POEM from Yvon J Cormier

It's Saturday afternoon and it's well after noon, and the Mocking Bird's jazz band is setting up late. They're sharing James Velvet's 39th birthday with fans and unknown walk-in listeners. I'm one of them. Where else would a player want to celebrate his birthday except at a gig, and on stage playing what he likes to play.

Empty beer bottles and full liquor bottles frame the back wall. A saxophone top is capped up behind a corked sherry bottle pointing to Cafe 9 in red neon, with its inextricable companion, a blue neon G clef.

Flags, trophies and mini microphones stacked atop the wine glass shelf. Wooden bust of old man Buddha or maybe replica of New Orleans crew float.

Geronimo peeks out at the regulars, his horse facing bottles framed with violin on the other side. Good old Jack looks off into his golden eternity, next to a Faustian Gretchen in relaxed relief, her companion is outside her vignette, 9 on top and painted wide folk pillow faces playing flute, sax, and violin. Clock to the right and violin on top to keep the time.

More microphones of old performing lore gone bye, below bottles slide and tug feeding regulars beer. Kenny Aldrich beats his soul into the kit, dancing like Roaches soul did like Krupa did, and at his own finest hour—Big bang throb, and straight ahead to the ears of his audience.

Tinkle, tinkle tink--and the band intro song Kind of Blue is on. Elijah on the keys runs his trill like phantom notes from Hancock's Quintet days.
Elijah even asked for a clipboard to invite other players to sit in. "If you've got somethin' to play, somethin' to sing, or even somethin' to say–sign up and you'll be next."

New song and new man took the cue and is standing in, plucking riffs on guitar. Leaning back and sucking in the bass while Aldrich locks some pace for all to play and dance on in their forum in the sky.

Segments of interlude and no member of the crowd needs a cue when to give love with a CLAP CLIP CLOP. No one wants to disturb this musical movement. Whistles jeer them on in a hesitance like modals and space of Kind of Blue, waiting for that moment to jump the ride when the bass said its say. Now Girl from Ipanema in blues variation with a Miles feel.

All the players from the local area mill in and those who knew the Humming Birds, who were going to be here, are slipping in on the vibe that reached the musicians beyond Cafe 9's doors. A man with his amp and sacked guitar is ready to strut his talent among the flock of fellow lovers of sound.

Foot stomping to the solo bass while guitar is thumping like percussion and bass. Another has his
cased rain stick¾ could be Shaka ready to go. One man plays congas in the audience because there is no room on the stage.
Slide trombone player runs scales into his mute on the sideline to get his chops ready for the show. Cousin slide holds his brass imagining music jump from his horn to paint this smoky room blue, as he gazes on in the background, contemplating the sound.


Yvon J. Cormier works as a freelance writer and has been writing poetry for over 18 years. His new work is characterized by it's Jazz & Blues influenced poetry & prose sketches. He writes from an insatiable nomadic intelligence which obsesses over what is unsaid and the seemingly invisible aspects of daily life. His work is rooted in drawing life pictures where words owe a greater debt to what they represent rather than the reverse. He has been published in Long River Run, 2007, The Diarist's Journal, Oct. 2002, and in Covert Press # 2 (in print & online), Nibble a poetry magazine, and Heroin Love Songs. His chapbook of Jazz & Blues influenced poetry & prose is titled Life Sketches in Blue (Select Edition)[D/E/A/D/B/E/A/T/ Press]