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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 8/15/20

Good morning and happy weekend,

Time again for music and poetry to help us through…



If you’ve been reading these Musings, you know of my love of musicals, the show Sunday Morning, clever performances from home, and witty pandemic commentary. It’s all here in this a great performance of “He Had it Coming,” performed by the cast of Chicago (the musical) in lockdown. It has been reimagined with new lyrics for the pandemic: Howard Kroll adds this spin on “He Had It Coming” (TRIGGER WARNING: If you cannot abide a short spoof of our Supreme Leader, skip this):

Keeping with the Windy City theme, here is the band Chicago, performing “25 or 6 to 4” from their homes in shelter: By the way, the meaning of the song’s title is that it was written in the middle of the night, around 25 or 26 minutes before 4:00 a.m.

Since we’re still focused on Chicago, Andrea wanted me to point out that our current TV show takes place in Chicago. We are watching the plight of the law firm of Reddick, Boseman, & Lockhart on The Good Fight. This falls within one of our shared favorite genres—legal shows. And while it is contrived and often unrealistic, it offers up some great entertainment and some pretty frank discussions of current issues. The premise of a White lawyer joining a predominantly Black law firm is an interesting one. The show doesn’t shy away from touching on some of the more sensitive racial issues of the time—all prior to the murder of George Floyd. The performances by Audra McDonald (I defy anyone who is into the theatre or musicals not to absolutely love Ms. McDonald) and Delroy Lindo, as the leaders of the firm, are tremendous. Cush Jumbo, as Lucca Quinn, also is a scene stealer (with a great name like that, she could be a reporter for Morning Edition!).



Say Thank You Say I’m Sorry

By Jericho Brown (Pulitzer Prize winning poet asked to write about the pandemic for the New York Times)

I don’t know whose side you’re on,

But I am here for the people

Who work in grocery stores that glow in the morning

And close down for deep cleaning at night

Right up the street and in cities I mispronounce,

In towns too tiny for my big black

Car to quit, and in every wide corner

Of Kansas where going to school means

At least one field trip

To a slaughterhouse. I want so little: another leather bound

Book, a gimlet with a lavender gin, bread

So good when I taste it I can tell you

How it’s made. I’d like us to rethink

What it is to be a nation. I’m in a mood about America

Today. I have PTSD

About the Lord. God save the people who work

In grocery stores. They know a bit of glamour

Is a lot of glamour. They know how much

It costs for the eldest of us to eat. Save

My loves and not my sentences. Before I see them,

I draw a mole near my left dimple,

Add flair to the smile they can’t see

Behind my mask. I grin or lie or maybe

I wear the mouth of a beast. I eat wild animals

While some of us grow up knowing

What gnocchi is. The people who work at the grocery don’t care.

They say, Thank you. They say, Sorry,

We don’t sell motor oil anymore with a grief so thick

You could touch it. Go on. Touch it.

It is early. It is late. They have washed their hands.

They have washed their hands for you.

And they take the bus home.

Those Winter Sundays

By Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.

When the rooms were warm, he’d call,

and slowly I would rise and dress

fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,

who had driven out the cold

and polished my good shoes as well.

What did I know, what did I know

of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Have a great weekend,


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