Tanya Jean by Kurt Elling
Hips swayin' to the beat (lip smackin', honey-sweet).
Magnolias in the street – dust under Tanya's feet.
Dig with me this chick lording every clique, name of
Even in the thick she'll never miss a trick. She's a
Swingin' down the block, stoppin' every clock, wiggin'
Every scene -
She's got a flock (a man in every dock) diggin' Tanya
But if she ever would think, for once, she would see
That she has been a dunce -
Never digging her brains and her beauty are more than
The usual front.
She could be swinging ad libitum 'stead of just acting
Like she was dumb.
(Up and running to run all the savages's no more than
Just a stunt.
"Come dancing with me in a little dream, Tanya Jean,"
Said Prophet-Man-With-One-Hand-Put-Away. "And we will
Seek together the stolen vision (vision that was hidden
By lovers gone and poets buried). Time, swing over:
Gonging and banging late-in-life clock assembling a
Three-ring, peddling a new thing. Telling time, telling
Tales, telling sights, filling pails with alabaster
Springing. Here's your life upon a plate regarding it's
Fate. Senility's rumored."
"How can you eat that," asks the girl, with a smirk.
"Don't you see how every day, come what may, it's
Growing – you jerk, you. And thirty centuries of
Sleeping won't make a dent in giving the time that it's
Needing. Flipping to appendices, Demosthenes, won't
Bring about the stumbling of a Beast with weaker knees.
This I tell you. So dig it."
"Don't wig it. Come along with me and envision the
Vision. Maybe then, you will feel. Like the rumbling of
A train on tracks a hundred miles away, you can hear
Pretty clear – like the echoes of the footfalls of
Childhood in rooms – like a fire, sire, like a pyre; a
Singing out of desire. Dark angelic bodies in a flying
Circus come bombing over Flander's Fields.
"And what if darkened drummers who can play just like
Elvin never escape the mandibles of their mothers,
Keeping silence when screaming upwards from deep within
His inner voice – crying into the vortex of night,
Subtle terrors make writing a scrawling of dying-wish
Notes? Time to make another adversary list up to the
Sky as you travel by.
"Suddenly bidding is asking. And then it's wishing. You
Can't stretch your arms out like a lord enfolding
Thousand stars. So dig it. And lonliness is rolling
Over levees like a suicidal tidal surge – upending
Illusiories, strong, of living as defensive. Meanwhile,
Intimacy calls us into dangers with a siren song of
Loving long in luxury-to-be (secret, unnameable surging
Of love into what must always be). It's spilling over
Infinity to become behemoth: everything, everywhere,
Everyone, everytime. The kingdom comes from ancient,
Howling cries of MotherGods.
"Screaming across the open plains of nothingness comes
Everything that might have been, like great comets
Blasting through every dark sky. So what if L.T.
Dexter's swinging has rarified Mid-Atlantic sounds of
Jazz in silk scarves and all fall-colored Paris nights?
And Charlie Parker's with him, blowing on his over-
Grown pitoodle stick and reaching through the thicker
Places in our heads (intelligence was never, ever,
Surely, this hard to find). Dig what I'm saying: just
Because we'll never know The Secret doesn't mean that
We should find that we have sold ourselves, like
Joseph, into bondage again – time and again, until the
"My friend, take your practiced powers and stretch them
Across the void until everything living has a chance to
Ponder every contradiction. That might be everyone's
Doable mission. Just like when Herbie's playing piano –
Then you can hear it, 'cause he can play it. You don't
Forget it 'cause Herbie said it when he spoke like a
Child playing jacks on the floor of a kitchen. And
Hermann Hesse said it: 'You'll search for truth among
The planets and never find a truer voice than that
Voice which is calling it out to you – calling you to
At least become a human. Instead of being confounded by
Being. Instead of surfing in the dirt like a serpent,
Go dance in the whirlwind.' For those who have heard
It, God becomes a silence, huge and glowing, flowing
From the deepest inner places inside of your heart.
"It's saying, 'Go moaning and groaning, alone-ing. Go
Rolling on the breast of earth. Report you truly all
The lives you see there, like a song growing golden-
Ripe, like the wheat. Take it! Take this cup I'm
Passing to you. Drink it. Think it way down into the
Entrails of your thinking. What moves in secret is not
Ever nothing. If gateways of seeing were opened, then
We could see that everything is just as it always is;
"But now, you see? Time is growing short for me."
Pow! Poof. The dreaming was over. But Prophet-Man had
Put mind into motion: Tanya Jean was then, hereafter
Seen to be the queen of what we later called the scene
In which a body haverim careen like on the ceiling of
The Sistine Chapel. Wow.