High times, mad carousing and utter belonging, oh spiteful joys of the inside we parvenues from outside, grinning cruelty of our new coronations, he said "if only someone would tell me what I was doing wrong I could change," and we hated him for that, so freshly out of the despised life ourselves, and he was cast out.
Smoothing ourselves out we became mirrors glinting bright stars and in our sparkling hysteria we felt free as the bars descended upon us, fools in paradise, hearts grown hard and makeup thick, layers of velvet and brocade, oh finally the belonging and we were inside only by virtue of their being outside.
Breaking free, breathing cold air of disenfranchisement and possibilities, loneliness a balm, a guide, now all existence is mine, all belonging to everyone and everything rejecting nothing, accepting dirt and diamonds all the same, paying the price with my last thin dime.
Sick, head feels stuffed with cotton, can't think, when I was little my ma was my nurse, indomitable, nothing could hurt me, it seemed, as long as she was there, she'd bring me meals on trays and all I remember was she'd cut my perfectly buttered toast into triangles instead of squares and that would comfort me. Best toast in the world, cut into triangles.
ought to be asleep, it's late, the weather has turned goofy, cold days in August, makes me disoriented, knowing by the weekend it'll be back up in the 90's. good sleeping weather tonight, but here I am, awake, aah. this time so confusing, big loads of knowledge poured into me, not knowing whether it'll take or just pour right back out of me again, so many people, retreats and advances, oh I got nothing to write, just big confusions and encounters, esoteric conversations as he painted my white hutch red with white lotuses and green leaves, swirling blue waters, golden decorations on the corners, smells of turpentine, he left an empty box of pringles potato chips, I've never eaten them, they scare me with their perfection. I like my potato chips individualistic, each one different, like snowflakes. and today, on 51st Street I was having a smoke with Nancy, we were talking and all of a sudden we saw a big red tour bus, every seat filled with Santa Clauses. and later I saw 4 of them on the corner of 51st and 6th Avenue handing out flyers for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show. I wish the seasons would not be rushed that way but the mad advertisers will not be stopped. my upstairs neighbor has a black cat, her name is Buster and I pet her through the spokes of the staircase every now and then as she wanders the hallways. oh confusion, wouldn't know clarity if it fell on my head and knocked me over. clouds in the blue sky, they are temporary but they feel like forever.
I heard him playing the piano So what? I saw him blowing on the horn So what? I felt the rhythm of the drummer So what I heard a tune all newly born So what? Jam session in big loft in what used to be the Flower District, Charlie couldn't play the sax worth shit but it was his loft so he played long solos with a great rhythm section bass, drums, piano, they didn't care and besides, Charlie composed great bebop tunes, the place filled with the sound, I was the only audience. In smoky dim lit places, sometimes only a couple other people in the audience, sometimes only me, feeling like jazz queen at command performance, they didn't care, they played the same way no matter how large or small the audience, they could play for ten hours at a time in the recording studio and want to go for more, just to play, and after the best solo, Joe would always grimace, say he just didn't do what he heard in his head, after wailing on the barry sax until everyone was shivering. I sat in and sang once at a gig when I had laryngitis, sounded so awful that Alan could barely talk to me afterwards, he was so angry I had disgraced him in front of his group, couple months later I sat in again and did one of our originals, sang it well, the guys were so relieved they overdid it complimenting me, Alan was redeemed. Betty was the best singer, she'd get mad at me for lipsinking when she'd perform, I didn't care, couldn't help it, we'd write songs together on the telephone, Betty, Alan and me, we'd be hanging out at home in Manhattan, Betty would be in Staten Island, I'd be writing at lightning speed before we forgot the words, being whirled around in the creation, had to grab the lyrics fast before they disappeared from mind. I'd listen to Charlie Parker and Monk and Miles, Coltrane, and then I'd read volumes of books about them, couldn't get enough of it. That sound, the times, the times, and I found out today that Max Roach died.
True story -- how I got my name. Wrote this a while back, it describes the birth of Nightprowlkitty in August of 2002, mad palindrome year when everything changed.
THE ALLEY In the alley late at night In the street light bright, There's a fight at the site But I'm all right, Taking flight In a sideways motion To the back brick devotion Of the alley.
In those places, No faces, And the spaces Fit me like a deep black glove, Strange love-a-dove In the alley.
Then I heard a sound All around, unbound Made the ground pound To a crazy beat, Moving meat of the feet Heat melt sleet slipping In the alley.
Blue light beam Hit the trashcan cover, Made it seem like a theme In a dream of wonder, Not under, but Way high, where the stars lie Over the alley.
Like moth to a flame I came, no shame Right up to the blue No name dream beam. Didn't do much, just touch. But such a fraction of action Caused enough attraction, To whip me up on a trip To the hip spaceship High above the alley.
There he was King of the cats Cool cat, no fool cat Flying high In the starlit sky Over my alley.
Heard the rhythm and the beat Where the narrow alleys meet Not sweet like soda shop neat Main Street. Deep in bone of soul, Rhythm & Blues Rock & Roll, The whole raw heart Of the alley.
In his satellite mix Got a fix Like a needle in the vein, Got a shot like A hot tot of rotgut whiskey On a cold gutter night In the alley.
Came back down To the same town, Looked around, Still heard the sound in the night Felt right, As I made my way And vowed to stay In the alley.