Jazz Cafe Writing

For Keith Crombie

Those notes you held, out fliering
your smoky and mirrored establishment –
half T-Bone Walker in Walker,
half T. Dan Smith in New Orleans –
thrummed scat in winds from yards.
Walking a bassline up Pink Lane,
husky stevedore of an empty dock,
better hepcat cap’n who navigates
rough seas, what ho the toon?

Jazz Noah, this is your ark: high
deco dado rails, cardboard boxes
we suspected your bed by the bar.
The flood was a drought. Cash
notes you never held or wanted to
disappearing, drowning the rest.
You lasted to see the new men
who aren’t men but heirs to where
it went, and flier them the same.

i. m. 1939-2012


Andrew Fentham is a Birmingham-born poet. He is currently studying MA Creative Writing at Newcastle University. His poems and translations have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Ireland, France and Hungary. He was awarded a New Poet Bursary by New Writing North in 2013.