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Five Poems for Charlie Parker

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Five Poems for Charlie "Bird" Parker

Bird Fever

One hundred and three this morning
Revving up my mind, exploring
With Charlie Parker roaring

Alone in the gloom
I’ll blast and burn
the ghosts in this room

Singing Bird

On a cloud above me
                  whirling, twirling
                  Sighing
                         lying

in wait for the blue breath
from tired lungs
Bird is playing a long note

Looking above
from down below
ink-wet pen quietly
                  waiting
                  excitedly

I hear a brain wave
Words like Bird-notes
leap off the page
                         perhaps
a Bird-poem will start
                               to sing

Then Bird Looked

The slug turned the bend
of the gun; picked a neat
hole in the heart of Bird
He arched:

Like a pound of loose feathers
Bird floated, free
a-bebopin’ spree

The word from his mouth
dancing at my feet
Diz groaned

Then Bird looked at me
with the eye of a child

Bird Flat

Descending
winding down
to Devil’s Door
An epiphany

Bird reaches
Heavensgate

The Devil’s
Interval’s
but a stop
below

The road
to salvation

Bird unites
rhythm
with harmony
in the heartbeat

Bird flat
Flatted fifth

Bebop

Auricle
Ventricle
Auricle
Ventricle

Bird and Diz
Monk
and Klook
in
      a
         single
   heart
beat

Based in Canada, Raul da Gama is a Canadian poet, musician and accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically. Raul studied music at Trinity College of Music, London and has read the classics, lived and worked in three continents and believes that there is a common thread running through every culture on earth. It is this unifying aspect of humanity that occupies his thoughts each day as he continues to write poetry and critique music. His last book was The Unfinished Score: The Complete Works of Charles Mingus, a book that relocated the life and works of the great American composer and bassist, Charles Mingus, to the landscape of poetry. He is currently at work on a poem of some length.

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