Juke Joint Named JAZZVILLE

entry picture

photo credit Mike Hazard

Juke Joint Named JAZZVILLE                   

Like Harlem

Birmingham

Atlanta

And DC nights

Chocolate people in vanilla town

Living chocolate

Old school and new school

Bumping up against each other

In a dim lit smoke filled aroma of

Slow smoked ribs

Catfish

Fried okra

Chicken legs thighs and wings

(And in those days) cigarettes

A Saint Paul DJ fired up a turntable with

Marvin Gaye hot like an oven

Sexually healing the sickness of Adam

Another fragrance thicker than the haze

In the room

Rose above the music

Floated across silhouettes

Like a come-on

Somehow it always comes to this

Glances shot without words

Carried innuendo

Between us Marvin issued a warning

And when I get that feeling...

Then the thing that scares us the most

Jumped out to mug us

In this place that looks the same

All over America

JAZZVILLE - juke joint like a national chain

With frozen battered artery blockers

From the same distributor

This village called jazz

Where an improviXation can change a life

Where risk reminds me what it means

To be alive

And at risk

Thankfully Marvin released us

To the return of a not so jazz band

Back from break and the ganja filled air outdoors

 

As the metal detector beeped at the entrance

I remembered why I couldn’t do this scene anymore

Bad jazz

Open mic

Women wrapped in mixed messages

And allure

Feels too much like home

Feels home to think naughty

JAZZVILLE where the no-good blues

Will come looking for you

She came over and said

I know you

You write long poems

I said

Yes

I have a lot to say

But what I thought was

My poems are long because

Life is complicated

Every layer unpeels

Mysteries – knotted lies

Yesterday I needed this kind of attention

Today it breaks my stride

It’s like why I can’t look through Window Pane

Or enjoy Orange Sunshine anymore

The vista is too detracting

Now I got a story and I’m sticking to it

So the village erroneously called jazz

Is a place I can only visit

I can’t live here anymore

Snapping back into the room I asked

And what kind of poems do you write

Skinny poems

She said

About love

Depression

Cruelty

Poems about those

Who feel only with

Groping hands

Naked poems that expose why

My emotions won’t hide

My ears heard every word she said

While my eyes betrayed me

She stood there round and talking

With every body part at once

Her dance a gesticulation

Of an ancient sign language

I couldn’t ignore

Fixing on my admiring eyes she quipped

Poems about poets

Then she spat who want only sex

When there is so much more

I write poems about pricks

I’m sorry I said as she stormed away

Indignant

Imbroglio I sat feeling misunderstood

Victim of another feminist reactionary

I thought

But it was so much more than that

We yearned that night in downtown Saint Paul

For crisp clear distinctions

Light / dark

Winner / loser

Saint / sinner - what we had was nuance

Complexity

Confusion and shadows in gray

We mark every struggle

Judge every choice

By principled polarities

Good and evil

She and I tangled before we met

Because our dynamic is perpetual

The drama between us reeks systemic

Type cast by gender lost in masquerade

Juke joint named JAZZVILLE birthplace

Of the blues – home for the helpless

Museum for the misremembered

Half in light half in shadow

My long poem life plays me in public

Like smoky aromatic night spots play

Purple blues in a toxic arena

Brownish jocolatte royal blues

Not only jocolatte - cola

Java

Black tea – dark liquid blues

Even burgundy

Two hearted - unfiltered

Dark and sometimes deadly like us

Complicated like dreams suspended in

A welkin full of doubt

Hovering just above our heads

Threatening bad weather

From a gestalt of ominous rain…

◄ Ancient Young Souls

Recipe ►

Comments

Julie

Sat 7th Jan 2012 09:10

I love this:

"And what kind of poems do you write

Skinny poems"

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