"Magnets" - 3/2/21
(RIP Hugh McGowan)

It is hard to know what to say. Only days ago
You messaged me, as always, playlist-swapping playfully
My sweet friend, there is no limit to the affection I felt for you

Even when things didn't "work out" for us as more than friends
Or maybe all the more so, I continued admiring your heart,
Your voice, your beautiful intelligence, your consciousness

When we met we were like magnets there was no logical
Explanation like many others I'm seeing say the same thing
I thought you were too cool for me. I was largely right

This is partly why when in your presence, whether it be
Privy to your razor-sharp incisiveness or simply listening
To you excitedly share you Muse's unassuming transcendence

I never ceased to be awed. Through the years our friendship
Deepened into an understanding that warranted few words
Occasionally you'd call and I was often surprised but you

Always sounded as though it was the most obvious thing
On the planet that your voice should be on the end of the line
You came out to see me play with our mutually beloved

Howard Jones we sat in the window of some inconsequential
Restaurant during most of his set catching up then you nudged
Me to go back to the merch table and sell while unbelievably

Suggesting that I meet up again even later, after the show
You didn't want to go there seemed to be something more
You wanted me to know I frequently felt that way about you

Part of your charm was the side of you you chose not to show
I remember being at your place surrounded by instruments
They seemed to be both precious and neglected possessions

People loved you and musicians revered you not only for your
Mind-boggling talent which was ample but for your generous
Willingness to listen, cheer on, collaborate, shine your own light

One of the best and worst days of my life was Falcon Ridge
My crush on you was sizable I knew I was in trouble
You were upfront, open, confident, unapologetic and I'm

Always at a loss around unabashed, brazenly irrefutable talent
Eventually you came to NYC you were my date at an art opening
You asked could you model my jacket I thought you were joking

You weren't you were always surprising we closed down
The place you serenaded my Dad he thought you sounded
Like Crowded House he wasn't wrong you appreciated beauty

More than most souls we went to see Glen Hansard at
Carnegie Hall I sat on the aisle as I tend to do and we
Held hands, your breathing was telepathic I agreed you should

Be up on that stage we promised whoever got there first
Would bring the other up as a guest I feel tonight like I failed you
I remember the last gig we played together you hugged me

And without worrying whether it was PC you said boldly:
"Fuck cancer. Rachael Sage I'm fucking glad you're alive!"
I didn't realize how this would go who can know who can know

You are and have been so beloved it seems like we all had
Our own not-so-private fan-club. Your playing and songwriting
Were not what lured me in but they're what kept me wondering

And you were, I believe, above all, loyal and generous
I can picture you surveying your unique terrain asking genuinely:
"How am I gonna move?" and yet you did what had daunted me

And at Folk Alliance last year in the hallway, you grabbed me
We got to tell each other some important things even as
Everything around us was dizzying. I'm grateful and angry

Nothing makes any sense but one thing I know to be true
Your memory will forever be a blessing and forever we
Will love you, arbiter of common sense and music, sweet Hugh