Poetry by Roger Singer

May 26th, 2013




Castanet’s rattle
Boisterous and raw
Like snake tails
Stuffed in a bag,
Snapping at the
Thickness of air.

Pink ruffled
Pleated sleeves
Filled with spirits
Speak in rhythms
To lusting eyes
Pressed to sin.

Like pistols
Exchanging sounds,
The band bursts
With Latin flavor
Fattening the air,
Swelling large.

Seasoned sweat
Forms a mist
From excited
Clapping hands,
As souls melt
Into Latin jazz.




Open windows
Release like smiles
Soft cotton notes
Greased into smooth
From the proud
Pressed to please
From the stage.

The sound wraps
Musical arms
Around ears
Of curious souls,
Spreading webs
Of long lines
Surrounding their
Appetite to listen.

People pause
With marked repose
As trialing sounds
Cause them deeply
To reflect on
Gentler days
Of summers gone
And love lost.

Without invitation
The hard sound
Of the horn
Lays siege
Like armies
Marching forward
With jazz as
Its banner.




The trombone man
Has brass movements
With sliding tubes
And fingers gliding
As if pointing
At falling stars
Dripping from the sky.

A flat black shoe
With leather soul
Slaps a beat
Reminding the notes
Slipping like grease
From the horn
To prove their worth.

A pork pie hat
Crowns the wisdom
Of vapory lips
Dipped in gold
Then baptized
With the wings
Of Mercury.

Behind the glare
Of deep black
Smooth silk frames
A minister of song
Preaches the jazz
One cool verse
At a time.


Smooth sweet wood,
Mellow messages,
Warmly delivered,
Like summer storms,
Rich with flavor,
Notes of chocolate,
Candy for ears,
Rolling sweetness,
Through the head,
Into the fingers,
And tapping toes,
Like running winds,
Pulsing and pleasing,
With rain drops,
Falling with purpose,
Spotting a shirt,
Or a dark hat,
Then dripping coolly,
Onto hands,
Intent on reaching,
For the door,
Where jazz,
Encourages the soul,
Gesturing with sounds,
To the smoky room,
Where on stage,
A man in a chair,
Plays a guitar.




A hard wind
Jumped eagerly
From the stage,
Creeping into pockets
And knocking on hats,
Forming a sweat
Then slapping the wall.

Like heavy
Fast running water,
A high tide of notes
Crests thick
As a wave of jazz
Soaks ears
And wide eyes souls.

Dancing dresses swirl
As long legs
Wrap like snakes
Onto dark pants,
While suspenders
Sharply snap
And ties speak jive.

Shoulders spin
Like a noisy
Draining kitchen sink,
Fast and around,
Like crazy cats
Chasing their tails
Never sitting still.



Music yields
To throaty winds
And gusty scats
Of Hattie West
Where sun’s
Never set on jazz.

Ivory firm teeth,
Ruby fired lips,
A white sequined dress,
Black high heels,
A bra strap hangs
To elbows side.

Chocolate velvet neck,
Baubles and jewels,
Full stormy curls
Rolled like waves
With sea weed eyes
To capture weak souls.

Satin covered
Drips of sweat
Run with fear
Escaping like thieves;
Heels flee into dark
Where shadows rattle.

The band fills
Smoke draped rooms
With sounds of weight,
Pressing with strength
From Hattie West
Into the night.

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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!

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