Poetry by Roger Singer

May 26th, 2013

 

 

BLOW THAT SOUND

 

Blow horn man,
Blow the dark
Out of night
With wicked blasts
Scarring the silence
Into running.

Blow hard
Knocking down
The bones
Of stand up music
Into rattling
Corner dice.

Blow long
That solid note
Piercing sharp
Like a knife
Cutting deep
Opening the jazz.

IT AINT STOPPING

There’s
Not enough
Cold water
In all the
Buckets to
Simmer out
The fire of
Jazz
Burning hot
On my fingers
Crawling
The ladder
Of strings
On my bass
And sliding
With squeaks
Like mice
Deep in
Fresh cheese
As the sounds
Run with
Jumpy notes
Like feisty cats
Slipping
Clean on
Greased poles
Where nothing
Can stop
The sounds
From breaking
Into your
Head.

 

 

THE PATH OF NOTES

 

From the second
Floor balcony
Rolling tight
On evening air
A horn slaps
Dusk to night.

The fade of
High sunlight
Beckons the man
Onto steel steps
Where stars lick
Black the sky.

A sound
Bought with pain
Breathes jazz
Into windows,
Down hallways,
Dripping to the alley.

Out onto distant
Welcome corners
Flat with dirt,
The notes wing
Till out of steam
Then plant and grow.

 

 

FUNERAL JAZZ

Uprising river
Muddy thick
Twisting brown
With a coat
Thick of silt
Slow humming
Roaring deep
Like marching
Funerals full of
Broken sobs
Love choked
Till the music
Creeps in streets
Turning hearts
Over cobbled
Walking roads
Where drums
Beat like fire
Raising horns
In streaks of
Madness as
Cymbals sizzle
Winging out jazz
Fastly hot
Covering ears
Molasses dark
Over and under
Near dat river
Where mud
Melts into
Ocean arms.

Share this:

2 comments on “Poetry by Roger Singer”

  1. Roger has a feel for Jazz–the sound, the music, tempo and jargon. Each of his poems grind out the message in resounding tones. If he is not a Jazz aficionado (which I suspect he is), he has a knack for extracting the marrow from the music he hears!

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published.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

A Letter From the Publisher

An appeal for contributions to support the ongoing publishing efforts of Jerry Jazz Musician

In This Issue

The Modern Jazz Quintet by Everett Spruill
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Summer, 2023 Edition

A wide range of topics are found in this collection. Tributes are paid to Tony Bennett and Ahmad Jamal and to the abstract worlds of musicians like Ornette Coleman and Pharoah Sanders; the complex lives of Chet Baker and Nina Simone are considered; devotions to Ellington and Basie are revealed; and personal solace is found in the music of Tommy Flanagan and Quartet West. These are poems of peace, reflection, time, venue and humor – all with jazz at their core. (Featuring the art of Everett Spruill)

The Sunday Poem

“Mirabella,” by Samuel Lind
“Queen” by Emily Jon Tobias

Poetry

The poet Connie Johnson in 1981
In a Place of Dreams: Connie Johnson’s album of jazz poetry, music, and life stories...A collection of the remarkable poet's work is woven among her audio readings, a personal narrative of her journey and music she considers significant to it, providing readers the chance to experience the full value of her gifts.

Community

Nominations for the Pushcart Prize XLVIII

Interview

photo courtesy of Henry Threadgill
Interview with Brent Hayes Edwards, co-author (with Henry Threadgill) of Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music...The author discusses his work co-written with Threadgill, the composer and multi-instrumentalist widely recognized as one of the most original and innovative voices in contemporary music, and the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Poetry

"Jazz Diva" by Marsha Hammel
A brief collection of poetry devoted to jazz…and love...Seven poets combine the music of jazz with an act of love…

Poetry

photo of Bill Evans by Veryl Oakland
Six poets, six poems on Bill Evans...A poetic appreciation for the work of the legendary pianist

Feature

Joel Lewis
True Jazz Stories: “Well You Needn’t: My Life as a Jazz Fan” by Joel Lewis...The journalist and poet Joel Lewis shares his immensely colorful story of falling in love with jazz, and living with it and reporting on it during his younger days in New Jersey and New York

Poetry

"The Dancer" by Elaine Croce Happnie
“The Dancer” – a poem by Zoya Gargova

Playlist

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
“A Baker’s Dozen Playlist of Ella Fitzgerald Specialties from Five Decades,” as selected by Ella biographer Judith Tick...Chosen from Ella’s entire repertoire, Ms. Tick’s intriguing playlist (with brief commentary) is a mix of studio recordings, live dates, and video, all available for listening here.

Poetry

painting by Henry Denander
A collection of jazz haiku...This collection, featuring 22 poets, is an example of how much love, humor, sentimentality, reverence, joy and sorrow poets can fit into their haiku devoted to jazz.

Community

Nominations for the Pushcart Prize XLVIII...Announcing the six writers nominated for the Pushcart Prize v. XLVIII, whose work was published in Jerry Jazz Musician during 2023.

