Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 10: “The Weeping Tree”

December 13th, 2022

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Trading Fours with Douglas Cole  is an occasional series of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film

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“The Weeping Tree” arises from the poet listening to (and watching) Sinne Eeg & Thomas Fonnesbæk perform “Willow Weep For Me” [Click to listen].


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The Weeping Tree

She’s in the wind
flying down Tin Pan Alley
she’s tapping into the root system
whatever you believe
the science of it….. the mystery

There’s a grad student whispering
wrong wrong wrong….. but don’t believe it
even if it’s true for now it won’t be always
why?

Love is a dirtless rootless mist of fingers
reaching towards in each other
with God sparks going going

Willow in the world leaf-blown
leaf gone bare as fishbones
your song fine as a wolf moon
finer

So
if someone says I’m suffering
listen

No one owns it
the low and the high
no one
like a one-eyed monster
screaming to the sea
no one ….. no one did this to me
when you look around
what you see
no one
only you and your moan
you and you alone

Send your attention down
O sky God
O distant listener
what are you doing that matters more
than this chain reaction
don’t you see
when it happens to you
it happens to me

listen

she lays you river low
root bottom….. earthcore trembling deep
bass tone mycelium heartbeat vibrating in the all
in the Wallula Gap
in the ripples of the Camas Prairie
in the great impact and the wave come after
in the amazement of it
coming down
the wanderers lowdown trying to tell it
trying to bring it back
one shore after another
and what you get is far more
than a momentary insight
more than a lecture….. more than a tome

Through this door no one owns
this opening out
this seed and the rings going out
this spirit in the tree
where you find yourself listening
listening like you mean it
like it matters
like a soul in sympathy and know at last
and forever
what it means to be
holy

 

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Listen to the poet read “The Weeping Tree”

 

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Watch Sinne Eeg & Thomas Fonnesbæk perform “Willow Weep For Me” 

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photo by Jenn Merritt

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Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry and The White Field, winner of the American Fiction Award. His work has appeared in several anthologies as well as journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Poetry International, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Chiron, Louisiana Literature, Slipstream, as well Spanish translations of work (translated by Maria Del Castillo Sucerquia) in La Cabra Montes. He is a regular contributor to Mythaixs, an online journal, where in addition to his fiction and essays, his interviews with notable writers, artists and musicians such as Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Darcy Steinke (Suicide Blond, Flash Count Diary) and Tim Reynolds (T3 and The Dave Matthews Band) have been popular contributions. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle, Washington. Click here to visit his website..

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The poet’s collection, The Blue Island

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Click here  to learn how to submit your poetry

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In This Issue

painting of Clifford Brown by Paul Lovering
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The cover of Wayne Shorter's 2018 Blue Note album "Emanon"
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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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Click to view the complete 25-year archive of Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, including those recently published with Judith Tick on Ella Fitzgerald (pictured),; Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz on the Girl Groups of the 60's; Tad Richards on Small Group Swing; Stephanie Stein Crease on Chick Webb; Brent Hayes Edwards on Henry Threadgill; Richard Koloda on Albert Ayler; Glenn Mott on Stanley Crouch; Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom on Eubie Blake; 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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