..... poetry .....



"Time Remembered: Blue in Green"


We danced
   so slowly,
Me — blue, 
   Her — green. 

To the most iconic ballad  
   from the most iconic jazz recording 
   by the most iconic jazz artist,  
   Mr. Miles Davis.

As they played 
   and sang through their horns,  
 a light shined
   so bright 
   that 60 years was 
   for her and I
   a mere blink of an eye. 

Back and forth, 
   our dance traversed 
   Time and Place,

When Time stood still long enough, 
   long enough for me to feel
   Five Time Zones coagulating in my being
   all at once . . .

Miles’s sinuous trumpet 
   snaked through my periphery, 
   more magician than director,
   more satellite than building.   

   Mr. Bill Evans,
   the creator of the journey Blue in Green
   lifted my arms 
   and spoke to my hands that held her tight, 
   as though choreographed by 
   a cunning spider.

Her body, 
   caressed by Coltrane's saxophone,
   wandered in my consciousness,
   floating and sinking into my body. 
Feeling echoes of her ancestral 
   yet not-so-distant past, 
   as a single city dweller in Korea,
   dancing with US servicemen 
   during that war.
The players not knowing how 
   an original 3-line sketch by Bill would be received. 
Yet, trusting each other implicitly about 
   why they were there,
   in that studio, 
   that day.  

I never heard so clearly 
   all their pain,
   in all that beauty
   from Five Men, playing.  
Of private and public torture
   exacted on those who dared to truly improvise
   in 1950's America. 
   paint non-representationally, 
   write non-iambic poetry, 
   choreograph nonsensically.
amid a decade of omnipresent conformity.

Feeling each player's family breathe
   into this singular ballad, 
   their neighborhoods streaming
   before their eyes and ears,  
   their teachers praising, yelling, acknowledging, 
   stunned . . . 
All the while,
   intuiting their Great Ancestors
   who supplied enough 
   musical wisdom 
   and pain 
to stamp their playing forever 
   arms that lifted 
   spoke through their hands. 

   I was there when 
   Time Remembered 
   to turn 
   Blue into Green




June 2019




©2019, Michael Smolens