First Jazz

Pete Mullineaux

Coltrane, cool train
taking vinyl track
with swerve
and verve, hip dip
curve of lip, gravity
bending light
with thumb
and fingertip
on moon
reflecting keys –
take a winding scale from
the black bottom
of a southern swamp
up past a levee camp moan
through a blood red foam
to the cold blue gates of Heaven –

levitate a while…
like a humming bird
a back-beat drumming bird
then deviate
on the A Train
pile back on the coal train,
the engine picking up steam
hear that bell ring
tip your high hat
to the blind engineer,
catch the rattlesnake snare…
then a rumble
and a tumble
and a sudden drop
with a blast so low
you go down
into the molten heat
and heartbeat
of this crazy jive,
where two and two
make five
feeling in this
moment only
you are truly

Featured Artwork:
By Sérgio Valle Duarte (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons