Jazz & Poetry M.ETROPOLIS | On-line source for jazz, free-jazz, improvised, innovative, adventurous and unheard music and dangerous poetry. We listen to music and read artists who don’t even exist yet.
yes it is now
THE GREAT SMOKIES
Jazz jism, cool rhythm, band and
I an it’s-ready-Eddy
U a quit-jerk-fool –
in a melancholy pool, balloons,
draped body parts, soft
crowns, hard glories
and the red refusing
the insults, itching
for luck that IS the grease
as the slack drips
up bottom vales, top
ales, fearful perhaps
but aimed from fog.
O dreamer, dive in to me.
© Copyright Edward Mycue
I’ve nothing against poetic license, so formerly racist linguistics are open for appropriation, but I just have to mention that ‘Jazz jism’ is jarringly offensive and redundant (at least to a Black write/academic/ music critic and historian such as myself) since the word ‘Jazz’ itself is a derivation from the 18th/19th century term for the Asian vagina, ‘joss’, which British seamen invented then transformed into a term for all colored sex, and then introduced the word ‘jism’ to signify African and slave sex, prostitution, and by declension, semen. The words, ‘Jazz, jism, and joss’ (all interchangeable at certain points in Western history, all representing African American music at certain points) became so notorious for Black American musicians in the modernist age of musicians like Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton, Archie Schepp, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, that Black American writers, artists, and musicians cursed it and rejected the term. They preferred to cal the music “Black Creative Music” (This term was widely spread by Black advant-garde musicians such as the Black Arts Collective, the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the World Saxophone Quartet).
So what say ye about the aura of reclamation seeding the rhythms of language today with N and Q and B and . . . all such radical fairee words (and in analysis of this post, please pay special attention to all of the possible definitions/affectations of seeding)?
Well, my default position is since you ask, that all language is open to the poet and that no words should be censored. Not even ‘Nigger’ or ‘Bitch’. My alert simply reflects my conviction that we all ought to KNOW the histories and origins of words we use. I think knowing where words came from and letting context dictate our use of them will show in our art. If we are armed with knowledge we can weather criticism from word cops who want to control is as writers. Ultimately poets ARE all outlaws, and the rule of being an outlaw is know your guns, know your ammunition, and know the layout if the bank you mean to rob. Go for it.
THAT SUMMER I WAS 16: MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC
Art Lund sang Joey from THE MOST HAPPY FELLOW (‘in the whole Napa Valley’– from Frank Loesser’s musical of Sidney Kingsley’s depression-era play THEY KNEW WHAT THE WANTED ), Vaughn Monroe deeptoned Mona Lisa; Nat King Cole, had his easy way with Nature Boy. Then it’s Ebb Tide, The Unchained Melody (‘Time goes by so slowly/and time can do so much….), &
Teresa Brewer wailing: Let me go/let me go/Let Me Go, Lover ./Let me be/set me free/from your spell.’ [—oh, yeh. yeh, yeh.] My brother David’s absolute favorite: Perez Prado’s ( It’s) Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (‘when you’re in love’—That must have been his Joanie Parker song.). [I was sixteen that summer working as old Mr. Flanagan’s helper at the Campfire Girls’ camp,
south of Dallas, on a ridge above the Big Brothers’ camp below, where my best friend Frank ‘Nicky’ Knickerbocker worked–his mother got us our jobs.] Spin to Perry Como singing No Other Love (have I/only my love for you,/only the dream we knew,/into the night I cry/hurry home, come home to me,/set me free/ free from doubt/ and free/ from longing.– from Rogers & Hammerstein’s ME AND
JULIET). Now switch into ‘It’s always like this/I worry and wonder,/your lips may be near/ but where is your heart?’ (The Song From Moulin Rouge). After that is Shake Rattle & Roll (‘You wear those thin dresses/and the sun come shining through./I didn’t know honey all that belonged to you.’ Adults were shocked at those lines, yet we were not so lascivious as they were I think.) Now skirl/ swoon
to Vic Damone crooning Eternally the soaring theme of Charlie Chaplin’s LIMELIGHT movie [By the end of that summer of nineteen fifty-three I thought I loved Ellie the Campfire Girls’ summer-camp cook’s boy friend also from her North Carolina college a football hunk working in that Big Brother camp in that valley below]: “though the stars may cease to shine/my love shall always
be/forever true and loving you / eternally.” My youth now seems a good earth original today so achingly beautiful. Great grandmother Jane Kennedy Delehant had often intoned “Backward, oh backward/ o time in thy flight/ make me a child again/ just for tonight.” Night NOW I think it say it remembering 16.
© Copyright Edward Mycue Sunday 18 December 18, 2016
A GREAT FINAL MUSIC
That words dream motion
makes life glorious
puts raw silk to silence
gives music tongue,
reveals in all the rainbow colors
how nature comes listening
to seed bursting,
to the prairie garnet and
desert chimney peridot,
leaving the wind behind.
All flow into
a great final music.
© Copyright Edward Mycue for Serge Echeverria
ABOUT AMANDA, My poem and the old song
was a fishseller
She loved a sailor./
He loved her./
They were happy, togegther./
But she went to Copenhagen./
There she met students,
She fell into troubles./
So she could never go back
Back in 1969 i wrote this poem after having been to Kerteminde a Hanseatic city on the Danish island of Funen and talked to old sailors through Karen Lundin. They explained the statue of Amanda in their harbor (one saying Amanda was a bookseller as she was shown, but the others that she was a fishseller there.
I’d heard the old music hall song froma Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens review early in the 20th century that had been sung by Astrid Nielsen ( who later became a major film star in Germany); people recalled it as a “folk” song, but it wasn’t in the beginning.
I met / knew Astrid, and her daughter Susanne Palsbo who was then an older woman journalist and her daughter Karen and son Soren Palsbo then an apprentice journalist.
I’d half-forgotten all but the beginning and tune: someome a few years ago googled the original song in Danish.)
Many of us could never go home even when we had not left it. Home is a windsong in our hearts. These hearts have exploded, repositioned themselves, ending as much the mends themselves as the remaindered hearts. This then is ‘home’ and a song about it. © Edward Mycue