441

Three Jazz Poems

Gordon Marshall By

Sign in to view read count
Dolphy

What I hear is gone,
playpens clattering

with rattles like drums,
hum of heater on the floor—

I remember this as I tap
the tones out of the

bass clarinet bell. I yell,
Hell! I can tell

the past that steers
the turnstile giving me gate

at the Village Gate
or Vanguard, swapping

songs with 'Trane, washing
the garnet buried in my vein.

Jones

Elvin, avian basher
of the tom, bomber

beating a path through
briars on the 4 AM earth

false dawn declaring
cold and dark,

as your skin, sweating
under mesh, as you mash

twin cymbals of hi-hat
to Coltrane's snaking sound.

I'm around, on the ground
briars rising around me

sky as dark as thorns
are red, as your blood.

Spiritual

Hard as a blue diamond
the soul of a swinging

pendulum minded
master of the jazz jury,

out as jazz is in. I'm in,
polishing the jewel

taking my knocks to
my teeth—the size

of it—the size of the jewel
ceasing to be a stone,

but the emblem
of a people, hard as the blue

diamond, and swinging
through socks to the jaw.


Shop

More Articles

Read The Fire in Coltrane’s Lungs Jazz Poetry The Fire in Coltrane’s Lungs
by Larry Jaffe
Published: August 2, 2014
Read Kissing Cousins: Jazz + poetry = jazz poetry Jazz Poetry Kissing Cousins: Jazz + poetry = jazz poetry
by Jeff Winke
Published: May 1, 2014
Read The Answer is Jim Jazz Poetry The Answer is Jim
by William DeLancey Adamson
Published: December 11, 2013
Read Birds with Long Red Tails Jazz Poetry Birds with Long Red Tails
by Adriana Carcu
Published: October 28, 2012
Read Poetry in Motian Jazz Poetry Poetry in Motian
by William DeLancey Adamson
Published: November 23, 2011
Read Black Sage (for Henry Grimes) Jazz Poetry Black Sage (for Henry Grimes)
by Gordon Marshall
Published: July 17, 2011
Read "The Real Dixieland Book / Tunes Of The Twenties" Book Reviews The Real Dixieland Book / Tunes Of The Twenties
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel" Live Reviews The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel
by Joseph Boselovic
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Take Five With Brandon Goodwin of B's Bees" Take Five With... Take Five With Brandon Goodwin of B's Bees
by Brandon Goodwin
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Carol Albert: Going for the Finish Line" In The Biz Carol Albert: Going for the Finish Line
by Kathy Sanborn
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "The Traveling Wilburys Collection" Extended Analysis The Traveling Wilburys Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: September 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!