Ken Bolton: poem: Luminous hum

Ken Bolton: Luminous Hum

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               After all these years  it turns out
I’m some sort of ‘Art Brut’ type

                                —  in fact an outsider 

Peculiarly focused on the idea 
                                                   Of being cool

my idea of which (naively)
                                             is the New York School
‘on me’)

                   why — tho I have the fee —
                                             they’d never have me
I’d of course pay Ted
                                   I took them ‘seriously’ (?)
                                                              or ‘too’ seriously ?
The art world
                              —  I tell Grogan

                                                       whoever —

                       gives the art world too much credit
it wasn’t Anton’s gig

(You don’t know him, Ross?
                                                     six four
weighs about 70 k
As I am blond


                                                        rather Eton —
                                                            Oxford —
                                               Wilfred Owen)

The bass players …
                                  they do that thing
in the credits, once, every week
                                        in the Gomer Pyle show
of playing catch-up   —    the
½ step brings you back with the others
left right

Flying High
                          (was a movie) 
                                                         (I know)
?‘Flying Home’  might have been the jazz standard —
of around 1950,
                                 not so much a standard
who plays it now?
                                but a kind of hit  
fodder for bands to process
                                                   … I think I like it,
                                                               I think

No idea of it now

                                                    two second-order bands
                                                                   of that era
                                                                       play it

                                                             (on a CD I have)

on a joint gig
                           something they could agree to do

I’m flying on,
                —  maintaining altitude —

on 4 or 5 short blacks & as many retsina chasers
the jazz, then, is some Coltrane — Coltrane ‘live’ in Europe,
courtesy of Crab —
                                      right at the moment
(not Crab —  Coltrane
                                   tho Crab could ‘as easily’
be playing it
                           strange thought
                                                                in the suburbs
                                                             on his saxophone
                                                                  in Dulwich

Bye Blackbird’
                             than the 
                      ‘Village Vanguard’
                      ‘wherever’ version 
                               I have & 
                            usually play.
                                                          :  ’Live
in Europe’
                        it occurs to me, is a very
                                                         North American
                       like  ’It was raining in America’
                                                                     was European

                                                                         —  (Which
journalist tried that?
                                      My sympathy, pal) —
American locution itself  (‘Pal’).


                                   Where in Europe —  Spain?
the Netherlands?
                                                         Anyway, the 
bass is very comforting
                                           The thing I love about
the Bye-Bye gig
                           — ‘his greatest concert performance’
                                               is the subtitle :  I can’t find
the booklet
                      where it says, probably, ‘where’ it is

— Vanguard,
                          5 Spot   (did he record there, ever?
too early, too late, too hostile, too…)
                                                            Birdland? —

it’s surely in summer, a fairly hot night (?)
euphoric is the word I always want to reach for
the sense of release, potted palms, the urge to drink
take drugs, breathe in know that you’re alive
& others, other constituents — the moon, probably, 
somewhere visible

Granpa Simpson
                            — a novelty, benign, ‘Granpa Simpson’ cork

is stuck in my bottle
                                        keeping the last glass of
                   Must get ice.
                                              ( Gets ice. )
                                                                   The band
is now  Chasin the Trane
both ‘elixir-happy’ & ‘effortful’  &  THE DRUMMING
                                            IS FANTASTIC :  Elvin


                                      it is great the way art
                                      hands this sort of thing
                                                even poetry
                                                                           For more 
music must do it.

I’m with them.
                                             You people,

                                                                           don’t be so

I’m clearly drunk?
                                      Clearly ?
                                                            Drink up then.

Tho it isn’t so — I’m not
                                           Tho the spirit
                                                                      —  the spirits

                                                                           of   the great dead
watch over me
                              & laugh
                                                          or nod
not entirely against)
                                           :  Philip Whalen,
                                               Dame Edith Sitwell

                                                                          —  Go To Bed (!)

