My Neighbor Al

Written May 2020

Tab Bb (G, capo 3)

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my neighbor Al up the block is a novelist,                         LISTEN on INSTAGRAM
I just have his one book, turns out there are 5 or 6,
or who knows, maybe more, in a drawer in that old house of his,
still the first’s his masterwork, it helps to pay the bills, he says,
+++it’s not as if it made him rich,
+++my neighbor Al’s a novelist..

Al used to rent out rooms to tenants on the cheap,
they were usually young artists, mostly smokers, just like he is,
but these last few years, he’s been living by himself,
“I don’t need the stress”, he says, and lights a menthol cigarette,
+++besides, it wasn’t legal, I suppose…”,
+++my neighbor Al now lives alone…
++++++what if you made something great? and you knew it was great,
++++++all the critics raved; well, for a few years, anyway, you
++++++dreamed of a movie that they talked about but never made,
++++++++though once they staged it as a play..

my neighbor Albert used to stop by our front porch,
to talk some local gossip, smoking the whole time, of course,
he’d make it down to hear music in my living room,
afterwards he’d say, “man, let’s do this again real soon,”
+++it’s been a while since he’s been by,
+++my neighbor Al is not as spry..
++++++but back in the day, he wrote a book in just 6 weeks,
++++++earned world-wide praise, he read in Amsterdam and New York City,
++++++my neighbor Al’s house is overgrown with weeds and ivy,
++++++++every few years he hires Tom,
++++++++to beat the ivy back, but not for long..

what if you made something great, and it felt great to you?
strangers read your words, page-by-page, and they were moved,
what became of that movie that they didn’t shoot?
+++they’ll never know now what they missed
+++and should try that book again, it’s just
+++that I never get around to it,
+++but it’s still on my list,
+++my neighbor Al’s a novelist…

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