For Morris Nanton
That man’s dancing on that piano.
He’s big and bulky as me
and knows what it’s like to feel awkward
and listen to him dancing and talking.
Playing long sets, just right
Filling in betweens with solo introductions
When that man’s up there, he sitting with me all the time
Wearing a loose turnaround shirt
Listening over his shoulder to that silky drum and
the bow draw and finger-walk on the bass
That man hears the music of clinking glasses,
The cooperation of ice, alcohol and a good pace
that makes the night feel special
In front of a smoked mirror with shades,
he raises his head to let the spirit flow freely.
He doesn’t say anything stupid
but he gets those silly looks