TAPPING (for Baby Laurence and other tap dancers) by Jayne Cortez.

When I pat this floor with my tap, when I slide on air and fill this horn intimate with the rhythm of my two drums.
When I cross kick scissor locomotive take four for nothing four we’re gone.
When the solidarity of my Yoruba turns join these vibrato feet in a Johnny Hodges lick a chorus of insistent Charlie Parker riffs.
When I stretch out for a chromatic split together with my double X converging in a quartet of circles.
When I dance my spine in a slouch slur my lyrics with a heel slide arch these insteps in free time.
When I drop my knees, when I fold my hands, when I decorate this atmosphere with a Lester Young leap and enclose my hip like snake repetitions in a chanting proverb of the freeze.

I’m gonna spotlite my boogie in a Coltrane yelp, echo my push in a Coleman Hawkins whine.
I’m gonna frog my hunch in a Duke Ellington strut, quarter stroke my rattle like an Albert Ayler cry.
I’m gonna accent my march in a Satchmo pitch, triple my grind in a Ma Rainey blues.
I’m gonna steal no steps, I’m gonna pay my dues, I’m gonna 1,2,3, and let the people in the apple go hmmmp, hmmmmp, hmmmmmp…

Jayne Cortez

Category: Rituals: Music, Dance, Sports,