“Bicycled Dusks Garaged” — a poem by dan smith

April 2nd, 2018

 

 

 

_____

 

 

Bicycled Dusks Garaged

( for C.F. forever teenage angel muse )

Snow & Ridge our rock n roll Mecca.
The Tastee Shoppe jukebox our holy of holies
best for miles around was our Kaaba
where Elmore James’s Dust My Broom
sent shock waves through my hormone addled brain
& Night Train by Rusty Bryant & his Carolyn Club orchestra
was a bump & grind fantasy of rockin’ & rollin’ ecstasy.

Tastee Shoppe of slicked hair angels with d.a.’s and New Yorkers
combed just right, collars turned up, pants pegged to pachuco
perfection & cig packs rolled up on shoulders with fingers
snappin’ to the sounds.

Outcasts without club jackets we danced fast & loose
practicing a rhythm method dirty boogie catechism
with hot chicks their sweaters filled with the Ooh Poo Pa Doo
undoing of worshipful desire.

Even before that was Gee by the Crows & a copper colored velvet
front pullover shirt purchased on Prospect along with flip top
tongue on top shoes & hurrying home to Alan Freed wailing hipster
radio god opening doors to the Moondog House & another world
& picking up WLAC at night to hear the rollicking piano of the Fat Man,
Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Lavern Baker & Bill
” Hossman ” Allen advertising baby chicks by the gross & Royal Crown
Hairdressing & later on locally the Crazyman show where the cats
& kittens would drive by the station and he would talk to them
something like this: this Little Walter tune is going out to Duke
& Ronnie & all the guys & gals at 79th & Hough from the Duker
in his purple & gold short.

The rhythm & blues lost in hot afternoons around Evergreen Lake
with Big Jay McNeeley blowing suburban wistful madonnaesque
beauty into spaced out aspirin & coke hot wired kisses
our bicycled dusks garaged black slacked love unanswered grew.
Said lake where I told my friends I wanted to marry a Negro Buddhist
& they didn’t dig it being pre-Subterraneans & it was just my way
of saying I wanted to dig deeper which I do later getting past Elvis’s
Teddy Bear & Jailhouse Rock in the Gray Ghost where finally drunk
enough I got past the smell of pizza to scarf down about four pieces.
Driving around with open containers diggin’ on Rumble picking up
beer at a little store just across Brookpark that I believe would have sold
to a five year old if he could carry it out & there were the basement
dance parties swayin’ to Shake A Hand by Faye Adams & Shake Rattle
& Roll by Big Joe Turner & there were Gil Bernal & Vido Musso blowin’
their brains out & Heart of Stone by the Charms, Since I Met You, Baby by Ivory Joe Hunter & Riot In Cell Block # 9 by the Robins & Arnett Cobb wailing on Flying Home Mambo all on the little record player
( not cheap ) my father got for Sidney Bechet’s Wrap Your Troubles
In Dreams & In The Mood by Glenn Miller
which was really Tar Paper Stomp by Wingy Manone and Presley
covered That’s All Right Mama while Arthur Crudup ( I learned much later ) began sweet potato farming. Sock hopping in the basement
it was easy to forget jazz listening to Sloppy Drunk by Jimmy Rogers & His Rockin’ Four, the amazing lyric antics of Chuck Berry doing Maybellene & with Big Joe Turner we could look at the girls and tell
they weren’t children no more & holding an Earth Angel in your arms
while Johnny Ace sang Pledging My Love was a little slice of the divine
& we would go to Beardens whose jukebox had Clyde McPhatter
singing Honey Love where we drank milkshakes on me as I had paper
route, man, I must have tithed half my earnings to the First Church
of Rock n Roll Sanctified.

Some of the pastors were Bill ” the hit maker ” Randle who gave us the first taste of world beat with Skokiaan by the Bulawayo Sweet Rhythms
Band & Joe Finan who would play a record ten times in a row & there was Bebopalula by Gene Vincent ” she’s the woman at the store, she’s the one who gives you more, more, more ” which is pretty much what we were lookin’ for along with the pride of Bell Gardens, CA. Eddie Cochran’s
Summertime Blues & tunes like Love Is Strange & Who Wears Short Shorts & Framed by the Coasters but it all started to slip away when a
car wreck song came true with the girls all dressed in black & someone got blackjacked at a school dance & a hundred guys gathered at Snow & Ridge for a rumored rumble with the guys from Murray Hill & Mad Daddy ( Pete Myers ) parachuting into Lake Erie & who was later to blow his brains out for real & guys goin’ to the joint, to college & the Marine Corps.

