The Theme from Shaft (Part I: Geometry)

Rick Mullin

Now dig the architecture of a hit:
The hi-hat takes us in, all loose and tight
with wah-wahlate guitar laid over it.
The lyric pipes are fly and riding light.

Then taped-together charts for high school horns
lay out a little longer than they should.
The rhythm section tenses like it’s torn
between the dialectics. And that’s good.

But nothing comes to nothing till the string
ensemble disrespects the starting gun
and cuts its lines up over everything.
You kick the snare kit twice and then you run —

and shut your mouth: Ba-a-ad Mother F*** er’s comin’.
And no one understands him like his woman.
Rick Mullin is a business journalist and painter whose poetry has appeared in print and online journals including The New Formalist, Relief, Umbrella, and The Shit Creek Review. He lives in northern New Jersey.