Thursday, July 10th, 2008...11:38 pm

gary brower | chasin’ the trane

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CHASIN’ THE TRANE (For J. C., 1926-67)

The Belgian Adolph Sax
invented his horn
in the century
railways invented a new speed
though at first both
were called the Devil’s Instrument–
women forbidden to ride or play

but in the century
of jazz triumphant
the sax picked up speed too
and Trane put
his rolling stock
on the jazz rails
purging his mind
through the slim reed–
shoveling notes
into the hot box
up and down
the tonal railway

Trane blew the sax
blew your mind
blew up the music
and made a line
of notes out of structure–
free to run the charts
till they exploded
in a Jackson Pollock picture
painted by tongue

Trane passengers should know
the end of the tune
is the end of the line

and they could be dropped
at an unknown station—
might have to find
their own way back.

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