11 January 2009

A. B. Spellman

[from A. B. Spellman's Things I Must Have Known, Coffee House, 2008]]

Groovin' Low

my swing is more mellow
these days: not the hardbop drive
i used to roll but more of a cool
foxtrot, my eyes still close
when the rhythm locks; i've learned
to boogie with my feet on the floor
i'm still movin', still groovin'
still fallin' in love

i bop to the bass line now, the trap set
paradiddles ratamacues & flams
that used to spin me in place still set me
off, but i bop to the bass line now
i enter the tune from the bottom up
& let trumpet & sax wheel above me

so don't look for me in the treble
don't look for me in the fly
staccato splatter of the hot young horn
no, you'll find me in the nuance
hanging out in inflection & slur
i'm the one executing the half-bent
dip in the slow slowdrag
with the smug little smile
& the really cool shades

9/11/01 [excerpt]

. . .

                            our america
will refuse to sort the detritus
to find its own sin in it, but it lies there
smoldering, unexpiated by the flames
it's in the plain song of the new-made dead
who will chant it all the years that we live
we tilt the earth so the gold slides down
to us. we dress the starved illiterates
of the earth in the worst
of our culture & feign surprise
when they do not love us for it

Things I Must Have Known

No comments:

Post a Comment