“autumn 1991 the steps that lead to heaven” –a poem (and collage) by Steven Dalachinsky

April 12th, 2019






autumn 1991 the steps that lead to heaven

it was inevitable that eventually the voodoo would run you down
catch you and carry you away so you left with him on the sorcerer’s train
& freddie limping down a side street weeping thru his specks & rabbit grin
these 7 steps on a quiet night lead you silently up the road ahead in the sky
harsh black beauty floating up down there kind of round about somewhere in a green haze remembering when the living was easy & not so easy
& you all the time mumbling SO WHAT? when life wasn’t worth a plugged nickel weirdo always on the fringe cookin up a bitch’s brew in beelzebub’s cauldron
steamin relaxin workin diggin walkin tuning up the paraphernalia
bluing in an old flame on a paper moon & launching the birth of the cool
there’ll be plenty more blowing tomorrow more conceptions compulsions enigmas

…….it never entered my mind that you’d just take off gone great hero of my youth
…..godchild dreaming the serpent’s tooth i never thought yesterday would come so soon would really ever come hard on the fast track in your own sweet way
…………..painter of deceptions awake at all times
don’t blame me if i can’t accept you’re gone you were it thru madness & gladness
…….smiling footprints sanctuary & limbo on the other car to oblivion
………..the other direction in my ascent & dance from the street

i thought about you all the time & if i were a bell i’d RING your praises every hour
………………………as you arrive out of nowhere like autumn leaves
mooch milestone rich country son black comedy full of stuff
the ultimate prince of darkness orbiting my life always agitated loaded with ESP won’t you please come home WATER BOY so near so far the miles & miles of MILES
……nurturing me with your sound once upon a summertime when spring was here
……………..my lament rises as my ears long to hear your lush & muted voice
this is the meaning of NO BLUES & ALL BLUES as the broken hearted maidens languish in your embrace & the boxers wait for you to GO & there is here where you are not gone here the seeds that you left are here where you are where there is
………………………………………………….NO longer YOU



by Steve Dalachinky, NYC







Steve Dalachinsky is a New York downtown poet. He is active in the poetry, music, art, and free jazz scene. Dalachinsky’s main influences are the Beats, William Blake, The Odyssey, obsession, socio-political angst, human disappointment, music (especially Jazz), and visual art with leanings toward abstraction. Dalachinsky’s books include A Superintendent’s Eyes (Hozomeen Press 2000), his PEN Award Winning book The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes From A Charles Gayle Notebook 1987-2006 (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006), a compendium of poetry written while watching saxophonist Charles Gayle perform throughout New York City in that time period, and Logos and Language, co-authored with pianist Matthew Shipp (RogueArt 2008) and Reaching Into The Unknown, a collaboration with French photographer Jacques Bisceglia (RogueArt 2009).

For a complete biography, visit his Wikipedia page.





Steve Dalachinsky has created many collages in honor of jazz music and musicians, as well as countless others that are not music-themed.  Select collages (accompanied by his poetry) will be published in ensuing issues of Jerry Jazz Musician.

These collages are for sale (and are inexpensive).  If you wish to inquire about their availability, you can contact Steve via email at skyplums@juno.com



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In This Issue

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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…

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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


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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?

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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.

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