Friday, April 10, 2015

Pacifist Jazz

© Mark Butkus

Nights are always long
When you are left alone
When memories are left to chance

Maybe that’ll be good enough
to remember some day
Maybe that’ll be
A good line someday

Papers full of memories
Books full of forgotten heroes
And in the middle of the middle
In the middle of this note
Old jazz records lay about

There is no piano — only an accordion
There is no recording date for this
It could be written tomorrow
Sweet summer air and Dixieland
It’s forty below but we won’t tell

Blowing cigarette smoke like trumpet notes
A party for one — no cover charge
Three minute tunes
Five minute explanations
Long term associations
In the meantime

He wrote something all alone
Those Bass lines are tight
Filter tips are the drink of choice
That’s not smoke
That’s destiny!

The stars are out this morning
$4.05 please, she coos
But is it wet?
A performance a little to the left
No, earlier than that
We close at One

The best of the spoken word
Still a young man when he died
That was done for Victor
He showed a lot of promise

The Monk is in here
Down at the pool for a social swim —
Rings and all
Falling off a horse
overdosed on drugs
Euphemistically said

Revolutionary names of the dead
The scratch of a flame
A slice of thumb
This is where we mention the cat —

Performed under the direction
Neo Bossa Nova.
The drummer doesn’t turn me on
An heirloom, a Brazilian beach girl
Jello on a plate, typed and torn
Ummm...somewhere in there

Including strings and things
And everything from a forgotten label
It sounds like last year
Innovations in waves

This is where they made love —
On the Air
You know all of us
Our name is Richard
Jimmy Jame did the charts
Viet Nam Jazz.

Someone lives in that fur
The wiped tear from an eye
You’ll find it in Brooklyn!
Acoustics they were told

They don’t necessarily
Understand what you say
They’re a whiter band
Dunkin Donuts is
where they’re from
On Vibes, a common dish

More like a prelude
How ‘bout that?
We’ll select one of them —
The Seventh Standard
The last one
sits among the refuse
The drawer is open

Used in conjunction
With Hamburger Helper
He was heard downstairs...Way up
What’s that called?
A SymBol?

Children kissing
Twenty miles away
It makes perfect sense
That’s right!
In Toronto

Three different settings
In early December
As told from mid April
Microwave mudpies

Introspective Brands of America
Content obligations
It can’t be blue
This is to tie you over
Until your hands are free
It was a fantasy — really

Bob and Oscar
Ladies for this evening
Didn’t get any solo room
That’s what He offers here
The merry-go-round broke down

In the back they
Are yellow and white
You’re sitting there
That’s all folks

You can’t quite place it —
An arrangement
Anna Louisa has a date —
She saw it
when you closed her eyes

An unofficial release was issued
it was withheld

— Mark Butkus

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