Like Jazz

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                                   Rhythm and pattern easily obscured, it’s what you feel,
                                   not what is heard. Polyphonic syncopation,                     bass line
      holds the inspiration                 well before anticipation, a rush of melody pushes
            to the fore                              you hear it again, but never have before.
                        Rim shot crack
            cymbals crash,
                    the beat is burning, and falls
                    like ash.                                      It marches and it swings,
                                                                         like laughter, it is tears.
                          Emotionally charged, by no means irreverent, it suddenly switches gears.
             History more than the future, a time though, never passed.
             As definite as prayer,
             cool as a sweaty glass.                             Full moon rising
                                                                                  heroin highs
                                                                                  the music lives on
                                                                                  the player only dies.
Straight up from the psyche, deep down in the core, no matter the decade,
more than less though less is more.                                Solo piano
                   full of vigor                            the notes interpret all you have known.
                   Time signature changes, on a dime, or rolled up bill, the rhythm method,
                   it comes from the gut
                   no matter how it is played or how it is cut.                        Free form.
It is life, it is living, it is solid, it is forgiving. As simple or as complex as a saxophone riff,
no four-chord progressions.                         Never boring.                                  Never stiff.
Wholly original, as much as it is copied, and studied, sweated over, with notes cast asunder, improvisation,              muddied by emotion
                                        perpetual motion,          realization, over and under.
                  Though practiced                 it is free, it is glossy, and messed up, so dirty it is clean.
Quietly you dream, completely obsessed.                           A blue note cries out
                                                                                                       to lovers
                                                                                                       and all the others,
calmer, smoother sounds, longer linear melodic lines, you don’t listen as much
               as you go for a ride.                           Off the charts,
it’s art and it’s plastered with culture,
a contradiction not comprehensible, it is not responsible
                                              should you dream a life totally possessed.
More about attitude than instrument of choice, the minor keys and major chords create it’s own noise. Structured silence played oh-so-slow in parts of deep reflection, blood rushing through the vein, it steps back then it rises up, triumphantly, again. Again
and again, and again.
                         Only a genre is to say night is just darkness, or a day is but a year,
        it goes down easy with dinner, or a six pack of beer, seedy downtown club
        or a scratchy vinyl disc
it comes with a purpose, arrives full of risk. It nourishes the soul from a rhythm, whatever it has,                  whatever it be
                                                     we should all live like jazz.

© 2016 j.g. lewis

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