Thankful…for poetry (and poets)

November 21st, 2018

 

 

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

 

____

 

 

Sphere

 

            The only cats worth anything are the cats that take chances.

                                                            -Thelonious Monk

 

 

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

—>

pope names
actor names
president names
the shock of fame
of elbowing the high notes
I’m famous?
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

—>

one day
looking across the Hudson
he just
stopped

he was not rescued at the top
just called it quits
didn’t feel like it anymore

handless arms
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

 

 

Share this:

4 comments on “Thankful…for poetry (and poets)”

  1. Dear Mr. Nisbet and Mr. Stanizzi:

    Good stuff!!! I especially like Mr. Nisbet’s line ” above banality’s rooftops ” and Mr. Stanizzi’s lines ” wordless chapters in a wordless novel ” and the wordless bird ending.

  2. Dear Mr. Nisbet and Mr. Stanizzi:

    Good stuff!!! I especially like Mr. Nibet’s line ” above banality’s roof tops ” and Mr. Stanizzi’s lines ” wordless chapters in a wordless novel ” and ” the wordless Bird ” ending.

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In this Issue

The winter collection of poetry offers readers a look at the culture of jazz music through the imaginative writings of its 32 contributors. Within these 41 poems, writers express their deep connection to the music – and those who play it – in their own inventive and often philosophical language that communicates much, but especially love, sentiment, struggle, loss, and joy.

Interview

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Con Chapman, author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges discusses the great Ellington saxophonist

Book Excerpt

This story, excerpted from Irving Berlin: New York Genius by James Kaplan, describes how Berlin came to write his first major hit song, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” and speaks to its historic musical and cultural significance.

Interview

photo by Francis Wolff/© Mosaic Images
Interview with Paul Lopes, author of Art Rebels: Race, Class and Gender in the Art of Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese

Poetry

photo of Archie Shepp by Veryl Oakland
"Archie Shepp's Jazz Song," by Susana Case

Art

Art by Charles Ingham
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” — Vol. 1 -- a unique view of jazz history

Jazz History Quiz #133

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
This musician first recorded with Ben Pollack’s band in 1936, and then joined Benny Goodman (pictured) in 1937. He eventually started his own band, in which Frank Sinatra sang for a short time in 1939. In 1941 he recorded “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want to Do It”), which made him a star — second only to Glenn Miller in popularity in 1942. Who is he?

Community

News about the poet Arlene Corwin

Photography

photo of Stephane Grappelli by Veryl Oakland
Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light” — photos (and stories) of violinists Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Zbigniew Seifert, and Leroy Jenkins

Short Fiction

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

Great Encounters

photo of Sidney Bechet by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
In this edition of "Great Encounters," Con Chapman, author of Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges, writes about Hodges’ early musical training, and the first meeting he had with Sidney Bechet, the influential and legendary reed player who Hodges called “tops in my book.”

Book Excerpt

In the introduction to Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music, author Gerald Horne writes about the severe cultural and economic obstacles jazz musicians have encountered since the music's inception

Interview

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

“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

In this edition, producer Helen Keane tells Michael Jarrett, author of Pressed For All Time: Producing the Great Jazz Albums about how the collaboration of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans began, culminating in the 1975 recording, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album.

Interview

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

Humor

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
"Every Soul is a Circus," by Dig Wayne

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…

Contributing writers

Site Archive