THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT OF GET BACK IS BILLY PRESTON

Sometimes the organ does a number on my head.
It flips it upside down and makes the world flat for a second.

I like to imagine a flat earth.
You drive to San Francisco or Japan in your little electric Honda

and then you fly off into space. All those planets—Jupiter and Saturn—
that could slaughter you in an instant but are so beautiful.

The most beautiful moment of The Beatles documentary Get Back
is Billy Preston.

On his organ. On “Don’t Let Me Down.”
He’s all joy, doesn’t care about the money, lets his smile and fingers light up a planet.

When he played The Hammond, my head went cuckoo.
I’ve heard that song 5 million times and every time his part comes in

my mind goes cuckoo-berserk
and the earth is flat.

I drive in my little Honda Prius and when I get to Brooklyn, I open my window and scream,
“Here we go,”

and then we’re off into space, right off the Verrazano,
the millions and billions and trillions of gallons of sea water

cascading into space with me.
Herbie Hancock’s “Textures” is on the stereo, and everything is textures

and my mind is a disco ball.
All the stars bouncing off my rearview mirror

and it’s good the earth has people like Billy Preston,
even if it is round.

All that g-flat major into a-minor joy
that flips the spirit.

We all need our spirit flipped, every day, in hopes
that we can get back

to somewhere we’ve never been
and friend, it ain’t ever been about the money.

***

Matthew Lippman’s collection Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful (2020) is published by Four Way Books. It was the recipient of the 2018 Levis Prize. His next collection, We Are All Sleeping With Our Sneakers On, will be published by Four Way Books in 2024.

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