all that jazz

(for Michael Harper)

falling like the rain goes
landing on a needle's point
as the sun strays behind
     a rainbow moon
grandiloquent jazz beaten blue
echoing hughes in its resonance
angry arrangements
     harmonious beat of
     enigma and intention
is this what drew allen, jack and bill
     to the bars of the wild neon night
     drunk on port
     high on green apples and benny tubes
mexican fresco
     painted on a cracked wall
     carelessly spattered with tar
a ragtime rhythm
sweet from the alto sax
sinks like liquid lead
in the ocean of cacophony

~ dwmetz, 1994