what could possibly conNect them–

he’s barefoot on a chair,
brush in hand, needle striPe Armani suit
& it’s his feet that make me
wanna touch him (weird– eh?)
splatTered paint– Jimi Hendrix & “The Bird”

his heroes,
here’s my confession– Charlie Parker
makes me sick– chromatic–
overboard tesTosTeroNe waves roller-coast
blanc nerve strings, steelWet neutrons, gnoMes
with bloodSmuDGed swords in patTernCraZy
caTCh/Me&esCapE//noCHanCE // too fast
to follow–

somewhere in the desert,
she’s pours ouT herself on him//
running over in tears//her hair a greasy blanket
close&Clo//SEer// cheeks to//warm hands
on his feet, so deeply
intimate //  i want–

my daughter looks over my shoulder,
“do you really like his paintings?”
“yeah” i say, “they’re not
exactly beautiful but—”

tension pressed tight
on strokes of bLacK&yelLow
oilstickPaint/acrylics/sPray-
smeared // i get lost, tracing lines// raW–
after the car hit him, playing
Brooklyn streets,

his mom brought a book about anatomy
to keep him busy in the hospital,
a time that never left him–
stoNed, Parker blaring from his headphones
(just how i imagine it to be)
to what is part of–

“love his use of color” i say,
skim back through the pages,
’78 he sprayed “SAMO is dead” all over SoHo,
barefoot& upRooted,
finally, it’s not the drugs that killed him,
but the loss of what he loved
so passionately

.

Gay has us write beat poets and beat poetry at dVerse today… free verse, influenced by blues, jazz, post war angst.. the feeling of being beat down by society and and… best is to read her excellent article which goes up in the pub at 3pm EST…

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32 responses to “what could possibly conNect them–

  1. An interesting free flow of writing..a bit psychedelic.. I really had to google both Charlie Parker & SAMO as both were ‘Greek to me.’ You have really invoked a lot of senses in this poem. And conNections run strongly through your wonderfully-word-played poem, Claudia!

  2. i like his colors as well…i do enjoy charlie parker though…ha…the somewhere in the desert she pours herself out on him stanza///nice pace change, they are not beautiful but…they are honest…and to me that makes all the difference in the world…i would rather honest than made pretty…and what killed him, would def kill me, as well….

  3. Wow, this one is down, is cool, but third time through, I found Hendrix to be the artist, and the Bird to be one of his muses; and those psychedelic dot matrix hard-rock paintings of the 60’s emerged for me; and they were all there, Joplin, Morrison, Dylan, Hendrix, all stoned, all magical, all listening to Charlie Parker in their headphones.

  4. The flow of words and references make us travel back in time Claudia! I had no idea that Basquiat had spent time in hospital and that his mum had brought him a book on anatomy!

  5. Wow there are a lot of ties between Basquiat and Byrd. I just watched a film a couple of nights ago about the new york griffiti artists. I think this is amazing. You brought us there into the hard grit and the scary reality while keeping it on the down low, you still made it jazzy. Fine work, Claudia.

  6. Such combinations!
    I can identify with the high in the last paragraph. Stronger and more powerful than drugs.

  7. Art is if i may say a part of us! And it has come to stay! My favourite of this lines are “somewhere in the desert,
    she’s pours ouT herself on him//
    running over in tears//her hair a greasy blanket”
    Thanks for this….

  8. The pace of your writing is frenetic, as were the times when rampant creativity brought change and excitement to all the arts. Good memorial, Claudia.

  9. What a wonderful rush this brought Claudia. Must admit I had to google Charlie Parker & SAMO too – and now I know!
    Anna :o]

  10. “They’re not exactly beautiful, but–” yes, that’s exactly how I read the beat poets, and see beat art in general. There was a lot of ugliness they were trying to combat, call attention to, bewail, condemn. It was not always pretty, but the ENERGY! Great capture of this.

  11. The loss of one’s art is a true loss indeed…my wife’s grand-dad was a musician. He played about half a dozen instruments, but his health failed him about the time he moved into a senior’s home and had to leave all his passions behind.

  12. ooh ..’her hair a greasy blanket’…and Jimi Hendrix music..and ‘tension pressed tight’….all makes for a great romp in the reality of ‘back in the day’ in the 60’s…

  13. Touch etc., etc., those FEET? Are you one TOO, Claudia?–grin! Feet are an inportant part of us, I think. They hang on to limbs of trees while we cavort upside down–grin!

    Sigurd Rascher was my sax idol. Did I ever tell you I played short-lived duet with him in early morning, standing in a mountain creek in North carolina, in 1951. Actual story is a bit longer than that.

    You write some “meeen” poetry, Chica!

  14. Very deep. loved the way you have gone about interpreting it…kind of thinking aloud in the brush strokes, paints. the last line is the finishing touch!