Thelonius Sphere Monk
1917-1982

We were all laid back
in our freshly pressed
very cheap suits
lucky strike in one hand 
rum and coke in the other 
sunglasses resting on a nose 
that had grown accustomed 
to blue lit smoke filled air 
we were at the 5 spot 
as monk, miles and trane 
took us on a journey of 
what was to be 
this off key playing brother 
that none of us would understand 
til years later 
played to and for himself 
but gave it to everyone 
hitting every 3rd or 5th note 
playing between notes 
inventing notes 
taking us where bebop was going 
this bearded keyboard player with 
the weird name paid us 
no attention: paid us no mind 
always sitting lower than the keys 
to us his hands 
were in an awkward position 
but it was right for him 
that’s why 
he never knew we were 
there it was right for him 
this cat with the weird name 
THELONIUS SPHERE MONK

Jerome Robinson
February 1982

 

Copyright © 1982 Jerome Robinson    

To Brother Knight
who put poetry in my reach.

A HYBRIS BROADSIDE