John Forbes

John, how funny how appropriate how
but in any case  John!  how are you
                                                             it’s your line
                                                              of course
you saluted ’their luminous hum’

                                             I don’t believe there
                                                                         Is anything
after death
                            Which doesn’t preclude, I guess,
                                                   that there should be

This urge
                         a sort of Willed Short Circuit
    where the present winds the past forward
                                                                    to talk to it
               ’if you insist on doing that you’ll tangle the
&  have to come back to it  iron out the kinks’

— an image this from my watering.  
You were so un-suburban (as I imagine you)
You were never very thoughtless.
                   Can I see you standing, holding a hose?
                                                                    Thoughtless thought.
                                                                  Maybe you did.
Is it such a joy?    your ‘speed’??    Speed was
more your speed.   Ha ha.
                                                But I don’t say that
laughing at you : you did what you did & I liked
Do the dead ’hum’, ’luminously’?

                                                                Last week
they celebrated the anniversary of your death
commemorated the death / 
                                             celebrated the poems, you.
                                                                A good
turnout —
                   the young were there in force, the old
(people your age if you’d hung on
John Forbes at 58

                                   No doubt you’d have carried it
                   all there.

                                     Some Japanese people down the front …
                    — the kind of ’curious’ you’d have
                                                            as a detail —
a further guarantee of your future
                                                 you who have none
don’t exist.
                       I cling on
                                             —  & remember you —
                     — what, ’cling’?  ’remember’?
I remember okay
                                In fact I don’t even ‘cling’
                                                    tenaciously  (‘   ’?)

but swing & sway here   from my branch,
happy sloth
                                 while Charlie Parker, Coltrane,
                                             Art Pepper, Art
Pepper Adams
                                             Tho it could just as easily be

? & the Mysterions

                                         remember them,  or
‘& Three’

               Voom-voom  voom-voom, voom-voom  voom-vcoom Voom

‘I want s-e-c-u-r-i-t-y!’
                                                   ha ha

                                                                      It is
                                                                        to laugh?
                  ( a thread I forgot )

I recognise this track —  it is ’My Old Flame’

The album
                    — (I think Crabby made this tape

thank you, Crab
                               —  my pal —
                                                        my old pal) —
it’s not listed on the cover, it just says
Not one I know
                                 I know enough to put
                                             ice in this glass —

Phil,  Ted?
                                             ’go to bed’

which I take to be their luminous numinous
                                       humorous hum

                              Joe  …  are up there too,  an
                                             unlikely scenario

                                  Auden, I suppose
                                  would give me
                                  some kind of talking to


I’ll go I think & find my sandals   hose the
bamboo quietly
                                  go to bed


                                                          Cath’s away —
Anna & Chris down the back.
                                                   Pola / has disappeared
to be with them & share the air-conditioner.

jazz make me cool?  
                                        Phil ??

will Joey Ramone?

The ‘Conception’ stuff sounds straighter.

Tho was Coltrane ever straight?
                                                      That was
Miles’ problem 
                           —  ‘with’ him —
                                                            & Miles’
problem later

this track too sounds like ‘My Old Flame’
                                               made strange

strangely freighted
                                       with a more abstract
                           or a withholding of trust

it has none of the original’s reassurance
more the recollection of the old flame’s    


shit, how ‘mature’
                                        at this hour of the night


my spirits recover

                                      John, my guardian angel,
what a funny idea
                                     who would Wim Wenders get
to play you?   You’d say ’Yeah, he’ll recover’ —
                                      referring to me —
speaking from experience


                                  I tend to see everyone
as more serious than me
                                             tho they can’t all be —
or I’d take them more seriously


                                                        ’See, that’s
what I mean!’  you say   to Ted, Whalen, Joe —
‘he’ll be okay.’

                              John, thank you.

                                                            Grace to be awake
& stay awake
                        as long as possible!

Will I sleep the sleep of the dead, now, luminously?

                               Grace to be awake

                          That will be my endeavor
                          & tomorrow  ’Ring Crab’!

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