Poetry Wednesday – The Compton Cowboy by Jeff Park

Charles Mingus

Mingus on a motorcycle in Los Angeles,

oil spewing, loud as his laughter

— a young cowboy from Compton

one hand swirling a lariat

leaning back on the bike, laughing

in anger, crossing the colour line

looping a rope around black lawn jockies

dragging the past into the light

down quiet, quiet streets

In New York, Mingus reversed the time of day,

noon became midnight, meet me

tonight at noon, he would say, and all

would change, anything was possible.


~ from the cellophane sky jazz poems by Jeff Park, 2012  (Hagios Press)