So many great poetry submissions of late, for which I am incredibly thankful. The spirit within every poem received — whether published or not — is evident and cheered and appreciated.
Here are three recent arrivals…
Happy Thanksgiving…peace and blessings to all.
The Keyboard Player
Daily, he worked from nine o’clock till five.
His life and family and things were fine.
For some the moment, the anticipatory one,
is the night’s first pint, the store’s threshold,
the starting gates going up. For him,
the moment was just that trice
before a session, gig or practice,
when he’d stretch his fingers
and let them ripple, as a cat stretches
a lazy back. Then he’d let his fingers fall,
at just the music’s pace, to the keys.
Then he entered that world,
the hosts and hopes of the America
he’d never visited (Bechet, Joplin,
swing and jazz, Ella’s Manhattan,
imagination’s night clubs), numbers
that sang of soul, which rose,
for three, five, fifteen minutes,
above banality’s roof tops.
by Robert Nisbet
The only cats worth anything are the cats that take chances.
this discord is alien
a dervish whirling and salient
If somebody else did that they’d lock him up
it would be abrupt
you crazy motherfucker yo time is up
Charlie paints the stepladder of major scales dark blue
and asks Monk as he is dying
if there is anything he could do
help me with my coat
polish my lens-less glasses
give me chicken liver and mashed potatoes
allow me to adjust my pinkie ring
and sweat on the keyboard
before I close inward and forget my own son
he smiles at you while eating an apple in an airport
Nellie counts the money with one eye on him
the baroness makes him giddy
these women are not rivals
one feeds him
one lets him go free
they both love him
the sax solo is a soft shoe sphere
the shock of fame
of elbowing the high notes
ain’t that a bitch
let’s all take turns looking
at each other before we vanish
into wordless chapters
in a wordless novel
about a countess who stared
at a wordless bird
looking across the Hudson
he was not rescued at the top
just called it quits
didn’t feel like it anymore
and the largeness
of forgotten ideas
as valid a reason as any
to bend jazz into absolute silence
where what you don’t play
is louder than what you do
and the piano in the room
was the elephant in the room
by John L. Stanizzi
Lost in a Groove
two souls connected.
Riding a wave particles protected
from the fog and the darkness.
The beats like a beacon
on the road to redemption.
Electric fanfares proclaim the presence.
The merger of our twofold essence.
Our sunlight perfect dance
surrendered to a trance.
A radiance reaching for the stars
locked in a waking dream’s embrace.
Tuned to a cosmic music attainment.
A unified field no longer a theory.
Lost in a groove of highest fidelity.
Transfixed by the one we needed no other.
We found each piece of the puzzle.
The hidden mosaic of two souls connected.
Protected from the fog and the darkness.
Electric fanfares proclaimed us beacons.
Surrendered to the trance.
No longer theoretical unified in practice.
To the glory of groove to the groove
be the glory.
by dan smith
Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work has been published in roughly equal measures in Britain and the USA, in the latter case quite regularly in San Pedro River Review, Red River Review and Panoply, which made him one of its Editor’s Choice Featured Poets in their Fall 2017 issue.
John L. Stanizzi’s full-length collections are Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallalujah Time!, and High Tide-Ebb Tide. His work is widely published and has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Rattle, New York Quarterly, American Life in Poetry, and many others. Chants, his latest book, will be out this summer.
dan smith is the author of two chapbooks: Crooked River and The Liquid of Her Skin, the Suns of Her Eyes published by Deep Cleveland Press and Night Ballet Press respectively. He has been published in the Rhysling Anthology, Dwarf Stars, Scifaikuest, Renegade Flowers: d.a. levy in the Digital Revolution, Kaleidotrope, Zen of the Dead and Lupine Lunes published by Popcorn Press, microcosms, Red Fez, Hedgerow: A Journal of Small Poems and Failed Haiku to name a few.
“Suppertime,” with Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins