How John Coltrane Learned to Play Jazz

Jazz was discovered by Black musicians,

but it was invented by light passing through outer space.

Look up at the sky, notice the moon during daytime,

like a scoop of vanilla lopped onto an invisible cone;

know that you are seeing not the moon of now,

but of 1.3 seconds ago. See through the night sky

and see the past, different pasts,

all shooting through the Universe’s cold blackness

like racing hands reaching to the human iris.

A billion light years here and there, a solo from Sirius.

Most people don’t know that when John Coltrane

wrote “A Love Supreme,” all he had to do was stargaze.

Matt Moment (he/they) is a writer and performer based in New York. He will be graduating from SUNY New Paltz this spring. Find him at

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