I college, I was fascinated by the Beat Generation. Perhaps there is always something nostalgic about the  generation previous to one’s own. I lived the 60’s as a child and thought I knew what that was about. I thought the 50’s Beatnik Culture was cool, full of exotic intellectuals and countercultural icons like Alan Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassidy, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I liked that Beat Poetry was accessible, unedited and authentic. I now know it was somewhat cheaply constructed, intellectually gaudy, and the the writers had bad teeth and poor hygiene. I no longer read Beat Poetry, but I cannot deny that it influenced my life and my writing during my late adolescent yearnings.

Goodbye Porkpie Hat is a track from Charles Mingus’ 1959 album, Mingus Ah, Um.  Sonny Rollins is a jazz saxaphonist with a career spanning from 1949 to today. Pall Mall was one of several brands of unfiltered cigarettes popular during the 50’s.



Then he found himself

pulling a dust record

from its worn torn cover:

“Mingus – Ah Um”

the tenor sax wails

over the static

in monophonic infidelity;

a music displaced

in time.

The images rise in a Proustian rush

within the Coney Island

of his mind

Jack and Neal

On The Road

with Al

smoking Pall Mall

at two AM

in a hazy cafe


in the


while Sonny

wrought soul

out of brass.

We was cool, Dad

and I

am still


Unresolved, the last chord fades

into the hum

of a flickering vacuum tube,

He wakes to find

his goatee


his espresso



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s