Poetry by Ronald Charles Epstein

June 9th, 2013


Pee Wee Herman at the Airport


Pee Wee waits at JFK,
profiled by the TSA.

Their screener motions,
with a frown,
“This way, Bud,
I’ll pat you down.”

Pee Wee cries,
“Leave me alone.
Don’t touch my junk,
I’ll touch my own.”




Dinero for De Niro


Robert De Niro….

practicing his craft.

making the big bucks.

Millions of dollars,
some destined for
Tribeca Productions,
headed by…De Niro.

The suits trumps the artist,
even when both are
the same person.




Not a Witch/Witch



Christine O’Donnell
is not a witch.
Stevie Nicks is.

That Fleetwood Mac singer
turned countless men
into compasses,
their needles aimed
at her true north.

Composer Walter Egan
wrote “Magnet & Steel”,
inspired by Stevie.

Her hips were magnets,
his hands, pure steel.




Sure-Fire Script Proposal

Seize the moment!
Cast Justin Beiber
as “Dwight, the Troubled Teen”
(A Worldwide Pants production ).

Co-starring Alan Kalter,
as his frazzled father.
With Taylor Swift,
as his cougar lover.
Featuring David Letterman
as the Connecticut state trooper.







Old jeans,
new haircut,
new hoodie,
new running shoes.

Muddling through life
with Bieber clothes
and Boehner hair.





2(x)ist-men’s undershorts
tailored for the intellectual.

Simone de Beauvoir’s perfect gift
for Jean-Paul Sartre.




Nasty Pranksters

The standard prankster
yells “Fire!”
in a crowded theater.

The socially-aware one
yells “Federales!”
in a crowded Wal-Mart.




It’s the Weather, Stupid!


The sky starts to clear,
the sun begins to shine,
as the rain continues.

Witness the meteorological equivalent
of a jobless recovery.




COMBAT!-“Just for the Record”

Sgt. Saunders of Ohio,
trapped in a Paris apartment,
subject to capture
by Gestapo, local police
or drunken German soldiers,
listens to a record
from his folks back home
and feels the pain
of prolonged absence,
as we discern the irony:

An American in Paris,
homesick for Cleveland.




The World Resembles Jack Nicholson


University Day, 1999:
(Science Exhibit)
Skeleton with sunglasses,
accessorized with scarf-
Jack Nicholson all set
for a night on the town.

Condom ad cartoon:
naked man with blindfold
looks strangely familiar.
Could it be….?
Nah, ask his kid.
Ha, ha, ha.


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In this Issue

Art by Russell Dupont
Twenty-eight poets contribute 37 poems to the Jerry Jazz Musician Fall Poetry Collection, living proof that the energy and spirit of jazz is alive — and quite well.

Short Fiction

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


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


photo of Esbjorn Svensson Trio/Pkobel/Creative Commons
“The Trio That Should Have Reshaped Jazz” — an essay by Scott Archer Jones


Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light” — photos (and stories) of Mal Waldron, Jackie McLean and Joe Henderson

“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

"Jazz Samba"/Verve Records
In this edition, excerpted from Michael Jarrett's Pressed For All Time, legendary producer Creed Taylor remembers the 1962 Stan Getz recording, Jazz Samba


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


"Dreaming of Bird at Billy Bergs" - by Charles Ingham
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” — a continuing series


Painting of John Coltrane by Tim Hussey
“broken embouchure” — a poem by M.T. Whitington


photo by Francis Wolff, courtesy of Mosaic Records
Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, discusses her late husband’s complex, fascinating life.


photo from Pixabay
“The Fibonacci Quartet Plays Improv” — a poem by Gerard Furey

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…

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