Two poems by Aurora Lewis

July 20th, 2018

photo by Irving Penn

Miles Davis, 1986

 

 

Wizard of Cool

 

Eyes liken to a bird of prey
having seen, what we would
never see as he blew phenomenal
madness into the heavens
taking our breath away

On a level, others tried to perpetrate
my first time, Live at the Blackhawk
sliding into a groove, swirling into
a tunnel emanating from the
Wizard of Cool

Captivating me with his music
bounding from speakers of an ancient Hi-Fi
He conjured up Sirens inside his horn
to enchant, bringing us to the edge
Trumpet pressed to his crazy lips
Finger tips manipulating values like
a lover’s tits.

Speak of him only in revered tones
His raspy voice never said goodbye
With brass in hand he took flight
leaving us with the definition of cool;
see Miles

 

 

_____

 

 

Dave Brubeck, 1956

 

 

Clark Kent Played the Shrine

 

Shrine Auditorium most Saturday nights
She smelled of cologne sold door to door
by a woman in a pillbox hat wearing
white gloves, carrying a sample case

I watched her slip into a blue teal dress
with a fishtail hem and blue teal pumps
she combed her hair, mascara by Maybelline
lipstick the color of cherry soda riving up
her girlish face

The air of excitement filled the house
running up and down the stairs the
tail of her dress swishing from side to side

Last week it was Dinah Washington
turning up the siren, wailing into
the night, This Bitter Earth, indeed
it was, I was too young to wear a fishtail
dress with matching shoes, I could only
dream of one day going to the Shrine
hearing jazz, drinking gin in a smoke
filled cabaret

That morning on the sofa there he was
on the cover of the program, smiling
hair black combed back, those glasses
He was Superman, Clark Kent
on leave from the Daily Planet
His fingers sliding across the
Ivory keys, pushing out melodies
smooth as Ford’s assembly line
Superman was Dave Brubeck at
the Shrine Auditorium that Saturday night

 

__________

 

 

 

Aurora M. Lewis, worked in the banking financial industry for 40 years and retired early in 2009. That same year she received a Certificate in Creative Writing-General Studies from UCLA, with honors. Her poems, short stories, and nonfiction have been accepted by The Literary Hatchet, Gemini Magazine, Persimmon Tree, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others.

 

 

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In This Issue

This issue features an interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins; a collection of poetry devoted to the World War II era; and a new edition of “Reminiscing in Tempo,” in which the question “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940’s” is posed to Rickie Lee Jones, Chick Corea, Tom Piazza and others.

Features

In this edition of Reminiscing in Tempo,, Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Piazza, Gary Giddins, Randy Brecker, Michael Cuscuna, Terry Teachout and many others answer the question, “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite recordings of the 1940’s?”

Interviews

Interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins, author of the new book "Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940 - 1946"

Poetry

Eight poets — John Stupp, Aurora Lewis, Michael L. Newell, Robert Nisbet, Alan Yount, Roger Singer, dan smith and Joan Donovan — write about the era of World War II

The Joys of Jazz

Award winning radio producer and host Bob Hecht shares his love of jazz through his podcasts on his site “The Joys of Jazz.” In this edition, he tells two stories; the history of the virtual anthem of World War II, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and the friendship and musical rapport of Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong.

Short Fiction

Hannah Draper of Ottawa, Ontario is the winner of the 49th Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Award. Her story is titled "Will You Play For Me?"

Coming Soon

Three prominent scholars in a conversation about the lives of Billie Holiday, Ralph Ellison, and Langston Hughes (pictured)

Contributing writers

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