“Junior Latin American” by John Brack
Jazzing it up in the Patti Pavilion, 1962
by Robert Nisbet
Events sec, wispy-bearded Will,
had hired the Patti for the summer dance,
toiling in his smoky bedroom
on paperwork, assurances
for licensing authorities.
The caretaker, a grumpy sod,
was known in town as Bum-face.
Will needed to cajole him,
damn near bribe, to fix the bogs in time.
The band was local, Gilfach Goch,
the clarinets and drum kit in a dirty van.
From nine we started to arrive
and it seemed to us like a huge rose opening,
a plenty’s horn, the jazz, the joy,
the skip jive, bare feet pattering,
the scattering in light and sound
of love and sensibility.
This poem appears in Robert Nisbet’s recently-published collection Robeson, Fitzgerald and Other Heroes
Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who lives just 30 miles along the coast from Dylan Thomas’s Boathouse. Although he does not see himself as unduly competitive, he has just won the Prole Pamphlet Competition with Robeson, Fitzgerald and Other Heroes from which ‘The Ella Fitzgerald Song Book’ is taken. It is available from the publisher at www.prolebooks.co.uk