For Jazz

                John Coltrane

Polyalphabetic, given to
The multiplying of complexities,
Exhausting every seam, researching through
The most remote of possibilities,
He moved at speed. The sound was brimmed with tension.
There was no resource unable to be used.
No scale or chord whose every permutation
Was not belabored till the pitches fused.
In nothing but excess was any satisfaction,
The candy bars that wrecked his teeth, each scale
Slonimsky listed practiced to destruction.
Until escape was offered in that long folk wail
That broke the bars of theory, in a tone
Not moulded, shaped, but found and used, like stone.