“Just Another Punk Rocker Writing About Jazz” — a poem by Jon Wesick

February 12th, 2015

William Burroughs

____________________________

JUST ANOTHER PUNK ROCKER WRITING ABOUT JAZZ


They must have materialized at the open mike
out of carbon and nitrogen in the air,
those poets you’d never see in a jazz club.
A guy in Roman-helmet-like Mohawk
reads three-chord rhymes about Mingus,
an MC in Phat Farm jeans
fires machine gun words about Miles,
and a woman in high collar and sensible shoes
chops Art Blakey into fourteen lines of ten syllables.

Seems you can’t be a real poet
unless you write about jazz.
Sid and Johnny Rotten dodging loogies in Dallas,
Jimi burning his guitar at Monterey Pop,
and Grandmaster Flash close to the edge
just won’t do.

So when the girl with the stud in her tongue
says Coltrane, I have to hear him
the way Jack and Allen did – a one-man Hallelujah Chorus,
his sax blowing eternity like Rumi’s reed flute,
notes hopping and skipping from step to step
up a staircase of rapture
to the backing of piano chords
and the pop and crackle of needle on vinyl.

But the literature of manual typewriters,
Benzedrine, and William Burroughs hats
has already been written. Where
is the poetry slathered in SPF 16
to protect from the Coachella sun,
the poetry of MP3 whose boots
are caked with Glastonbury mud?

About Jon Wesick

Jon Wesick is host of San Diego’s Gelato Poetry Series and is an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He has published over two hundred poems in journals such as The New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. He has also published forty short stories. He has a Ph.D. in physics and is a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. One of his poems won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest.

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In This Issue

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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This month, a playlist of 18 recently released jazz recordings by six artists -- Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano. Matt Brewer, Tom Harrell, Zela Margossian, and Aaron Burnett

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Jeffrey Stewart, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, is interviewed about Locke (pictured), the father of the Harlem Renaissance. Also in this issue…A new collection of jazz poetry; "On the Turntable," a new playlist of 19 recommended recordings by five jazz artists; three new podcasts by Bob Hecht; a new “Great Encounters”; several short stories; the photography of Veryl Oakland and Charles Ingham; a new Jazz History Quiz; and lots more…

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