Muse, a Lady Cautioning
for Billie Holiday
There's fairness in changing blood for septet's guardian rhythm, the horn blossoming into cadenza. No good pimp's scowl, his baby's voice ruined sweet for the duration. Yes, these predictable fifths. O, the blues is all about slinging those low tales out the back door (sing: child pried open on that stained floor). O, Billie hollers way down dirt roads (sing: woman on the verge of needled logic). She's aware--yeah, I'm going to kiss some man's sugared fist tonight. O, this tableau's muse, a Lady cautioning me: Just tough this thing out, girl. Sweat through the jones. Don't ask for nothing. Spit your last damned note.
From Outlandish Blues by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Copyright © 2003 by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Reproduced by permission of Wesleyan University Press. All rights reserved.