Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Way of Jazz

The Jazz you can play
isn't the real Jazz.
The Jazz you can sing
isn't the real Jazz.

Horn & Ivory
begin in No-Jazz:
Jazz is the mother
of the American Songbook.

Jazz is empty,
used, but not used up.
Deep, yes ancestral
to the American Songbook.

Horn & Ivory aren't humane.
To them the American Songbook
is a straw dog.

Wise souls aren't humane.
To them Fats & Miles
are straw dogs.

Horn & Ivory
act as a bellows:

Empty yet structured,
they move, inexhaustibly giving.

Horn will last,
Ivroy will endure.
How can they last so long?
They don't exist for themselves
and so can go on and on.

True swing
is like water.
Water's good
for everything.
It goes right
to the low loathsome places
and so finds a way.

Once upon a time
people who knew Jazz
were subtle, spiritual, mysterious, penetrating

To follow Jazz
is not to need fulfillment.
Unfulfilled, one may live on
needing no renewal.

Selections from Ursala K. Le Guin's rendering of the Tao, substituting words as follows:
Jazz: Name, Way
Horn: Heaven
Ivory: Earth
American Songbook: 10,000 things
Fats & Miles: the hundred families
Swing: goodness

Guin, Ursula K. Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching : A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way. United States: Shambhala Publications, Incorporated, 2009. 2-24. Print. 

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