Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 16: “Little Waltz” and “Summertime”

September 20th, 2023

 

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

 A recording of Mr. Cole reading his work is found at the conclusion of each poem.

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Listen to the pianist Jessica Williams play “Little Waltz” [The Orchard]

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Little Waltz

Enter the antechamber of the little waltz
with Jessica Williams at piano here
in black walls and heavy brocade
and hip cocktails and incense
and you hear and go back
through checkerboard corridors
to rooms opening into other rooms
and that high ivory trill-and-run
bending down the hallways
to the next room bigger than the last one
and more people under masks
with a light-hearted air of where/when
look up and rainfall and breaking glass
and suddenly that low tone back and forth
brings you back to ground
where you catch a hint of Gene Harris
and follow the dotted line of moonlight
the way the music is out there and underfoot
in-blood and in-breath giving
something mysterious.

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Listen to Douglas Cole read “Little Waltz”

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Listen to the Gene Harris Quartet play “Summertime,” with Harris (piano); Ron Eschete (guitar); Luther Hughes (bass); Paul Humphrey (drums).  [Universal Music Group] 

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Summertime

The water the wind running fast
high cloud wonder shapes
diamonds and pearls
and trill trill of the birds
morning and the light
everything is possible
that’s what this room looks like
and you can believe the way
the mountains are staring back at you
truly then a quiet little shuffle
of things in the perimeter
can you see it sparkle like a stream
in the hunter green woods just
cruising through the sunrays
little light yellow
plant blossom faces
going to the light
the spider on his web
strand of silver shining
climbing to his rooster nest
in the middle of the air
between three trees
where the waters congregate
down into the cool heavy mushroom
valley crossroads with so many ways to be
deep down heavy even the light hangs around
thinking why not stay
in the shape of a blue Jay
quick alert
spots you first and is
on his way loop swooping through
the dark branches the hollows
where an owl watches all lordly and
large eyed spike feather sensors
detecting everything down to the dust
twist glittering off your sensible trails
as you too glide through this
on your way up and up

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Listen to Douglas Cole read “Summertime”

 

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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 read previous editions of Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

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Click here to read The Sunday Poem

Click here to learn how to submit your poetry or short fiction

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