Paul Desmond/Kenneth Salzmann

 

 

 

Bossa Antigua

 

Because the continents once touched,

because each new thing is borrowed

note by adventurous note from each new

thing that came before, and because

Bossa Nova sways like a samba side to side,

each new song is an ancient song.

 

Because each new song is an ancient song,

and because each ancient song is new again,

and because jazz sails or swings front to back,

each elegant melody touches both sky and earth.

 

Because each elegant melody touches

both sky and earth

a sax and a guitar

might trade counterpoint whispers.

 

Because a sax and a guitar might trade counterpoint whispers,

and because rhythm and melody never will be contained

by what false borders or fences we imagine we have built,

Bossa Nova and Bossa Antigua might be one and the same.

 

Bossa Nova and Bossa Antigua might be one and the same

because a sax and a guitar might trade counterpoint whispers,

because each elegant melody touches both sky and earth,

because each ancient song is new again,

because each new song is an ancient song,

and because the continents yet again might touch.

 

 

Octubro

 

Somewhere deep inside

where melody and marrow

meet, an October song is born.

Like a dry martini on a summer

afternoon, the saxophone glides

up and under the Amazon’s ethereal

rainforest rhythms, cooling hot

jungle breezes that might

for some other player be

a summertime cloudburst,

a reaching after the rainy

season, note-worthy

truths or quarter-truths.

Your October song is

a rippling reflection of

a memory and a melancholy

promise mined this time, too,

from somewhere deep inside

where melody and marrow meet.

 

 

Take Five/FinalTake

 

So many have walked along this wall

in just this way that their footfalls, too,

are beaten in sambas and rondos

into the hidden tempo of the street;

yours come down at stage door

in five-four paces,encircling ghostly

wisps of breath, gathering again

in a new confusion of entrances and exits

reedy melodies drawn from a muscle memory

of riffs that how often have skitted

through those horns in cool

approximations of redemption.

 

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