The Sunday Poem: “Always Cool” – by Judith Vaughn

February 12th, 2023

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The Sunday Poem  is published weekly, and strives to include the poet reading their work.

Judith Vaughn reads her poem at its conclusion.

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photo by Veryl Oakland

photo of Chet Baker by Veryl Oakland

Chet Baker, 1978

 

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Always Cool

Alison weaves on her loom in the living room.
Fifth floor walk up. Manhattan. Chet plays
on the stereo; a trumpet divinely graced,
caressed like a stunning woman’s body, soft
velvet skin. ….Soiled by drugs.

A hot night in the Big Apple; people walk streets
below to get cool. Chet, he was always cool no matter
the heat. He played horns and women and drugs;
determined to stain his life; back-alleys wherever
he traveled.

Where’d you go man? Where’d you go?
They found your body beneath a hotel window.
Amsterdam. ….Self-inflicted accident waiting,
took the offering gods bestowed.

Not a valentine, not a work of art, though you were
all that to her, to Alison…. my blonde goddess friend
who wove your tunes, brilliant reds and blues and light;
no chaos.

She’s gone now too. I dream she found you; you
sing her songs, caress the horn in the way only
a genius can. You’re happy together. It’s what I have,
what I hold — from long ago and far away.

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Listen to Judith Vaughn read her poem

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Judith Vaughn lives in Sonoma, California. She attended New York City College, John F. Kennedy University, and Dominican University. She is a member of PoeticLicenseSonoma who read their poetry the 4th Tuesday of each month at Se-bastopol Center for the Arts. Publications: First Literary Review-East an online literary publication, 2020, 2022; Oak Leaf News, a student publication at SRJC, Santa Rosa, CA; Jerry Jazz Musician; Crossroads, Redwood Writers’ 2022 poetry anthology; and Moonlight and Reflections, Nine Sonoma Poets, Valley of the Moon Press.

She is also a photographer. Photo images: 500px.com/judithjudith1

https://judithjudith.tumblr.com

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Veryl Oakland is a photojournalist who devoted nearly thirty years in search of the great jazz musicians.  His  Jerry Jazz Musician  series, “Jazz in Available Light” – a collection of his photos and stories from his book of the same name – can be accessed by clicking here.

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Listen to the 1959 recording of Chet Baker playing “I Talk to the Trees,” with Herbie Mann (flute); Zoot Sims (saxophone); Pepper Adams (saxophone); Bill Evans (piano); Earl May (bass); and Clifford Jarvis (drums).  [Universal Music Group]

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Click here  to view previous editions of  The Sunday Poem

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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 ongoing publication of  Jerry Jazz Musician  (thank you!)

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