Some got religion, some became drunks & some like me just got older & into Cannonball, Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughn, Les McCann, Milt Jackson, Cal Tjader, Dizzy and Miles but although the funeral was long ago the ghosts are still boppin’ & a hoppin’ & I still return to the sacraments those sacred & profane times for a little taste, ya know,
the bread & wine of that old time religion of the Evergreen Lake angels.

_____

This poem originally appeared on The Poets Haven podcast titled “One for the Chicken Suit Man” in the Spring of 2012. 

Editors note: This poem has been edited in an attempt to fit the format of the page

______
photo by Casey Rearick
dan smith is the author of two chapbooks: Crooked River and The Liquid of Her Skin, the Suns of Her Eyes published by Deep Cleveland Press and Night Ballet Press respectively. He has been published in the Rhysling  Anthology, Dwarf Stars, Scifaikuest, Renegade Flowers: d.a. levy in the Digital Revolution,  Kaleidotrope, Zen of the Dead and Lupine Lunes published by Popcorn Press, microcosms, Red Fez, Hedgerow: A Journal of Small Poems and Failed Haiku to name a few.
Share this:

One comments on ““Bicycled Dusks Garaged” — a poem by dan smith”

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In This Issue

painting of Clifford Brown by Paul Lovering
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Spring/Summer, 2024 Edition...In this, the 17th major collection of jazz poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician, 50 poets from all over the world again demonstrate the ongoing influence the music and its associated culture has on their creative lives.

(featuring the art of Paul Lovering)

Publisher’s Notes

photo by Rhonda Dorsett
On turning 70, and contemplating the future of Jerry Jazz Musician...

The Sunday Poem

photo via NegativeSpace
“Why I Play Guitar” by C.J. Trotter...

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem

Poetry

“Revival” © Kent Ambler.
If You Want to Go to Heaven, Follow a Songbird – Mary K O’Melveny’s album of poetry and music...While consuming Mary K O’Melveny’s remarkable work in this digital album of poetry, readings and music, readers will discover that she is moved by the mastery of legendary musicians, the wings of a monarch butterfly, the climate and political crisis, the mysteries of space exploration, and by the freedom of jazz music that can lead to what she calls “the magic of the unknown.” (with art by Kent Ambler)

Interview

The Marvelettes/via Wikimedia Commons
Interview with Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz, authors of But Will You Love Me Tomorrow?: An Oral History of the 60’s Girl Groups...Little is known of the lives and challenges many of the young Black women who made up the Girl Groups of the ‘60’s faced while performing during an era rife with racism, sexism, and music industry corruption. The authors discuss their book’s mission to provide the artists an opportunity to voice their experiences so crucial to the evolution of popular music.

Book Excerpt

An excerpt from Emily Jon Tobias’ MONARCH: Stories, and a reflection on our friendship

In Memoriam

photo via Wikimedia Commons
A few words about Willie Mays...Thoughts about the impact Willie Mays had on baseball, and on my life.

Poetry

photo of Earl Hines by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Pianists and Poets – 13 poems devoted to the keys...From “Fatha” Hines to Brad Mehldau, poets open themselves up to their experiences with and reverence for great jazz pianists

Art

photo of Archie Shepp by Giovanni Piesco
The Photographs of Giovanni Piesco: Archie Shepp...photos of the legendary saxophonist (and his rhythm section for the evening), taken at Amsterdam's Bimhuis on May 13, 2001.

Poetry

CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
“On Coltrane: 4th of July Reflections” – a poem by Connie Johnson

Click here to read more poetry published in Jerry Jazz Musician

Calling All Poets!

News about a Jerry Jazz Musician printed jazz poetry anthology, and information about submitting your poetry for consideration

Short Fiction

pickpik.com
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #65 — “Ballad” by Lúcia Leão...The author’s award-winning story is about the power of connections – between father and child, music and art, and the past, present and future.

