Literature » Poetry

“Back Then” — a poem by John Stupp

 

 

photo by Don Schlitten

 

 

 

Back Then

Oh Lord
I was thinking is there anything better
than chorus girls dancing in unison to Thelonius Monk
I beseech thee Lord on my deathbed kick my ashes to Birdland
so I can see his hat and goatee one last time
hear Ruby, My Dear in a cha-cha rhythm with Charlie Rouse
and see all the junkies in New York
shaking in subways and taxis for the love of jazz
so what if John Ashbery said it was raining in the capitol
wasn’t it raining napalm in the Sixties
and weren’t we all thinking Oh Lord how perfect
it was to be dead or at the Five Spot
blooming like orchids on the keyboard of thy dwelling place
miles from the burning we did

 

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John Stupp’s third poetry collection Pawleys Island was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. His manuscript Summer Job won the 2017 Cathy Smith Bowers Poetry Prize and will be published in 2018 by Main Street Rag. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1975-1985 he worked professionally as a mediocre jazz guitarist.

 

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