JAZZ, DON'T LISTEN TO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK
Beach 1950's/60's - Published in THE
New Directions Publishers NYC 1989
In the beginning, in the wet
Warm dark place,
Straining to break out, clawing at strange cables
Hearing her screams, laughing
"Later we forgot ourselves, we didn't know"
Some secret jazz
Shouted, wait, don't go.
Impatient, we came running, innocent
of blood and faith.
To this mother, father world
Where laughter seems out of place
So we learned to cry, pleased
They pronounced human.
The secret jazz blew a sigh
Some familiar sound shouted wait
Some are evil, some will hate.
"Just Jazz, blowing its top again"
So we rushed and laughed.
As we pushed and grabbed
While Jazz blew in the night
Suddenly we were too busy to hear a sound
We were busy shoving mud in men's mouths,
Who were busy dying on living ground
Busy earning medals, for killing children on deserted
Occupying their fathers, raping their mothers, busy humans
busy burning Japanese in atomicolorcinescope
With stereophonic screams,
What one-hundred-percent red-blooded savage would waste
Listening to Jazz, with so many important things going on
But even the fittest murderers must rest
So we sat down on our blood-soaked garments,
And listened to Jazz
.........................lost,steeped in all our dreams
We were shocked at the sound of life,long gone from our own
We were indignant at the whistling,thinking, singing, beating,
Living sound, which mocked us, but let us feel sweet life again
We wept for it, hugged it, kissed it, loved it, joined it, we
Smoked it, ate with it, slept with it
We made our girls wear it for lovemaking
Instead of silly lace gowns,
Now in those terrible moments, when the dark memories come
The secret moments to which we admit no one
When guiltily we crawl back in time, reaching away from
We hear a familiar sound,
Jazz, scratching, digging, bluing,swinging jazz,
And we listen
And we feel