Six new poets, six new poems

February 2nd, 2023

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Art by Marsha Hammel

“Percussion,” by Marsha Hammel

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The community of poets submitting their work is growing by the day.  Here is a sampling of recent submissions from six poets who, until now, have not had their work published on Jerry Jazz Musician

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Drummer
-….-for Durand

He be funk and blues –
bebop, scat!

Drops his shoes in cool.

Syncopated beats
flow free as pick-up sticks
flying over the rim
of double-stroked rolls.

He got chops,
and soul tapping,

a pulse-pusher of lightning strikes –

be raising the roof with Hi-hats,
those acoustical ocean waves.

He be an open mic –
a long-distant hallelujah.

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by Sandra Rivers-Gill

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I Blame Chet Baker

I blame Chet Baker
For opening a window into my past
Sensing that phantom trumpet in my capable hands
The smooth curves of the hard brass, the cold
Mouthpiece against my buzzing lips
Bright melodies blaring
From carefree days of my youth
I blame Chet Baker
For my glistening eyes
When listening reminds me of you
That wistful feeling, missing you dearly
Until we can be together again
Until then…
I’m falling deeper in love with every note
I blame Chet Baker
For carrying me through
Melancholy days and lonely nights
The sensitivity and beauty
Escaping that horn
Allows me to embrace
All the pain and struggles of life
I blame Chet Baker
For soothing me at midnight
Tucking me in on a soft, comforting cloud
Whispering to my troubled soul
As if to say, “Face it kid,
The world’s gonna break your heart.”

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by Lauren Loya

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Monkosophy
………..Thelonious Monk

I take it as it comes, as long as I can make a living.
Take care of my family and everybody can be comfortable.

……………….Don’t play what the public wants.
……………….Play what you want.

If I can do what I want when I feel like doing it . . .
everything is all right.

……………….Let them pick up on what you’re doing,
……………….even if it takes 20 years.

If you want to eat, you can buy some food.

……………….There are no wrong notes;
……………….some are just more right than others.

If you want a suit, you can buy one.

……………….Sometimes it’s to your advantage
……………….for people to think you’re crazy.

If you don’t want to walk, you can ride in a cab, or buy a car.

………………How do I know where jazz is going? Maybe to hell.
………………You can’t make things go places–it just happens.

Sleep when you want, get up when you want—be your own boss.

………………Talking about music is like
……………….dancing about architecture.

I’ve never wished for anybody else’s job.

………………If you really understand the meaning of be-bop
………………then you understand the meaning of freedom.

I enjoy what I do and I’m myself all the time.
And I’ll continue to be me.

………………Jazz is freedom. You think about that.

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by John Menaghan

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New Orleans

Dirty guitar riff New Orleans:
Rainbows in oils spills
And cheap soda sorceries.

Languid imperious black girls survey
The joyful, the gaudy and sinister
Hokum houngan and voodoo tat.

But there is deeper magic here:
As lazy and as slow as molasses
On Fat Tuesdays

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by Rick Hudson

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Klezmer In A Polish Court
..(Upon learning of the first International Klezmer Festival in Krakow, 1995)

Walls hear the music and
sing it back to us in the decay
of courtyards and streets
of Kracow and Warsaw
Lukov and Czestochowa

Yiddish music in the Polish air
songs to the living and the dead
how grievous
how joyous
that it is here
where millions lived
one thousand years
where millions died
in a gasp of air

Do the walls cry with memory?
stood stone still since
the silencing storm

Are there old people walking in the street today
who gaze around in haunted wonder looking
for the ghost of a Jewish wedding?
Do the young ones ask or do they know
what is the song beyond the wall?

Yiddish music from the Polish earth
strings weeping jump
clarinets like cantors wail
accordions laugh with us
along roads of life
come together in a rousing
dance all joy no tears

Does grandmother Sheindel
kick up her heels in paradise
forget Treblinka?
Is Pinchas holding her flying
his arm around her waist
eyes glued to her beauty
heart pounding
desire rising
for her full roundness
in the flush of life
eyes flash
cheeks redden
our blood rolls and runs

A week we danced
song never stopped
broken feet we stumbled home
spirits raised but needing sleep
dance at my wedding Mama!

