Pure Slush

flash ... without the wank

A Jazz Tune-Up

<  Skin

by Wayne Scheer            Entertainers and Dreamers Grow Bitter  >


The house is silent and still.  I sit at my computer and stare at the gray light of the monitor, half expecting a burst of words to fill the screen like stars in the night.

But what will I write?  Do I have anything worth saying? 

I don't want to write about people I know, even if I fictionalize their situations.  I've done too much of that, and it leaves me feeling like a vulture picking at the carcass of a friend.  I'm equally tired of writing about myself. 

I skim through a collection of modern poetry, hoping to glean an image or phrase that will spark a creative word storm. 

No sparks, no stars, no storm, no story.

I blow the dust off an ancient turntable and put on a scratchy Miles Davis album.  The music starts slowly, a muted trumpet calling softly into the night.  I pour from a bottle of scotch. 

A small sip is all I need to feel the pungent sweetness burn my tongue before it clears a path to my stomach.  I hold the glass in both hands and imagine the contents as a magic potent, offering creative immortality. 

The trumpet cries out into the void as a story about the loneliness of a writer plays in my mind.  A woeful, pensive melody drifts by and disappears behind the trumpet's mournful wail.  Words form on my screen, but I hit the delete button almost as quickly as I type.  The jazzblues notes drift into silence.  All that remains is the thump, thumping of a bass keeping time to a tune that no longer exists.

I ache to express the dreadful emptiness of the moment, but fear the words will never come.  My heart pounds.  I consider giving up and yielding to the silent suicide of the television.  I take a deep breath as the pinging of a piano--Oscar Peterson fast--grows out of the silence, taking control of the moment the way a small child dominates a room.  The wailing trumpet returns and gives way to a howling blast of energy. 

My fingers come alive on the keyboard. 


published 18 January 2012