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mark weber | luminous magical

Portrait of Lester Young, Famous Door, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1946] (LOC) William Gottlieb, P., 1917-, photographer.

LUMINOUS MAGICAL

For Dan Morgenstern who showed me Lester Young’s saxophone

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Now that I have held this saxophone
………………………….in my hands
this mythical horn that once danced with
joy in the hands of a poet, with unbound breath


It occurs to me that if I was to look even
deeper beyond this magical talisman of jazz


I could look for what mountain, what mine shaft
gave up the metal that made this saxophone


All the elements of the ever-spiraling universe are in it
And who was the highland Scottish shepherd made
………………………….the felt pads
Which Caribbean Island did the bamboo cane reed grow?


And still, you’d have to know, that it was spirit that
filled this saxophone, that the unfetter’d soul of a dreamer


came into possession of this perfect saxophone
this geometry atomized held sideways on the bandstand


Dan said, “Go ahead, pick it up if you want”


This is the horn he played for Billie
This is the one on his first record “Lady Be Good”
………………………..and “Shoe Shine Boy”
This is the horn he had when the Henderson lady said No, No, No,
………..play like the Hawk


be like a dauguerrotype crow
enchanted subterranean energized fluidity sparkling like
barking clouds


the absolute supernatural joy he catapulted across the sky,
luminous intelligence, the gold Conn with
the number 4 six times in a row


incandescent back waters of consciousness, before the melancholy
set in, tarnished like a bandit’s miracle


One wonders why he set this horn down, why he parted with it
what undercurrent blue oceanic depths &
alchemical grace changed

Mark Weber – 15-21aug11

Lester Young’s grave | Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn (Plot: Redemption section; Grave: 11418) | December 6, 2004 | Photo by Mark Weber


Lester Young’s grave | Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn (Plot: Redemption section; Grave: 11418) | December 6, 2004 | Photo by Mark Weber