“Man with a Clarinet” by Gigi Mills
Stranger on the Shore
by Patricia Carragon
Pinot noir and jazz sang the blues
on this cold, mid-February night.
I refilled my glass,
let thoughts slow dance
with the clarinet.
As I lounged in midnight hues,
the old LP played
Stranger on the Shore.
I took another sip,
watched the glass fall.
As the track turned bluer,
thoughts bled Valentine red.
When the record ended,
all colors faded to black.
An odd number
by Dan Franch
We stood and listened to
a busker playing jazz
on a cobblestone street
just inside the Old Town walls
It was late; the street was empty
Snow fell on the flowers
I had given you for Valentine’s —
It was an odd number as was the norm
in this part of the world
where even numbers were for somber occasions
You leaned into me and said something
about how the saxophone made you feel;
I smiled and gestured that we should go
And just before we started, I reached out toward you,
intending to leave him a rose, then thought –
best not test fate. I left him some coins instead.
I’m in your Birdland
by R. Bremner
Five thousand light years from Birdland
but I’m still diggin’ your rhythms!
Your soul and mine entwined,
swoop and swerve and groove and burn
like an exotic, eclectic Zawinul melodic odyssey.
When you draw near me, your electricity
shocks, surges, and singes, like
a pulsing Jaco bass line.
Your caress goes right though me
like a throbbing sax shot of Shorter.
I can’t escape you, your music plays
in my head always, no matter
if you’re near or far.
I’m your prisoner, and that’s the way
I want it to stay.
Girl, we’re five thousand light years from Birdland
but your rhythms hold and keep me.
by R. Bremner
Crosswise scars are these romantic stars
that call to us under the light,
a mood indigo light that warms
but never burns, like a cool fever.
Ecstatic, erotic smoothnesses bend
to their work, suddenly take five, and are
gone till ‘round midnight when I am
waiting for you. I need you so much,
body and soul, but these stolen moments
have to last for us.
Blue air walks behind these subjects into
a tube of white moonbeams
pouring into a love supreme, that,
gets its electricity from the sun.
(thanks for the inspiration of three Jim Klein poems)
Patricia Carragon’s latest books are The Cupcake Chronicles (Poets Wear Prada, 2017) and Innocence (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Patricia hosts the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology. She is an active member of brevitas, as well as the PEN Women’s Literary Workshop, Women Writers in Bloom, and Tamarind. She is an executive editor for Home Planet News Online.
Originally from the Chicagoland area, Dan Franch has lived and taught in America, Africa, and Europe. A former newspaper columnist and cartoonist in Luxembourg, Dan, who now lives in Estonia, does his best to continue traveling, writing, and staying fit.
R. Bremner hails from Glen Ridge via Lyndhurst, NJ. Ron writes of incense, peppermints, and the color of time in such journals as International Poetry Review, Passaic Review, and Shot Glass Journal. Some of his best Friday nights were spent at the bar of the Knickerbocker Lounge in NYC, grooving to Sir Roland Hanna.