Poems

Nelson Rufatt: For Bix Beiderbecke

For Bix Beiderbecke Hot, sweet melancholy swooned you, And darkened your deathbed. All the bullets that could wound you Were braced inside your head. And there were others who Had more right to be blue And reasons to be dead. White boy, what did you have to lose? What made your song so gloomy? What chorus in you cried the blues? What sang in Satchmo’s roomy Heart? Glowed in his eyes As he confided: “Those Pretty notes went right through me.” You took your crippled innocence And sad-eyed self-belief, And pawned them when you got the chance And sold them…

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