There’s a pawnshop in Tarzana
Called Thrifty Pawn & Loan.
And propped up in the window
Is a haunted saxophone.
The tag says “50 dollars-
A sweet and honeyed tone”
But fifty bucks ain’t all you pay
There’s a pawnshop in Tarzana
When they came to build the wall, I played Mingus.
I stood in the blistering sun, watched them arrive, and did my best to blow my lungs clean out. They climbed down from hissing dew-sprinkled trucks, adjusted their hard hats, and went to work setting up the barricades. They ignored me completely.
They didn’t ignore me long. I was off-key, and I was loud. Ain’t always about hitting all the right notes, man. A clarinet’s gotta be raw. Real. None of that philharmonic fast food commercial stuff.
I could almost hear Tony taking the high notes right beside me. He would have, too. He always loved a good
Her name practically scats itself,
Say it out loud, and you’re on your way,
It’s a grand stand big band criss-cross delivery,
An overnight town to town swing set deluxe,
[…] Continue reading »
I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Italy and Germany, so we have fallen a bit behind on determining the winner of the Short Fiction Contest. For those of you who entered your story, I appreciate your patience. I hope to have the winning story published by July 15.
Meanwhile…you may enjoy this 2011 interview of
Midnight and we sail on a boundless sea
nothing in sight but a vast pool of black
dimly lit by starlight sprawled without end
Camp looked through glass doors and across the shoulderless highway. A patch of grass across the road was covered with white trailers washed clean by the rain. He stared out a side window at the brown back of a gas station. A red and yellow sign, mounted so high he had to twist his neck to see it, seemed like it should have been turning but sat still against a gray sky.
What do you find in a bus station? Long waits under dirty fluorescents, grimy floor and seats, gloom on scattered faces. Soup, coffee and candy vending machines. If someone could gather it up, all the pieces a bus station’s handed down through the years, you could start a museum. You could cover the walls with black and white photos, pictures of a million people. Pick out any one person, nobody special, just someone with some
This ground is mine.
I sweat it into growing.
My eyes water the sound
while my hands grasp
holding its generations
of dust and stone
with a blending of
Seen from above, the motion probably exhibited some coherence. Like how the particles on the surface of a liquid jiggled around each other. What did they call it? Brownian motion. Seen from a distance, the mass of people no doubt also swirled in patterns that had a great deal of regularity. Was there perhaps even a meaning in the group activity, a secret swaying cadence that couldn’t be discerned just from watching the constituent parts?
Carl found how he engaged in metaphysical speculations when in these situations distressing.
But God, you had to do something.
Or else this dance club, The Edge of The World, the apotheosis of all that he had come to hate during this year and a half spent in
sitting on the top of my dad’s tombstone
… in sedalia, missouri,
I was thinking
of how much
our horns together.
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