Ted Joans was born on July 4, 1928 on a riverboat in Cairo, Illinois. His father, a riverboat entertainer, put him off the boat in Memphis at age twelve and gave him a trumpet. He is a painter, a trumpeter, and a jazz poet. His jazz poems are collected in a book called "Black Pow-Wow." He earned a degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University, and in 1951 joined "the Bohemia of Greenwich Village, USA." He has since recited his poems in coffeehouses in New York, in the middle of the Sahara, and in bookstores such as Recollection Used Books in Seattle. He has lived in Harlem, New York, Bloomington, Indiana, Haarlem, the Netherlands, and Timbuktu.
Links on Ted Joans:
Empty Mirror Books
'The Sax Bit'
Google, 'Ted Joans'
for Ted Joans
I wanted to give you a weapon
of onyx and saffron
implement it in the dark nights
when all alone among bad poets
while sipping cumulonimbus
and puffing stratosphere
poetry is better than anything else
its death has been pronounced repeatedly
but they'll never really nail it down
it is a cocaine rose
a rubble hurricane
balloon eyes above actual flags
flapping along infinity
with our tongues we put on the finishing touches.
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