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Dizzy Gillespie Blows the Blues


1942


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.

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