Thursday, July 22, 2010

poem: rushmore cat

blowing his chops at

The Colored Waif's Home

for Boys, the pastoral

poetry of racism,

fireworks in his mouth

& his horn,

blowing hots

by the number,

Bolden by the wayside

Oliver in Chi-town

summoning the new

King, Bessie's

new mule wagon,

splaying the beat

out for barbecue,


& sop, this chessman

angered by none other

than the need to blow

home, blow harm,

blow past the

snickering attempts

to carve him

a different Rushmore:

Cat was subversive

to his dying day,

all 9 of them

& counting.



Blogger Dee Martin said...

sent me to wikipedia repeatedly :) I had no idea - what an interesting group of people. Louis Armstrong - awesome! I ended up stuck at the end though - dying day - all 9 of them? Stumped!

5:43 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: Read about another LA bio in an old New Yorker. Coming Through Slaughter, one of my favorite novels, is by Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient fame) and about early New Orleans horn player Buddy Bolden.

The 9? I figured the "Cat" had at least 9 lives, hence 9 dying days.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

ahhh I was being too factual. I love that he wore a star of David for the Karnofskys.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

But old jazz players live on forever whenever anyone plays their tunes. Their souls come back and waft on the music whispering in the poet's ear... inspiring once more.

9:52 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: Sent me to the Wiki myself for that one. Good story. I've got a bio and Pops' own autobiography in the queue behind the current Trollope.

1:23 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Agreed, Teresa: I think that's why "& counting" insisted on being the last line.

1:23 PM  

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