Poetry by Ronald Charles Epstein

June 9th, 2013

 

Unusual Departures

(I) Comfort Funeral Home

Johnny misses Mummy-
send in Ruffy
to offer canine solace.

Grandpa misses Grandma-
send in Bambi
to offer female comfort.

(II) Letterman Funeral Home

To comfort the mourners
waiting in the Green Room,
Dave will bring out Snuggles
from Lincoln, Nebraska
to perform his Stupid Pet Trick.
Afterward, Jack Hanna
will exhibit a coatimundi from the Columbus Zoo.

In the chapel,
Dave will list the Top Ten Reasons
why we miss Allen Russ,
then Tom Hanks will tell funny stories
about the dearly departed.

 

 

Did You Know?

Did you know…

that Dr. Spock
did not invent
the child-care book?

….that Henry Ford
did not invent
the passenger car?

…and Hugh Hefner
did not invent
the naked woman?

 

 

 

In the New, Old-Fashioned Way

“…in the new, old-fashioned way.”

Jennifer’s cellular ring tones
recall her mother’s Princess phone.
Jimmy surfs the Internet,
finds a Rat Pack website.

Intellectual Levels

Support advanced research,
neglect basic education.
Produce artificial intelligence
and real ignorance.

 

 

Three for Trois-Rivières

 

“Thank you for Being a Friend”,
(THE GOLDEN GIRLS’ main theme)
played out in its entirety,
down in central Trois-Rivières.
Don’t ask where, don’t ask why.

Menuet Oriental serves quail
favored by the wasps that sting.
Outside, the cosmopolitan man
turns into Mr. Bean.

Jeffrey poses for his mug shot
in the Old Prison Museum,
guilty of being carried away
tourism in the first degree.

 

Hole-in-the Wall

 

In downtown Detroit,
the “hole-in-the-wall” store
sells tacky lingerie.

Local pimps pass by,
prepare their Christmas lists.

 

A Snide Integrity

“You buy the premise,
you buy the bit.”

-Johnny Carson

Can you really trust
a restaurant named Popeye’s
that doesn’t feature spinach?

Will you view
the Nineties remake
or pass it by,
knowing David Janssen
was the only FUGITIVE?

Do you want
the black KOJAK?
A female McCloud?
Or wonder,
with snide integrity,
if Jim O’Hara,
of O’HARA, U.S. TREASURY,
will also return,
this time portrayed
by a female zebra.

 

Sociologist’s Jargon

Heed the professor
and “…try to say…
‘He is using a cop’s role,’
…rather than…’He is a cop.'”

I am not a poet,
I am using a poet’s role.
The professor is not a jackass,
he just uses the jackass role.

Creative Casting

Author: Eugene Fodor
Book: Fodor’s Europe 1970
Chapter: Great Britain

Characters: New York teacher
and London bus conductor.

Setting: Late 1960s,
London double-decker bus.

Teacher, “You are no gentleman…”
Driver, “I never said I was.”

Imagine Katharine Hepburn,
Hollywood immortal,
as the infuriated teacher
and Reg Varney,
driver “Stan” from On the Buses,
as the exasperated conductor

 

Huckleberry Hound Revealed

Viewing a children’s cartoon,
through your own adult eyes,
you watch Huckelberry Hound
cavort with Corny the Rooster,
mascot for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

Then the disillusion hits,
when you see your boyhood hero,
for the “sell-out” that he was.

TV Land Reality TV

Classic TV…
escape from reality.
TV Land…
escape from reality TV.

Reality TV program
comes to TV Land,
depressing those
who do not care
for John Doe
and Richard Roe
from Kokomo,
preferring Jed, Granny,
Elly Mae and Jethro.

 

The Boneless Cat

“…a boneless cat.”
-description of an unsuccessful “Peanuts” character

Charles Schultz,
creator of “Peanuts”,
added a cat
to his mix
of kids, dogs and birds.

It was worse than lame-
in more ways than one-
and simply vanished
after a few appearances.

We all keep our boneless cats
buried in our backyards.

 

The Network Talk Show Host

The network talk show host
labored ceaselessly,
making his job look easy.
becoming a TV fixture,
while on the air
and a cultural icon,
forever afterward.

 

Classic TV Co-Star

 

Classic ABC-TV:
I’M DICKENS, HE’S FENSTER,
starring John Astin as Dickens,
Marty Ingels as Fenster
with Henry Beckman as Mulligan.

Toronto, decades later.
I greet Henry Beckman.
He half-snarls back,
like an incoherent drunk.

Act like a mensch,
act like a schmuck,
To the Classic TV fan,
it still makes a good story.

 

 

 

Obsolete Assumptions

 

(I) The Lusty Prosties….

“The Lusty Prosties of Lazy Little Laos”- feature article in a 1960s men’s magazine.

The politically correct mind boggles,
multiplying a sense of entitlement
by arrogant expectations.

(II) ….of Lazy Little Laos

A self-serving cliché,
rendered obsolete
by the Communist regime
that rules that Asian state.

 

Share this:

Comment on this article:

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

In This Issue

painting of Clifford Brown by Paul Lovering
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Spring/Summer, 2024 Edition...In this, the 17th major collection of jazz poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician, 50 poets from all over the world again demonstrate the ongoing influence the music and its associated culture has on their creative lives.

(featuring the art of Paul Lovering)

Publisher’s Notes

photo by Rhonda Dorsett
On turning 70, and contemplating the future of Jerry Jazz Musician...

The Sunday Poem

photo via pexels.com
“Wrong Address” – by DB Jonas...

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

In Memoriam

photo via Wikimedia Commons
A few words about Willie Mays...Thoughts about the impact Willie Mays had on baseball, and on my life.

Art

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.

Poetry

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

Short Fiction

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?”

Playlist

Sonny Rollins' 1957 pianoless trio recording "Way Out West"
“The Pianoless Tradition in Modern Jazz” – a playlist by Bob Hecht...an extensive playlist built around examples of prominent pianoless modern jazz.

Feature

Excerpts from David Rife’s Jazz Fiction: Take Two – Vol. 2: “Fathers in Jazz Fiction”...A substantial number of novels and stories with jazz music as a component of the story have been published over the years, and the scholar David J. Rife has written short essay/reviews of them.  In this second edition featuring excerpts from his book, Rife writes about four novels/short stories that include stories involving relationships between fathers and children.

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

The cover of Wayne Shorter's 2018 Blue Note album "Emanon"
Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 20: “Notes on Genius...This edition of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film is written in response to the music of Wayne Shorter.

Click here to read previous editions of Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

In Memoriam

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

Poetry

painting by Vaino Kunnas
Jazz…in eight poems...A myriad of styles and experiences displayed in eight thoughtful, provocative poems…

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?

Community

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

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