Volume 6

photos not JWDesign

Jimmy Warner, 1996
revised Sep, 2002

ŠJimmy Warner Design, 2014

Cold fog rolls up the Rappahannock
to mirror-like sliding-glass-doors
I glance in, a near frozen beach resort.

I appear out of the fog dressed
to the nines like Dracula in the clothes
I am destined to wear for another year.

Under the rose arbor and latticework
from a rosier, more distant summer
the tables are set with noise makers,
hats and horns, and those green
eerie bracelets that glow in the dark.

The hotel singing-stars, squeeze me
as I smile down necks and blouses and
inhale their sad perfumes preparing me
for a bring-down-the-house performance.

Out of my case of old, moldy breath
I take the sacrificial, plastic strap and
slide it over my head like a slipknot.
Out of coffin mold I produce a stale horn,
hang it on my chest adjusting the height.

I kiss the reed that wakes from a dry sleep
like a lover with a nasty morning mouth,
a soured note assaults the dining room.
Drunks, conversant with party favors,
answer with a goose call of their own.

The saxophone's deathly cold still clings
like the fog that smokes the windows
on this New Year's Eve as I breathe warmth
into the neck and down its black throat.

My tender noodles and musical tendrils
begin to climb whitewash lattices,
one winter clematis twining the trelliswork,
in spirit, nuzzling pastel balloons.

A celebrant seized with party zeal insists
that he attach a glowing bracelet to my horn,
which I promptly remove and stuff in the bell.

The young leader plays only business piano
and sits half-cheek on his bench that slants
between the sunken rug and the dance floor,
as he soft-pedals an upscale introduction.

The petite, blonde singer squints and winces,
projecting her seduction from the inside of her song.
She is the only one who speaks my language, 
Though married, small children, still a jazz mother.

Another vampire guitarist fills in deftly
with hip electrons jumping from cathodes
in his ancient Transylvanian vacuum-tubes.
He sits on his amp crouched behind speakers,
inner beast poised, waiting to be released.

The drummer eyes the wall for downbeats,
taking inspiration from wallpaper rhythms;
the dancer in the midst of the body
has no particular rudiments tonight.

The song, Someone To Watch Over Me,
takes its shape from under a dark lamp shade
as I play my sub tones in a deep register,
inspired to take a sexy solo amid
all this vain repetition and seedy meditation.

Dancing couples glide past me, laughing
and pointing out the phosphorescent glow
coming from the inside of my vintage horn.

Soon, I am lost, spending a warm groove 
in a pocket of nowhere beyond a blonde muse
or inspired emanations, beyond applause
and the flapping of bat's wings, a glimmer
of foxfire trailing off into a foggy year's end.

photos not JWDesign


ŠJimmy Warner Design, 2016