Byline: Virtuoso Gumbo

Buford Youthward

Some kid once said nothing useless can truly be beautiful.

I'm not sure if the centuries are in agreement. Reliefs set against the stalactites, stalagmites of time know there are no secrets in the stars or in the hearts of men.

But heart is sometimes all we have. To give it up, to lose it, is a crime against existence. Souls come and go, leave traces, whispers of regret floating past earthiness and tonal gravity.

I submit a personal history in six words. Everything changed after I was electrocuted.

Eventually the shock wore off but the self trauma continues. I continue to walk through stylized and dated doorways to hell with a psycho's fury stopped cold in my tracks by dope touches and odd displacements of color.

Taking vows of passion with a wide open willingness for follow up and follow thru, smart kids know follow up skills tell you all about the follower.

Every graffiti writer starts out seeking fame and tries not to stop until fame seeks out him. The grace of perspective refuses to forsake fame for form while fabrications are all that can be found in memory and textbooks.

I drink my grape and watch heroes dance in the void for amusement knowing the enjoyment of improvised music doesn't require the concentration of notes but the rush of truth, which uses the notes for its purposes.

Improvisation properly formulated needs responsibility and discipline, and responsibility has always been freedom's hangman, discipline the stuff of dictators. There's the rub.

So some kid may step up and say you got no heart and lost your soul. I say so what and that long ago I could hold it down with the best of them.

If only he could have seen me when I was a young gun, drinking virtuoso gumbo by the cesspool across from the old train yard, taking beauty to task for all its uselessness.

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