Mark Novak


Mingus, pluck me
Double bass magic.
  You deep backbone.

Conduit of that
  Hard, rebel power
That held its sway
  Over your anger.

Ear canals to the mind.
  Born in the blood mixes
Of your yellow-black mother
  Suckling at her dead breast.

Unbound those feet 
  Know not where to halt,
In their quested flight,
  Or impressions of beat.

Made by your father
  And his other, new woman,
They raised you mongrel
  On the streets of Watts.

They call it Harlem West,
  -And they can thank you
For their nomenclature.
  Foraging elemental genius.

Did the Duke ever
  Divulge his thoughts
To you? Low heady 
  Wisdom beneath a haze

Of smoke before the
  Bandstand's tiered rise.
Sponge it. Ingest it
  Become it, then push it.

Throwing those dice
  On strings of that piano,
  While the keys plunk on...

And you beat on that girl!
  Boom Kaboom Pow!!
Beat her on the backing!
  Percussive, tonal freak.

Drive that Bird flight,
  Mad fluttered, fingerings
Comets of sonic sheets.
  In open hearted fury

You bend those strings,
  Bending them to the break!
To the Trane proclamation:
  "Every instrument has its limitations…"

And the question remains:
  Where is your border line?
Where will eagles not dare?
  Where is sound's statement?

Dark shaded figure,
Dark societal inspire,
Dark shades worn over
Dark brown optics…

Bow cuts of dissonance,
  Digging into my flesh,-dig?
Mingus, Pluck Me