Monday, February 27, 2012

The Last Kind

by John Blase

Men, women, and girl singers - 
of the three kinds of humans
you were the last. You loved jazz 
and the smoky little rooms
where the tunes got played. They
took note of your crusade, your
scat without scatting, your 
vibrato-less gee-whizzy Fifties cool, 
plus this pluperfect female shape 
even George Shearing could see. 
But they kept listening because
of your uninhibited phrasing,
your mad human offerings
of punctuation: semicolons where
men could breathe, commas to
put women at ease, parentheses
that gave girl singers courage.
That you always sang haunted 
was widely-felt, but the ghosts were
only known by a few. Born to
be blue was always more than
a song. Then rock-n-roll invaded
our land and the loud was too
much, so you made yourself silent,
an esoteric casualty of war.
There will never be another you
is more than a song.

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