Jazz Fantasy of My Puberty*
Reality has always been too small for the human
imagination. We're always trying to transcend.
– Brenda Laurel
She leans against the wall of a jazz club,
strikes a pose under the spotlight of a streetlamp,
blows ovals of smoke like lassos to rope-in
all lust within sight of the Seine.
She wears a beret like those Beats
with their Van Dykes and goatees
seen through arches in the club’s caveau
as they dig Le Jazz Hot,
ostinato riffs of trumpet and clarinet,
jazzmen as silhouettes through another arch,
wide vibratos, unblushing roll of Lonesome Railroad Blues,
a trombone’s slide in a priapic rise to Mighty Lak A Rose.
Her eyes flash with every blast of brass.
She sways, in the groove.
She begins to dance.
She swoons, a cobra entranced
when I transcend the band
as I solo, when I play
*Inspired by the album cover and music of Le Jazz Hot, an LP recorded in 1957 by The Left Bank Bearcats, a group of American musicians who masqueraded as a French jazz band.
Jack Grady is a founding member of the Irish-based Ox Mountain Poets. His poetry has appeared online or in print in many literary journals and anthologies, including such publications as Crannóg; Live Encounters; The Galway Review; And Agamemnon Dead: An Anthology of Early Twenty-First Century Irish Poetry; North West Words; The Worcester Review; Poet Lore; A New Ulster, Mauvaise Graine; Algebra of Owls; The Irish Literary Times; Skylight 47, and others. He was the first Irish poet invited to read at the annual international poetry festival in Marrakesh, Morocco, where he appeared at its third edition, in April 2016.
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