Writing in Whangarei

Crepuscle with Nellie

Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane
Carnegie Hall
November 1957

                                          They were not in his canon. Dizzy,
                                          Billie, Ray, he stomped the same boards,
                                          Chet and Sonny too

                                                                                      Humph he did not meet
                                          but that did not stop
                                          him writing

                                                                                       Effortless his playing
                                          Unique undoubtedly in genius fashion

as peculiar as his hat

Vast

                                          Erratic

The angular notes
strike from the piano strings
like crimes

of Epistrophy:
angular dancesteps, complex,
astringent, roll like a spiked ball

John’s sax is calming. Laminated
sheets of space flow in long solos, probing
discovered corners of this difficult man. The joy is evident
while he plays, not one, not two, but
                                                                                       ,fluent,
Many notes, all at once, or in rapid
Punctuation.

                                                           Do you feel you have to get up
And dance?

                                                           Do you feel you have to sit down
To seize the opportunity?

Well, you needn’t.

©  Martin Porter 2009

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