Thursday, December 29, 2011


"How strange a vehicle it is, coming down unchanged from times of old romance, and so characteristically black, the way no other thing is black except a coffin—a vehicle evoking lawless adventures in the plashing stillness of night, and still more strongly evoking death itself, the bier, the dark obsequies, the last silent journey!" -Thomas Mann

M. Lee's Dad passed away two days before Christmas.
At his Mom's request we disassembled his music room.
Gig over. It was a bleak obsequy.

At twelve, Jim played bass in the Chicago Symphony.
At fifteen, and well on his way to 6'9", he played
professionally in Chicago clubs but from
behind a curtain because he was white.

In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco
and caught the end of the 50s North Beach Bebop scene.

Elvis wanted Jim to join him. So did the Jefferson Airplane.
He refused. He was a purist.

He left the Baby Grand to Nolan,
his piano player for the last forty years.

for Joe & Jim

In the evening we
carry down our dead
they leave our hands willingly
above Dog Star watches
cold, white
as on ancient evenings,
Dog Star
bringer of rain.

excerpt from Dead Reckoning by asha


Don said...

Many condolences to M Lee. His father sounds like a unique and powerful man and musician.

Disassembling one's fathers final rooms provides a rich mixture of feelings, no question. I'll be at it again tomorrow, and off and on throughout January. I can't be bothered going swiftly, yet I want it over with.

Anyway, good luck to the next wave.

Paula said...

So many saying goodbye to their fathers recently. Sympathies to M Lee.

asha said...

Don, you certainly have my sympathies. Quickly or slowly, it's a hard time. Good luck to you as well. Hoping the new year brings you healing and happiness. And thank you for your kind words. I will pass them along.

Paula, yes. And these days I also know so many people who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. I've never see anything like it before. Very strange and really sad.

Also, thank you for your sympathies. I'll pass them along.

Roy said...

I'm sorry to hear about M Lee's father. As Don mentioned, it is tough to go through a parent's stuff after they're gone. The best to you both.

someone said...

Lee, I am honored to have shared the path with Jim. Wishing you both the comfort of warm memories.

Funny, the word verification is pater.