SATCHMO'S GRIN.... 

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This Blues Piece, in Remembrance of Old School Mindsets, was written upon contemplating an old photo of the Great Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong. lmr




1.

There are notes, some notes
That sing us, slowly… notes 
That cry 
So sharp
And so high, they define us
Even inside our deepest 
Quietude…

Dude was clean! 
Dude had sheen... and
Amazing artistry; Louis!
Louis! Louis was the dude, man!
And center stage, there he'd be
Tuxedo-clad, man.. and glossy,
Glossy, as his horn, man…
Dude was a phenom!  Yes, 
I am truly diggin', diggin' on... 
Diggin' on a photograph of 
A young Louis Armstrong. I see that 
Gleam of chrome and 
A genius grin, streaking
Like some ebullient comet
Across a shiny black mask...
And this mad hep Jazz cat 
Just makes you happy,
Doesn't he?

But was he really
That damned happy? Could anyone
Black... in 1920s America...
Possibly be that damned 
Happy?

There are notes, some notes
That sing us, slowly… notes 
That cry 
So sharp
And so high, they define us
Even inside our deepest 
Quietude…


2.

In his rendition of 
"St Louis Blues,"
We can hear Louis'  pain...
Feel his scream
And smell the Delta's
Summer steam…

Maybe. maybe
Louis dreamed
Not in visions
But in sound, man…
Maybe... just maybe
That sweet racket of his
Bleating horn both warmed and 
Transformed him, man.

Wow! Maybe.  Just maybe.
Maybe all that jazz and
Frequent weed-smoking, man,
Tickled Louis's ass into 
Some semblance of
Makeshift Negro 
Happiness.


But... there are songs, some songs
That sing us, slowly… songs 
That cry 
So sharp
And so high, they define us
Even inside our deepest 
Quietude…


3.
 



Still, Satchmo grinned…
His smile 
Wider than The Nile.
His pomaded hair
Aglow, in slicked-back style…
His eyes, his eyes
Squinting back,
Squinting back 
Light and sweat and 
Tears…  of contempt, tasting of 
Regret.

There are songs, some songs
Which sing us slowly… 
Songs that cry,
That strut and fret
So sharp
And so high, they define us
Inside our deepest 
Quietude…

And each time I listen to 
The sound of
Louis Armstrong's
Smile…  I HEAR traces of
The St. Louis
Blues.

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