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

Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, talks about her book, and the complex life of her late husband.

Also in this issue…A new collection of jazz poetry; "On the Turntable," a new playlist of 22 recommended recordings by seven 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…

On the Turntable

This month, a playlist of 22 recently released jazz recordings, including those by Chris Potter, Sons of Kemet, Stephan Crump, Brittany Anjou, Julian Lage, Joey DeFrancesco and Antonio Sanchez

Poetry

Seventeen poets contribute 21 poems in this month’s edition…

The Joys of Jazz

In new podcasts, Bob Hecht tells three stories; one about Miles Davis’ use of space in his music, one on the mutual admiration society of Sinatra, Lady Day, and Lester Young, and the other about the train in jazz and blues music.

“What are some of your all-time favorite record album covers?”

Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath, Fred Hersch, Joe Hagan, Maxine Gordon, Neil Tesser, Tim Page, Veronica Swift and Marcus Strickland are among the 25 writers, musicians, poets, educators, and photographers who write about their favorite album cover art

Art

“Thinking about Ida B. Wells” — a photo narrative by Charles Ingham

Jazz History Quiz #126

In 1964, along with the orchestra of arranger Lalo Schifrin (pictured), this flutist/alto sax player recorded one of the first “Jazz Masses,” and soon after studied transcendental meditation in India. He would eventually become well known as a composer of music for meditation. Who is he?

Great Encounters

Dexter Gordon tells the story of joining Louis Armstrong’s band in 1944, and how they enjoyed their intermission time.

Art

In this edition of Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light,” photographs of Red Garland, Dizzy Gillespie and Rahsaan Roland Kirk are featured.

Short Fiction

"Strings of Solace," a short story by Kimberly Parish Davis

Interviews

Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell discusses the life of the important 20th century American artist

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

Short Fiction

"And so we went to Paris," a short story by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Coming Soon

National Book Award winning author for non-fiction Jeffrey Stewart is interviewed about his book The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke

In the previous issue

The question “What are some of your all-time favorite record album covers?” was posed via email to a small number of prominent and diverse people, and the responses of Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath, Fred Hersch, Joe Hagan, Maxine Gordon, Tim Page, Veronica Swift and Marcus Strickland are among the 25 writers, musicians, poets, educators, and photographers who participated...Also, the publication of the winning story in our 50th Short Fiction contest; an interview with Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell; a collection of jazz poetry; two new podcasts by Bob Hecht; the March edition of "On the Turntable," and lots more...Click here to be taken to the issue.

Contributing writers

Site Archive