“Blues for Red,” a poem by Tom Bauer

December 29th, 2006

Blues for Red

by Tom Bauer

I’m looking in crowds

where you won’t be

looking for you

strolling with Raphael

humming, loaded on caffeine

café au lait, iced mochachino

coffee, whipped cream, chocolate, steamed milk

a love supreme on our lips

chanting as we walk, talk, laugh, hoot, grimace

and grin, tabling topics

stamping in our rutting, lonely strutting

until my friend suggests a test:


don’t laugh at anyone, don’t put them down

for three blocks to the music store

don’t rant because we don’t have love

don’t complain about weightlifters and ugly people

homeless persons, drunks, druggies begging coins

flashy dressers, just try, try, try instead

to see them children be this Coltrane, be it, see it

angels everywhere, in everyone

though none like you, Red, looking for you

in downtown crowds, looking for you

at the Montreal Cosmos show

looking for you, tall, legs, red, hair

that, smile, that, beauty

why beauty? Why you?


To help me think of something, not you

that’s why, something not as easy as God

as easy through prayer comes God

in everything the air vibrating, God

the mass, moving, smoking, littering, God

heat reflecting on cars, God

glare of sunlight on streets, God

a love supreme

lifting me, thinking about our jam, yeah

blues for red, piano, bass, yeah

a love, su, preme

luck be a vessel

looking for lover, you in the crowd

looking where you won’t

be living in the memory

the feel of you, tall, in my arms

the feel of your neck, my lips, your smile

when you smiled

to make sure I would lick and

the light in your eyes when I said I would

for hours and hours, smiling in mind

visions, trying to find you

downtown where you cannot be, hoping

willing, just to see, see you

someone just to forget

some other someone I can talk to

the way I talked with you, music here

watching, you, paint, more art, more life

someone, love, a lover, more lover

red like you, freckled, fair, skin

the sun above, skies blue, Raphael

great big smile checking

every woman, pretty, sexy, tall

he likes them tall this short man does

blond arrogant face

lover of hot food and women, music

life, traffic, a love supreme

moving, how many?

in a city of three million, how many?

not counting over thirty-five

under twenty-two, married, not for me

speaking languages I never learned

not into music, math, art, science

not into love, forget blondes, brunettes

non-freckled women without red hair, under five-six

eliminate all and maybe more chance, Carl Sagan

of alien civilizations on other planets

less than ten? Five? maybe it’s one, maybe it’s true

only one, only you, only love, one chance

maybe one, one where I find it

only in dreams, me meeting

finding you, flying, living, music, learned

free, you, your arms again

here, now, angel, you now, visitor now

long-time friend come back to fly

me to the stars in our love supreme.

Share this:

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In This Issue

"Nina" by Marsha Hammel
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Winter, 2024 Edition...One-third of the Winter, 2024 collection of jazz poetry is made up of poets who have only come to my attention since the publication of the Summer, 2023 collection. What this says about jazz music and jazz poetry – and this community – is that the connection between the two art forms is inspirational and enduring, and that poets are finding a place for their voice within the pages of this website. (Featuring the art of Marsha Hammel)

The Sunday Poem

photo by Mel Levine/pinelife, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Lady Day and Prez” by Henry Wolstat

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem


Proceeding From Behind: A collection of poems grounded in the rhythmic, relating to the remarkable, by Terrance Underwood...A relaxed, familiar comfort emerges from the poet Terrance Underwood’s language of intellectual acuity, wit, and space – a feeling similar to one gets while listening to Monk, or Jamal, or Miles. I have long wanted to share his gifts as a poet on an expanded platform, and this 33-poem collection – woven among his audio readings, music he considers significant to his story, and brief personal comments – fulfills my desire to do so.

