Poetry by Roger Singer

May 26th, 2013




Tumbling notes
Find release,
Like autumn leaves
Blown hard by
Thirsty winds.

Souls find comfort
Leaning on songs
That press back
With firmness
Where music rains
In deluges of jazz.

Coffee pots
A liquid beat
With drifting aromas
Drawing nosy ears
To fluid rhythms.

Burnt toast
Fumes with smoke,
Smoldering hot,
While crumbs sizzle
Like cymbals crying.

A woman
In strapless high heels,
Tight Capri’s,
A cashmere sweater
And long smooth neck
Starts to sing.



Wagon wheels,
Rounding out beats,
Pots that clank,
Lanterns stained black,
From last nights burning,
Where gypsy jazz was heard.

Satin scarfs,
In blood smooth red,
Orange striped greens,
Dotted with white,
Flowing with winds,
Like ocean waves,
From families living to sing.

Billowing skirts,
Shoulders exposed,
Full bodied curls,
Lips with intent,
While smiles persuade,
And hands entice the soul.

Within the wagon,
Songs of fire,
Ignite strong voices,
With mutual despair,
In traditional sorrow,
Where gypsies and jazz survive.




A light bleeds down
Onto center stage
Where a woman
And a microphone
Stand close together
As the song begins.

She throws back
Long thick curls
Exposing her neck;
The desire of many
Possessed by only a few
Many songs ago.

A strong sure hand
Grasps the neck
Of the microphone
With granite intensions
As her lips attack
The space between.

Welcome ears
In the audience
Turn smiling eyes
Onto the woman;
Expressions of jazz
Flood the room.




In the shadows
Of 28th street
Where Broadway
Melts into 6th
There’s a corner
Of Manhattan
Where songs
And tempos
Breathe fresh
In every
Passing season
From souls
Whose heartbeats
Slap a rhythm
And scat
Is spoken fine
Where jazz
Was birthed
From fingers
And ruby lips
On dance floors
With golden shoes
And toe taps
To music
From heavens
Long chords
To pianos
That cry
In the dark
In the place
They call
Tin pan alley




Smoky stained wooden floors,
Curtains washed in gin,
Tables and chairs lay scattered,
With hazy shapes and shadows.

Nicks and scratches score the bar,
Where thirsty people slump,
With wasted scarlet eyes,
And pockets free of hope.

A piano player taps his ivory,
While the bass moans angrily,
Sliding brushes wash the snare,
And a trumpet bleeds with notes,

The music spreads like vapors,
Crawling with hunting eyes,
Pawing listless drunken souls,
With talons of wispy jazz.

A bartender stands firmly rigid,
Watching his solemn sheep,
He smiles with empty promise,
At faces with reaching hands.

Ceiling fans drugged by smoke,
Steal through stale dank air,
Morning sun knocks on the door,
The band plays one more song.

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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!

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