“Pentatonic Fusion” — a poem by Marianne Peel

March 15th, 2021

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“Jazz Dance,” by Maya Green

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Pentatonic Fusion

Are you singing on balconies these days?
Do you still sing only in your car, radio tuned
to hot, blistering jazz?

Does your throat radiate humming, roaring over
the commercials? Does your voice swell in a thunderstorm?
Can you sing through the clatter of the rain?

Do you hear forest rhythms on your sundown walks?
Are your steps in sync with the cry of the cicadas? Are your thoughts
a seagull screech, erupting across a storm sky?

Do you hear honky-tonk music in your head on Friday nights?
Do you detour off the path on your way home? Does your car
take the gravel road to Po Monkey’s Juke Joint?

Have you remembered to bring a pint of vodka in a brown paper sack?
Will you mix it with cranberry juice out of the juke joint cooler? Or
will you shiver the liquor down, straight-up vodka on ice?

Will our hips swivel in time with Ella Fitzgerald as she sings scat,
escaping lyrics? Will you pull me in close, with no space between us,
as Ella abandons the straitjacket of words?

Will you place your hands on my hips, dancing the jazz
until the joint shuts down for the night? Will we cavort together tonight,
legs entwined in flannel sheets? Will we trip the light fantastic till dawn?

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After having taught middle and high school English for 32 years, Marianne Peel is now nurturing her own creative spirit. She has spent three summers in Guizhou Province, teaching best practices to teachers in China. She received Fulbright-Hays Awards to Nepal (2003) and Turkey (2009). Marianne participated in Marge Piercy’s Juried Intensive Poetry Workshop (2016). Marianne’s poetry appears in Muddy River Poetry Review, Belle Reve Literary Journal, Jelly Bucket Journal, among others. Marianne is also a veteran musician, playing flute/sax and singing in various orchestras, bands, choirs, and jazz bands her whole life. She has a collection of poetry forthcoming in 2020 from Shadelandhouse Modern Press.

[email protected]

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Listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing “How High the Moon”

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Maya Green has been an artist her entire life.  Born and raised in Ukraine, where she studied at the School of Art, graduating from the Facility of Art in 1978.  She moved to Israel in 1996 and settled in Tiberias, where she continued to pursue her passion as an artist and sculptor.  “I consider myself as a global citizen.  Painting connects me to the world and allows me to express myself and translate what I see and feel onto canvas and paper.  The more I think about my art, the more I think it is a gift from God and my mission is to share it.”

To view her art, click here.

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2 comments on ““Pentatonic Fusion” — a poem by Marianne Peel”

  1. Pentatonic Fusion, wow, what a dance. I could imagine myself listening and swaying to the music. I often have a song playing in my head. Something with no rhyme or reason, just playing over and over.

    I truly love the artwork that goes perfectly with the words.

  2. A first-rate jazz poem. I greatly enjoyed reading it. It is fun, frisky, and imaginative in sound and imagery. Very well-done!

    I also enjoyed the art work.

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