Jackie McClean/Steve Dalachinsky

 

 

 

Tantalus #1

(Jackie McLean @ the Village Vanguard)   

 

Jack stood here      like sadness   a tree sitting like wild calm

        motionless        trembling   drunk on ecstatic spirituality

 

Tantalus gave away the secrets of the gods

     frustrated with his position   in the rhythm section

             keeping time    woman   family

 

Eric stood here     after a long solo

   a tree   sitting with eyes on the red worn carpet     

                     drugged by euphoric  somber contemplation

    kept to himself   with the intelligence of a well planned village

 

Tantalus    was punished for his crime    made to stand chin deep in water

          gave away the secrets of the gods

    staring at the heavily laden ever bearing fruit tree

                    stood motionless         trembling     he had become a desert

   gave away the secrets of the gods     for all eternity

 

John stood here       far from India    but India inside him  & played 

                  flooded with impressions     of all those secrets  

           small bits of knowledge              revealed    caught    provoked    rebellious

 stood as a tree          in utter pain  & crisis        a saint maltreated   

   aching & chasing the wicked away           listening    after Eric’s turn   

                    absorbing with trembling              &             motionless

 

Tantalus  stood     motionless 

                              trembling     

                               hungering   

                               thirsting

    only able to    see              hear      smell

raised his hand to his waist     played a solo on his fingers

             quiet  like the branch of a tree

                only light to soothe him

                only night to shut him down

motionless trembling   like the intelligence of a tree

 

Jackie stands here      at set’s end    renewed.

 

       * Jack = Kerouac       Eric = Dolphy

          John = Coltrane        Jackie = McLean                                                         

                                               

                                                               

Jackie McLean @ Village Vanguard

    for Melvin Clark

 

it’s 10 to 1 Jackie has a stomach pain

i’m really drunk

he goes back stage

a young quick upstart takes his place

the man i came to see played great for 3 tunes the 2nd set

despite his dispepsia

& now Wallace, Kenny & Steve all take his place &

they all sound great

but of course i am very drunk & know very little in any case

the guy i’m with dislikes my behavior  we were both dope fiends once

& he only drinks sarratoga water now while i work on my 5th gin

i’m loud & scratchy & he says " wha’d’ya think" & i say or he says

the young upstart - his words - has no history & that he  the featured soloist

(Jackie Mac) who is now very sick, is part of our history

he is a cool awakening       a glove that fits over our hearts

a spray of fresh birdsong 

that fills our lungs & makes our lips look cheery

we grew into that sound         his sound

& it grew into our fabric these past 30 odd years

 

Wallace did a sweet short solo but again - what do i know i’m drunk

the piano rips me but the cat i came to see packed up his horn & went

into the back room

i’m drunk as a skunk & i know it & my friend knows it

& Kenny wears a strange set of threads as he dances on the alto

the tempo is quick & the juice of youth spills into my spoiled &

sopping brain    but what do i know

& the tune is by Coltrane who my friend here got to see at least 3x’s & me

almost once           but that’s another story

& the tune was written for Mr. P.C. a cat Coltrane really respected

 

& the young speed down the asphalt & screech to a halt @ the exit

& then turn ‘round softly launching into a standard but what do they know

whispering Body & Soul while the man i came to see suffers in the

back room        trapped in the middle between 2 thin lines

2 alternate signs amidst a slew of yellow cabs     with flashing lights

trapped between dirty works failure success street corners & Mars

 

the man i came to see suffers in the back room Body & Soul

but what do i know what do i know i’m drunk dead drunk

what do i know

 

 

the funeral (of jackie mc lean)

 

we gather by the river

in a world without end

rising

coughing

 

inquiring

weighing

 

resurrecting     

                                         (believers or not)

 

we play at stewardship/ness

 

endless world of     alternate

original lines:

                             flowers glass    &    endless

 

world of                              midnites                                                              

 

midnites & flowers

 

bile-stained & blood sun             

                            glasses stained with bile &   blood

 

clouded sky                                                     sun cloud

 

 sky

 

skin of wood &     the          be-heathed

 

rain

 

the beheath(en)ed

 

the final song

 

the riff & rift

 

of noble but over long      speeches

 

cleaned brass affectioned

 

tribulations

 

 

 

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