(With found quotes by Mr. Monk)
Between fast clouds:
a half moon …
a blue moon.
In my head
I was writing chorus 243 for ‘Mexico City Blues’,
by Jack Kerouac.
It was hard to get right.
It ended up like this:
‘You did not stop the murder
or the suicide,
even though the first sound
in your mind
was your mother’s heartbeat …
and not the bomb.’
I hit upon a piece of card in the gutter:
whitish, worn and wet.
Someone had scribbled down a few words on it –
hard to decipher at first.
A whacked-out suite of light indigo marks.
Lines bled over lines.
I could just make-out a configuration.
I could read … ‘Mr. Monk’s quotations.’
The penetrating sounds of sirens in the fast drying night
made me think of a Mingus solo; blowing,
flowing, over and through the low-moan,
go home drone of the late-date cabs.
"I don’t know
where it’s going.
Maybe it’s going …
The soul from Rocky Mount.
Big-eyed and introspective …
A quiet man of jazz from West 63rd Street.
"The high priest of bebop,"
living simple and cramped in a poky apartment,
with one aspiration …
"To play better."
With those far-out chords
he finally breached the barriers …
Unfastened the doors of perception
at the Five Spot.
Turned the world slowly on …
with that magical bad-ass dissonance.
"You can’t make
It just happens."
Picturing him there … at the piano,
hunched-over and purring some parallel tune.
De-lib-er-ate and heron-fingered
he’d jab at those thin breaks between the keys.
And they sure weren’t no clams!
Empty spaces …?
He used them like mortar
to hold together a complex wall.
play your own way …"
More than a dreamer lost in his own dreamtime …
A piano prophet in discourse with visions.
Talked with Mr. Imagination.
discovered the divine presence within himself.
Secured his source of freedom:
in those crazy, up-tempo, finger-zinging
spheres of burning grooves.
"I love music
and I’m mentally
all the time."
That’s where the jazz was.
In the connections
between the cracked and the …
He could see them, as bright as any road-sign
"I just play
into my mind."
He was a true poet.
Engrossed in music …
Down by law.
Searched for that ul-tim-ate resonance.
not hog-tied to any cornball style.
"I just like
the piano …
Spiky rhythms …
A heavy roll.
It’s quick and sure.
The sound strikes …
Keeps us …
from interfacing easy with our …
Like being …
© Colin Shaddick. England. 2006
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