SOLO DANCE TO BLUES
by Michael L. Newell
a girl dances alone in a room
to an old blues tune sung
on a boom box by Mance Lipscomb
she whirls leaps and floats
on her toes with eyes shut
head laid back on an air cushion
an effortless whirlwind in a space
shared only with a funky slide guitar
and roughhewn marvelous voice
carving sound into pain intense and casually revealed
the singer states Joe Turner Killed a Man
the dancer wilts like a dying flower
then brings the man and her dance back to life
wild utterly free life and the guitar and voice
slice a listener’s heart into a slow beat beat beat
by Roger Singer
The red fire of her lipstick beckons eyes onto her;
she accepts the cloth of desire, conquering
the lust of men.
Fingers thirst at the words released from her.
Songs rich with the blood of her jazz
form rivers, drowning men, setting women
adrift in jealous seas.
The sax draws close to the satin covering
her long legs; she whispers into night.
Her eyes reduce jewels to sand.
The earth spins at the calling of her voice.
Michael L. Newell, an expatriate English/Theatre teacher for twenty years, retired to the south-central Oregon coast in 2014. Among his published works are Traveling without Compass or Map (Bellowing Ark Press, 2006), A Long Time Traveling (Four-Sep Publications, 2004), Seeking Shelter (Four-Sep Publications, 2004), and A Stranger to the Land (Garden Street Press, 1997). He has loved jazz for over fifty years.
Roger Singer is a prolific and accomplished contributing poet who we have proudly published for well over ten years. Singer has had almost 800 poems published in magazines, periodicals and online journals — 400 of which are jazz poems — and has recently self-published a Kindle edition of his book of jazz poetry called Poetic Jazz.
“Jazz poetry flows out with such ease,” Singer writes on his blog. “The people and places, the alleys and sawdust jazz clubs. The stories that bring jazz alive with horns and voices, from sadness and grief to highs at midnight and love gone wrong. The jazz is within us all. Find your poem and feel the music.”