by Robert Pinsky
Originally published in New Ohio Review Issue #7
This is the golden trophy. The true addiction.
Steel springs, pearl facings, fibers and leathers, all
Mounted on the body tarnished from neck to bell.
The master, a Legend, a “righteous addict,” pauses
While walking past a bar, to listen, says: Listen—
Listen what that cat in there is doing. Some figure,
Some hook, breathy honk, sharp nine or weird
Rhythm this one hack journeyman hornman had going.
Listen, says the Dante of bop, to what he’s working.