Poetry | June 01, 2009

Featuring the Poems:

 

Jazz

Today I’m thinking about this child’s life —

the rags of it, the ragged waves of it, the vaporous

fumes of it, the split tree, stomped out spark,

the one-eyed, peg-legged pirate of it, the over-ripened

kissed to bruises fruit, the exposed

negative, the burned out bulb marquee. And then

I start thinking maybe there’s hope.

Maybe her life could be like jazz

that starts out with a simple melody,

nothing complicated, nothing jittery or twisted,

and then breaks off, kisses it, waves goodbye,

ripens the notes, tears the tune to rags,

strips it, pokes out an eye, burns it,

sends it up in smoky wreaths,

reaches inside and steals the honey,

bees streaming in black ribbons from the hive,

and when it seems as though it’s long gone, ashes and bone,

when it’s strung out, wrung out, blasted

with a wrecking ball, bombed out, concrete dust,

it slides over and spirals up in one high thin note

stretched so far you can’t tell if the ache

is bitter or sweet, it returns

to the melody, rinsed pure and clean of the past,

you almost can’t bear it, the deliverance,

the song come home.

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