“My Funny Valentine” — a poem by Henry Denander

February 13th, 2021

 

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“For Linda King,” by Henry Denander

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My Funny Valentine

The first flat of my own in Stockholm was
really small but in a nice area on one of
the islands south of the old town.

My girlfriend often stayed with me,
since her own flat was way out
in the suburbs.

The two of us never rang the
doorbell but used
the squeaking mail slot in the door;
when it was opened slowly it made a sound that
could be heard in the flat
and made you rush to the door.
You knew who was there.

Years later, we have been
married for some time,
having dinner in our new flat
listening to a recording of
Miles Davis
playing at Philharmonic Hall in New York
in 1964.

My Funny Valentine

Suddenly, half way into the song,
we both look up and listen,
Miles Davis is improvising and
playing a
long
single
note
the exact
tone
of that
squeaking mail slot

We smile
and feel proud
to share
this small secret
with Miles.

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(originally published on Jerry Jazz Musician Feb. 14, 2018)

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Henry Denander is an artist and a poet. He is the author of six chapbooks
of poetry and his most recent poetry collection The Accidental Navigator was published by Lummox Press in San Diego, California. His poetry and art have been published in many American books and magazines. Later in 2020 Pig Ear Press will publish his next collection of prose poems.

He was born in 1952 and shares his time between Stockholm, Sweden and
Hydra, Greece. For many years he worked in the entertainment industry, as the financial controller for a Swedish record company and later on as a business manager.

He was the editor of Kamini Press, a publisher of chapbooks of poetry and art.  He has a website with poetry and art at www.henrydenander.com.

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Listen to the 1964 recording of Miles Davis playing “My Funny Valentine,” with George Coleman (saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums).

 

 

 

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