Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jimmy Smith


           The President is waiting for a helicopter, waiting for the whoof whoof whoof of spinning blades, tornado swirl and siphon overhead, beckoning. Up he will wheel and soar, bound to a B3, lashed to a Leslie, netted off the White House rooftop, pendent as the rising chopper climbs into the clouds. The President, all cool and finger snap, sways to the rhythms of the sky as the copter sails beyond the civil slaughter, headed to his clearing in the forest, the Presidential meadow at the top of the world.  

            It is days, nights, days, nights and still more until he is ready to begin, finally seated at the B3, the long fingers of his right hand hovering above the keys, the left on the Leslie switch, the black plastic cones awaiting the signal to spin. The President waits, head bowed, while miles below, far beyond the verdant viridian forests and noble wilds the people stink and bite in piss sweat rape meat over God.
            The sun counts two for nothing, and The President’s key fingers fall, pedal feet walk, smoke sound curls from the swirling Leslie, “The Sermon” snaking over rye and dandelions, down the hillside into the woods, ribbons around red cedar and sassafras, feathers over the Ohio, the Missouri, Superior, Huron bounding over boundaries, wreathing waterways, highways, bridges, roads, up side streets and down avenues “The Sermon” careens around causeways, twirls through tunnels, zigs and zags all riffs, hammers, pedals and tags. The President tickles Groove, Patterson, McDuff and McGriff. The President wails and screams Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Smith!
            She sees it before she hears it: glissandos glittering on the surface of the sparkling cerulean sea. She sees it on the seventh step to the library, the third step to her apartment. Blue steam squealing up from manholes. Notes, falling from the sky, crystal raindrops popping on the pavement. Wholes, halves, quarters, eighths, some dotted, some tied, stone blue cool and crispy deep-fried.
            “Cassie my dear, what’s wrong with you?” cries her grandmother. “Your eye are yellow and your face is blue!”
            But before Cassie knows anything, “The Sermon” has circled the world, enveloping every living thing in B3 blues: the soldiers, the sailors, the bakers, the tailors, babies in bassinets, widows in wheelchairs, school children on the playground, grey-suited businessmen now blue, all blue. Armies disarm, navies disavow, hearts become flowers that swing in the spring.
            The President, in his aquamarine sequin tails and shimmering cobalt stovepipe, all head thrown back and lip peel pearl teeth, all twitching fingers and pedaling feet, sits at the B3 in his Presidential clearing at the top of the world and plays “The Sermon” for hours that turn into days that turn into weeks, months, years, until the groove swallows the universe.

            Cassie jumps. “Grandma can’t you hear? The beginning is near! The beginning is near!”

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