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December 05, 2022

West Side Gaslight Dreaming

By Sarah Ito

West Side Gaslight Dreaming

I dream my life in black and white ...

In the murky shadow of a West Side club
Teeming with smoky jazz
Where blue notes wrapped in chocolate tones
Drift in asymmetrical time
Between bistro tables stacked with upturned chairs
As the trio drubs on
A big man, black and square
Dominates the sax
Bass and guitar fall in line
Spinning the melody of the night
Into the early hours of after midnight

I dream my life in black and white ...

In the lowering haze of Gauloises and Dubonnet
I dream a man, pencil thin, with a moustache, pencil thin,
In a pinstripe suit with a pencil thin tie,
And slicked-back hair the color of patent leather
Unlit cigarette dangling from thin cruel lips
The maitre d of the afterhours
Placekeeper of the corner table

I dream my life in black and white ...

Every night, in velvet dreams they come
These shadowy beings that exist in the backbeat
Of a smoky other world
Of sawdust underfoot and nothing above
They beckon, they entice
With liquid persistence
My table awaits
But I linger on the sidelines,
Like one who can't dance
Until the blinding intrusion of daybreak
Quells the blue notes
And dispels the black and white players
Into forgotten reveries
Forcing an unwilling awakening

To dream my life in living color






Article © Sarah Ito. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-08-02
Image(s) are public domain.
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