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COPACETIC MINGUS / Yusef Komunyakaa "Mingus One, Two and Three. Which is the image you want the world to see?" —Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog Heartstring. Blessed wood & every moment the thing's made of: ball of fatback licked by fingers of fire. Hard love, it's hard love. Running big hands down the upright's wide hips, rocking his moon-eyed mistress with gold in her teeth. Art & life bleed into each other as he works the bow. But tonight we're both a long ways from the Mile High City, 1973. Here in New Orleans years below sea level, I listen to Pithecanthropus Erectus: Up & down, under & over, every which way— thump, thump, dada—ah, yes. Wood heavy with tenderness, Mingus fingers the loom, gone on Segovia, dogging the raw strings unwaxed with rosin. Hyperbolic bass-line. Oh no! Hard love, it's hard love. 32 · The Missouri Review ...


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