Playing Jazz, part two

Smoke pirourettes around the shrinking shapes of idle speculation.  Ritual anticipation settled for the inevitable triage of experience and achievement, dues and wisdom, invitation and exclusion.

Sax throated obligatory admiration, mood recycled in reserve, and the shadows pressed faceless to the glass, watching the shark-moves of truth encircled by motifs, melodies, modes, and measures.


Do you even know, they asked, what it is you want to say, never mind how to say it?  Do you have a mouth to match your measures?  Chords for your chords, a tongue for your tune?  The heart for your beat?

The Kid folded his wings, shuffled his stand, arranged his perspective, and raised his sites. The air gathered close, keeping clear through the collection of relevant minutiae, ready to move when the words finally came.

“I seen sad corners, he said, empty streets full of ghosts and ghosts full of need. Houses without homes and homes with no walls, towns without pity, summer in the city, and cities with no names.  I’ve heard all the ways a dime can be rolled, a quarter flipped, and a promise sold for the safety of a brick.  I’ve sat at bars and listened to the pointless frustration of voices with no song, the outlines of dreams, substanceless schemes, and aimless desire with no match to ignite, through nights with no stars only lights in the sky, and I came through the mess with a shape and a name and a point to be made.

So here I am and I’m asking the chance.

Let me sit in ‘cause I want to play jazz…”