Mingus At The Showplace
I was miserable, of course, for I was seventeen
and so I swung into action and wrote a poem
and it was miserable, for that was how I thought
poetry worked: you digested experience shat
literature. It was 1960 at The Showplace, long since
defunct, on West 4th st., and I sat at the bar,
casting beer money from a reel of ones,
the kid in the city, big ears like a puppy.
And I knew Mingus was a genius. I knew two
other things, but as it happens they were wrong.
So I made him look at this poem.
"There's a lot of that going around," he said,
and Sweet Baby Jesus he was right. He glowered
at me but didn't look as if he thought
bad poems were dangerous, the way some poets do.
If they were baseball executives they'd plot
to destroy sandlots everywhere so that the game
could be saved from children. Of course later
that night he fired his pianist in mid-number
and flurried him from the stand.
"We've suffered a diminuendo in personnel,"
he explained, and the band played on.
William Matthews's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Mingus At The Showplace by William Matthews )
- 경산(경산) ANMA》０１０ ４８６７ ７５８２《경산(경산) ANMA, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
- 구미 ANMA (ANMA) ☏０１０♭４８６７♭７５８２●구미 MASSAJE, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
- 구미(구미) ANMA℡０１０↘２１７８↘９５０５↘구미 MASSAJE, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
- 구미 MASSAJE⊙０１０◈４８３１◈３２１１⊙구미 ANMA, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
- 구미 ANMA¿０１０¿５９３３¿０４３７¿구미 ANMA, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
- 구미 ANMA MASSAJE 010 ５９４６ ０３７７구미(구미) ANMA, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
- The Art of Living, Bijay Kant Dubey
- 구미(구미) ANMA》０１０ ４８６７ ７５８２《구미(구미) ANMA, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
- 대구 ANMA (ANMA) ☏０１０♭４８６７♭７５８２●대구 MASSAJE, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
- 대구(대구) ANMA℡０１０↘２１７８↘９５０５↘대구 MASSAJE, sdfg wgwq weqwsf
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Fine Days, Orhan Veli Kanik
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- The House of My Childhood, Dilip Chitre
- Heather Burns
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
James Russell Lowell
(22 February 1819 – 12 August 1891)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Christina Georgina Rossetti
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)