Poetry by Michael James O’Neill

April 15th, 2013


Charles Mingus


In the beginning

In the beginning was the word,
And the word was MUSIC.
The MUSIC was sound: bright, brash and loud.
The noise was joyful and sad.
It echoed in the valleys,
Spread over the mountains
And resounded over the seas.

For the Lord, David danced and played the lyre.
For Him, Gabriel sounded his horn.
Sinners and believers shook tambourines and clashed cymbals.
Their flutes blew wildly and pierced the heavens.
They rejoiced to the promise of the Lord.

These pilgrims, these seekers of truth, sang a song to life everlasting.
And they sang of longing and of rapture.
The music soared high to the sky and sank low to the alley.
The music struck the mind of the soul and the chords of the heart.

On Saturday nights,
They danced to the beat of the black angel
And sang of lust and hurt and treachery.
Sunday morning,
The music of the white lamb gave them hope and forgiveness.

And at the final reckoning, a lone harp will sound the end.

Bad Luck Moan

Hard luck and trouble have hounded me all my days.
Oh yes, hard luck and trouble have hounded me all my days.
If I got some good news, I could change my ways.

Waiting for my broker to give me a call,
Waiting for my stock broker to give me that call,
If it wasn’t for misfortune, I wouldn’t have any fortune at all.

I hear the mail man coming down the hall.
I hear the mail man shuffling down the hall.
If he has my lottery winnings, we’ll sure have a ball.

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Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic Records co-founder, is interviewed about his successful career as a jazz producer, discographer, and entrepreneur...Also in this issue, in celebration of Blue Note’s 80th year, we asked prominent writers and musicians the following question: “What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums; a new collection of jazz poetry; “On the Turntable,” is a new playlist of 18 recently released jazz recordings from six artists – Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, Matt Brewer, Tom Harrell, Zela Margossian and Aaron Burnett; two new podcasts by Bob Hecht; a new “Jazz History Quiz”; a new feature called “Pressed for All Time,”; a new photo-narrative by Charles Ingham; and…lots more.

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