Saturday, October 10, 2015


had he lived
would be 96
today. But
he was crazy:
he drank,
he smoked,
he ran around
with chicks
all night
in places
like The It Club
playing piano
eating ribs
hanging with addicts
and owners and madmen
into the early morning hours.
He never got enough sleep,
he never got enough anything
except messages
from the gods:
Bluemonk, Bemsha Swing, Ruby,
My Dear, Straight, No Chaser,
Well You Needn't, Round Midnight.
He wore heavy woolen coats
in Texas heat, bamboo shades,
and skimmers, hats, hundreds
and hundreds of hats.

I was always jealous
of him: we share a date,
we hear voices, make of them
what we can, but he talked back.
I'm more or less mute.
Tickling my typer keys
is about as much
as I can do.
Let me get on
with my day
while a NYC radio station
his birth...and my

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2015

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