Human mysteries unpeel themselves like gleaming bananas. Meaning of life, secret of happiness, and all that jazz. All that jazz? Not even hard bop, wide and harsh with blazing tempos and simple percussive refrains. This is session men on union scale, reading the charts like instructions on a TV dinner in studio downtime. The sort of jazz you only see in charity shop boxes, with inexplicable covers: an out-of-work dancer, wrapped in gauzy cultural appropriation amongst plastic palm trees, peeling a banana in a risqué pastiche of Freud’s instinctive urge. Who bought this first time round – and, frankly, why – is a mystery for another time. This is a moment for the genesis of desire and for reaching out hands in the darkness. We peel the scales from our eyes like … like … We forget the background music even as it plays.
Oz Hardwick is an international award-winning poet, who hides things from himself that everyone else notices immediately. He has written a lot of books and has forgotten how to play bass guitar. Swings and, indeed, roundabouts. Oz is Professor of Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University (UK).