Fear of Jazz

In high school I would be

alone in our dark garage

practicing my saxophone

when I’d notice police sirens.

Neighbors didn’t want to hear 

my honking scales and arpeggios

any more than my mother did.

Not at that hour. Folks were serious

about their sleep back then. 

I would’ve been famous by now.

Brian Beatty is the author of the poetry collections Magpies and Crows; Borrowed Trouble; Dust and Stars: MiniaturesBrazil, Indiana: A Folk Poem; and Coyotes I Couldn’t See. Hobo Radio, a spoken-word album of Beatty’s poems featuring music by Charlie Parr, was released by Corrector Records in January 2021.  

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