Publisher’s Notes

photo by Rhonda Dorsett
A very brief three-dot update…Where I’ve been, and an update on what is coming up on Jerry Jazz Musician


Photographer uncredited, but the photo was almost certainly taken by Chuck Stewart. Published by ABC/Impulse! Records.. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
“And I’m Not Even Here” – a poem by Connie Johnson

Click here to read more poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician


"Lester Leaps In" by Tad Richards
"Jazz and American Poetry," an essay by Tad Richards...In an essay that first appeared in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry in 2005, Tad Richards - a prolific visual artist, poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer who has been active for over four decades – writes about the history of the connection of jazz and American poetry.


photo of Pepper Adams/courtesy of Pepper Adams Estate
Interview with Gary Carner, author of Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer...The author speaks with Bob Hecht about his book and his decades-long dedication to the genius of Pepper Adams, the stellar baritone saxophonist whose hard-swinging bebop style inspired many of the top-tier modern baritone players.

Click here to read more interviews published on Jerry Jazz Musician


Three poets and Sketches of Spain


IISG, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Interview with Judith Tick, author of Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song...The author discusses her book, a rich, emotionally stirring, exceptional work that explores every element of Ella’s legacy in great depth, reminding readers that she was not only a great singing artist, but also a musical visionary and social activist.

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

The cover of Wayne Shorter's 2018 Blue Note album "Emanon"
Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 20: “Notes on Genius...This edition of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film is written in response to the music of Wayne Shorter.

Click here to read previous editions of Trading Fours with Douglas Cole


Jason Innocent, on “3”, Abdullah Ibrahim’s latest album... Album reviews are rarely published on Jerry Jazz Musician, but Jason Innocent’s experience with the pianist Abdullah Ibrahim’s new recording captures the essence of this artist’s creative brilliance.

Short Fiction

Christerajet, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #64 — “The Old Casino” by J.B. Marlow...The author's award-winning story takes place over the course of a young man's life, looking at all the women he's loved and how the presence of a derelict building informs those relationships.

Click here to read more short fiction published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Jazz with a Beat: Small Group Swing 1940 – 1960, by Tad Richards

Click here to read more book excerpts published on Jerry Jazz Musician


"Jazz Trio" by Samuel Dixon
A collection of jazz haiku, Vol. 2...The 19 poets included in this collection effectively share their reverence for jazz music and its culture with passion and brevity.

Jazz History Quiz #171

Dick Cavett/via Wikimedia Commons
In addition to being one of the greatest musicians of his generation, this Ohio native was an activist, leading “Jazz and People’s Movement,” a group formed in the late 1960’s who “adopted the tactic of interrupting tapings and broadcasts of television and radio programs (i.e. the shows of Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett [pictured] and Merv Griffin) in protest of the small number of Black musicians employed by networks and recording studios.” Who was he?

Click here to visit the Jazz History Quiz archive


photo via Picryl.com
.“Community Bookshelf, #2"...a twice-yearly space where writers who have been published on Jerry Jazz Musician can share news about their recently authored books. This edition includes information about books published within the last six months or so…

Contributing Writers

Click the image to view the writers, poets and artists whose work has been published on Jerry Jazz Musician, and find links to their work

Coming Soon

An interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 - 1960;  an interview with Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz, authors of But Will You Love Me Tomorrow? An Oral History of the 60's Girl Groups;  a new collection of jazz poetry; a collection of jazz haiku; a new Jazz History Quiz; short fiction; poetry; photography; interviews; playlists; and lots more in the works...

Interview Archive

Eubie Blake
Click to view the complete 22 year archive of Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, including those recently published with Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom on Eubie Blake (pictured); Richard Brent Turner on jazz and Islam; Alyn Shipton on the art of jazz; Shawn Levy on the original queens of standup comedy; Travis Atria on the expatriate trumpeter Arthur Briggs; Kitt Shapiro on her life with her mother, Eartha Kitt; Will Friedwald on Nat King Cole; Wayne Enstice on the drummer Dottie Dodgion; the drummer Joe La Barbera on Bill Evans; Philip Clark on Dave Brubeck; Nicholas Buccola on James Baldwin and William F. Buckley; Ricky Riccardi on Louis Armstrong; Dan Morgenstern and Christian Sands on Erroll Garner; Maria Golia on Ornette Coleman.

Site Archive