The Sunday Poem: “Blue Ash” by Sean Howard

August 6th, 2023

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

Sean Howard reads his poem at its conclusion.

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photo via PxFuel

photo via PxFuel

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blue ash (free poems in nine parts, for john coltrane & rashied ali)

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i……………………………………………………………………….iii

free,……………………………………………………………….high time
what………………………………………………………………debating
bars?……………………………………………………………..society

intra-…………………………………………………………….no more
views,…………………………………………………………….composed
posit-…………………………………………………………….audiences!
ions
o-…………………………………………………………………..ink-
pen………………………………………………………………..br-
………………………………………………………………………ush,
nesting in………………………………………………………per-
the Cliffs………………………………………………………..cuss-
of sound…………………………………………………………

ii…………………………………………………………………….iv

chords-………………………………………………………….the way
statues,………………………………………………………….beyond
practiced………………………………………………………..Order
gestures
………………………………………………………………………going
moments;………………………………………………………light
issues…………………………………………………………….on
……………………………………………………………………..si-
distance………………………………………………………..len-
bells mel-……………………………………………………..ce
ting
………………………………………………………………………ascending
………………………………………………………………………no more
………………………………………………………………………scaling
………………………………………………………………………

v……………………………………………………………………..vii

oh,………………………………………………………………….wind-
the………………………………………………………………….chime
In……………………………………………………………………be-
voi-………………………………………………………………..pop
ce
!……………………………………………………………………..god’s
………………………………………………………………………posthumous
the prisoners’…………………………………………………release?
radical
departure………………………………………………………un-
………………………………………………………………………done
emp-……………………………………………………………..Time
tying,
self-………………………………………………………………viii
sand…
………………………………………………………………………music
vi……………………………………………………………………incidental
………………………………………………………………………to the stars?
refusing to stay
stuck in…………………………………………………………Power
jam……………………………………………………………….nowhere
……………………………………………………………………..near enough
the
Supreme……………………………………………………….jazz
caught?…………………………………………………………black
……………………………………………………………………..flag
unrolling
america’s……………………………………………………..ix
thunder
……………………………………………………………………..in the beginning
……………………………………………………………………..was the
……………………………………………………………………..rest

…………………………………………………………………….held keys
……………………………………………………………………?blue
……………………………………………………………………ash

……………………………………………………………………revelation
……………………………………………………………………the image
……………………………………………………………………of reality

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Listen to Sean Howard read his poem (followed by dialogue about this work)

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Sean Howard is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Trinity: Tribute Sequences for Robert Graves  (Gaspereau Press, Canada, 2022). Sean’s poetry has been widely published in Canada, the US, UK, and elsewhere, and featured in The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books, 2017). Sean is adjunct professor of political science at Cape Breton University, and writes a monthly ‘War & Peace’ column for the Cape Breton Spectator. He can be reached at  [email protected].

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Listen to the 1967 recording of John Coltrane and drummer Rashied Ali performing “Jupiter,” from the album  Interstellar Space  [Universal Music Group]

 

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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

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.“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

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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.

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