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Michael Antonucci

 The series "K.C. Blues": 
 Boss Goat (Pendergast, Politics, & the K.C. Scene) 
 Witness: A Map (w/ Legend & Keys) 
 Stormin': (Southwestern Swing) 
 Bird 
------ 
 (Robert Lowell) 
                                               Boss Goat
                                        (Pendergast, Politics, &
                                             the K.C. Scene)
                                
                                                  Brother Jim’s,
                                          Climax Saloon,
                                                    your own
                                         cradle of liberty;
                                                its namesake,           
                                                 like Truman,
                                      a long shot that paid.
                                          Business as usual:
                                        barn yard politics and 
                                                a day at the races;  
                                    Lazia and Payne
                                                 watching goats 
                                         chasing rabbits,
                                      the State House,
                                         dubbed “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
                                                in your honor.  
                                        With  “home-rule”  
                                           all bets are off.  
                                         High stakes                                 along
   the       Northside,
                                          High times
                                                    at 14th and Vine;               
                            constituencies
                                                        and offices  
                                           in concrete and
                                                      liquor 
                                          turning the deals, 
                                              winning the tricks,
                                                  making the votes
                                                and keeping the fix
                                                         upstairs 
                                        at 1908 Main Street.                    
                                         Your pleasures, few and simple, 
                                                like your people,
                                                    anything but cheap.





                                Witness:A Map                                  (w/ Legend & Keys)                                            Hear that                                                  “KC Moan,”                                   “One O’Clock Jump”                                   setting out on a big band train,                                     going to the                                                  vanishing point,                                                              on foot                                                              by bus,                                                        or box car,                                         They go out and                                                         come back,                                                               again:                                      moving                                                 through the territory,                                         its cryptic cartography                                          spitting spelling lessons                                                  in the vernacular,                                              framed                                                          by the snapshot                                                         requisites of                                                   its invisible geography,                                                                                        proof                                                    Troost don’t twist,                                                   West Bottoms flood,                                                      and there’s a man                                                 they call Piney Brown.
                                        Stormin’:                                 (Southwestern Swing)                                                         --for Walter Page and                                                      the Blue Devils Orchestra                                                             In photos:                                           blowing                                   like the wind,                                                 blazing                                   black and white trails                                 across the grainy territory,                                                 they rise,                                   smoke quick,                                   on the prairie’s commonwealth                                           of earth                                          and horizon.                                         Circling their wagons                                 they swing the compass,                                                  needle and dial,                                 backs to the breeze,                                  bodies in motion,                                            telling their tales                                         in sets and movements
                 along 
                                            the Great Plains’ 
                                                        savannah 
                                                of cross-overs, 
                                                                jump-offs,
                                                and jammed-up
                                                jooks;
                                        their caravans riding  
                                             twisted paths 
                                               through 
                                                         cyclones of 
                                                     sound.





                                        Bird                                 The history is its own                                                       headache:                              the music another story.                                 “Cherokee,”                                                 “Parker’s Blues,”                                    in sounds                                                 pure,                                                   distant,                                                          pulsing.                                      In Kay Cee,                                           Major Smith and Lincoln High                                                couldn’t keep you;                                     on the road,                                        your constituents                                           pledge allegiance and                                        vote with their feet.                                                                                     Their nightly nominations launched                                             from platforms                                                 with bandstand loyalties                                                           while you played,                                                  turning your changes                                                               into anthems                                                              through the dawn’s                                                                    early light.                                         
                                        (Robert Lowell)                                 Along the Hub,                                             lines bending,                                     your orbit,                                                     turning;                                 History, Life Studies spun                                             from a mind                                 “perched on the outer                                             ring of decency.”                                 At play, the poet-emperor,                                                      Caligulla,                                 last of your kind,                                   circling Beacon Hill,                                 its gold dome                                          a birth right confounded                                 in oval D.C.,                                     a swamp and stage:                                  your parade ground marches,                                      grandstanding in lines,                                 for Che,                                          the days of rage,                                                               RFK,                                      but not a word of King.                                 Still,                                  I hear your blues;                                                         running,                                           vein deep,                                 from the buckle-shoe stockings                                    of pumpkin eating puritans,                                      to Nantucket’s lost sailor,                                            his seaside                                                  burial touched                                             with frost,                                                    and in the empty                                                         tunic of your                                                          Civil War namesake.