Anybody familiar with the Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance just released in a Kindle Edition knows the Quotable Poet wrote the article about jazz in the book. And if you know that then you probably weren’t surprised to see his review of the International Jazz Day Global Concert titled World-class Musicians Honor Turkey’s Long Relationship with Jazz. Google News checked it out and added it to their net-wide news feed. Before the global concert, he published Jazz Harlem Renaissance Babydoll as part of a series for Poem in Your Pocket Day.
With all that hot jazz going down we couldn’t resist featuring one of the QP’s jazz poems for the Quotable Poem for the Month of May (even though Jazz Appreciation Month was April). In her review of The Bridge of Silver Wings (now called The River of winged Dreams) British novelist Rosy Cole wrote this about the poem: “As well as the melting-pot of traditions and civilisations, there is a blurring of the boundaries of the senses. We tend to identify them singly but we know they don’t function alone. In Sunday Afternoon and the Jazz Angel Cometh, they seem to coincide in an orgasmic reunion which not only celebrates life but redeems it.”
It’s a jazz poem that rocks big time. One favorite quote from it is “Your skin is human-hued and tiger-striped. Your software likes the contradiction.” File that one maybe under indigo children, biracial peeps, or world population statistics.
Sunday Afternoon and the Jazz-Angel Cometh
One arm is a crystal-blue saxophone,
the other a platinum-feathered keyboard—
yours is the music that colors our dreams.
Sunday afternoon and the jazz angel cometh
tap-dancing philosophies of the drum-roll
over a bebop-stay-cool bridge of silver wings.
As history bleeds forbidden light
thunder-heavy tears drip flavored adagios,
splash and explode into champagne solos.
The sacred mystery of improvisation
is hatred’s final aesthetic reconciliation
to the fact of love shining forever supreme.
Your skin is human-hued and tiger-striped.
Your software likes the contradiction.
At the edge of madness you howl diamonds and pearls.
Broken-hearted volcanoes sob your rhythms
as midnight flowers blossom your blues and
between their fingers prophets snap lightning to the beat.
In the center of time’s thorny labyrinth there you are––
naked you swallow quasars and spit raw genius,
cook your poems fresh, make music, make sense, make life.
(from The River of Winged Dreams)