Wednesday, February 28

Another draft of the Coltrane poem

Have you heard?
Have you heard?
John. St John.
Have you heard?

A bomb went off in a Baptist Church.
Four little black girls.
Dead. In Alabama.

Have you heard?
Has you heard him?
Have you felt him?
Has he touched you?
Has he touched the hem of your garment?
The man from Hamlet.
To be or not to be
is not the question.
To be or not to be
touched by tongues of fire.
That is the question.
Listen. In the blinking of an eye.
We will not all die,
but we will all be changed.
In the beginning was the word
In the beginning was the horn
In the beginning
he was approaching perfection.
The saxophonification of perfection
This sounds like jazz
is supposed to sound, right?
Blue Trane, Soul Trane, Coltrane.
Giant Steps, Naima,
My Favorite Things.
Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Coltrane for lazy Sunday afternoons.
Summertime and the living is easy.
And I'll live a lush life
in some small dive.

No. He was put here to be
much more than that.
Why does a jazz musician
have to be hooked on smack?
Fuck you heroin.
I want a hero.
I want a prophet.
I want a portal.
Give me an immortal sound
more perfect than yesterday's perfection.
Let the saxophone blow.
And every knee shall bend
and every tongue confess
that the music is
starting to change
the music has to change.
A bomb went off.
And his horn exploded
with sheets of sound.
Is this jazz, is this jazz, is this still jazz
or is this pain?
Is he a genius or a madman?
He is trying to tell me
something about God
that I do not want to know.
But Blow John Blow.
We will all die,
but will we all be changed?
I hear him chanting through his horn:
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.
I hear him chanting:
A Love Supreme.
I hear him chanting:
Kulu se ma.
I hear him chanting:
A Love Supreme.
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.
A Love Supreme.
Kulu Se Ma.
Blow John Blow!
With every hair on
the back of my neck
I feel him moving into
Interstellar Space
and this space
inside me
is filled to overflowing.

John! John!
Have you heard?
A bomb went off
Four little girls.
Dead in Alabama.
Have you heard?


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