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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Gone" (A Jazz Poem For One of The Dearly Departed)

Inside that concrete canyon of

Deep and steely


Where the mean streets sucked

You in, like

Aimless junkies inhaling

Crystal meth…

And the garish avenues

Spat you out

Like the night’s

Haughty sophisticates

Exhaling smoke

From French

Cigarettes… I search for

Signs of your



Where the hustlers are

Still brawling

The busters are balling

And queens lean into


Tete a tetes… and the whores

Grow bored between

Johns and quickies

And marathon sessions of

Oral sex… where

The atmosphere is

Terminally blue, I find myself

Searching for you.

Sometimes I forget

Being lost

In a dream

Where I’m

Naked, screaming

Screeching your name

Like a wildman aflame

Thru uncaring streets

As if you were still

Alive, still seeking

Your piece of fame as

A skidrow celebrity. On Broadway

No one really

'Treats you fine.'

It’s just a contrived

Little R & B

Rhyme... a convenient line

From a long ago

Drifters song. I sing

Your name

And throw my voice from

The top my

Lungs in a shameless fit of

Disorderly conduct

Terrified to confess and

Afraid to admit

You are gone… really

Gone, man. Gone

Like those

Beatniks, wasted chicks

And misfits from the 60s. Gone

Like Bird and Jupiter Ray

And those spacey tribes of

Bricked-up eyes

In the dimly-lit

Cafes of the village.


Like the comfortably numb

Hippies and the skag-

Shooting junkies nodding

Their lives away in

Needle Park. Gone

Like those angelic–sounding

Jazzmen sparking reefer and

Hitting pristine notes. Gone

Like the cool ones...

The transitory

Doomed ones

Doping in the dark of

52nd street.

Gone… in the night’s frightful

Debris of objects, mirages,

People and things

That matter to

No one else

But me.

I refuse to let the

Demons win or pillage this

Richness of your memory

When, you remain like

Some old soul song

Only old souls sing

When high on something

Even those dealers in Harlem

No longer sling.

You are gone, now

Like afros and dashikis

And beautiful visions

Fleeting from the corner

Of my mind’s eye.

Gone… in a blink

In a final sigh...

In this stink-hole

Lost soul ghetto. Gone from

This unfabulous uptown

Plantation zoo of

Habits that wink

And nod and fidget

At you… Habits

That ache and throb,

Shake and rob…

Wild, and lie

And vomit

In macabre


Streams of nothing

Nada, utter


But the bang/crash

Echo of



copyright © 2010 by L.M. Ross