The Sunday Poem: “Dink’s Blues and drum fills,” by Joel Glickman

September 24th, 2023

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

Joel Glickman reads his poem at its conclusion.

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photo via Wallpaper Flare

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Dink’s Blues and drum fills

One of these days and it won’t be long,
You’re going to call my name, and I’ll be gone.
Fare thee well, oh honey, fare thee well.

I’m whistling a tune about
a woman’s broken heart,
down a long and empty
hallway, just to hear it
move itself along,
floating on ahead of me
underneath the low ceiling
like a dark blue kite bumping
the bottoms of cobbled clouds
as it passes by the doorway
of a girl whose apron strings
will not tie anymore.

Then there is no more music
all through the skittering noise
of afternoon and night, till
well past bedtime, when
the mouse who has been stealing
kibble from the dog, now rolls
his stash across the floor above us.
And on the back stoop, something
big enough to stand and tip over
the recycle bin stops by again,
looking for a meal, and once more
it’s all for naught.

The scrubbed tin cans and bottles
sound to me a bit like Max Roach
as they tumble on the back porch
long after the woman called Dink
shared a song about some man,
as she did her husband’s laundry
in Greater Calhoun Bayou
while he worked on the levee.
Up here, a skunk or raccoon
shambles away, still hungry,
in the atonal darkness.
The world is full of sadness.

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Listen to Joel Glickman read his poem

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Joel Glickman taught music including jazz history and the jazz band at Northland College, Ashland Wisconsin, from 1974 until retirement in 2017, where he has resumed teaching about jazz again, part time. He has written and published poetry over a wide range of subjects. Primarily a classical clarinetist and folk singer-song writer and banjo player, his jazz and saxophone skills lag behind these. He resides in Ashland with wife Susan and their Bichon, Madeline.

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Listen to the 1961 recording of Abbey Lincoln singing “Left Alone,” a composition by Billie Holiday and pianist Mal Waldron. Max Roach plays the drums.  [Exceleration Music]

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Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem

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