by Reuben Jackson

copyright © 2004 Reuben Jackson

(for cannonball adderley and joe zawinul)

how many words,
much less composer's names,
begin with z?

zim zimarel!
my unabashedly square cousin harry proclaimed
between vigorous swigs of club soda.

joey and i ignored him
like a song by elvis presley;

 passed the gleaming black disc
 back and forth like a riff,

fumbled the name like poor sight readers
massacaring "confirmation":
za-weenul?   zaw-ah-nul?

what were his parents thinking,
joey wondered,

placing the slow, blue groove
beneath the genuine
(or so the salesman said)
diamond needle-

cannonball adderley climbing the
pop charts!

unbelievable as bull connor's ignorance -
james brown's footwork.

dont tell anybody he's a jazz musician,
my father warned over dinner.

that would ruin everything.

C o m m e n t s

mercy, mercy. mercy 1 of 1
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January 09, 04

Hey Reuben... Love the poems. They really tap into that first blush of jazz love -- musiclove really. I'm right there with you in the basement spinning the LPs, trying to make sense of all that beauty, w/o realizing how futile that is.

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