Listen Up, Wallace


Listen Up, Wallace


Listen up, Wallace. I know
there ain't no way I can
tell anyone everything I know.


You got the cry, you got the tone.
You ainít no boney maroney
with jesus jumpiní in your bones.


You got no jones, no debt to me
for the chops I loaned.
Your muse be manniní the phone.


Just take the calls. Listen
more than you talk. Talk
less than you play. Youíll be O.K.


The crickets will saw away
at the same spot on their legs,
intone their great profundo notes


about Montreaux, your stepping
into my shoes and shadow.
Youíll have to go your way.


Improvise your life above
expectation and white noise.
Keep your dignity and poise.


You may have my tone,
avoid vibrato in plumbing
my cool, but you ainít no fool.


So fuck what the mothers say.
There ainít no cricket born
who can take that fact away.


A whole plague of locusts
might descend on the fields
you seed. You canít stop them


or predict the winds of change,
but you reap what you sow
outside the perimeter of stage


or studio. Trust me. I know.
Wallace Roneyís gonna be a name
they want to lay claim to too.



Donít think the sun rises
between the cheeks of your ass,
and donít play in the shade.


Let Ďem plant a flag in the soft
flesh of someone elseís ass.
Use yours to pull out nails.



Wallace plays Miles' trumpet.


When Wallace told Miles that he did not have a trumpet, Miles gave him one of his. In 1991, Wallace played alongside the ailing Davis onstage at Montreux, Switzerland.


Richard Stevenson's Miles Davis long poem sequence
Version 1.0  © 1997
Presented: September 10, 1997
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