Sunday, August 31, 2014

Without a Poem

I have a goal to write everyday. And the thing is I want to write about jazz.

I went to a concert the other night and the thing that struck me was my need to share my experience. But not in a review format where I talk about each song and musician, the solos in a sort of technical way. I want to capture the concert, but in an artistic way.

I cannot really draw. I always wanted to be that person at a jazz concert with a sketchbook pencilling a recreation of the scene to convey the music and musicians. I went to a Rudresh Mahanthappa concert in April and there was this lady a couple of seats down just drawing the scene. And the way she drew you could almost hear the music. The way she drew his eyes all closed, and fingers slightly curved- you could hear that.

But, that isn't my calling. I want to recreate that feeling with words. Not tell you that the musician did a chromatic run, but show you the sights, the sounds, the taste, the feel of the moment. The way the musician rocked back and forth, closed their eyes real tight, and breathed from their gut- how the note sparked and tapered, exploded then hissed.

I want to encapsulate a moment like that so the scene becomes real. Because I can tell you all about the concert, but can I really have you feel like you are there, smelling the stale air, squinting in the dim light, and feeling the cold wooden benches?

Like Jack Kerouac I want to write stream of consciousness minimally edited works that ultimately shed light on jazz. Whether it be directly about jazz or just with the rise and fall of the line- I want to find that sound in words.

So please help me while I try to write a poem everyday to my own beat. Sometimes they'll be long, sometimes short, sometimes detailed, sometimes hazy, but I do want them to be spur of the moment.

How would you recreate a moment in words?

Jazz Club

Stale air carries
coffee beer cola through
burning neon lights
warm dark dank weary
huddling close closer

Eggshell plastered walls
splattered with artwork of
men women children featuring
placid cool expressions
moaning to hear more more
running walking crawling

Cold hands on flat tables
wooden grainy dense with
paint peeling yellow straining
cracked back hunching over
kneeling to sit squinting to see

Tapping hooting rocking back
and forth shooting shadows
sound alerts with jabs slaps
claps snaps criss crossing over

Then a lucid silence contains a
slithering growling growing
sense of calm paint strokes burning
to yellow orange red

Slow walk hushed voice over
to a microphone off on
holding lifting hovering
whispers concealing energy
through the gasping coarse air

Breathe in breathe out
one and a two and a three
and a pure note shivers
across the nighttime air up to
whatever it is that can hear

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