Thursday, March 13, 2014

Darn That Saxy Dream

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Darn That Saxy Dream
Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk at the Open Door Cafe,
New York City in The Village, 1953 
Jackie McLean
Who are these cats, where did they come from,
and how did they become so mean?
The beauty of their lives must be sweet as honey,
and what have their oh-so-hip eyes seen?
Their lives must be a perpetual party, just jammin’ and caressing their horns,
and traveling around to exotic places that one day I’ll have gone.
New York City, a town of glitz and glamor,
where the genius of Bird once spoke;
Full of beautiful women, and progressive brothers,
hanging on to my every note.
The man is back! But this time around
he’s come back filtered through me,
so we’re hangin' around this time,
because I’m well into my prime
and I’ve made it a point to be free.
We’ll avoid that monkey
who poured juice in Bird's horn,
this time we’ll hold him at bay,
because noddin ain't blowin'
when the changes are flowin',
so it ain't no noddin' when playin'
my way.
Bird was the man,
but I had an immediate demand
if he wanted to channel his licks through me;
I loved his sweet notes,
but that jones cut his throat,
so he'll settle for gin and juice
while in me.
We’ll be jammin' all night, and sheddin' all day,
Sonny Stitt
and of course, we’ll leave a little time for some wooing;
We’ll sleep on Tuesdays between 10 and 2,
and then warm up for yet some more blowin’.
Yeah, I know,
sleeping on Tuesday between 10 and 2
is a gross waste of our time,
but we can’t disappoint our lustful fans,
so we’ve got to keep my body primed.
Just me and my horn, chasin’ that lick
that says, "Bird, Indeed, is back!"
But this time around we’re doing it my way,
and not stumblin’ upon stage
while we're smacked.
I thought
my dreams of Bird and Dexter Gordon
would only age like vintaged wine,
because it was based on the culture
of a vibrant people that would
last through the end of time.
But now I awake to the poetic verse
of vulgar nursery Rhymes,
backed by the scratching of Miles Ahead
in something like 4/4 time.
Taking the time to learn music
is now considered by many
a gross waste of their time,
so if you want to take note of what
Thelonious once wrote 
you have to go on the White side town.
Dexter Gordon
So it's sad to say, but we’re well on our way
to making a mark unique to this land,
by becoming the only culture
unable to perform - What We Created -
in the entire sojourn of man.
Thus, I batted my eyes only to find
that I’ve awaken to another time;What was once so sweet
is now a nightmare to me,
and my sweet dream has past its sweet prime . . .?
I don’t think so . . .
So I limped on over to my old dusty case
and carefully withdrew my ax;

Like an aging gunfighter,
you never forget, when something you love
is attacked.
Having mastered other things, unlike at 16,
a little wisdom informs what I see.
I wasted my time chasing Dexter and Bird
instead of chasing the man I could be.
I’ll never be Bird or Dexter Gordon,
that is now plain to see;
So the time has now come to see who I am,
because neither of them could be me.

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