A carnal symphony in four movements: "Sing Sing Sing" - Benny Goodman Orchestra Live at Carnegie Hall 1938

The demon's name was Krupa.

The people of the village hear his call for tribute, the raucous, rhythmic thud of the jungle drums, and they bring forth their sweetest crafters of sound to feed the demon's need.

The craftsmen are led by a gentle, willow-limbed priest known as the Good Man. He carries a staff of black and silver which he uses to focus the magicks of all the artisans to a single point. They enjoin the demon with tight, sweet chords that bounce and jumble, and Krupa quiets briefly, but is not cowed. They dig deeper, into bigger deeper brass, into harsher harmonies and aggressive counterpoints. But the Krupa starts right up again to rattle and bang, and they cannot tell if he is telling them to go away or to give him even more.

They try to reason with him one-on-one. Perhaps the soft sell is the way to tame a demon. Weave a single melody, play it sweet, weave another, try it without swing, try it with swing; maybe if the right combination can be found Krupa will finally sleep.

One by one the brave craftsmen step forward to the base of mountain, Harry James, Ziggy, Hymie, Red, and they speak great speeches of music that lift all who hear to new understandings of Heaven and Earth. But still the demon bangs his drum, now with aggression, a petulance and impatience brought about by having an interactive audience for the first time in perhaps millennia.

At last the Good Man stands in the place of song and he puts forth a great architecture of jazz, a city, a metropolis of cool and melody, weaving it around his great staff like a vine climbing a cypress, up, up, into the sweet desperation of the third register, a wail, a songster's shriek, that breaks up a minor third like a lump in the throat before ceasing. More is said by the Good Man in one hundred forty-three seconds than ten thousand poets writing ten thousand verses for ten thousand years. He explains the sun and the moon and the heart and the butterfly and the wind to the demon. He places a map to the universe in the demon's ears, and the people think, Surely Krupa cannot continue; he has no reason for his drum; he has been given everything that can be given.

And still Krupa beats on. He is listening; he has been touched by the Good Man, but he has not been moved. The circuit has not been completed.

But the Good Man has brought with him one final weapon of peace with which to bring the demon's reign to an end. Known only to the Good Man is a twisted demon half-breed named Stacy, who though he lives in the netherfields between the town and Demon Mountain, has learned to speak in a language that both peoples understand. His voice is that of many voices joined in song, and yet his words drum out in patterns, just like Krupa himself.

Stacy is humbled to follow the Good Man. He had been happy to lend his voice to support the others. But when the black staff ceases its spell and Krupa still beats on, Stacy creeps up to the demon and makes for him out of the thin stinking air of the lair a three-movement sonata of gossamer that nonetheless pulses and tramps with Krupa's own heart.

Krupa drinks Stacy's draft and is made to rejoice. It is proof that the demon and the Good Men are one and the same, and that these warring conversations are bricks on the road to a unification. Krupa strikes four times upon the Cow's Bell, and the ritual conflagration explodes in green fire. All voices lift in a paroxysm of rageful exaltation. Suns are born and die in an instant. New matter is created. The screams beg to reach higher and higher, and yet are unable to bear it, and they puff out like a candle.

Ain't that a bitch, Your daughter is a witch (our annual Halloween poem)

That old-fashion post-coital feeling