A story of coming to terms with old age…...
July 7th, 2020
Must I retrieve my black leather
jacket from the chest in my closet
My Afro pick, discarded in a
July 4th, 2020
Despite the many trials
and tribulations of black folks
here in America, as a means of survival
my people have learned to laugh and smile
in the face of adversity.
June 27th, 2020
I recently extended an invitation to poets to submit work that reflects this time of COVID, Black Lives Matter, and a heated political season.
What follows are some of those submitted. More will appear in the future.
-Joe Maita/Editor and Publisher...
June 18th, 2020
but tonight they’re here, on a street off seventh avenue, holding a thermos of coffee, following a jazz guitar. The music comes from a doorway beneath a brownstone on the next block....
June 16th, 2020
. . photo by Tengilorg / CC BY . . While Playing A Vinyl Record Music lightens blue mood. It softens mind like feather floating towards earth, then brushes against cheek, chin and ear. Body sways with Jazz in air. A tickle on skin, sensations cradled in ears, harvesting goodness like wheat to enjoy … Continue reading “Poetry by Jerrice Baptiste and Moe Seager”...
June 12th, 2020
“One ticket please,” David said aloud to Gladys.
Studying him with eyes peering over her glasses, the ticket seller, Gladys, squinted with disbelief at the sense of disproportion standing before her; David’s battered face and tortured eyes, so contradictory to his features of lapidary refinement....
June 12th, 2020
. . © Veryl Oakland Bill Evans, Berkeley, California; April, 1969 . . Listening to Bill Evans, June 2020 First the piano by itself— after months of darkness after a Winter of clouds and wind after discontent after lies and lies explaining lies and prayers and ice and rivers forgetting to … Continue reading ““Listening to Bill Evans, June 2020” — a poem by John Stupp”...
June 12th, 2020
. . photo/National Park Service South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park . ___ . At the Grand Canyon A white man and a black man stand side by side on this precipice, silently looking across the Grand Canyon, watching the revolutionary ravens surf the deep blue ocean of sky and … Continue reading ““At the Grand Canyon” — a poem by T.S. Davis”...
June 5th, 2020
May 31st, 2020
His face gave it away. Standing in front of the painting, his ice-blue eyes like tiny bejewelled pinpricks, mouth gaping and tongue hanging out, he basked in the portrait’s aura like a skinned lizard under a desert sun....
May 26th, 2020
. . photo Bret Stewart/Wikimedia Commons . . Afterwards …………………….For the Spring of 2020 . …………………..“The World Breaks Everyone, And Afterwards, ……………………Many Are Stronger At The Broken Places.” …………………………………………………………….– Ernest Hemingway. . many, many, years ago …………I was in need …………………..of some extra money. I had decided …………to sell my upright 1940’s ………………….. kay … Continue reading ““Afterwards — For the Spring, 2020” — a poem by Alan Yount”...
May 23rd, 2020
. . . …..The poet Michael L. Newell, whose work has often appeared in the pages of Jerry Jazz Musician, has informed me that his new book, Wandering, is now available. Published by cyberwit.net, the book features selections of his poetry from the past fifty years. …..Michael draws readers into his lyrical, vast world with … Continue reading “News about the poet Michael L. Newell”...
May 22nd, 2020
No one knew why he did it. Why early one August morning, the day after I turned eleven, when stores were just pulling up their metal gates, and delivery trucks were double parked in front of them, when as Mama said the sun was so oppressive you could fry an egg on the sidewalk, Mr. Carmichael left his seventh-floor apartment right above ours in The Bridgeton Apartments…...
May 14th, 2020
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....
May 12th, 2020
. . “Searching Alex,” a story by Robert Knox, was a short-listed entry in our recently concluded 53rd Short Fiction Contest. It is published with the permission of the author . . . © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons/Flicker/CC BY-SA 4.0 . . . “Searching Alex” by Robert Knox . …..He remembered a happy … Continue reading ““Searching Alex” — a short story by Robert Knox”...
May 4th, 2020
Which to recue first:
The Human right or the human left?
But the human heart
From every human center
May 3rd, 2020
Deborah lost her wallet. Most of us have at one time or another. It’s one of the awful feelings, TMW you know you don’t know. Or the last time you knew … anything. It swallows you, that feeling. Utter loss. Utter failure. All the work it will take to regain lost ground. All the effort. If....
April 27th, 2020
now frequent outside
bouyant butterflies drift
through a rush of hot breeze
with dry yellow
Black Olive leaves...
April 21st, 2020
of the cunning hero
from Little Italy
the archtop carver
the workshop magician
blown off course time and again
April 15th, 2020
The Saturn V mega rocket had a problem with syncopation from the get go. The uber squares shipped in the highest foreheads and keenest flat tops money could buy but the translunar queso bullseye refused to step and fetch it....
April 14th, 2020
Doesn’t every house have its own unique smell? How is that, when everyone’s mom cooked the same pot roast, used the same cleaning powder? And why is it that you never notice your own house’s smell, but you’ll recognize it. Like a false memory. Deja vu....
