Saxophone Madness

Little black rocks dotted the sidewalk
as I held my gaze down there.
What was I doing here...
almost crippled by fear
No, I’m doing this.
A homeless man trudges by
with a curious gaze at me,
the young man with a saxophone in hand.
Alright, here we go.
Glistening in the sun,  golden
reams of metal put together
to scream out a symphony
with the devils grin of jazz.
Skip a beat, step, skip
and hang back a little.
I’m nodding my head as I
place my lips on the mouthpiece
ready to release the tension.
The notes come out in hues of blue
and undulate softly.
Getting it.
Warming up.
Nicely done.
My eyes reflect the fire,
I’ve become a daemon
staring in the gritty face
of the evening city,
surrounded by the down and outers;
I’m just as mad as they now.
The saxophone roars under my grip,
a soul train straight out of hell.
Maddeningly. I
release that pent up anger,
that devouring anger built through the year
kick it up a notch.
People continue walking by
as they did before
but give me a couple curious glances.
Children smile, fathers notice and
nod in approval. I’m called an
artist by one, and given five dollars.
Money starts piling in, but I don’t notice.
I’m far too gone.
The public doesn’t notice
that my lips are bleeding now
and the thin red paint has
stained my wooden reed
and the collar of my shirt.
There’s an evil flowing
and it’s jealous, and it’s vengeful,
and it doesn’t stop until
it has yelled at the world
and the world
before it
The shadows around me start
dancing a wild dance,
spearing the night sky
with loud cries of
jazz and violence.
And this continues
and continues
until I black out
from the pain...
Hours go by,
city lights bounce lazily
off of the rain puddles of the street,
reflecting my tired body and spirit.
The madness subsides,
and I realize what I’ve done.
I take off the neck-strap
and start cleaning up.
My once empty case now glimmers
with hundreds of dollars.
I pack the saxophone on top,
too scared to touch any of it.
The metal sinks back in,
the case is zipped up and
placed on my back.
With my instrument in tow,
I walk to the train station
and melt myself
back into the humdrum
of normal and polite society
© 2015 Parker Jennings


The art of street performance is called "busking" and it is something I used to do when I was bored in high school. I've played around my hometown, downtown Los Angeles and Venice Beach.
I haven't gone in a is a result of a sort of mad inspiration that drives me forth. Not the lust of money, which hinders my motivation and defines each novel experience as either success or failure. I like my art raw and emotional

Busking, Jennings Madness, Music, Parker, Performance, Saxophone, Street

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