Two wintry jazz poems — by Michael L. Newell

January 17th, 2019

 

 

..

.

.

 

 

.

.

ONE NOTE BLUES

.

The snow flows
…………across the night
………………………….each flake a note

one pure blues note
…………unrepeated unequalled
………………………….throughout all recorded time

one long note from sky
…………to earth bending up down
………………………….and around on its way

to the cool cool ground
…………just waiting for the light
………………………….too light to be measured

moment of landing
…………end of flight end
………………………….of tumbling turning

life an eternity
…………a moment ended in
………………………….the perfect blues note

wavering fading
…………vanishing into white
………………………….death on death

the melting a release
…………of millions of one note
………………………….songs into memory

where they will creep out
…………at the damnedest times
………………………….into a moment’s light

and sound clear
…………as a Clark Terry
………………………….high note before the long

slow slide
…………back into
………………………….memory’s recesses.

 .

    (Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Winter 1998)

.

by Michael L. Newell

 

.

.

___

.

.

 

AT A WINDOW

 

Snow was falling, winding
sheets in Amman’s dusk,
years spiraling past.

………………………………………………..Miles ’round midnight
………………………………………………..blew blue notes
………………………………………………..each cooler than the snow.

No cold, there was no cold like memory,
frozen on a windowsill, the liquid
of her voice embalmed.

………………………………………………..Notes cracked, ice
………………………………………………..ready for a thaw,
………………………………………………..the wind hinting at life’s losses.

Heaters rumbled bass notes,
the shutters shivered in irregular rhythm,
the horn held it all together, a winter psalm.

.

 

………………………….Amman, Jordan, December 1992

.

 

by Michael L. Newell

 

 

 

.

.

_________

 

.

Michael L. Newell is a retired English/Theatre teacher who has spent one-third of his life abroad. He now lives on the Oregon coast. In addition to the recent publication of his new book, Meditation of an Old Man Standing on a Bridge, he hasrecently had poems published in Verse-Virtual and Current.

Click here to access all of Michael L. Newell’s poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician

To order a copy of the book, contact BELLOWING ARK PRESS 18040 7th Avenue NE Shoreline, WA 98155

.

.

.

.

___

.


.

.

.

.

Share this:

One comments on “Two wintry jazz poems — by Michael L. Newell”

  1. I really enjoyed both of these, Michael: the compactness of the form of each certainly, and in particular the way in which music and place merge to create the atmosphere in the Amman poem.

Comment on this article:

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

In This Issue

Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic Records co-founder, is interviewed about his successful career as a jazz producer, discographer, and entrepreneur...Also in this issue, in celebration of Blue Note’s 80th year, we asked prominent writers and musicians the following question: “What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums; a new collection of jazz poetry; “On the Turntable,” is a new playlist of 18 recently released jazz recordings from six artists – Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, Matt Brewer, Tom Harrell, Zela Margossian and Aaron Burnett; two new podcasts by Bob Hecht; a new “Jazz History Quiz”; a new feature called “Pressed for All Time,”; a new photo-narrative by Charles Ingham; and…lots more.

On the Turntable

This month, a playlist of 18 recently released jazz recordings by six artists -- Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano. Matt Brewer, Tom Harrell, Zela Margossian, and Aaron Burnett

Poetry

In this month’s collection, with great jazz artists at the core of their work, 16 poets remember, revere, ponder, laugh, dream, and listen

The Joys of Jazz

In this new volume of his podcasts, Bob presents two stories, one on Clifford Brown (featuring the trumpeter Charlie Porter) and the other is part two of his program on stride piano, including a conversation with Mike Lipskin

Short Fiction

We had many excellent entrants in our recently concluded 50th Short Fiction Contest. In addition to publishing the winning story on March 11, with the consent of the authors, we have published several of the short-listed stories...

“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 an excerpt from his book Pressed for All Time, Michael Jarrett interviews producer Creed Taylor about how he came to use tape overdubs during the 1957 Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross Sing a Song of Basie recording session

Art

"Thinking About Charlie Parker" -- a photo narrative by Charles Ingham

Jazz History Quiz #128

Although he was famous for modernizing the sound of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra -- “On the Sunny Side of the Street” was his biggest hit while working for Dorsey (pictured) -- this arranger will forever be best-known for his work with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. Who is he?

Great Encounters

In this edition, Bob Dylan recalls what Thelonious Monk told him about music at New York’s Blue Note club in c. 1961.

Art

Jerry Jazz Musician regularly publishes a series of posts featuring excerpts of the photography and stories/captions found in Jazz in Available Light by Veryl Oakland. In this edition, Mr. Oakland's photographs and stories feature Stan Getz, Sun Ra, and Carla Bley.

Interviews

Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, discusses her late husband’s complex, fascinating life.

Cover Stories with Paul Morris

In this edition, Paul writes about jazz album covers that offer glimpses into intriguing corners of the culture of the 1950’s

Coming Soon

"The Photography Issue" will feature an interview with jazz photographer Carol Friedman (her photo of Wynton Marsalis is pictured), as well as with Michael Cuscuna on unreleased photos by Blue Note's Francis Wolff.

In the previous issue

Jeffrey Stewart, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, is interviewed about Locke (pictured), the father of the Harlem Renaissance. Also in this issue…A new collection of jazz poetry; "On the Turntable," a new playlist of 19 recommended recordings by five jazz artists; three new podcasts by Bob Hecht; a new “Great Encounters”; several short stories; the photography of Veryl Oakland and Charles Ingham; a new Jazz History Quiz; and lots more…

Contributing writers

Site Archive