April 13th, 2020
the rhythmic flow
that trills and travels—
the making time
to trace each riff,
watching it wander
April 10th, 2020
Her granddad shook Bridgett awake. He was sniffling.
“What’s the matter? Are you sick?” She propped herself on her elbows.
“It’s Morrison. Gone.“ He was standing there in a faded tie-dyed shirt, smelling musty. His thinning gray hair, reaching past his waist, had not been tied back, but he was wearing his love beads....
April 7th, 2020
i listen to wallace roney
as i watch the sun rise
i make a safe haven out of
this music is social
but right now, i am alone
April 4th, 2020
What is an arpeggio
…………….that it sails
…………………………….so quickly –
…………………………………………ear to heart,
April 3rd, 2020
sits on a shelf, forgotten save when I open
the closet, and feel my aching knees complain
of hours spent crouched behind home plate
where I had no thought of any consequence
other than winning or losing
April 2nd, 2020
There is a great banging coming from inside the brewery
while out here in the sun my blood knocks at the blue
ceilings of my veins like an irate tenant in the apartment
one floor down unprepared for that first blast of Lee
March 31st, 2020
.I’m in bed, my windows open to the summer breeze, when I hear the guy outside again, singing. The curtains shift, as if with his voice, and glow a little, from the streetlight nearby. I’m thinking about the Apollo nose cone bobbing in the waves, about catching a tennis ball thrown high over the road. My dog’s on the floor, wedged between my bed and the dresser. He’s a Dalmatian, a big one. He got mean for a while—for weeks he’d try to bite whoever came near us....
March 30th, 2020
I wasn’t expecting the sound of seagulls
& water when I popped out of 2 train
at 135th Street
Randy birds mating,
attacking trash bags
outside of Harlem Medical Center
March 18th, 2020
You walk on the rose-colored strip of concrete that starts on the sidewalk, goes under the big black awning with the street light shining on it, and stops at the two heavy wood doors inviting in all of Central Ave. You pause long enough for Walt, the bouncer you should never irritate to the degree of getting his exclusive attention, to nod you inside even though he knows you....
March 15th, 2020
“Doc, here’s my dizzy symptom:
I’m buying these skinny books
like they’re jazz CD’s—
rackin’ ‘em up on the changer,
five at a time, punchin’ in
‘All Disks’ and ‘Shuffle,’
March 13th, 2020
Do you believe in God
after hearing McCoy Tyner
on My Favorite Things
hallowed be his holy name
March 6th, 2020
Rain sang off the roof for hours. The ancient on the porch rocked, strummed his guitar, whispered, “Make Me a Pallet on the Floor,” one minute sounding like Sam Chatmon, the next his licks would have made Mance Lipscomb proud....
March 2nd, 2020
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....
February 17th, 2020
Shepp, believing in the immortality
of Malcolm’s significance, murmurs,
a few weeks after his murder,
“Semper Malcolm” over disjointed jazz,
February 11th, 2020
over the image of a city sidewalk
broadly peopled like in
tight dollied crane shots
topcoat thick with
jump notes coming in swarms
February 5th, 2020
After a New Year
not the first sunrise
not the first cold bus
not the first trip along the Ohio
not the first day at work
not any of those things
there is nothing special about this morning
January 22nd, 2020
Don’t be surprised when kindred spirits meet each other at the right place at just the right time. People need people, even if they try to deny it. How many times do you see two people together and wonder, ‘Why do they get along so well?’ You see these people and they don’t look good or don’t seem to fit together; it baffles what should just be familiar....
January 16th, 2020
And the clouds
unfastened their seat belts
and fell across the roads and rivers
so Pittsburgh looked like it was a flying pig
January 6th, 2020
. . . We Call Him Man-Man ……………In honor of my grandson, Domonic His name is Domonic, we call him Man-Man Only 13, but whatever he wants to do he can He has music running through his veins Beats, rhythms, melodies on his brain At 6 he played the drums in the school drumline moving … Continue reading ““We Call Him Man-Man” — a poem by Aurora M. Lewis”...
January 5th, 2020
There will be no presents, wrapped or not.
Gifts can be sought, bought, ought to
Anytime, occasion rhyming with a need one’s own.
Food? By all means, and of course!
Lots of courses, for it’s fun to cook,
Break traditions, keeping some.
Summing up a feel and food one’s own.
December 24th, 2019
Arlena Sawyer’s mother had spent all seventeen years of her life warning her against what seemed like every last thing under God’s creation. With her thin, trilling voice she had done her best to hammer fear and caution into her only daughter’s head like the beak of a woodpecker into a tree....
December 17th, 2019
What song sings the earth’s Requiem
The end note in the last stanza of the final chorus
A screaming sax? A trumpet’s ache?
In the Amazon, in California, blazes of wildfires...
December 14th, 2019
I have had the privilege of publishing John Stupp’s poetry for several years now. Every time he gifts me with an email stuffed with submissions, I eagerly open it like a kid unwrapping the shiniest package under the tree. His creativity is really, honestly, that special....
December 4th, 2019
The stars would burn out before the Constellation Club would fall silent.
No matter the hour, no matter the day, a constant hum of life echoed through the walls....
