To me jazz meant a way of thinking, a way of being. Jazz was another aspect of the whole thing, so in that sense I was a jazz singer…but every other way I most definitely wasn’t.
— Nina Simone
Eunice Kathleen Waymon, also known as
Nina Simone — I hear you now —
O no one has ever been Blue like you!
So long, Miss Blue, your ways more blue than indigo,
your heart that sung to piano jazz in hot notes
that fell like a shower of stars, dazzling the
shadows of the night…
No other woman sang jazz songs like you, Nina.
I don’t have to explain that to you,
beautiful Blue-Black Woman…
your words still reach me today
ripening into song as they flow
from your lips and hair…
You never let me be lonely
Little Girl Blue, I am your chauffeur of words,
surrendering to the power of your songs…
I am your chauffeur, Nina, carrying you
wherever you want to go.
“NINA” is published in 23 Jazz Poems And Other Works by Luis Lazaro Tijerina (RA Press)
Luis Lazaro Tijerina, born in Salina, Kansas in 1945, received his formal education at Kansas State University and Vermont College of Norwich University. He has a Masters of Arts in history. After serving in the U.S. Army, he began his writing career as a poet. Mr. Tijerina is also an essayist in military history. Mr. Tijerina has made his living as a futbol (soccer) coach throughout his adult life.