Literature » Poetry

A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz



the clothed woman
for Duke Ellington

by Steve Dalachinsky


strip away her layers
   & here we have an approach
to all histories
   thru memory & skin
thru learning tolerance
  & precious cost
     thru practice
          & sometimes soothing balms

strip away the layers
          like the logic of collage

first the shoes
  the stockings the bodice
     the dress the slip the panties
       the bra the flesh the bone
         the senses the organs
           the water the blood
             the scraps
         the mind bending materials
             & tone colors
         infused with fractured light.

strip away necessity
       the all & the whatevers
           strip them away until what you have left
                    is her,
       irregular circles & the symmetry of movement.




Charles Gayle Trio

anniversary #2

by Steve Dalachinsky


you & i
like 2 breeds
2 movies
the same characters
different scripts
same sets
& times
different voices

you & i
in love for the first time
& maybe never at all

i am exhausted
                 & out of ice
                    i bite every chance i get
                             yet you still tell
                                i am cute.





memory & skin – The David S. Ware Qt.

by Steve Dalachinsky



his sound is linked
to memory &
the hollow screaming that
skin does when lovers
in a dry sweat
rub against each other
hollow & full
his sound
filled with what we all have
beneath our skins
repeating memory
of body
reviving memory
of body
& then dropped

she drops memories on the air
they’re forgotten
& gotten again
the way memories are
like skin
hollowed out
scraping against itself
producing a metal sound
a vocal stab in the back
@ futures’ end
& the embrace that only lovers
can share.




set 2   Charles Gayle – William Parker duo

Love Poem from the Woman’s Point of View

by Steve Dalachinsky


          he likes me in red
     that’s nice so
               i’ll wear RED more often
     especially when i think
            i might
                see him.




pomegranates (for y.o.) – David Murray at Carlos 1

by Steve Dalchinsky


     you see he said I’m getting worried
       we’re starting to sound alike –
         yes you sound a lot like Sonny
           well the song is Tenor Madness he says
             & a bit like Albert
               gee I wish I sounded a bit like Ayler now
       oh but you’re sounding a lot more like yourself

the experimental psychology student wears a thin long sleeved black turtle neck
  & she rests her elbows on the table in front of me in the front of the club
  she wears a soft subtle smile & her teeth show @ a high point in the solo
           her eyes are a soft natural bulge
    a shake

         oh the women in the house
       are cheeks of fresh strawberries
         bows of fine spun linen
       their earlobes stretched emeralds
         hidden clusters of amethyst & ruby
           fresh unfolding flowers defying gravity

i miss you because i am alone
  & because i miss you
     there is a drumming in my soul of insecure longing & lust
       of which only you can touch
          without having my fear run rampant
    so when i am done imagining
      i imagine you – i need to solo & be soloed on

the cheeks of the women
     are pale pomegranates &
          poor promises
            the tenor player is not himself tonite
              tho sometimes he is.






Steve Dalachinsky is a New York downtown poet. He is active in the poetry, music, art, and free jazz scene. Dalachinsky’s main influences are the Beats, William Blake, The Odyssey, obsession, socio-political angst, human disappointment, music (especially Jazz), and visual art with leanings toward abstraction. Dalachinsky’s books include “A Superintendent’s Eyes” (Hozomeen Press 2000), his PEN Award Winning book The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes From A Charles Gayle Notebook 1987-2006 (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006), a compendium of poetry written while watching saxophonist Charles Gayle perform throughout New York City in that time period, and “Logos and Language”, co-authored with pianist Matthew Shipp (RogueArt 2008) and Reaching Into The Unknown, a collaboration with French photographer Jacques Bisceglia (RogueArt 2009).

For a complete biography, visit his Wikipedia page.