Passing For Blue

by D.B. Cox

  For D.N.K.

  "The blues is a black man's music, and 
  whites diminish it at best or steal it at worst" 
  — Ralph J. Gleason — Jazz Critic

		My best friend
		died last year,
		in a 24-hour store --
		shot by some shaky kid

		when he walked
		in on a 32 dollar holdup
		to buy a pack
		of Marlboros.

		He was a blues-man.

		He knew more
		about Robert Johnson
		and Tampa Red
		than Amiri Baraka -- or Leroi Jones.

		He used up most of his time,
		and all of his options
		preaching to the blue
		multitudes, jammed

		into the cheap neon
		playgrounds, along
		the whore-haunted streets
		of late-night Memphis;

		where no accusing eyes
		ever questioned the
		heartfelt disguise, he wore
		like an invisible man.

		And on the day 
		his ashes were
		tossed toward
		the rain-polished sky,

		there were no
		sad fans weeping,
		no sanctifying poetry
		from Langston Hughes,

		just a southbound
		breeze to ride on,
		for the white boy
		passing for blue.

Passing For Blue by D.B. Cox

© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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