Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Parable of Jazz

Parable of Jazz

Jazz saved me
this night
saved me
I was ready to go
held my arm
reached into my soul
saved me.

He was so happy to be born a North American African. A little sad he wasn't born in New Orleans, but happy just the same to claim his heritage of black classical music, the most wonderful music in the world. What other music could come from a people enslaved except jazz or black classical music? Well, now, don't leave out Vudun, another music from the African democratic society that allows the voice of everyone to be heard, recognized, accepted and respected?

No matter what name, Black classical music reflects the black soul and mind, the freedom of the body in the midst of hell on earth, a transcendence of this world into the infinity, beyond the pussy and dick of blues, the nursery rhymes of rap, the putrid mythology of gospel, though we love the purity and sacredness, but the mythology is total insanity. And he loved gospel music more than any Muslim who ever lived. A woman said she never knew a Muslim could love gospel more than a Christian.

A Muslim elder heard him playing gospel and was horrified! But jazz/black classical music was his love. And yet he strayed so far away when he descended into the depths of hell. The was no music in hell, nothing but silence in the night and in the day. No one spoke, no one nodded hello or as-salaam-alaikum. Hell was silent. Not even a whisper did the devils do in hell. Only pass the dope. Let the ladies parade butt naked as on the auction block, though the men did not bother to look up from chasing the dragon. What beautiful women, butt naked, but who cared, pass the pipe. Let us chase the dragon into the night.

Maybe we will share with the ladies for a moment, only for a moment. We will look up their vagina with a flashlight. We are that sick, that insane. No music in the Crack house, only the silence of smoke in the air, the flies are dead on the floor from the smoke. Open the window, let some air in. But, no, don't open the window, the police might be outside. They hear us in the silence. We have tons of dope, they are going to raid us. Play some music. Wait. No. Be quiet. No music!

There were years with no music, no jazz, except for the musician on the corner. He tried not to hear him in the Frisco night, but his sound was so beautiful it flowed through the fog of his mind.
He heard the music and knew he had to run outside to give a donation. It was Sonny Simmons on the corner from the dope fiend's hotel room in Union Square. He heard Sonny every night in the most lyrical language ever heard, calling him home. Come home, black man, come black to self and kind, let the ghosts go, let the demons fly away, let the butt naked women flee into the night.
Come home, black man, North American African.

And yet, it would take years to reconnect with the music, to return to the music, Sun Ra would go to space is the place, BJ would go home to jazz heaven, Oliver Johnson, dead in Paris, Dewey Redman, one of his main men from Black Arts West, left us his son Joshuah. And still he could not connect to the music of his soul, the healing sounds of his mind.

And somehow, through it all, he made the transition over the chasm, the precipice of darkness and dread, into the sound of his ancestors, the living, and the yet unborn. He reached out into space is the place and grabbed his mother tongue, the sound of the womb in the ocean of his mind. He was home.
--Marvin X

The poem Jazz Saved Me is from Confession of a Wife Beater and Other Poems by Marvin X,
Al KItab Sudan Press, Fresno, 1981. For more poems by Marvin X, go to www.academyofdacorner.blogspot.com

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