“Jazz At The Point” – a poem (and photos) by Russell duPont

June 15th, 2023

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All photos © Russell duPont

photo by Russell duPont.

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Jazz At The Point

In the ’70’s, everyone knew you didn’t go
into the Columbia Point projects after dark.
A cluster of three and seven story buildings,
where the city stowed the poor,
rose like a proverbial “concrete jungle”
from a peninsula created out of landfill
and next to the city of Boston’s dump.

It was a war zone,
blighted and disintegrating;
cut off from the rest of the city,
a blind alley infested by gangs,
where even the police
were reluctant to enter.

Boston had a pretty lively jazz scene,
but on what I was making an hour,
it was unlikely that I’d be walking into
Wally’s or the Jazz Workshop
any time soon.

But I heard, that on a few summer nights,
a group of three or four guys got together
on the front steps of one of the buildings
at Columbia Point and played Jazz.

I lived a short walk away in South Boston,
and one Friday night decided to wander over.

The breeze coming in off the Bay
couldn’t mask the stench
that permeated the air. . .

I walked the trash-strewn streets,
following the mournful sounds
of a muted sax wailing out
Coltrane’s “Alabama,”

until I found,
under the dull light
from a single bare bulb
above them, a trio
playing in the shadows
of the front steps,
immersing the Point
in the moan
of a lonesome melody.

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Other photos by Russell duPont from The Point

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Russell duPont is an artist and an author whose artwork is included in a number of public and private collections. He has published three novels, King & Train , Waiting for the Turk and Movin’ On, the sequel  to King & Train; two books of poetry; and two non-fiction chapbooks. His essay, “The Corner,” is included in the anthology Streets of Echoes. His work has been published in various newspapers and literary magazines. He was the founder & publisher of the literary magazine, the albatross.

Click here to visit his website

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2 comments on ““Jazz At The Point” – a poem (and photos) by Russell duPont”

  1. Lovely work, both the poetry and the photos. Good job of creating a world. Strong narrative.

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