Sunday, March 22, 2015

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


Not expecting to go back
to the features of the 90's
expecting awareness
of a Beat poet's adventure
enamored of enchanted
words taken off city light shelves
my posthumous self declined
like a quivering expression
from a straitjacket gesture
and jackbooted memory
still frozen from my urban read
a brother still in the shivers
of alley darkness
with an apotheosis of my sax
blown on the streets
and park bandstands
embracing a life's work
in a Whitman existence
prepared on the night sands
of Venice Beach
by secret slopes as life stops
for love making everything new.


On back roads
remembering my hands
playing piano at a pub
opening your letters
from your jazz writings
on landscapes of wind
here in London
invisible except to dreams
of those who hold lamps
to itinerant poets
with an alembic alphabet
motionless as my body
in a new language hour,
nothing is foreign to us
but earthy to everyone else
as trees, springs, shadows
cool off all hidden tongues
from rumors in the city
that a poet takes chances
in hours of days
barters for warmth
under his green back pack
fixes on breathing in
enigmas and omens
unchained from words
in an absurd time
of a language
that feeds us on patience,
when everyone wanted
his fifteen minutes
to get known,
but others realized
our dreams would be uprooted
as entangled graffiti
on city walls
we were only starry-eyed
fading by morning
within publicity's range
of a once familiar face.


Taking a taxi
in a wintry snow
late for my sax gig
riffs of flakes
on the windshield wiper
a flagon of vodka
and fried potatoes
next to me,
the scent of notes
full of whispering words
and probabilities
as the driver intimates
in Russian
he is not charging me
if will play a solo for him
my hands not knowing
any boundaries
as we almost crash
and barely escape through
a half opened door.

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