Click here to read more short fiction published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Interview

photo of Louis Jordan by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 – 1960...Richards makes the case that small group swing players like Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan (pictured) and Big Jay McNeely played a legitimate jazz that was a more pleasing listening experience to the Black community than the bebop of Parker, Dizzy, and Monk. It is a fascinating era, filled with major figures and events, and centered on a rigorous debate that continues to this day – is small group swing “real jazz?”

Playlist

photo of Coleman Hawkins by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
“The Naked Jazz Musician” – A playlist by Bob Hecht...As Sonny Rollins has said, “Jazz is about taking risks, pushing boundaries, and challenging the status quo.” Could there be anything riskier—or more boundary-pushing—than to stand naked and perform with nowhere to hide? Bob’s extensive playlist is comprised of such perilous undertakings by an array of notable woodwind and brass masters who have had the confidence and courage (some might say even the exhibitionism) to expose themselves so completely by playing….alone.

Feature

Excerpts from David Rife’s Jazz Fiction: Take Two – Vol. 3: “Louis Armstrong”...A substantial number of novels and stories with jazz music as a component of the story have been published over the years, and the scholar David J. Rife has written short essay/reviews of them. In this third edition featuring excerpts from his book, Rife writes about four novels/short fiction that include stories involving Louis Armstrong.

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

The cover of Wayne Shorter's 2018 Blue Note album "Emanon"
Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 20: “Notes on Genius...This edition of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film is written in response to the music of Wayne Shorter.

Click here to read previous editions of Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

In Memoriam

Hans Bernhard (Schnobby), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Remembering Joe Pass: Versatile Jazz Guitar Virtuoso” – by Kenneth Parsons...On the 30th anniversary of the guitarist Joe Pass’ death, Kenneth Parsons reminds readers of his brilliant career

Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Jazz with a Beat: Small Group Swing 1940 – 1960, by Tad Richards

Click here to read more book excerpts published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Jazz History Quiz #173

photo of Louis Armstrong by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Described as a “Louis Armstrong sound-alike on both trumpet and vocals” whose recording of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” was so close to Armstrong’s live show that some listeners thought Armstrong was copying him, this trumpeter (along with Bobby Stark), was Chick Webb’s main trumpet soloist during the 1930’s. Who is he?

Community

photo via Picryl.com
.“Community Bookshelf, #2"...a twice-yearly space where writers who have been published on Jerry Jazz Musician can share news about their recently authored books. This edition includes information about books published within the last six months or so…

Contributing Writers

Click the image to view the writers, poets and artists whose work has been published on Jerry Jazz Musician, and find links to their work

Coming Soon

An interview with Larry Tye, author of The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie Transformed America; an interview with James Kaplan, author of 3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool; A new collection of jazz poetry; a collection of jazz haiku; a new Jazz History Quiz; short fiction; poetry; photography; interviews; playlists; and lots more in the works...

Interview Archive

Ella Fitzgerald/IISG, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Click to view the complete 25-year archive of Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, including those recently published with Judith Tick on Ella Fitzgerald (pictured),; Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz on the Girl Groups of the 60's; Tad Richards on Small Group Swing; Stephanie Stein Crease on Chick Webb; Brent Hayes Edwards on Henry Threadgill; Richard Koloda on Albert Ayler; Glenn Mott on Stanley Crouch; Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom on Eubie Blake; Richard Brent Turner on jazz and Islam; Alyn Shipton on the art of jazz; Shawn Levy on the original queens of standup comedy; Travis Atria on the expatriate trumpeter Arthur Briggs; Kitt Shapiro on her life with her mother, Eartha Kitt; Will Friedwald on Nat King Cole; Wayne Enstice on the drummer Dottie Dodgion; the drummer Joe La Barbera on Bill Evans; Philip Clark on Dave Brubeck; Nicholas Buccola on James Baldwin and William F. Buckley; Ricky Riccardi on Louis Armstrong; Dan Morgenstern and Christian Sands on Erroll Garner; Maria Golia on Ornette Coleman.

Site Archive