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August 24, 2018 Poetry


Sara Anderson

Bix photo

                                       “Finally Beiderbecke took out a silver cornet. He put it to his lips and blew a phrase.
                                                                                                                   The sound came out like a girl saying ‘yes’.”

                                                                                                                  – Eddie Condon on Bix Beiderbecke


For you who shone under the blue lights,

             there was the Southside.

An electric Saturday night along The Stroll

            and you coaxing sound out of that horn

                          like a woman saying yes.

This sound was aggressive but mellow,

        and oak-barrel smooth.

Some accounts say you first heard jazz

          when it floated up the Mississippi

on whitewashed riverboats

          and you, still a boy, leaned in

from the levee, enchanted,

        and prostrated yourself to the goddess.

image: Aaron Burch