Newly Published Poems

October 9th, 2013

 

 

Lots of interesting new poems have been published this week…

Here is a sampling:

DAVE BRUBECK

by Joshua Michael Stewart

You can hear the youth of his heart
in the rhythmic pouncing of his block
chords. He’s a kitten when it comes
to his ball of twine. He’s in his ninetieth

year, but that’s not to say his melodies
are arthritic or his left hand falls asleep
in mid-conversation with the right.
The felt-tipped hammers drive each note

into their surefooted place. Harmonies shift,
easy as sunlight progressing across the carpet.
Wisdom’s intertwined with overtones
floating above the whole of music,

and he’s in time with his complete being,
his strengths and weaknesses syncopated
within one opus, the life-energy of jazz.
This is what I hear as I try to tune

myself, questioning my own offbeat
rhythms. Now I know what key I’m in,
what scales I’m going to play.
Tonight, I’ll sleep like a pillow.

 

 

 

SYNERGIST

by Michael Keshigian

 

All day
I’ve listened to the song
of a single cardinal

ripple stillness
just outside my office window.
An opera in red tux

his throat is a spring
stretching an aria
through the cluttered house

of sound, awakening memories
of events since past.
The timbre enlivens my heart.

I can almost touch
what once was
as it floats between

song and wind. An inflection
so crisp, that I’m convinced
the cardinal sings for more

than to merely texture
the commotion. His tune
incites another gift.

He performs daily,
tireless and without hoarseness,
to make sad hearts flutter.

 

 

Feathers


by Britt Peter

 

 

Mocking bird has heard
Too much Coltrane
High in our walnut tree
The fervor is there
Chromatic escapades
Bird honks
Direct pronouncements
So loud; a masterful annoyance
An edgeless song

 

JULIE’S CD COLLECTION

 

by Jon Wesick

1.
Saggy plaid polyester pants in white shoes
foxtrot with a pair of clip-on earrings,
while the elevator descends.
I stab the red emergency button.
The alarm bell rings. With bleeding fingers
I pry the sliding door open
and exit on the thirteenth floor.

2.
Given ten thousand years
chimpanzees randomly playing piano, bass, and saxophone
could produce something resembling a melody.
Until then it’s called avant-garde jazz.

3.
“I think you’ll find this acceptable.” Richard Nixon snaps his fingers.
A burly Secret Service agent in conservative suit and earphone
places a stuffed black Hefty bag on the carpet.
The guitarist in platform shoes reaches inside
and withdraws a wad of hundred-dollar bills.
He smiles, flicks his long hair from his eyes,
and says, “You can count on me, Sir.”

4.
“Come on, Billie! Let’s do the Hustle!”
Aunt Selma pries the boy’s white knuckles
from his death grip on the Naugahyde arm rest.
Flab jiggles from the legs that emerge
like yesterday’s bratwurst from her lime green miniskirt.
Like a dog on the way to a rabies shot
Billie jams his heels hard into the orange shag carpet.

5.
Drawn like piranhas to the scent of U.S. dollars
clones, playing Andean pan flutes, circle.
The unfortunate tourist lifts his wallet out of the melee.
His flailing arm sinks into the roiling river
of llamas, fedoras, and multicolored blankets.

6.
“What the hell am I doing here?” Sekou Sundiata asks.
He regards White America with midnight eyes
and chants of voodoo gods, bodegas,
and life back in the day.
Spiced with unconscious rhythms of Xhosa and Yoruba
his griot’s words shovel jewel cases into an empty Hefty bag,
cram it in a metal trash can, and clang the lid
with a crunch of crushed plastic.

Bolivian Rhythms

 

by Joanne Olivieri

I remember these tunes
so vividly in my mind
Bolivian rhythms
wafting across the square.

Haunting flutes
echo against
once forgotten senses.

The memories linger
sweet incantations
swirling pulses
throughout my veins.

Ethnic vibrations
chanting strings
tell of the stories

hidden in my soul.

 

 

In Search Of Himself

by Arlene Corwin

 

He plays a Mercer “Out Of Nowhere”
Over, over…
Tatum tempo, Tatum phrases
That have hung around
Since youth, the days
When Art was art for him.
Now, only now he’s found
That what he plays
Is literally out of no ‘where’,
Searching for an unrecorded track,
Although still stuck
on Art.

