, then joyous revelation!! And perhaps “Glad to see you here”. No further intrusion! (request for autograph etc)
    Browne has been a R&R idol of mine also since mid seventies; a spokesman for a certain narrow demographic of the early babyboom generation. I’m one of them.

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