Friday, July 5th, 2013...3:05 pm

b.z. niditch | on saturday

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Empress of the Blues | Painting by Romare Bearden

ON SATURDAY

First venture
every Saturday
it was my violin lesson
then solfege
and having to identify
like a music detective
the augmented
or diminished chords
a break and onto
the Wurst Haus
for Schnitzel,
then Shoenhofs books,
it was as if
nothing had changed
for my uncle
since the war
though he knew better
when he met former
friends from Vienna
or Berlin
and befriended them,
then to chamber music
where I had to score
different encores
for an upcoming symphony,
here we met an artist
at a Beethoven recital
on a Saturday night
with his own gallery
who was from Harlem
and knew Bessie Smith,
the Empress of the Blues,
and he told us
about the paintings
of Romare Bearden
who painted about Bessie
and the next Saturday
feeling like a morning thief
hiding out from
those free music lessons,
bought a recording
of “Downhearted Blues”
took my allowance
and bought a print
and album,
expecting approaching
musical doom
from my stage mother
but she listened to me
and Bessie.

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