Jazz clubs and barrelhouses bump. motherfuckers won't stop blowing.
the trumpet's ring cutes through the whining of
war machines, some swing shit won't do it.
Cheeks swollen, like his ego, like the marshes in late summer
he walked along, in Cheraw, South Carolina. a long way
from abuse & his dead papa
he drops out of school to work a different kind of work & pursues
a craft until it is his own
A sword of brass at age 12. he put it to his lips
& the dixieland heat ruptured out. the horn hissed licks that swallowed
the rhythms of oldies talking smack and spitting blues.
fuck a mute, it reminds him too much of his father.
growl with that horn that bends like you used to,
when you called south home & drake them all up north
through a time portal, he conquered time.
(white boys tried to copy the magic
but they couldn't touch its soul. the bird,
his best counterpart. bebop, the future of jazz.
John Birks Gillespie stands atop a cloud
around 43rd street & wails a legacy
out his bell, a jolt through time. he makes
bebop bump. he shocks the world.