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Jazzdigtene fra Troldspejl på engelsk ved digteren John Mason marts 2011:

Jazzdigtene fra Troldspejl på engelsk ved digteren John Mason marts 2011:

So what the fuck kind of number is fifty?

Dedicated to Nakskov Jazz Club

I

We have walked on Golden Gate Bridge
And gazed over at Alcatraz
The San Francisco skyline and in across the bay
We arrived one day in September
so what the fuck kind of number is fifty
We flew, oh we flew and the day never came to an end
the hands of the clocks fizzed round like tops
Evening came, night came, the small hours came
And the light never dimmed or died
so what the fuck kind of number is fifty
We flew in across the bay behind Frisco and the sun went down
On the ends of the earth, we’d reached the ends of the earth
And we once told each other
we’d walk to the ends of the earth hand in hand
so what the fuck kind of number is fifty
And now we were there Carsten Jensen has seen where the earth began
We saw where it ended and the surf seethed like Max Roach’s
Drum kit and just as he slammed the tomtom
The seals stuck their heads up where the ends of the earth
Let off steam in a rhythm that seethes in neoboptempo
so what the fuck kind of number is fifty
And the sky went the colour of eyeballs clouded with cataracts
And often the blind are most filled with music and Sonny Rollins’ tenor
Sounds the way the fog looks
out over the bay near Frisco and the city
And all the time the seals sticking their black tomtom beats
Up through the hissing surf of the drums and my brain matter becomes one
With the bubbling bass line for jazz is the sound of the city
Belongs in narrow channels cut for the primal flood here between the facades
Of houses shop-windows clothes-stands on pavements bookcases and worn-out shoes
There where human masses rain in torrents and rhythm is born
There where the feet of many walk
And on Golden Gate Bridge many feet are walking and the huge pylons
Rise skyward like being whammed by big band sections trombones I’d say
And they’re glowing in the steaming fogbanks here where they played
so what the fuck kind of number is fifty
or even for Chrissakes fifty-six
The winter after they started jazz poetry Jack Kerouac Ginsberg that Allan you know
IAnd his expression on his face was as calm beautiful and profound as the image of the Buddha Represented in the East, the lidded eyes the expression that says All is Well
But on stage down there in Scandinavia we beat them – What’s Nakskov ‘gainst Frisco
Or the breakers out on Plutø island against the cliff-walls out by
The entrance to Golden Gate you may well ask – and the answer is poems for jazz
A purling soft clarinet and a bassline around some stanzas
So what the fuck kind of number is fifty – we got there first

II

Blues is from the outback is home among marsh and woodland and steppe and mountain
The dunes at Paramount Springs when the stars above the desert are
The only light you can see and distances are suddenly galactic and the deck of
The guitar is a sheet of tin like these on the outhouse
And it’s hopelessly out of tune
You can sing blues when the spring tide rises and the seawalls out behind the wharf
Are awash with water and even Enehøj sandbank has sunk
A winter when everything closes down and the country’s white all white
Even the trees in forests and hedges it’s all extremes but jazz is the city’s
Asphalt and cobbles and neon adverts even on Søndergade you can play jazz
The seething sizzle cymbal’s a city thing
And the bass is the pulse that beats on the streets
Thelonius Monk’s a child of the city Round ‘bout Midnight and Parker plays
Now’s the Time and a prairie despair is oceans away. Blues is from the outback
Is home among marsh and bog and juniper among houses with boards
For windows hovels demolished in Ravnsborg council – up yours –
and hopelessly out of tune
The blackbird out in Sæbygård wood sings Ain’t Misbehaving
And you’d better believe it
For that ain’t no blues and can a blackbird be so lonesome that it
Will sing the blues – I don’t think. Blues is from the outback
From the Middle of Nowhere ‘cos that’s somewhere I’ve been, and it’s way out in Lapland

III

I am dreaming waking dreaming and
Between two dreams I meet
A look from the pillow next to mine and dawn

Is just a stretch of linen cloth (undyed Flemmish flax)
But the look is the sky over Plutø island
One night in early summer so long ago
Plum blossom stood out white on the low-lying bank
The chink of crimson sun had pushed north over towards
Frederiksdal and there in a straight line looking

Out across the fjord to the south of Enehøje
It was blue was heaven and pure
The stars must have gone on summer holiday

Or something that between two dreams
Over the lowland almost concealed by the fjord
The high vault of sky

And the pillow beneath your head

IV

We were prepared we sang Saint James’ Infirmary
All the time and we knew it could go wrong
We were prepared and we were also of one mind
If the war came we would take arms
It was the 50’s there was not the slightest reason
To survive the atom bomb and all that
Even then
The world was ruled by madmen
So we sang Saint James’ Infirmary
With feeling
And it is true
I have seen my baby
Stretched out on a long white table
So cold so sweet
On a hospital bed have held
Held hands held tight with arms
Round shoulders round the small
Of her back and held
Operating theatres hospital wards
Sickbeds but the undertakers
We have kept at bay
Have sung them away

White yes
Cold yes
Lovely yes dead no
It’ll come never fear it’ll
Come and we are prepared yes
We sang it all the time or rather I did
And when John played along
We took it in G minor it suits
Wind players better and it’s all the same
On the guitar (there’s not much a barré can’t handle)
So we didn’t take the high fifth in the A minor chord
But the third in C like all the others Armstrong and them
And there’s nothing like technicalities
For driving out thoughts
Of your baby white and cold so dead so fair
Stretched out on a long white table
In the mortuary at Saint James’ Infirmary
Or the chapel behind the hospital on Hoskiærsvej
I’ll sing it just one more time
In E minor I went down to
Saint James’ Infirmary
I saw my baby there