 

 

A Yard to Go

by Joe Ferguson

This is my yard.
I can plant my chair
Anywhere
I desire.
I desire now
The exquisite light
Of sunset
Filtered.
Tree limbs,
Shadows,
Long and
Lean
Hidden sounds of
Birds
Bugs
Distant dogs,
A salsa bass line
Walks
From the forest fringe.
Blue hills,
White, windowless
Sides of houses
Studies in parallel lines.
While each blade of grass
Throws its shadow
With the force
Of a major league pitcher.
I stare down a dog
Alternately wagging, barking.
Barking, wagging.
If I turn my chair
A scant degree,
Yet one more universe.

 

 

 

PANHANDLER’S SONG

by Krikor Der Hohannesian

Her mantra – “spare a little
change?, have a nice day”
– a gift of music
to the song-less bustle of commuters’
daily outpouring at the railhead.

A two-bar ditty laced with calypsonian
optimism, percussed by the tambourine jingle
of her change cup, hopeful syncopation
given lie by mirthless eyes cast down
at scarred pavement, and then

the predictable coda sans conviction –
rush hour’s desultory staccato
rhythms flattened out by the drone
of her cadenced intermezzo voiced
with metronomic precision.

 

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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 via RawPixel
"23 Poets remember their father…"

This space on Sunday is generally reserved for a single poet to read one of their works, but this week’s issue -Father’s Day – features 23 poets who weigh in on the complexity of their relationship with their father, revealing love, warmth, regret, sorrow – and in many cases a strong connection to a common love of music.

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem

Poetry

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.

Interview

The Marvelettes/via Wikimedia Commons
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...Little is known of the lives and challenges many of the young Black women who made up the Girl Groups of the ‘60’s faced while performing during an era rife with racism, sexism, and music industry corruption. The authors discuss their book’s mission to provide the artists an opportunity to voice their experiences so crucial to the evolution of popular music.

Book Excerpt

An excerpt from Emily Jon Tobias’ MONARCH: Stories, and a reflection on our friendship

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photo of Archie Shepp by Giovanni Piesco
The Photographs of Giovanni Piesco: Archie Shepp...photos of the legendary saxophonist (and his rhythm section for the evening), taken at Amsterdam's Bimhuis on May 13, 2001.

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The cover to Joni Mitchell's 1976 album Hejira [Asylum]; photo by Norman Seeff
“Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada” – a poem (for Joni Mitchell) by Juan Mobili

Click here to read more poetry published in Jerry Jazz Musician

Calling All Poets!

News about a Jerry Jazz Musician printed jazz poetry anthology, and information about submitting your poetry for consideration

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pickpik.com
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #65 — “Ballad” by Lúcia Leão...The author’s award-winning story is about the power of connections – between father and child, music and art, and the past, present and future.

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

Interview

photo of Louis Jordan by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 – 1960...Richards makes the case that small group swing players like Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan (pictured) and Big Jay McNeely played a legitimate jazz that was a more pleasing listening experience to the Black community than the bebop of Parker, Dizzy, and Monk. It is a fascinating era, filled with major figures and events, and centered on a rigorous debate that continues to this day – is small group swing “real jazz?”

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Sonny Rollins' 1957 pianoless trio recording "Way Out West"
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The cover of Wayne Shorter's 2018 Blue Note album "Emanon"
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Click here to read previous editions of Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

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Hans Bernhard (Schnobby), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Remembering Joe Pass: Versatile Jazz Guitar Virtuoso” – by Kenneth Parsons...On the 30th anniversary of the guitarist Joe Pass’ death, Kenneth Parsons reminds readers of his brilliant career

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

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painting by Vaino Kunnas
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Jazz History Quiz #172

photo of Teddy Wilson by William Gottlieb
Teddy Wilson once said this about a fellow jazz pianist:

“That man had the most phenomenal musical gifts I’ve ever heard. He was miraculous. It’s like someone hitting a home run every time he picks up a bat. We became such fast friends that I was allowed to interrupt him anytime he was playing at the house parties in Toledo we used to make every night. When I asked him, he would stop and replay a passage very slowly, showing me the fingering on some of those runs of his. You just couldn’t figure them out by ear at the tempo he played them.”

Who is the pianist he is describing?

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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

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

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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.

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