Tell it Slant Tuesday ~ The End of an Ethnic Dream by Jay Wright accompanied by Archived Academy – Peaceful Harmony

tell it slant tuesday

I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition – about what we can endure, dream, fail at, and still survive.  ~ Maya Angelou

 

 

Definition: Ethnicity is a concept referring to a shared culture and way of life. This can be reflected in language, religion, material culture such as clothing and food, and cultural products such as music and art. Ethnicity is often a major source of social cohesion and social conflict.  ~ By Ashley Crossman

Jazz is the embodiment of ethnicity.  I agree with Ashley but I would add one extra element…language.  Musicians from every walk of life can understand and play jazz using all the above referenced elements but the mode of expression speaks uniquely to that person.  Well, maybe two, the second would be feeling.  The interesting thing about jazz is that the feeling is transcultural and transcends ethnicity.  It is important to know our predecessors and to understand the times they lived in.  I figure, without embracing my father and mother’s origin I would not be able to have the freedom to be able to spread my wings and fly.  At one time American society was fixated on Youth.  You know out with the old and in with the new.  But had it not been for the old there would not be any new.  I don’t think there is magic in new, I think the magic comes from the roots that are deep within our hearts and soul that make art and culture and life this glorious mosaic that only eyes that are not blinded by the shiniest of what is new will not drown it out.  I hope that you enjoy Jay Writes poem.  The hope lies not only with youth, but when they stand side by side, the shadows and light integrate and give grace to all of our lives.  Peace and Love Out!  Jazzybeatchick a.k.a. JazZenista Live!  ❤ & 😎

Mimika at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho New York City
Mimika at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho New York City

The End of an Ethnic Dream

by Jay Wright

 Cigarettes in my mouth

to puncture blisters in my brain.

My bass a fine piece of furniture.

My fingers soft, too soft to rattle

rafters in second-rate halls.

The harmonies I could never learn

stick in Ayler’s screams.

An African chant chokes us. My image shot.

If you look off over the Hudson,

the dark cooperatives spit at the dinghies

floating up the night.

A young boy pisses

on lovers rolling against each other

under a trackless el.

This could have been my town,

with light strings that could stand a tempo.

Now,

it’s the end

of an ethnic dream.

I’ve grown intellectual,

go on accumulating furniture and books,

damning literature, writing “for myself,”

calculating the possibilities that someone

will love me, or sleep with me.

Eighteen-year-old girls come back from the Southern

leers and make me cry.

Here, there are

coffee shops, bars,

natural tonsorial parlors,

plays, streets,

pamphlets, days, sun,

heat, love, anger,

politics, days, and sun.

Here, we shoot off

every day to new horizons,

coffee shops, bars,

natural tonsorial parlors,

plays, streets,

pamphlets, days, sun,

heat, love, anger,

politics, days, and sun.

It is the end of an ethnic dream.

My bass a fine piece of furniture.

My brain blistered.

 

Jay Wright, “The End of an Ethnic Dream” from Transfigurations: Collected Poems (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000). Copyright © 2000 by Jay Wright. Reprinted with the permission of the author.   Source: Transfigurations: Collected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2000)

Japanese translation for meaning
Japanese translation for meaning

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