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Jazz Club Tirade

by Rupert Missick 2 years ago in performance poetry
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Or the Death of Political Fire

Jazz Club Tirade
Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash

In the unkempt court yard of a jazz club,

Hidden in reefer’s rank gossamer haze,

Enthroned on hard plastic chairs,

Surrounded by empty bottles of cheap red wine,

They sat in somber conference.

The warm ashes from their joint,

Passed like a harsh burning communion,

Fell on the plastic gingham covering

Of their press-wood table, carelessly covered

With cracker crumbs and bits of hard cheese.

Every Friday for four years they met here,

Bemoaning the bourgeois mawkishness

Of their parents’ mundane existence,

The tyranny and greed of the system,

Renewing their call for revolution.

But they were slowly changed by

The soft comfort of college courses,

Hard fought for corporate internships,

And sudden glimpses of glittering futures,

As willing cogs in that same loathsome system,

Sipping their wine from paper cups

They remembered how they,

Like sugar fueled children on Christmas day

Landed in Cuba and dashed out into her streets

Reveling in the smell of old Soviet Promises

They ran between the stalls of the dusty streets

Of Old Havana’s Plaza de Armas.

Snatching copies of “History Will Absolve Me”,

From vendors unaffected by their enthusiasum.

And returning home went around campus

Like they were Gideons, or Witnesses

To the Jehovah of Castro, of Che,

The martyrdom of País, of Martí,

Passing them out to bewildered classmates.

But today, the gospel according to Marx and Engels

Would lose four evangelist, buried under

A new life of capitalist obligations.

But tonight they gathered to dream of a dawn,

When another group, braver than they,

Would create that long longed for revolution.

Marcus then stood and raised his cup and said,

“Let us rise and give a toast to that soul,

The one who will come and lead where we failed

And let us commit ourselves now that if

Such a brave person should one day appear,

We shall follow them into a new day.

For that is the person I shall follow.

If some naked, howling madman, lips burnt,

Black like coal from the heat of a crack pipe,

Should arise from the great Jacobin Club,

Of Shirley Street junkies and in blood stained,

Defiant fists take up the dailies and,

Set them ablaze and like Robespierre, lead us

Into a reign of terror, I shall follow.

But let them be a shining messiah

To the impotent masses who like fiends

Choke down the mellowing opium smoke

Of the political promises of

The nouveau riche who strangle our people

With silk scarves of partisan party lies,

Glutting them like pigs with the stagnant swill

From the bottomless troughs of their half-baked

Infantile ideas and false solutions.

Let him be a messiah to the children

Of whores who huddled in the sweltering,

Soiled corners of T 1-11 shacks,

Are soothed to sleep by the swaying rhythm

Of their mother’s hips as she slowly tips through

The crowded casinos, the swollen bars,

Air-conditioned rooms of Paradise Island,

Of Cable Beach, or as she takes the last lonely ,

Along salty Long Wharf at 2 am.

Let him be a messiah to the boys,

Whose father’s absence set them on the streets,

At night as easy prey to predators

Who from their cars bate hooks with greasy notes

And the stinking decay of flash fired conch

Tempting bellies pressed against young spines,

Leaving behind transparent paper bags,

And the soulless young husks of brown bodies.

Let him be a messiah to the souls

Of the coke fueled grandchildren of White Knights,

Huddled under the rum soaked pool tables

Of Bay Street bars, feet away from piss plastered

Floors of restrooms, or cloistered in the hot

Ceaseless prattaling of the alcoholic

Vapid uselessness of their first world fears.

Let them be a messiah to the throng

Of insecure white men, who would protect

The storied virtue of white womanhood,

Behind the gilded gates of the west from

The concupiscent savages from in town,

As they rot out their wombs with diseases

Of their unreformed infidelity,

Reconstructing their beloved wives faces

With the hasty bear backhand of their love,

Brow beating them with the obligations,

Of the dull façade of their social class.

Let them be a messiah to us all,

To everyone on this island hell-scape.

Let them be the one to tell poor Nassau

To take its woeful false morality,

Its veneer of respectability,

Its tedious shameless self-righteousness,

Its misogynistic, homophobic,

Race baiting, stifling mediocrity,

The stale breath of pontificating thieves,

To take all of it, and go fuck itself,

In the ass of its hypocrisy.

And may we all go before them setting

The guillotine, so that they may swiftly,

decapitate our well-fed sacred cows

And humbly butcher them in Rawson Square,

And like the priest of old wrap their thighbones

In fat and burn them in glad offering

Before watchful Milo and Victoria,

Before the throng off the cruise ships.

Let them go and usher in a new day,

A new bright age of true enlightenment,

Brought to us by the light of raging flames,

Burning the roof of every church of every faith

On every dark corner on this island,

So that that if the Santa Maria should

Arrive once again with billowing sails,

Carrying Spaniards seeking a new world,

It would look on them as if a forest

Of splendid Poincianas were in bloom.”

performance poetry

About the author

Rupert Missick

Rupert is a devoted husband, father, geek and lover of great bbq.

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