Poetry by Roger Singer

May 26th, 2013

 

 

GASPING FOR AIR

 

The band pushed
A sound
Blowing me to a
Standstill,
As the floor owned my feet,
Holding them fast
Into a stop.

The sound crawled
Into the soul of me,
Lighting up fires,
Spreading a
Whiskey warmth
Within my chest
Capturing my breath.

The music;
Jazz all tied up with pain,
Gave light to my person,
Exposing parts
Long abandoned,
Pulling these things within me
To the surface,
Gasping for air.

 

 

MY FORGETS

 

The dark of the
Club
Brought up and spit
Out
The evils of my
Forgets,
The empty place you
Left
Without me packed at your
Side.

Whiskey and ice cool me
Weakly
From your ghostly
Image
In the corners of my
Head
Where shadows cower
Yet respond
To my
Name.

The jazz wrings tight the
Soul
Still washing you
Out,
As I sit here drowning
Sweetly
In the booze while closing my
Eyes
Seeing
The face of you.

 

 

PULLING AT ME

 

It builds me
Into such a
Hot
When the coals
Of the blues
Shatter me
With a showering
Opening parts of me
Pulling out
The hiding
Of the stars and sun
Buried in the
Dirt of
Where I been
Covered by the
Tears of
Miles and highways
Where I put it
Until those
Jazzy notes
Kick open the
Doors
Rolling out
Like the tires
On my car
Picking me up
With lazy loving
Eyes
Removing me
To the places
I never been
Or coming back
From.

 

FINDING ITS OWN

The music
Sweet and long
Fell trapped
In the moment
Swirling fat and
Brown
Like rivers
Powerful with push
Greeting with respect
The notes released
Telling a story
Of the
Ups of down
And the down of
Being up too
Long
As the sound
Rolled around
Speaking soft
Finding its own
Way into
The wide horizon
Of people
Listening for
The call of
Jazz.

 

SHINY AND SCUFFED

 

The stage
Is his plate
Full of meal
Hungry for him
To consume.

He sits kingly
On a stool
Touched with old paint
As his new pants
Warm to its place.

Shiny and scuffed
Black shoes,
One untied
The strings snaking
With sleep,
The other secure
Like his hands.

He passionately
Lips the sax
Cradled close
Like a fire
Warming up
As he blows
The fury of a
Storm.

Share this:

2 comments on “Poetry by Roger Singer”

  1. Roger has a feel for Jazz–the sound, the music, tempo and jargon. Each of his poems grind out the message in resounding tones. If he is not a Jazz aficionado (which I suspect he is), he has a knack for extracting the marrow from the music he hears!

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In this Issue

The winter collection of poetry offers readers a look at the culture of jazz music through the imaginative writings of its 32 contributors. Within these 41 poems, writers express their deep connection to the music – and those who play it – in their own inventive and often philosophical language that communicates much, but especially love, sentiment, struggle, loss, and joy.

Interview

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Con Chapman, author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges discusses the great Ellington saxophonist

Book Excerpt

This story, excerpted from Irving Berlin: New York Genius by James Kaplan, describes how Berlin came to write his first major hit song, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” and speaks to its historic musical and cultural significance.

Interview

photo by Francis Wolff/© Mosaic Images
Interview with Paul Lopes, author of Art Rebels: Race, Class and Gender in the Art of Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese

Poetry

photo of Archie Shepp by Veryl Oakland
"Archie Shepp's Jazz Song," by Susana Case

Art

Art by Charles Ingham
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” — Vol. 1 -- a unique view of jazz history

Jazz History Quiz #133

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
This musician first recorded with Ben Pollack’s band in 1936, and then joined Benny Goodman (pictured) in 1937. He eventually started his own band, in which Frank Sinatra sang for a short time in 1939. In 1941 he recorded “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want to Do It”), which made him a star — second only to Glenn Miller in popularity in 1942. Who is he?

Community

News about the poet Arlene Corwin

Photography

photo of Stephane Grappelli by Veryl Oakland
Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light” — photos (and stories) of violinists Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Zbigniew Seifert, and Leroy Jenkins

Short Fiction

Photo/CC0 Public Doman
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #52 — “Random Blonde,” by Zandra Renwick

Great Encounters

photo of Sidney Bechet by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
In this edition of "Great Encounters," Con Chapman, author of Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges, writes about Hodges’ early musical training, and the first meeting he had with Sidney Bechet, the influential and legendary reed player who Hodges called “tops in my book.”

Book Excerpt

In the introduction to Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music, author Gerald Horne writes about the severe cultural and economic obstacles jazz musicians have encountered since the music's inception

Interview

photo by Michael Lionstar
In a wide-ranging interview, Nate Chinen, former New York Times jazz critic and currently the director of editorial content for WBGO (Jazz) Radio, talks about his book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century,, described by Herbie Hancock as a “fascinating read” that shows Chinen’s “firm support of the music

“What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?”

"What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?"
Dianne Reeves, Nate Chinen, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Eliane Elias and Ashley Kahn are among the 12 writers, musicians, and music executives who list and write about their favorite Blue Note albums

Pressed for All Time

In this edition, producer Helen Keane tells Michael Jarrett, author of Pressed For All Time: Producing the Great Jazz Albums about how the collaboration of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans began, culminating in the 1975 recording, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album.

Interview

Photographer Carol Friedman
In an entertaining conversation that also features a large volume of her famous photography, Carol Friedman discusses her lifelong work of distinction in the world of jazz photography

Humor

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
"Every Soul is a Circus," by Dig Wayne

Short Fiction

photo/Creative Commons CC0.
Con Chapman, author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges, contributes a humorous short story, "Father Kniest: Jazz Priest"

In the Previous Issue

photo of Sullivan Fortner by Carol Friedman
“The Jazz Photography Issue” features an interview with today’s most eminent jazz portrait photographer Carol Friedman, news from Michael Cuscuna about newly released Francis Wolff photos, as well as archived interviews with William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, a piece on Milt Hinton, a new edition of photos from Veryl Oakland, and much more…

Contributing writers

Site Archive