“ON MEETING ERIC DOLPHY,” a poem by Golda Solomon

April 1st, 2006

ON MEETING ERIC DOLPHY

by Golda Solomon

Between sets at the Five Spot,
She and Dolphy would
walk and talk
words on the outbreaths of deep tokes of good weed
Easy getting a buzz then
Safe getting a buzz then
A nickel bag went far then
All cleaned and smelling like fresh earth,
Maybe
a few random seeds and
trace of a twig

He passed her the joint
cupped in the palm of his hand
to her fingers
She took in her first toke and coughed and coughed
and they laughed and laughed
Easy conversation between friends
“I hear you’re a teacher”, he said that first night she met him
Now that’s a hard gig
A beautiful gig

And so it began

His language of new sounds

Rhythms he brought with him from California
Abrasive harmonies
Melody lines ruptured
She listened
She listened
And breathed in notes
she knew from

somewhere

He was always Dolphy
Eric Dolphy sitting cross-legged on
her living room rug
on New Year’s morning
Smokin’ and talkin’ to the black and white screen
Lookin’ at the Rose Parade floats
while she floated sitting next to him

This must be how a princess feels
This must be how it feels to dance at your high school prom

All work copyright Golda Solomon and may not be used for any purposes without Golda’s permission.

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