Poetry by Michael L. Newell and John Stupp

August 14th, 2019

 

 

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Photo by. Marco Chilese .on. Unsplash

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Prayer to the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh

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Who I love
who I pray for
more than anyone but my wife and children
do you think of me beautiful Allegheny
when you reach the Gulf of Mexico?
Monongahela what about you?
and silent Ohio
I know you don’t
overflowing with rainwater
and coal runoff
and locks and dams and levees and hills
a galaxy not a river that says nothing
until it reaches New Orleans
and then
in bed with whores and jazz musicians
dawn to dusk
what kind of example is that
strutting with some barbeque like Louis
and Kid Ory at a county fair
if God turns his head for a minute
you’re a drunken snake
licking the receding Mississippi
then giving birth to the sea like a pig
through your legs
I love
that you don’t think of me
not my bridges over your body
not my sky
not me washing your hair
not my Jesus and all that
but you do think of jazz
and the sun and the life I pray for

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by John Stupp

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Pianist and Her Listeners

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Her hands swept through the piano’s keys
like wind blowing snow through darkest night.
The music intoxicated listeners, as though
they were alone (sipping the finest cognac

in a room lit by a crackling fireplace)
with one special person whose whispered
words expanded the room into a universe
of two where flames were stars near and far;

when the hands stilled, the keys grew silent, all
in the room returned from imaginative worlds they
had visited, and craved skills to explore music’s cosmos
with unparalleled vigor and oceanic depth.

Each listener gladly would have exchanged long life
for one night of genius, one evening of perfection.

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by Michael L. Newell

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“Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting.”

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John Stupp’s third poetry collection.Pawleys Island was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. His manuscript Summer Job won the 2017 Cathy Smith Bowers Poetry Prize and will be published in 2018 by Main Street Rag. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1975-1985 he worked professionally as a mediocre jazz guitarist.

 

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Michael L. Newell lives on the south-central Oregon coast.  He is a retired teacher.

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4 comments on “Poetry by Michael L. Newell and John Stupp”

  1. Two really cracking poems today! Both with a rush of emotion but in such different manners: in John’s poem from that exuberant “beat” flow, in Mike’s from the polished elegance of his un-rhymed sonnet.

  2. “overflowing with rainwater
    and coal runoff
    and locks and dams and levees and hills
    a galaxy not a river that says nothing
    until it reaches New Orleans
    and then
    in bed with whores and jazz musicians”

    I love the sweep of the passage quoted above.

  3. The poets I have published are rich, vibrant souls with a keen sense of humanity. That they connect this human spirit to their love of jazz has always astounded me. God bless all the poets for your contributions…
    JJM

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In this Issue

A Collection of Jazz Poetry – Spring, 2020 Edition There are many good and often powerful poems within this collection, one that has the potential for changing the shape of a reader’s universe during an impossibly trying time, particularly if the reader has a love of music. 33 poets from all over the globe contribute 47 poems. Expect to read of love, loss, memoir, worship, freedom, heartbreak and hope – all collected here, in the heart of this unsettling spring. (Featuring the art of Martel Chapman)

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Features

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Great Encounters

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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.

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In an Earlier Issue

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Contributing writers

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