Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 17: “All I know about music is not many people ever really hear it”

October 24th, 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 the poem.

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All I know about music is not many people ever really hear it

I don’t know where it starts, he said, but can you imagine
watching  They Cloned Tyrone  and the music playing,
almost the whole dance club version of  Love Hangover,
I can’t even watch anything, my mind looks through the settings,
the dialogue is like a crowd talking in a club and I want to listen in,
go into that Diana Ross whisper singing love voice
but catch now also that chromatic scale Sting lifted
and put into Fortress  Around Your Heart  and I can’t stop
going in and looking around at the baseline seeing/hearing
the Sugar Hill Gang’s  Rapper’s Delight,  is that right?
They sample this?  Good Times?  or  Fly Robin Fly?
The Silver Connection, the same high synthy strings in all,
hooked at a Motown hip bouncing back to  The Hustle
it’s that same pattern slowed-down from the  Popcorn Song,
now Roberta Flack singing  I Feel Like Making Love,
different rooms in the same house at a smooth summer party,
the music knows more than I do, in the fabric of every day,
every mind, even when you aren’t present, it’s something else,
and now, I have no idea what this movie’s about.

And he created a list, said, if you don’t believe me,
here, listen for yourself, each one of them is in there.

 

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Listen to Douglas Cole read “All I know about music is not many people ever really hear it”

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“Love Hangover,” by Diana Ross [Universal Music Group]

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“Fortress Around Your Heart, by Sting [Universal Music Group]

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Rapper’s Delight, by the Sugarhill Gang  [Rhino]

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“Good Times,” by Chic [Atlantic]

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“Fly Robin Fly,” by the Silver Connection [The Orchard]

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“The Hustle,” by Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony [Amherst]

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“Popcorn,” by Hot Butter  [Musicor]

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“Feel Like Makin’ Love,” by Roberta Flack

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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

Click here to subscribe to the Jerry Jazz Musician newsletter

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