In the city of Bologna

There’s a jazz club bears his name

So – typically of course –

He never played there


Preferring one without a gaudy sign

That mainly served spaghetti   –


A summer concert in the square

Returning there for supper

He drew a portrait sketch upon the menu


One continuous line

In the manner of Matisse or Cocteau or

Chet Baker when he circles a white space

In notes of calm allusive beauty   –


Whose is this suggested face at peace

They promptly framed to hang upon a wall?



Might it be a somnolent

Self-sabotaging angel

Sleepwalking fame’s absurd fast-burning tightrope?






One day soon he will settle in Lucca   –

A small house with a garden

A music room of course and in the cool

Spring evening it shall be pleasant

Wandering piazza to piazza

To sit at café tables with a few

Understanding and forgiving friends


Someday soon when the fever breaks

Of crossing borders concert to concert

Festivals to cash-in-hand recordings

From dealers in hard drugs to hardened doctors

Substituting methadone with cautions


Driving overnight without a break

All to play one T.V. slot in Oslo   –

Someday soon he’ll stay at home in Lucca

No last-minute sound-check to insist

‘I always play softly   –   I always sit down’


One day soon he will settle in Lucca

There is a quiet music to the phrase

Eternally assuring and enchanting

For high on uncut heroin

Every town is Lucca







Bernard Saint  

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