POEM: Dizzy Gillespie At Newport, 1957

newport

Dizzy Gillespie At Newport, 1957

wailing
everyone is wailing
trumpets splitting
the blue Rhode Island sky
bringing the crowd
to its feet
in a surge
the dam breaking
women in summer dresses
men in linen pants
white short-sleeved shirts
they swirl and jump
hands grabbing
sweat on their foreheads
back on stage
Dizzy is dancing
thick black glasses
years ahead of his time
bell pointing at heaven
the saxophones slither
as the song builds
to a crashing avalanche
loud enough
to compete
with the howls
from the lawn
when the ending comes
it takes the people a moment
to realize it’s over
then their screaming gets
if anything
louder
until Dizzy says
“silence”
and the crowd obeys
just another collection
of instruments
on this summer afternoon

28 December 2013
State College

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