Writing in Whangarei

Crespuscle with Nellie

by Martin Porter

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



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
Many notes, all at once, or in rapid

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.


One response

  1. martininwhangarei

    A formatted version of this poem with notes can be found on my blog http://poetrynotesandjottings.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/crepuscule-with-nellie/

    March 14, 2012 at 5:38 am

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