Category Archives: Jazz

The Clap

Great players have an

aversion to applause and

plough on into the

next number whilst their

libido is loaded with the

lust for perfection.

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“Ask Me Now” (Thelonious Monk)

Ask me now while I’m

full of you and your

heart beats against my breasts and my

legs enwrap you and your

sweat mingles with mine and your

balls tighten to inject me and every

hormone in my body is

screaming “Ask her now” and

I’ll say yes and yes and yes so please

ask me now.

Introspection (take 3)–Thelonious Monk

Listening to it was what it felt like:

Monk’s hands–their hands–everywhere,

unexpectedly feeling for her

chords, her grace notes, her

majors and minors, her

cadences (Oh, you darling!), her

Picardy thirds, stretching her

loins like lion-meat, then

vamping into a second subject just to

titillate, then a third to

make her scream for the

dominant to make her

movement finish with a

flourish.

“Street Woman”

(Ornette Coleman, Soprano Saxophone

Don Cherry, Pocket Trumpet

Charlie Haden, Bass

Billy Higgins, Drums).

 

 

 

Ornate intro, kicked by

Billy’s drums into

Ornette switching

N’Orleans, Chicago, New York

tracked by Charlie’s

splay-toed bass, let loose into his

solo of such intense simplicity,

intense demand intensified by

Don’s pocket trumpet into an

ornate extro, Billy

kicking it to the end,

Ornette singing, less than

five minutes of

total jazz.

 

 

 

 

Blackbird Jam

The blackbird jam-session

gets going as the sun wanes

call and response

call and response

as if it was it was N’Orleans

on a hot night

just four bars apiece

trying to top each other

fiercely competitive singing

their hearts out.

‘Round Midnight

(written by Thelonious Monk, performed by Miles Davis)

 

When you put the funny hat on your horn

you take Monk’s tune down

darker streets, into

darker bars where

Sinatra’s asking Joe

to set ‘em up and

Ella’s letting Billie

sob on her shoulder,

and you keep flexing your arm, trying

to keep the cramps from taking you

for the inevitable fix

in the dirty john.

 

‘Trane tries to take you up into

a major sunrise and you let him

run about a while, then bring him back

where he and it belong

–in the minor,

in the dark.

Ornette

An ornery Texan playing plastic
like a New Orleans funeral band
on speed,
frightening at first
until the soulfulness got you
and the swing,
because they never buried you in New Orleans
without swing.

“Ruby My Dear” Take 3

Monk tries the keys
one by one from
the big bunch
on his fingers,
each one jangling with
possibilities:
what if I went there?
It started so simple but
the trying is what is
torture and fun because
there are so many chords
between those written.

Sea-otter (for Angeline)

His mind, sensing self-doubt,

seeks it out and pursues it down

the twists of a metal tube, bursting

like blood in a glass jar.

With the air full of smoke and sweat

the others toil to keep up with the

coal-train as it squeals and

growls and belches its way

above the tree-line, across

canyons on creaking trestles,

hoping for a watershed, a thought,

a favourite thing to bring this

gut-churning journey to an end by

calm waters where they can contemplate

the sea-otter embarked on his

lonely voyage of self-discovery,

cracking certainty with a stone

balanced on his breath.

“I Surrender, Dear”

I Surrender, Dear” (Clifford-Barris)

Monk was hammering it on his piano as he

made you stand in front of  him and undress,

shred after tasteful shred.

The long zip sighed, opening

tooth by tooth and the

flowered silk dress shucked to reveal

the balconnet bra, black and

matching your hold-ups,

your aching nipples and that

you’d shaved.

“Everything”—one simple word

so shaming and arousing: all

your effort strewn about his unhoovered floor.

Embarrased and determined—

what would your husband think?

Would he be here, if he knew, to watch

your feet waving in the air

like white flags?

N A L I N D A

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