“This Isn’t the First Morning” — a poem by John Stupp

January 22nd, 2020

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photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress

Art Pepper, 1947 or 1948

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This Isn’t the First Morning

After a New Year
not the first sunrise
not the first cold bus
not the first trip along the Ohio
not the first day at work
not any of those things
there is nothing special about this morning
nothing special about the same snow everywhere
but
before all the computers in Pittsburgh open their eyes
before all the printers in Pittsburgh cough up their useless paper
before all the unjust bosses in Pittsburgh are cooked in their down coats
I think of Art Pepper who died
in California
the most beautiful jazz flower on the West Coast
how on certain album covers he is young
and loved
drifting loose
his horn the color of lipstick
who can say?
since music has nothing to do with facts
but
back then his warm alto blew my solitary heart to confetti
therefore friend
my poem is about him and not Pittsburgh
he is more important
than God letting me live here
as I write this
a thousand miles from blue water

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John Stupp’s third poetry collection.Pawleys Island.was published in 2017. His manuscript.Summer Job.won the 2017 Cathy Smith Bowers Poetry Prize and was published in August 2018. A chapbook entitled.When Billy Conn Fought Fritzie Zivic.will be published by Red Flag Poetry in 2020.  He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  From 1975-1985 he worked professionally as a mediocre jazz guitarist.

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Art Pepper plays “Red Pepper Blues”

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6 comments on ““This Isn’t the First Morning” — a poem by John Stupp”

  1. John: A good winter poem, to warm up with Art. Another cold, start of the year, blizzard
    night in Mo. Thanks for the warmth.

  2. Another of your fine poems, up to your usual high standards, Mr. Stupp. I tip my hat to your consistently well-done work.

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