JUST ANOTHER PUNK ROCKER WRITING ABOUT JAZZ
They must have materialized at the open mike
out of carbon and nitrogen in the air,
those poets you’d never see in a jazz club.
A guy in Roman-helmet-like Mohawk
reads three-chord rhymes about Mingus,
an MC in Phat Farm jeans
fires machine gun words about Miles,
and a woman in high collar and sensible shoes
chops Art Blakey into fourteen lines of ten syllables.
Seems you can’t be a real poet
unless you write about jazz.
Sid and Johnny Rotten dodging loogies in Dallas,
Jimi burning his guitar at Monterey Pop,
and Grandmaster Flash close to the edge
just won’t do.
So when the girl with the stud in her tongue
says Coltrane, I have to hear him
the way Jack and Allen did – a one-man Hallelujah Chorus,
his sax blowing eternity like Rumi’s reed flute,
notes hopping and skipping from step to step
up a staircase of rapture
to the backing of piano chords
and the pop and crackle of needle on vinyl.
But the literature of manual typewriters,
Benzedrine, and William Burroughs hats
has already been written. Where
is the poetry slathered in SPF 16
to protect from the Coachella sun,
the poetry of MP3 whose boots
are caked with Glastonbury mud?
About Jon Wesick
Jon Wesick is host of San Diego’s Gelato Poetry Series and is an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He has published over two hundred poems in journals such as The New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. He has also published forty short stories. He has a Ph.D. in physics and is a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. One of his poems won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest.