More than Miles (for Miles Davis)
by John Chenault

you have traveled the immeasurable distance
on a cool blue train of notes
on underground codes and medicine chants
conjured by the bandstand fires
cooking and Bitches Brewing like you say

you have gone farther than miles miles

yet we hear you from the blackness in the vastness of space
we hear the miles star
long before we see its blue light flickering in the night
Miles in the Sky

a constellation of notes we hear
a star cluster of tones
a galaxy of sound that. travels faster than light

sound that travels faster than light
as you stand on heaven's stage bent over into a question mark
when all the while the answer to the enigma is Kind of Blue

we see you Miles Ahead dancing in the dark
dancing in the dark a shadowboxer
beating his own shadow to the punch
moving and sticking and jabbing
and going the distance

soloing and riffing and jazzing
and going the distance


those idiots who pronounced you dead
who eulogized you
who called you an innovator
instead of a genius


they should have said genius miles
more brains in your right hand
your negroid lips
in your brass valved heart
than a space shuttle full of rocket scientists

they should have said genius miles
didn't you split the atom on The Complete Birth of the Cool
didn't you break the genetic code on Seven Steps to Heaven
broke it down so even the lamest of the lame
could clone your magic on their. stereos

that's you dapper and funky
wardrobe to refashion substance and style

it's you
it's Nefertiti
it's Sketches of Spain
it's Round Midnight
it's Tutu and juju and you miles

eternally live in paris and stockholm
cannes and montreaux
in new york and l.a.

forever choosing the perfect note
at the perfect moment
and kissing it into life with the breath of your soul

it's more than music miles
it's more miles is more than music

it's more than miles miles
it's the spaceless space
the timeless time
the miles we all must go
before we sleep

About John Chenault
to Afro-American Fragments