“Miles 1966” – a poem by D.B. Jonas

April 6th, 2023

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Reijo Koskinen / Lehtikuva, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Reijo Koskinen / Lehtikuva, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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Miles, 1966
………………………….(for Jim Davis)

The enervation in each quiet note,
each soft ablation fading into toneless breath,
invokes a time when you’d become
our native weather, calls out to us
from those nocturnal years
we spent suspended in the tropics
of your anger, cradled
in the gentle simmer of your rage,

when you’d become our neurosis of choice,
when the languid currents of your slack
outlandish embouchure would rise
above the smoking rooms to linger in the air
and make ridiculous the thought
we somehow ought to call
such exhalations cool.

And truth be told, you were never
ever really only that, or maybe always
anything but: nothing so much for us
as a shaft of lifted light, in retrospect,
and the distant swirling source, perhaps,
of an unfamiliar sighing sound,
like the keening noise that gulls will make,
the product of a disconcerting hollowness
in things, of something like the ring
of solitude itself, a lonely noise
that only really ever finds itself
at home in semitones,
arising from that savage, feral source
from which such feral sounds emerge,
ugly as life, brutal as speech,

where what there was of you
appeared to occupy a vacant space,
to stand before us like the distant memory
of something dreamed or absent, releasing
in your endless unreturning breath,
heedless of the crowd out there beneath
your unobserving stare, those whispered notes,
emissaries of the dark impersonality
of your depthless, ruminant eye.

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DB  Jonas  is an orchardist living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. Born in California in 1951, he was raised in Japan and Mexico. His work has recently appeared in  Tar RiverBlue Unicorn,  Whistling ShadeNeologism,  Consilience Journal,  The Ekphrastic Review,  Innisfree Poetry Journal,  The Decadent Review,  Water Wheel,  The Amphibian,  Revue  {R}évolutionKairos,  and many others.  His first collection of poems,  Tarantula Season,  is scheduled for release in 2023.

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Listen to Miles Davis play “Mood,” from his 1965 Columbia recording E.S.P, which includes Herbie Hancock (piano);  Wayne Shorter (saxophone); Ron Carter (bass); and Tony Williams (drums). [Columbia/Legacy]

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