new zealand electronic poetry centre


Bob Orr

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Thelonious Monk Piano

Thelonious Monk
has just walked in the room
he’s playing some sly tune
here it comes there it goes
here it comes again
you can tell it by its funny hat
Thelonious Monk plays a paino
as big as a matchbox
he’s walking it & talking it
just like he always does
that’s Thelonious Monk for you
shit there’s more than one piano
in the room
Thelonious Monk makes music
out of aircraft carriers big floating pianos
out of refrigerators real cool pianos
out of a bus on the last trip out of town a late night piano
out of a bus on the first trip of the day a real late night piano
out of a hotel bar call it a drunk piano
out of a long distance truck call it a piano with a load
Thelonious Monk can play any kind of piano
but listening to this record you can tell
there’s only one Thelonious Monk though
Thelonious Monk does the listening
his life begins to play
the memories are in his hat
the music is in his head
the ivory is in his heart
the elephant is in his fingers
walking out of Africa into the New York snow.

© Bob Orr

Last updated 11 May 2001