(Ekphrastic poem for Nina Simone, Boston Photograph by Lee Tanner 1967)
Stand alone in a world of black on white
cords disappear in depths, wires spark sound
with lips apart arms apart lights apart
eyes hidden behind wider angles flash
holding up the metal sun of the mic
roaring at the hub city on the hill
from old north to bean town to break down
for the flowers who wouldn’t run to war
say feeling good to beat away the blues.
Leaning back standing up pushing forwards
monochromic performance without sound
snapshot of a world that has gone away
and don’t you know we still need you to stay
to cry power for them for me for you.
Join portraits in the halls of a genre
Of a photograph of power in sound
On paper holding paper with no words
In galleries in history on cards
Hang from smoky walls and gift shop windows.
Pose above in a world without colour
But between the frames there is still the song
because there the music aint dead no more.