Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Poet's Corner-Langston Hughes-Easy Boogie

… he spied her across the room the minute he came in the door, eyed her up and down, and then down and up, and while he was too much of a gentleman to lick his chops, and also knew if she had seen him in such a foolish pose he would be sleeping alone that night or with some cheap pick-up floozy ready to roll over for a guy with some dough, some good liquor and reefer, and a line of patter to get her out of her panties (not hard when it came to floozy time he knew, knew only too well) he did so in his. Not some much beautiful as fetching, and fetching in the long haul was usually preferable. Yes, one look at her, one one-over (really twice over) told him that, told him too that he needed to be cool, cool enough to stay a little aloof while she was up at the stand in front of that band singing, singing like some god-struck angel face now that he had stopped looking up and down and started to figure out what he needed to do when intermission time came.
He knew for instance, that she would require scotch, high-shelf scotch, to soothe those tender vocal cords like some magic elixir. He liked to speculate on the brand, here it seemed to require Haig &Haig Royal Bonded to aid his cause. (He was right when he asked the waitress what she was drinking when he sent a drink over to her table at intermission, and plenty of it too, judging by the way she drank the drink in front of her between songs). He thought about whether she would want to be complimented on her clothes.(She did, talking for a little too long about it until he moved the subject on to her music, that blues jazz mix that she had down pat, very pat). Or whether telling her that she had a fine body (nice shoulders, slim waist, etc) , nice legs, nice well-turned ankles, nice hair, nice, fill in the blank, or any combination of nices, would get him any place.(It did, as she gave him even more meaningful looks as they talked, only be stopped by the call for the next set from Sammy, the combo leader). And of whether he should ask right then whether she wanted a nightcap with him elsewhere later or ask her ask her at the end of the evening. (End of the evening, a wise choice since she kept giving him meaningful little smiles to keep the mood up throughout that last performance.)

Preliminaries over he once again listened to that angel-voice, listened to her phrasing, listened for the pause between the phrasing, and then that slight little snarl of the upper lip as she went into her own blues-drenched version of Rock Me Baby, and looking right at him, right directly at him, when she sang long drawn out phrasing sang, “rock me all night long.” (He did, and she did too.)
… and hence this be-bop poem in celebration

Easy Boogie
Down in the bass
That steady beat
Walking walking walking
Like marching feet.
Down in the bass
They easy roll,
Rolling like I like it
In my soul.
Riffs, smears, breaks.
Hey, Lawdy Mama!
Do you hear what I said?
Easy like I rock it
In my bed!

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