Tuesday, April 24, 2012

POEM: "Nica & Monk"

Nica & Monk

Enormous house, servants for everything
curtains drawn to protect the paintings
a Rothschild, she dreams at needlework
denied what you’d really call a schooling
gets married, has children, waits a moment
flees to New York City, she’s falling for jazz
and Thelonius Monk (who’s got problems)
Nica is very rich (that you can’t deny)
she’s heard of a thing money cannot buy
smokey music in the basement clubs
bass notes and the thunder of Charlie Parker
then that hesitant, hopeless, hopeful piano
‘round midnight when the crowd thins
when connoisseurs of the soul sit still
and a dirty draw of perfect sound
permits the long drawn out breath of bliss
Nica, Nica, Nica, Pannonica, a butterfly
like Cho-Cho-San, casting off her own angels
another subject of the foreign winds of love
a rich white lady faces prison for a black man
you read it and you say it over and over again
try and imagine this power any way you can
at Monk’s funeral she sits next to his wife
and all who come pay homage to them both.

© 2012 Rob Schackne

1 comment:

  1. For a very interesting background article, please see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/apr/22/hannah-rothschild-nica-jazz-thelonious-monk-interview