Jazz poems by afdhel aziz

Under pressure
the saxman starts to blow
willing the notes from his mind
to his fingers and then to the air

Remembering the cocky changes
the showmanship of scales, from
the piano player, now beaming at him
from the corner of the stage

Your turn now , brother. Sing it now.

Harder and harder, he blows
a dizzying run up and down the 
length of the brass
fingers squeezing, fluttering 
coaxing the sweet run of black

hemidemisemiquavers, fifths of a blues scale
racing around the world in 
eighty bars, over and over
carnatic rhythm throwing the vibe
into the smoke and noise of the room 

Like a bird beginning to fly
first he imitates his predecessor
And then , confidently, finding his space
he flinches in pleasure as the 
stream turns into a flood

Swinging like Mohamed Ali now
sweet like a butterfly
the sticks of the drummer brushing 
the crash, riding the ride

The bass player, lean and tall
watches his fingers carefully
plucking the heartstrings of the double bass
riping the low notes from the wood

blue note heaven, baby

I'm gonna blow the roof 
off this sucker , now
hold onto your hats fellers
it's big bang time

let there be light
let there be sound

The stage lights are hot,
sweat making his fingers slip
Time to call it a night 
Don't want to anger the jazzgods
by flaunting their gift 

A final flourish, then back to the chorus
A sprinkle of applause
Don't care , amen, hallelujah
Seen the blue note heaven  , baby 
At least one time tonight
I can sleep like a man

"Charlie Parker Knows"

Stick on the old 45's
And wind up the record player
tonight we will dance in the moonlight
to the sounds of the big band

The kids will hunt for earthworms
by the light of flickering candles
And you, you fool, you will dance
with me, like we did before
we were old and thoughtful

When the cornet player stands up to
do his lazy solo
we will swing by the light of the stars
as if they were the chandeliers of the rich

And the band will play
Our secret song
Over and over.

n "Back Garden Boogie"


Sweet soulful song
from shiny brass horn
fingers moving like hydra
as the notes sound high up
to the heavens

like butterflies hovering 
around the wings of a sail
curved in the breeze

pursed lips, brow furrowed
in concentration , as 
cheeks puff in prayer

air turns to gold 
and the wind sings along
the memory of home
the echo of jazz 
when Miles plays....

- "Miles Away"
Aug 5th 1997
11:45 am


				skiddle skidaddle

whee whee whee

			badu badu


			oobie oobie ooooooh

eebie eebie eeeeeeehh

			a tisket 
			a tiskat

I've lost my little basket 

		diduna didunda

badu			badu

	badu			badu