“Who,” you ask.
“Chris Connor,” I repeat.
“Oh, sure, right,” you say
(with little enthusiasm.)
“You have to listen, really listen,” I say.
“O.K.” (an acquiescence).
I carefully place the vinyl record
on the Rek-O-Kut turntable.
“Who,” you ask.
Jacko the Jazzman, office hack,
computer screen by day. At nights
he roams the pubs and village halls,
blowing his sax’s rise and fall.
The wind blew all afternoon,
blue my mood, moody the blues
on the box, bleak and blue when
Robert Johnson took over the airwaves;
the wind blew louder and then
Albert Ayler, the Cleveland-born saxophonist whose unorthodox style was inspirational to a generation of free jazz-era and contemporary musicians, is noted in four poems, by four poets
It doesn’t help
that my guitar starts complaining
a 1935 Epiphone Broadway
probably had owners who were better players before me
and probably was in show business
when there was such a business
One afternoon at the age of ten, lightning strikes.
Alone in our ramshackle wood-frame house in Hartford, I decide to listen to some of my parents’ 45 RPM records. I watch one slide down the fat spindle and plop onto the turntable to receive the tone arm and needle. The music starts and like a bolt captures not just my ears but my whole being. It’s a guy with a gravelly voice singing something about
And a daughter is not enough or a son
or be a couple with someone who would stick thru all the shit
or the idea of a family
and god or the belief to a higher being is not enough.
The cheap girls and empty sex are always there but never
The sightless pianist,
Presents the information,
Ornate and complex,
yet always grounded in logic,
The practical applications
of a mountain of details,
and the harmony hidden
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.