Lay for the Day
the birthday of the jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus.
poem refers to the track What Love, which is Minguss
version of Ellingtons What Is This Thing Called Love.
It developed on stage into a musical dialogue between Mingus and Eric
Dolphy, playing bass clarinet. A studio performance though Mingus
pretends to be in a club, with spoken introductions to the pieces and
admonitions to the clientele not to clink their glasses during the music
can be heard on Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus,
recorded for Nat Hentoffs esteemed but short-lived Candid label
in October 1960. (Thank you again for not applauding, he says
before they start playing this one.) Another, better still, is on the
Mingus at Antibes album, recorded in concert in July of that year.
reach me that skellingtune.
Would you be hormonious?
Dont bowdlerise the blues.
Bowdada? Bowdada? I aint
Bravo, mon mesmeriste,
Scalliwag. Wagtail. Wag
and tale man, teller. Ill tell how, and how.
Lurch up here beside me
till I buzz your bones out.
Oh no you dont.
Do. I do.
Old stout one. I aint
Aha. A havoc Ill
wreak on a rag and bone scale.
Blow, young vagabond!
valuable, remember? Ember? Voluble a member? Pandemonium.
O rum, O bad and rum, O
bird, abandoned boy, my bester.
Jester. Ill veer,
Utter, nutter go!
No. Wonder. Ill
wander awhile. Gambol and squander not your melody, long-breathed fellow.
I am. Bop. And will be.
Walk With Man, say? Or
Yes, and Edgy Alien Poet.
But howd you lead
or board a bear beard him in a lair?
Underground, daddy, if
you dare, you wayward aristo, boss, profuse crater.
Dare me not, thou duodecaphonic
O mangle, mingle it
Ill drive, Ill
dizzy you, dazzle and, in a brief word, deliver.
Unmentionable, major man,
Pattercake. Paired abroad
a pattery ark.
What but? Love but. What
Trickler as a paraclete.
Weeper tetra! Pass. A parry.
Parsed with wit, son.
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