My Giant Steps

Happy 93rd, JC.

Summer is slowly dying.
Autumn is slowly dawning.
I’m on a fast train home from work
& I’m reading Autumn Rivulets
In Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

The cool creatives leave my name
Off the invitation list. It makes me sad.
They won’t let me worship at Uncle Walt’s
House because I sleep with woman.
But they have no control over what I read
When I am on the subway home.
Not that it matters; I do as I please.

Knowing doesn’t solve my problems.
I see spirits dart and dash through
The stacks at work. I never see
Them arrive but I catch their departure
Out the corner of my mind’s eye. It’s not new –
I’ve always seen spirits in libraries
And at the house my mother called home.

Sunship was the first JC album I bought.
It was 1969 at a tiny record shop on Tate Street.
What the hell was I thinking spending
My paper route money on this “confusion”
And “garbage” as my parents called it?
Truth is, Giant Steps may have been a
Better place to lose my virginity.

Author: Raymond Maxwell Librarian, archivist, retired foreign service officer and Navy veteran.

3 thoughts on “My Giant Steps”

    1. Love that three way rhyme at the end (rhyme/rhythm/time). Also, the “circular rhythm” alludes the the “Circle of Fifths” Coltrane is so known for in his music and especially in Giant Steps. Your poetry additions are always very welcome.


      1. p.s. There is something extremely rhizomatic in Coltrane’s composition, notes and riffs bouncing back and forth across that circle of fifths. In my imagination, some of my edgier poems attempts to replicate that movement, interconnected at every point, without any prior unity, unnamed and unmapped. When I burn out on Trane, I switch to Beethoven’s string quartets (which actually have a surprising amount of improvisation given the structure assumed in classical music). OK, the Saturday morning coffee is talking!


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