Karen Dowell


Baroque Bebop

Late nineteen fifty eight
Bird met Bach in a bar
not far from the gate where
Gabe fingered his horn
waiting for the last gig

They compared notes
in a smoke-free room
no drugs blurring clarity
played duets among platinum clouds
controlled passionate skillful
rich concordant
swinging mordent
jamming in polyphonic
classical celestial
jazzing in
baroque bebop

Johann on tenor
composed lines that bent octaves
sharp sweet hard hot
for a horn he never heard
Charlie improvised with strings
again so fresh
keys flash flying
licking motifs into exposition
no need to breathe

Bird calls
Bach answers
Music burns in heaven


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