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pearl's mad at miles told everybody her business by telling his
how can we make love to the keys, the fingers that pushed out the sweet melody that beat the kink right outta cicely's neck
what happened to the oiled cotton courageous and who did she become oddly silent her story the darker greek we've sung
we are not supposed to forgive miles for what he did supposed to give away his music to the tolerant masses who don't mind the irony of this antihero the sneer that looks as if it holds a limerick holds a lullaby instead coaxing lovers to open soften and croon
pearl says we should never forgive miles says keep him at the gates, like tantalus begging peter forever wishing the keys from his hands
but i think i can forgive him forgive him like i do my daddy a little every day
his hands didn't always hurt didn't always push no mostly, they carried soil, pipe tobacco and matches inks from fountain pens type for the books he'd set old books sold with mama brother from the hospital tears when his father died
maybe pearl doesn't know that love from daughters is complicated that without forgive there is nothing left no memory that is not stuck to his face a garden a record under the hi-fi sketches of spain, my father had
see, if i don't forgive daddy then i miss all of miles all the sticky croon the warm silver tones that give the slow flicker of low light on water
both my daddy and miles are gone now but they probably too cool to hang out with each other
as i pull out old photos of my father kneeling with eggplants i pull another tune from the anthology that is miles the puzzle of love these men lived
i keep them in just enough light to keep their shape, but not their color a kind of blue
Note: Inspired by Pearl Cleage's essay, "Mad at Miles."
I love jazz because it is a pure American music and can be expressed in different ways depending upon the artist.
I was first exposed to jazz while as a teenager I listened to Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong, on a jazz
radio station in New York City.