Birdland mindframe, feelin' like it's circa 1962
the way she moved through the room, whistling a gloomy tune
the same repetition of that sad riff
I approached half passive, asked if, it was a blue note classic
She smiled, batted her lashes, "Close but no, it's something I wrote
Called The Wrath of Lomas"
A song for her pops, she explained, "He used to be a jazz saxophonist
Coked and doped, at the height of his solstice
So much so, you could smell, the stench of crack on his magnum opus"
Her fingertips slid over the bottle of corona, she sunk back in a sofa
Uh, lit a blunt took a puff
my mind was still on the last living days of, Shaka Sankofa
"Papa was a soldier, a Panther. Mama said in his eyes lied the fury of storms"
Her tone of voice, cut through the air like stones thrown by half grown
Palestinian boys, armed with no choice- composed her poise then
Relaxed back to her old wistful form
"Music's the canvas and here's where the story's redrawn
A few years 'fore his first son was born"
ummm, she paused lookin' lost then rubbed her temple
Then spoke in this gentle tempo, "Mama always knew
Whenever the rents due, she would find him in his room, being in a tense mood
Leaning over a bent spoon, heaping with hell's sugar, musical notes he wrote
Scribbled on walls, half empty bottles of alcohol in the hall
She found other women's numbers, bra's, draws"
Pause, "but then came the summer of loss- his pop's died his brother too
Lomas moved from tune to tune, different spots, performing
Till he met one of the baddest drummers up north
In a matter of weeks they formed a quintet", she said with a slight pride
Her eyes, wide as her smile, "My father had a purpose now, his vices were gone
I can still hear the slices of life in those very psalms, calm
Just a man confessin' thru the sax, but then, then came the wartime draft"
"To me", she said, "That was the end of his jazz
I'm talkin' bout what he saw out there, in Vietnam"
It left Lomas' heart, weathered, worn and torn
Imagine being shown the evil sins of men, returning home to lynchings, protests
"Ever since then", she said, "In his life he had
smack in his glands, his sax playing the angst
Of lost African lands, rain dances with ghosts who fancied his nose
I guess thru me, his past was reborn, he passed on
And all I did was pawn his sax, his wax and brass horn"
From the corner I soaked – in the aroma of jazz and smokes
And scanned for a second through the expanse of folks
It led my mind to remember the last time I took a stand in the land of hope
In '68, I was 25 in a band with Lom'
Cooking the Village Van with two - sticks in my hand and my man on the saxophone
This kid was Mississippi, mix with masala, curry colored
Half tipsy, twisted
Toothpick slim, smelling like he was dipped in whiskey
With a wistful voice that match the tenor of his sax, the tone
Resonated the thoughts of a man who lost his home
Echoed like the shots that rang through our ears that year
From Vietnam, Memphis to Camelot, the tears fell
Like our fates in the years to come
Newport, 7-1, was where we saw her face
Her name was Sophie and her walk was grace
Talk was laced with poetic thoughts
lost in the same place that my sax man played from
She had me tranced and chasing and I caught
Something amazing when I snared her love
But jealousy is the state that our fears become
When we trust in one, she makes love to another and she bares a son of reflects
The essence of the nearest one to a brother from my peers the stun
Of the moment took my breath like it pieced a lung
I was stung, cause this kid
He looked like he was Lomas' son
That night, back stage at the club as I prepared to drum
I told him, "It's a boy Lomas, now tell me where's my gun?"
I let him look while the barrel straight stared at him
But his eyes, they shared a look with no fear in them
He had some words of regret
I said, "Your boy's name is Trent"
And then I told him "Tonight we play the set
And this here's a grand from my pocket for you to pay the rent
Get bent or straighten up your life
Take my wedding band too if you still to light, my friend
Take my wife, if she'll have you
Take the wrath of your talent and damn you
Take my name from your lips and never use it again"
That night, you know we shined like gems
I found rhythms that had Lomas on the loose
Flying within, every mind that could listen to hymns
And all the while… I couldn't wait for the music to end