LONG TIME COMING
……………………………………………………………….For K. J.
Daemon madman, fount of the divine:
Shoulders hunched, fingers bunched,
Punched key crashing chord stabs,
Stops and starts.
Here is the valid poet
Whose echoes ache, whose verses thrum,
Whose tongue unlocks, whose fingers
Weave a certain oceanic boogie
To sew up the strifetorn heart.
Bares his cross and makes
The mosaic mystery crystal clear,
As glass from sand.
(See one grain of sand
You’ve seen ’em all.)
For he’s already died
And lives to be.
The time you need not his
To give or to withhold;
You can take all the time you want
But you’ll have to pay it back.
And though he knows
That you must die before you live
Still he hopes to help you live before you die.
This poem was inspired by Keith Jarrett’s “Köln Concert (Part 1)”. The video I found is bound to be withdrawn soon, so watch it before it disappears, or better yet buy the CD and travel there whenever you want. When I originally bought it back in the vinyl days people used to get fed up because I kept playing it all the time. You’ll hear why. I heard it again in Madras in 1978, coming from a hotel room. I knocked on their door, went in and told them I’d heard it so I wanted to say hello. This piece of music, free improvisation, live on stage, is one of the great pieces of 20th century music. Yes. I know it’s long, but the 26+ minutes are well worth it. Dare you to keep your eyes dry.
Can I note also that “mosaic” has another significant meaning beyond the one everyone knows. This word play is deliberate, and important enough that I’d hate it to be missed.
THIS VIDEO WAS INDEED TAKEN DOWN I’M AFRAID