Saturday, March 20, 2010

SWING A BONE--for the jazz, man

I wrote this poem during a happy time in a city I love, Monterrey. Mexico. I used to jam with Omar and Milo Tamez and joined them on stage with other musicians from throughout the world during the city's annual jazz festival. A poet, used to embodying silence in speech rhythms and metaphors, stands in awe before riffs on precussion, guitar and saxophone.

I read in the newspapers that Monterrey has become a shooting gallery, that battles with drug traffickers take place everywhere, that one cannot walk about any more in a state of tranquility. I wonder about the illusion of that tranquil sea. I remember the delights of Buenos Aires, strollng after midnight and absolutely calm and safe. I suppose that music can serve as a palliative, that the gulf between the rich and poor can always seem too hard to cross using the usual methods of devotion to studies, getting a job that can pay the bills, establishing a family and teaching one's young to live carefully with the other creatures who occupy the planet. Let jazz continue to heal the gulf, the wounds. Let music make peace.





SWING A BONE




--for the jazz, man.


Swing a bone

catch a skull
in your pocket

Let
your sweat
jingle jangle jangle jingle

bone

bilious bloody blowing

brittle smithereened

bone

spool unraveled

gene code
condemned

bone,

my friend,

pure bone
at home
on the street,
on the phone

I tell you

swing a bone….


It doesn’t matter
where you swing

India, Wales
Sing Sing

Hell‘n Heaven
Monterrey

Man knows not
‘cept he’s got

the bone
and you don’t

have the phone

bone phone
we’re talking
bone language

Mr. Coltrane
swing
soprano bone

Thelonius
Monk fish

swim, man,
closer closer

to the keys

bone

Mingus
muttering

base bone

chattering

Ornette,
my man,

trumpet
the bone

violin
the sap

saxophone

Bone bone bone

Let drums roll

We’ve got
a bone to throw
in the room


Hey Monk
black and white

Hey Coltrane
tenor the sax


Hey Mingus
deeply does it
boom the bone

Ornette
smooth, man,
smooth that alto
sax in my ear

I’ve got a phone
call, man,

phone’s
ringing

and ringing
from the other

side, Man,

Hey God,
Got a bone?


Monk, don’t go,
Mingus, stay,
Coltrane, I invoke
you, Ornette

don’t leave me
man, with God
alone.

I need a bone.




Indran Amirthanayagam, March 31, 2004
Jazz Festival, Monterrey

1 comment:

GAB said...

El jazz es la octava maravilla, estupendo.