Synagogues without people
without Jewish melody
gone ..gone ..gone
to dreams
to dust
yet today they dance in circles
in the streets of Kracow

Jews from all over
Hebrews in search
Polish youth who
never saw a Jew
all move wildly in circles
of sweat and wonder
in circles of past and present
in circles of joy and sorrow
in circles of blonde and dark
in circles retrieving life

Have you ever seen a wall laugh
or a stone street smile?

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by Anna Wrobel

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Every Day

Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross
Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross
Every day, every day
You sang the blues
You sang the blues
Dave, you left us too soon
Jon, you wrote those charts
Annie, each note soared on high
I caught your gig
It blew my mind
I hear you still
Every day, every day

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by Henry Wolstat

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Marsha Hammel

A native of Miami, FL, Marsha Hammel grew up in Central America and Europe, returning to the states in 1961. A prolific artist, she enjoys a wide audience for original paintings and published works in the UK, having been represented by Felix Rosenstiel’s in London since the early 90’s. During a four-decade studio practice, at least 1500 paintings have become part of private, corporate and institutional collections throughout the US and Europe. Click here  to visit her website.

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Rick  Hudson  is a Manchester (UK) writer whose poetry and fiction ranges from experimental literature to commercial horror fiction, and much of his work sits on the fault-line between these two extremes. He has seen his work broadcast by the BBC and appear in British Literary magazines such as  Passport  and  Stand.

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photo by Kelly Sime

Lauren Loya is a tough-talkin’ dame roaming the streets of Kansas City. She is a graduate of the Literature, Language, and Writing program at the University of Kansas. Her poetry has appeared in Coal City Review and Kansas City Voices. She pays the bills working in magazine production, and any free time is spent haunting local bookstores, hiking trails, antique malls, and jazz clubs.

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Winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize and other awards, John Menaghan has published four books with Salmon Poetry — All the Money in the World  (1999),  She Alone  (2006),  What Vanishes  (2009),  and  Here and Gone  (2014) —as well as poems and articles in Irish, British, American, and Canadian journals, and given poetry readings in Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Hungary, Canada, and across the U.S. from New York to Honolulu.  A fifth volume, composed entirely of his jazz-related poems, is forthcoming from Salmon in 2024.

 

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A native of Toledo, Ohio, Sandra Rivers-Gill is a writer, performer, and playwright. Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming in journals and anthologies, including ONE ART, Poets Against Racism & Hate/USA, Common Threads, Poetry X Hunger, Passager Books, Death Never Dies, Kissing Dynamite, Mock Turtle, and Braided Way Magazine.

www.sandrariversgill.com

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Henry Wolstat is a retired psychiatrist in his late 80’s living in the greater Boston area with his wife.  He is the author of a poetry book,  Driftwood.   He has also been published in both printed anthologies and online.  He is passionate about running, the arts, and poetry.

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photo Lisa Gibson

Anna Wrobel is a child of post-WWII refugees.  She is an American historian, teacher and published poet with two collections, as well as having  poems and essays published in various journals.  She’s worked in theater, farming, artisanal craft and construction before arriving  at history and education. She’s given birth in the Galilee hills and Maine’s mountains.

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Listen to the pianist Abudullah Ibrahim play “Jabula,” from his 2019 album The Balance (With Noah Jackson, Alec Dankworth, Will Terrill, Adam Glasser, Cleave Guyton Jr., Lance Bryant, Andrae Murchison, Marshall McDonald) [Gearbox]

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Click here  for information about how to submit your poetry

Click here  to subscribe to the  Jerry Jazz Musician  quarterly newsletter

Click here  to help support the continuing publication of Jerry Jazz Musician  (thank you!)

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3 comments on “Six new poets, six new poems”

  1. These half-dozen poets are all a welcome addition to the Jerry Jazz Musician poetry family. Each has a highly individual voice, distinct and vivid insights, and write poems filled with their own music. I look forward to reading more poems by each of these fine writers.

  2. I Blame Chet Baker is a truly beautiful poem. The understand style is a perfect fit for it’s gentle melancholy. Kudos to Miss Loya for a fine work of jazz appreciation. I’m off to find my dusty Chet records…

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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)

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Interview

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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.

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Interview

photo of Louis Jordan by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
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Feature

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The cover of Wayne Shorter's 2018 Blue Note album "Emanon"
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In Memoriam

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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.”

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