“Jazz Is the Jagged Edge” by Christopher Raley

Jazz is the jagged edge,
so give me the beautiful cloth,
not for edges or beauties
but for threads making patterns
whose colors interplay to the cut-off sharp.

Building sweetly is rarely heard,
so give me dissonance that punctures
the dream ahead we make when behind is blind.
Hardly ever we see fully into either,
and beauty is not completely born
yet of frailty something beautiful.

Arguers are never solved,
so give me agreers who disagree,
revelers and punchy diggers
who regard the soft under-belly of pose
as a mother regards her child’s will.
They gently abuse their armor to shreds
and fall tender at the tough tissue of heart.

Few things consist,
so let the contradictions praise the consistent.
The blind man cannot see,
so let him tell of colors hidden in night.
The deaf man cannot hear,
so let him describe the timbre’s subtle change of pain.
The mute man cannot speak,
so let him sign what we do not say.
The dead man cannot live
so let his dry bones moisten
at the rain brought him by the wind.

Jazz is the jagged edge,
so give me the beautiful cloth
because the cloth is whole.
The eyes below do not see as the Head above.
So when the Head is stated,
I never fear the abstractions.
I already know the truth.


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