From Coltrane to Bird
freestyling jazz enthusiasts
strike notes sharp and flat
drummers roll wooden sticks
around kits, riding cymbals,
providing crescendos, milking
dark corners—drawing inspiration
from unpainted walls clinging

to the lingering scent of cigarettes,
cigars, reefers and perspiration.

Pushing smoky spectres around
shouldered genius patiently skulks
as improv evolves, flashy players
and discordant sounds ever at odds
prevail, glassy eyes hide behind
dark heroin glasses while throaty
voices bring scat to the forefront
like Ella Fitzgerald, wordless vocables

pulling theme and variation full circle
in arpeggio fragments, patterns, and riffs.