Bix's Blues

“One of the things I like about jazz, kid, is I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Do you?” --Bix Biederbecke (1903-1931)


We ride ride ride,
ride like Bix’s horn
from fields of Iowa corn
to the bleak streets
of lonely crowds:
Chicago crowing.

He woke one day to wonder
“where am I going?”
The thunder showed the way
like a spring day in a casket
though he wondered what
he was doing in that handbasket—

Look for the weaver,
the melody blows,
the key is in her eyes,
or gripped in her thighs
like a roll of paradise;
boxcars ride ride ride.

     Wake up, Bix.
A scroll of paralegals
and frowning procedures
crushed your sighing parents—
You and the other wayward
reform school errants.
     Wake up, Bix,
     the bandman said.
     You can’t fuck
     everything that moves
     or you’ll get fucked
     in the head.

A young man turns away,
eyes on a secret astronomy.
On a train to nowhere,
he blows a hollow horn
across the midnight dance floor,
blows any instrument he can tongue,
swims in bathtub gin,
delirious.

O someone should have told that boy,
if you’re gonna dance with the devil,
you better bring your asbestos boots.

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About Mark Sebastian Jordan


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A refugee from corporate America, Mark Sebastian Jordan is now holed up in the rural central highlands of Ohio, writing poems, plays, novels, and newsletters. He runs the hostel at Malabar Farm State Park and spends his free time trying to teach civilization and ethics to farm geese. Progress has been slow, he...read more reports.
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