Poetry

That Devil’s Music

by John Farley

Satanic jazz artifacts
Dug out of Hell’s Kitchen basements.
A dank and spongy beat,
Endless and incomplete
Thuds out of cold kettle cocktail kit,
Burrows through breast plate and pleura.

At the El Diablo
They clamor for “Gloomy Sunday”
And the turgid trumpet bleat
That hangs heavy on 49th Street
Like a sopping wet rug
Slung over an icy aura.

And the bone man, low and stoned,
Trades fours with Kali Ma
Who bounces on the piano seat
And hunts for elephant meat
Between the ivory towers
Of New York and Gomorrah.

Companion art: “Drawing in Two Colors” by Weinold Reiss