Music spins faster than my head. A riff of bebop Spanish caravan danc’n in da streets ta da Afra-Rican inspired Beat. A voice breaks celebrating da goddess of Green suffocation. Keyboard play a flat tone death ta invisible asphyxiation. Turns da need of green ta Blue. Ah this lady does not sing da blues. Unnecessary, what is needed comes ta me through da staccato of life. Da horn flutters amidst da scattered drum beats and bass strings me along in an all consuming stomp. Happy floats across da room. Flute thrills like spring birds after da rain that brought da worm out upon da sidewalk. Birds yell at me with awks when I disturb their feast. I say excuse me bro bird, I did not mean ta interrupt your fine repast. The worm wiggled gratefully into da turf. Smooth moves, anxiety on da side high point blowing that horn. Float away on a cascade of emotion. Niagara clashes Roller coaster dips white water rafting over the notes in da shallows. Dragon flies hover serene as they inch forward quietly. Camouflaged army crawls—soon to become Vermillion. Sounds clash discord. Unidentifiable body Floats in strange waters—a mother’s loss. She sits a matriarch. Elegant and angry at what she can’t change. The music screams her pain. Spanish Madonna crucifies me alive with her eyes. I offer only love. Distant as Death, my other chile, burnt offerings. Sidewalk worms smashed. NO starlings’ thrills. Hollow wood spell hypnotized Waterfall drop da barrel opens. Not a root beer float. Champagne Bubbles of air bounce ta the swing of Lawrence Welk’s wand. Tiny Bubbles Bursting under pressure. Heart expands beyond capacity overload. Did u hear da bullet’s whiz before it struck da wall inches away, my manager asked? The bass strings twang. While watching the disposal process, I took one bullet at a time, dropping them in between the grates. Another twang. The hate gun powder packed. No one in the city should own a gun. No da children don’t know. English stiff upper lip is much like Mexican Madonna, separated by velvet ropes. How do I get to da other side? But da grass is brown from lack of rain. No, covered with cicadas. The Birds sing da song of joy, an ocean of sound intoxifies and like a red and white bobber attached to da fishing line, da worm a lure strung on da hook. I break da water, gasp air. Grasp it’s all clear. Da struggle is just an exercise. Sometimes ya just want ta lay back, move with da groove, swim da lazy river, then but then, ya want ta take da deck of cards and toss‘m in da air like confetti. Watching da hearts spin, da diamonds dance, da spades dig da groove sound, da aces hit a home run And it’s all over. You are out. Not much different then da worm smashed on da side walk. Don’t worry your cicadic cycle will return ta feed da Birds until ya find ya way.
Josh Josue has designed nine Mingus Awareness Project poster images for MAP concerts that have happened in Chicago and Richmond since 2007. Here they are!
The great jazz artist Charles Mingus would have been 90 this year. Throughout 2012 the Borderbend Arts Collective is presenting programs that celebrate Mingus' life and work. Charles Mingus at 90 is a multidisciplinary celebration -- with music, visual art, writing, and other art forms. Borderbend has opened a call for contributions; click here to find out more.
Click here to read the Charles Mingus at 90 table of contents (so far).