Poetry

photo of Sarah Vaughan by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
”Sarah” – a poem by Connie Johnson

Short Fiction

photo vi Wallpaper Flare
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #63 — “Company” by Anastasia Jill...Twenty-year-old Priscilla Habel lives with her wannabe flapper mother who remains stuck in the jazz age 40 years later. Life is monotonous and sad until Cil meets Willie Flasterstain, a beatnik lesbian who offers an escape from her mother's ever-imposing shadow.

Photography

photo of Anthony Braxton by Giovanni Piesco
The Photographs of Giovanni Piesco: Anthony Braxton...Beginning in 1990, the noted photographer Giovanni Piesco began taking backstage photographs of many of the great musicians who played in Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, that city’s main jazz venue which is considered one of the finest in the world. Jerry Jazz Musician will occasionally publish portraits of jazz musicians that Giovanni has taken over the years. This edition is of the saxophonist Anthony Braxton, taken in January, 2015.

Interview

Chick Webb/photographer unknown
Interview with Stephanie Stein Crease, author of Rhythm Man: Chick Webb and the Beat That Changed America...The author talks about her book and Chick Webb, once at the center of America’s popular music, and among the most influential musicians in jazz history.

Poetry

photo by Ric Brooks Knoxville, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Four Sides Live” – a poem by Justin Hare

Community

FOTO:FORTEPAN / Kölcsey Ferenc Dunakeszi Városi Könyvtár / Petanovics fényképek, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
.“Community Bookshelf, #1"...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…

Poetry

photo of Cab Calloway by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
“Zoot Suit Times (Rhythms From the Past)” – a poem by Oliver Lake

Poetry

Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 17: “All I know about music is not many people ever really hear it”

Short Fiction

photo via joogleberry.com
“A Song and Dance Proposition” – a short story by Richard Moore...Because of his childhood experiences, the story’s narrator loses his singing voice and as an adult neither sings nor dances. But when his marriage falls apart he meets a ‘song and dance man’ who turns out to be Iris, a woman with multiple sclerosis. With her help, he comes to grip with his inhibitions.

Playlist

photo by Bob Hecht
This 28-song Spotify playlist, curated by Jerry Jazz Musician contributing writer Bob Hecht, features great tunes performed by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Lester Young, Stan Getz, and…well, you get the idea.

Jazz History Quiz #168

photo of Coleman Hawkins by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Jazz History Quiz #168...In addition to being a top bassist between 1945 – 1960, he was the first major jazz soloist on the cello. He also played on Coleman Hawkins’ 1943 recording of “The Man I Love,” and appeared with Hawkins and Howard McGhee in the film The Crimson Canary. Who is he?

Short Fiction

Tents at Nuseirat, southern Palestine, UNRRA's biggest camp for Greek refugees/via United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
“Remember to Forget” – a short story by Amadea Tanner...Ms. Tanner's story, a finalist in the recently concluded 63rd Short Fiction Contest, is about a war correspondent's haunting revelations after she comes across musicians in a refugee camp.

Interview

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Interview with Alyn Shipton, author of The Gerry Mulligan 1950’s Quartets...Long regarded as jazz music’s most eminent baritone saxophonist, Gerry Mulligan was a central figure in “cool” jazz whose contributions to it also included his important work as a composer and arranger. Noted jazz scholar Alyn Shipton, author of The Gerry Mulligan 1950s Quartets, and Jerry Jazz Musician contributing writer Bob Hecht discuss Mulligan’s unique contributions to modern jazz.

Photography

photo by Giovanni Piesco
Giovanni Piesco’s photographs of Tristan Honsinger

Short Fiction

Mary Pickford, 1918/trialsanderrors, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
“Bashert” – a short story by Diane Lederman...This story, a finalist in the 63rd Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest, looks at the hopes one man has that a woman he meets the night before he leaves for Camp Devens will keep him alive during World War I so he can return and take her out for dinner

Book Excerpt

“Chick” Webb was one of the first virtuoso drummers in jazz and an innovative bandleader dubbed the “Savoy King,” who reigned at Harlem’s world-famous Savoy Ballroom. Stephanie Stein Crease is the first to fully tell Webb’s story in her biography, Rhythm Man: Chick Webb and the Beat that Changed America…The book’s entire introduction is excerpted here.

Feature

Hans Christian Hagedorn, professor for German and Comparative Literature at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Ciudad Real (Spain) reveals the remarkable presence of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic Don Quixote in the history of jazz.

Short Fiction

“In the Church Library” – a short story by Zary Fekete

Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music, by Henry Threadgill and Brent Hayes Edwards

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

Interview

photo of Sonny Rollins by Brian McMillen
Interview with Aidan Levy, author of Saxophone Colossus: The Life and Music of Sonny Rollins...The author discusses his book about the iconic tenor saxophonist who is one of the greatest jazz improvisers of all time – a lasting link to the golden age of jazz

Art

Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America to Dance: “Outtakes” — Vol. 2...In this edition, the authors Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder share examples of Cha Cha Cha record album covers that didn't make the final cut in their book

Pressed for All Time

“Pressed For All Time,” Vol. 17 — producer Joel Dorn on Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s 1967 album, The Inflated Tear

Coming Soon

An interview with Judith Tick, author of Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song;...An interview with Gary Carner, author of Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer; 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