Poetry

Jazz since nineteen-fifty-nine

 

Penned in and rounded off

By the careless chattering

Of lesser city royalty

And aspiring champagne socialists

Clumsy-drunken

The five steps of composition

 

The evening staggers on

On in broken movements

As convoluted as it needs to be

Teasing arrangements

Simple as sweat on walls

Sixty solid years of cigar smoke

Precipitate in a glass

On a lung, under tongue

Inside an ear canal

 

If I died now

It would be as a big, bald man of sixty

Face down in a bowl of lukewarm linguine

French ‘seventy-five in my stiffened claw

Disinterested mistress by my side

My face a mask of contentment

Her menu masking embarrassment

Standard