b.z. niditch | improvisation no. 4

Painting by Stuart Davis | The Mellow Pad (1945-51)


The yellow red juices
seen as uppers
before a performance
with abnegated improvisation
depending on
a solitary sax
to settle
in Manhattan jazz’s
speak easy language
a guy in a beret
drifts in
connecting the abstract
with floating notes
rehearsed in his unreality
sitting by the piano
playing out “body and soul”
needing to chill on oxygen
and to have my shoulders
toned to tune up
from the neck down
loose from a hard message
in a madhouse
of free hands
on the drinking beds
and exhaled from dusty corners
of the Village’s dark rooms
as my thoughts write
on memory grams
recalling being a bit high
on hot nights in Soho bars
my red eyelids open
all my nerve endings
of shaky documentation
as in the Stuart Davis
sizzling abstract
“Mellow Pad”
with its raunchy colors
of earth-wise
water lined beats
begins in discovery
stealing our glances
when no one else
effaces our moments
of dazzling phantasms
waiting here to riff
in indifferent company
and we all love
without thinking out loud
gazing at the metro visages
among a faulty time
when an adolescent
shyly asks for a straw
to gurgle on a shake.

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