Jazz (What I Love and Why)

(click on drawing)

I love going to Yoshi’s with my son

We listen to jazz while I sketch

in the smoke and cell free zone.

The chairs are so high and small I slip off.

My feet hang.

The man in front of us has a coffee

bean printed on his cap.

The room goes dark as the waitress

brings a beer and a scotch.

Wearing a light weight summer suit

the pianist walks out on stage.

Three other musicians follow.

The pianist begins to play.

Look at the line of the piano.

How tall the string bass is.

The bass player’s fine line

fingers work the strings

into peppermint strokes.

His body moves back and forth

He plucks the strings.

Coffee bean head starts bobbing.

Fingers are tapping.  I’m drawing.

The sax player presses the brass

buttons of his saxophone

as he leans into his song.

His body filled with intuitive

spontaneous feeling

moves back and forth

up and down.

A familiar tune is playing.

Wrapped in the rhythm of the moment

I’m in there

dancing alone

in between

inside outside.

Loose ink glides over

the paper.

My eyes, hands and the music are one.

The players pour out their stories

Drums join in.

It gets going

changes direction.

Sounds play off each other.

Now a full easy tune

yellow daffodils become

a thundering herd of mustangs.

Heads are bobbin. Feet are tappin.

Everyone is gone

completely entranced.

Fresh silver stars stretch out.

A meadow of blossoms folds over into peach.

The music textures down to

sunset tones.

Applause follows quiet.

The set is over.

But I sat down only a moment ago.

I understand how I could

learn about the workings of

a computer or build

a painting or dissect a frog but

how to build jazz

I do not know.

4 thoughts on “Jazz (What I Love and Why)

  1. Beautiful! You’ve captured the spontaneous, “first time ever playing that piece” experience of jazz so well I was there, or nearly so. Another rendition of that piece might have turned up “a bluebird sky bursting into purple puffs”. If I could compose I’d set your poetry to music.


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