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All That Jazz


Rusty Broadspear

Shhhh snickety snick, shdoosh, shdoosh
Supple wrists guiding agile hands,
Painting tempo light, across the skin of the snare.
Behind shades, mister sex embraces mister sax,
In unison, swaying back and forth, whilst
The rest of the band relax, away from the glare.

Acoustic guitarist silently tunes and glances
Through cloud at the building crowd, as
In one dark corner they instigate a moderate sway.
The little bloke puts out his smoke, downs his beer,
Twizzles his double bass, like son with drunken mother.
The clarinetist, strokes beard, steps in the light, starts to play.

A swollen trumpeter saunters on from the side,
Blasting air from stretched lungs and cheeks,
In to and out of a gleaming silver banshee horn.
A signal to the remainder, to play, stomp 'n' move.
The stage is ablaze, hysterical, possessed, as
The crowd rise to their feet and an evening is born.

A big woman, black, bedecked in jewelry 'n' large hair,
With gin bottle in hand, pushed the bar away.
Unwinding a snail's trail of syrupy, recognizable perfume,
The mass made polite way with unheard applause.
Hefted to the stage, all lights swung, centred.
Silent acclaim, beneath the howl of the music, filled the room.

Shhhh snickety snick, shdoosh, shdoosh,
Whispering intro, anticipation, cut glass about to crack.
Glitter claws grasp mike, pianist stands, stretches, sits.
Laughing eyes and organ ivory keyboard teeth contrast.
Cut glass cracks, with her opening crystal note
And the multitude go feral into hyperactive fits.

And later the mood changes, requests thrown in,
Coloured, ruddish lights compose hazy proceedings.
Tips the bottle as mister sex embraces her fulsome waist,
She slips into slinky song, like squeezing stockings up to thighs.
Phantom couples slide across the dance floor,
As time stands still for lovers, no urgency and no haste.

The bottle stands empty and the room is sparse, bare,
As the cloud thins, chairs scrape the floor, clean air invades.
Band and singer collect payment from the man behind the bar.
Loading the van on a chilly starlit morning,
The little bloke gives way to all the beers before,
To the background of a twang of someone packing their guitar.

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