LIVE RADIO JAZZ

Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Even the radio’s crackle, the blindness
the medium comes with, cannot stop
the body’s unconscious ticks, feints
that reach a feverish height as we will
the musician in that distant, dark room
through the sweaty contortions of her high
solo, knowing from the sharps, swift shifts
and sudden flats, that no body in stillness
can produce sounds so unearthly. We fall
into fleeting trances of head-nods, extended
limbs, held breaths—slow, low off-key moans.
It matters not if we are in Accra or Dhaka,
for the short swing of those shortwave signals
we are a flock tracking the lost by bleats,
Bo Peeps for the far-flung syncopations of Bebop
until the music meanders back to the bright path
of its original melody, settles as we do—

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