Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Last Measure (Poem for Charles Mingus) By Hart Leroy Bibbs
WONDEROUS PEALING FEELING RETICENCE
RESONATE NINE TIMES ACROSS THUNDER
PEAKS. TRI-HALOED BEAUTY LIVES THERE IN
THE SOUNDLAND, SOFTLY PEEPING AROUND A
DARK CLOUD WHOSE BACK IS TURNED UPON
WORLDS DISDAINED. YET IT DARES TO POSSESS
THE TOUCH OF STRINGS WHERE BEAUTY IS
HEARD AND NOT SEEN
unheard is vision for the self within is dead
but the juxtaposition has already been clearly
GREAT MINGUS IS BOWING THE LAST
THE MUSIC'S SHEET READS FOR STRINGS AND
WOODWINDS BUT UNWRITTEN ON HIS CHART
IS GUILT FROM UNSTRUCTURED DOUBT. A RIFF
OF NONCOMMITAL MEASURES THAT ENDS
WHERE GUILT IS NEITHER WITHOUT NOR
WITHIN THAT CONFOUNDS TO CONTAIN ALL
dumbness mirrors itself to praise what little
and questions the rights of me to have lived and
died. it meddles to make frustration a raga's rage.
MINGUSIANFIED IS BESPOKEN IN THE WHEEL OF
SOUND AND UNSELFISHLY IS THE NEWS
ALREADY OUT OF THE GRACE TO DIVIDE
RHYTHM AND CONQUER METHOD'S PAGE. HELL
NEED NOT FREEZE IN ORDER TO BE
RECOGNIZED ENCOUNTERING HARMONIE'S
POINT OF BITTERNESS NOR THE SERVANT SNAIL
THAT LEADS THE NEW YORK UNI(ONS) CORN
BAND INTO FALSE MEASURE.
when all doubles stop on planet nine, two
octaves cry the blues between the grumbling
crossfire of the cymbals polyrhythmic oneness
COLLECTED EYELIDS OPEN UPON HUMANITY
THAT RAVES TO RECALL BIRD, LADY DAY AND
TRANE. NO MORE SOCIAL REGISTERS FOR
DOLPHY, BECHET NOR RASHAAN. WHAT TIMES
HAD THESE WHORE'S FOR MUSIC'S PLEASURE.
FIGHTING NOTES ON TOP OF PEANUT JOKES
AND MELODIC CONFUSION THAT MADE SEEM
FRIVOLOUS THE FINALITY OF A CLIMAX THAT
LEAPS MINGUSPLEXIAN INTO THE LAST
legend flavored fumes from massy hall where
music heard of its mythical birth. Saturday happy
blues tuned to bop turned that ball.
IN ECSTASY EYES CLOSED AND JAWS SLACK,
TONGUE UNCONTAINABLE BEHIND THE TEETH
AND GROOVING WITH FATTED UPBEAT'S
SWING. WAILING ECHOES MOURN THROUGH
THE VALLEY OF TRIPLETS, WHERE TEARS TURN
TO FLOWERS AND ORNAMENT EARTHY SPACE
NOTES. 2-2-3-4. One must forever fall on tomorrows
trauma, WHERE THE LAST MEASURE OF
YESTERDAYS FRUSTRATIONS BREED, down by the
riverside, TO GO DOWN MINGING.
five spot features a bass (strad) that sings
of misery dancing on fragile fragrant wood.
knocked down, dragged from the splintered
a mystical cry telling the all time lows,
the dow jones of human spirits without wings.
BLUES MONDAY AND RAINY DAY CONCERTS
SWELL THE TRUTHS OF BLACK TUESDAYS TO
THE GOSPEL RESOLUTION TO REDEEM PURITY
WITH THE COOL, GREEN NOTES AND BREAK ALL
STRAINS INTO A STRING OF REDHOT
HARMONIES. COSMIC UNITY IS THE GRACE
WITH THE VOICE TO SPEAK: YOU NOT ALWAYS
BEAUTIFUL, SACROSANCT, SPIRALLING TRULY
BLESSED ONE. HARD LINED IN UGLY COLDNESS
AND ONLY HALF HUMAN, DEVOTION ONLY
COULD HAVE BEEN YOUR HOME.
the future's last measure is before the tomb
when a little finger reaches round the womb
to strum the umbilical ending.
DOWN IN THE OLD SWIMMING HOLE FISHING.
UNDER THE BASS BRIDGE, GOLD AND DRIPPING
HOARDS. THEN RUN ALL THE WAY HOME, BACK
TO FIRST BASE, TO SHOW MIGUSIAN
PERFECTION WITH MINGUSPLEXIAN CHORDS.
UNO, SENOR EL UNO AND RAISE THE SEVENTH
A STRING TWELVE STOPS OF MUSIC'S CALVARY.
RAISE HELL MING.
vision is the last measure, melodic in its theme
with sweet but cruel notes that leer. The sound
grace is exercising her vocal chords.
this poem appeared originally in Double Trouble, a collection of work by Ted Joans and Hart Leroy Bibbs, including Bibbs photography. Double Trouble was published in Paris, 1992, by Editons Bleu Outremer: Revue Noire. A truly legendary figure of the jazz world in Paris and New York, Hart Leroy Bibbs lives on in the "space love demands"!