Ted Joans—The Priest of Jazz

Originally published on Empty Mirror
Ted Jones

I met Ted Joans in New York 1973, 30 years ago, through Charles Henri Ford as a fellow surrealist and collaborated with him at his “Exquisite corpses” that he had produced over the years one long scroll of pictures and words. We met at The Living Theater reunions, in Soho and at readings at Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church on the Bowery. He gave me one of his books of poetry and collage collaboration with Joyce Mansour: Flying Piranha 1978 and I gave him my book of poetry. His death is very hard to take because he was the last of his kind: Jazz-surrealist-poet-artist! Ted Joans lives!

Ted Joans
Ted Joans—The Priest of Jazz

He was ready to play anytime
He was able to take on anyone
In Paris, Berlin or “Tombouctou”
Jazz was his religion till the end

Traveling Surrealist- shaman
With a hammock and beats book
Under his horny arms
Bird’s music in his heart

Preaching for Charlie Parker
Langston Hughes, the Beats
Jazzoetry, mouth and teeth
Triple-trouble-Ted flutters by

Available for impromptu lecture
Or a tumble in a crumpled bed
Surreal Dreams of Afrodisia
And Instant mirrors for Rhinos

He kissed unpardonable Pussy
He liberated sexually oppressed
Fomented, berated & poeticized
Ted Joans “Nomadic Consciousness”

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