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Literature feat. Music Illustration: Mayo Bous / Magazine Am: Pm Illustration: Mayo Bous / Magazine Am: Pm

Jazz musicians

I. Saxo

A sax is an instrument too sad
so that the sparrows dance
on the power line.

(It does not matter that there are dead birds
at the foot of the violins.)
A sax is for autumn leaves
for divorces
for the letters that do not arrive.
If you see rain, take out the sax
where everyone can hear it
If there is mourning in the city, worship it.
And no one will ever touch the saxophone on a Thursday.
And no one rehearses near the gardens.
Let's get used to the gray and the wind in the window
to the silence dying in spiral.
A sax fills the chest of bats
and it leaves us like this, with the chest invaded
with the woman of always hurting on the walls.
The sax, no, please, Charlie Parker,
Do not you see that ash falls?
Don't you feel like your eye bags sing?
The sax, no, please, Charlie Parker,
or we will cry together the next drizzle.

II. Dead laugh

Charlie Parker sits in front of the TV and laughs.
He does not pay attention to his sax or his old hostess,
the baroness Nica.
Julián del Casal accommodates himself in the chair where he will have dinner and laughs.
He does not pay attention to his tie or his vases from China.
They both know they are going to die
and they laugh at the face that we will put on others when we know it.
They laugh with elegance of virgin corpses,
of dead for the first time,
full of musical scars and complex metaphors.
They laugh as we have cried those who did not know them,
with hiccups and perplexity, with timid handkerchiefs.
Charlie Parker drinks coffee in Havana
while Casal enters a psychiatric
to perfect its deterioration.
They are like big children.
Both have been spectators of the face of God
and they have not been able to contain the laughter.

III. The jazz musicians.

Why jazz musicians close their eyes?
Why do they play with their eyes closed even if they have their eyelids up?
Jazz musicians do not belong to the same species
than the rest of the men. They are only shadows,
silhouettes of colors without names or family.
Listen to jazz musicians
read them between the smoke and the tears in the background
it is a superb lesson of continence.
The clarinet moves the foot to the rhythm of the rain.
The saxophone moves the bow tie in circles.
The tuba can not contain
and cries lying on the back of the trombone
who plays and says no with his head
deny that he is a tree or a stone or a man.
The trombone believes (and says so, with metallic insolence)
that he is a dragonfly
The trombone believes he is a dragonfly and he comments on it with the piano.
And only then the piano shakes
scandalous white tears, almost transparent
and is left alone with the voice of the singer
that fills the place with old photos, slowly.
Poor musicians. Jazz musicians
they are always poor. I pity them.
They go through like a bone in public memory.
We all know that they do not move,
that do not look at each other or touch each other,
that are moved by strange forces
even if nobody discovers the motive threads.
And they no longer have the strength to touch, like this,
dresses of rigorous mourning, disheveled,
with the smell of coffee and dry whiskey.
When jazz musicians play
in all the houses of all cities
round tables come up from nowhere
with crocheted tablecloths
with ashtrays in the center and smoking cigarette ends.
And great photos. Immense photos
of other jazz musicians, tearful.
Defocused and wet photos,
charged with static electricity.
And then all of us who listen
all, without exception,
we jump on the battery cymbals;
at the same time and syncopatedly.
Thousands of bodies dressed in black in syncopation.
Crying in syncopation. Steaming in syncopation.
Hearing in syncopation. Missing mothers
and evoking brides from early childhood
to the friends of the first pimples.
Thousands of shadows with silhouettes of different colors
with steaming metal nozzles and closed eyes.
And the eyes closed. And the eyes closed. And the night.

Alexis Díaz-Pimienta. Havana, 1966. Cuban writer and "repentista". Master of improvised verse. This poem belongs to his last book published in Spain, THE SEXUAL DESIRE OF THE STATUES, Editorial Huerga and Fierro, Madrid, 2018.
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