Sunday at the Village Vanguard


Is so easy to hear,

Recorded meticulously,


To be unraveled by needles

As it spirals on the platter;


Here it is, in sweet stereo:

The clinking of glasses,

The occasional cough,

Sprinkled like sand

On hardwood floors.


A maudlin couple look up

And occasionally applaud;

A white tuxedo

Serves apples and brie.



Fingers flash on ivory manuals;

A crackling summer-bonfire-snare

Warms subterranean bass roots

In deep earth, miles below

The dull shovels of apathy.


After appetizers,

Entrées arrive unasked for.

Now dessert, now drinks,

Now quickly:

A nod—

A laugh—

A kiss goodbye—

A step into the silent night.


And as the Maître d’

Fetches the hats with a smile,

The sharp man hunched at the keys

Invites empty tables


Into paradise.



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