Wednesday, June 17, 2009

poem of the day 06.17.09

real jazz

the play avalon
st. james infirmary
basin street blues
and at the end of the final set
they’ll probably do
when the saints go marching in
as a thin girl with no ass
strolls around the bar
pushing the tip jug at you
hocking the band’s cd
ushering in new people
and eyeing up your half-finished drink
we’ve been coming here for three days now
we used to come here a lot in the past
before katrina put new orleans on its knees
and some say this is the last joint
on bourbon street
to hear authentic dixieland jazz.
the thin girl shoves a cd in my face
as the trombone player says into the mic
“that’s us on the disc, the authentic, real
new orleans jazz sound.”
which is exactly what the clarinet player
in another band said last night
and the bass player from another band
said two nights ago
when my wife and i sat
in front of this group of anxious
jazz enthusiasts
who bought the cd then smiled at each other
as one said, “we needn’t look any further, man,
because tonight we’ve found it!
we’ve found the real thing!
real jazz!”
i remember looking at the man
and thinking it must feel good to have found it
something honest and true
the real thing
real jazz
tonight, however, i decline the offer to buy
the cd
but order two scotches and waters instead
as the band finishes up
when the saints go marching in
and everyone in the place raises their glasses
to toast the real thing
real jazz
while you and i wonder where in the hell
there is left to go
for something tangible
in all of this.

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