December 2nd, 2019
It was a rainy Thanksgiving when
everyone I was related to
or knew even somewhat
were out of town.
I found some semi-edible
turkey at Hughes Market, along
with frozen stuffing that proved
reasonably tasty, adequate
November 28th, 2019
I’ve been bitter a long time. It’s like sucking a wedge of lemon on and on and on, pulp disintegrating, everything dissolving until the flavor turns mellow and mild, almost sweet. I’ve been bitter so long it’s hard to know anymore how anything should feel, or which part of me navigating the world each day is tainted with bitterness and which part is how I always was, even before Ty Greggor smashed through my life....
November 13th, 2019
. . Boston-based writer Con Chapman is the author of two novels, over thirty stage plays, and fifty books of humor. Most recently, he is the author of Rabbit’s Blues, The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges. I had the good fortune of interviewing Mr. Chapman recently about Hodges. That discussion will be published in … Continue reading ““Father Kniest, Jazz Priest”…a short story by Con Chapman”...
November 7th, 2019
Jonathan was only eight years old the first time he fell. It was the first winter in the new house, and he wasn’t used to the biting cold yet. It was a large, Gothic structure that scared him at first, but he had grown accustomed to the imposing house on the hill....
October 14th, 2019
The girl lived on the outskirts of town. It was mainly deserted, save for a few wild beasts that roamed the lands. But she lived with the wolves, and couldn`t breathe without feeling their fur across her lips and teeth. She asked them: what would you do if I left? And the wolves shook their grey eyes and stared at her until she cried....
September 30th, 2019
There’s a new song going around, with a maddening refrain as catchy as that flu plotting its course around the world, killing venerable ancients and babies newly out of the womb. You hear it everywhere and, no matter how much you hate it, you’ll find it bursting out of your head....
September 15th, 2019
Some chords, progression....
September 8th, 2019
Robert Shines lifted his sweat stained fedora just enough to wipe his brow. Stuffing his handkerchief back into his breast pocket he repositioned his hat at a slight angle, rakish style, just enough for a breeze to cool his skin, should one happen by. As luck would have it the Mississippi air was stagnant and sticky this August evening....
September 3rd, 2019
. . CC0 Public Domain Power house mechanic working on steam pump photo by Lewis Hine, 1920. . . . Vespers In the foundry men made engine blocks ate dirt ate sand made fire Henry Ford was the captain and his word was law when a shift was done there was a … Continue reading ““Vespers” — a poem by John Stupp”...
September 2nd, 2019
Being slight of build and juvenile looking was a mixed blessing for Alicia. On the one hand, people tended to be cloyingly condescending towards her – as if she were nine years old instead of seventeen....
August 20th, 2019
. . Photo by. Marco Chilese .on. Unsplash . . Prayer to the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh . 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 … Continue reading “Poetry by Michael L. Newell and John Stupp”...
August 14th, 2019
. . “Oswald,” a story by Rolli, was a finalist in our recently concluded 51st Short Fiction Contest. It is published with the permission of the author. . . . Photo by. Jolanda van der Meer .on. Unsplash . Oswald by Rolli . _____ . …..Mom was talking to the guy behind the … Continue reading ““Oswald” — a short story by Rolli”...
August 5th, 2019
. . Rahsaan Roland Kirk at the Jazz Workshop, San Francisco April, 1967 (photo by permission Veryl Oakland) . . FROM FLYTOWN When I die I want them to play the Black and Crazy Blues, I want to be cremated, put in a bag of pot and I want beautiful people to smoke me … Continue reading “Poems for Rahsaan Roland Kirk — by John L. Stanizzi”...
August 1st, 2019
Seventeen poets contribute to a collection of jazz poetry reflecting an array of energy, emotion and improvisation...
July 25th, 2019
. . . Climate Change If the sea keeps rising it will reach Pittsburgh tomorrow and I will put on new clothes and forget Myrtle Beach and Charleston and the Outer Banks and I will pray with the fish over rusty mills and trade places with ore cars and cranes roses are red … Continue reading ““Climate Change” — a poem by John Stupp”...
July 20th, 2019
Do you ever have a time in your life when you feel like you’re about to step off a cliff?
I don’t normally have those moments. If I could organize my entire life playing by the rules, I think I could mosey along and get through living just fine. I am the student my teachers wish me to be. I am the daughter my parents desire. I am the perfect best friend to the girls in my class. According to choirmaster, I am one of the best sopranos in the church choir....
July 9th, 2019
all night I dreamed I was lost
at sea in an alley on a battlefield
in a junkyard in a waterfront dive
when suddenly I found a room
filled with music where fear
was eased where losses were mourned
June 28th, 2019
Nineteen-seventies half-heard-of place.
You needed to tread up through the garlic
and the raspberry canes to the hall,
a sort of hall, with a lovely grained
and golden floor. Sometimes committees
of a kind would sit around there
June 17th, 2019
Harry Delaney is a night janitor, and he is teaching himself to fly. As he works his mop up and down the dim corridors of Waterville Public High School, he can feel what it would be like, floating, say, four feet above the floor, moving easily through the air, though not fast....
June 15th, 2019
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…...
May 12th, 2019