Ralph Poetry

John Coltrane. New York City

New York City. New York City.
It's another rainy night in New York City.
Another crazy taxi cab running all the red lights
from Birdland, 52nd Street, down 7th Avenue
"C'mon Man," I'm yelling at the driver
And we're splashing water all over
the sidewalk people, baptizing everybody
with the holy waters of Jazz
pouring out of the sky

I'm looking out the window at New York City
The bright lights where nobody sleeps
Times Square. Madison Square Garden
14th Street, everything is a blur
of watercolour in the rain

This is the heartbeat of the world
Today. Tomorrow. Tonight.
The doorway to possibilities
The doorway to spiritual
The doorway to The Village Vanguard
Running down the stairs with a
Blonde woman, ringside table,
Bucket full of champagne
My favourite things

John Coltrane. John Coltrane.
Everybody's waiting for John Coltrane

You can see the yellow eye balls
coming out out of the cloud of smoke
hanging over each table
The place is packed
The tables are stacked
with hi-balls, martinis, beer
packs of smokes
and lots of hands with gold rings
waiting for the Trane
John Coltrane

Ladies and Gentlemen...
We are proud to present...

And the cymbals swell up
Elvin Jones
Now everybody looks up
Everybody shuts up

Here comes the Trane
John Coltrane
Tenor saxophone shining in the spotlight
Golden metal magnet
Center of all music in the universe
Everybody transfixed
in the Beatitude of the best
McCoy Tyner picking out pearl notes
from inside the heart of his piano

This is the heavenly choir of
Impulse Records and Eric Dolphy
The ArcAngel is soaring into
the Manhattan night

The heavenly choir of Impulse Records
United in this basement
The Village Vanguard

I'm kissing the woman beside me
Because we're crazy in love
in New York City
New York City
Listening to John Coltrane
John Coltrane
(softly as in the morning sunrise)

Man - this is a perfect world!

© 1997 Crash And Burn Music/SOCAN

These are the words to a piece that was commissioned exclusively for CBC AFTER HOURS (hosted by Ross Porter). It was recorded at CBC Studios, Winnipeg, Oct. 30/97 and features Graham Howell on sax and myself on vocals/hi-hat. It is available on the RALPH cd, "This Is For The Night People" while the text version is in the book of the same name (Madrigal Press/Raincoast Books).

AFTER HOURS airs from 10-midnight every weekday on the national CBC FM network (Radio 2). Ross Porter unites this country with jazz every night.

© 1997, Ralph Alfonso

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