A collection of jazz poetry — April, 2019 edition

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

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April 10th, 2019

“Miles” — a poem by Susandale

  . . photo Francis Wolff, 1954 . .   Miles  In five notes …all the sadness of life A pause___ long enough …for another sorrow ………to slip in And then___ a note so piercing, …it hurts . by Susandale . . ___ . .     . Susandale’s poems and fiction are on .WestWard … Continue reading ““Miles” — a poem by Susandale”

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March 15th, 2019

A collection of jazz poetry — March, 2019 edition

18 poets contribute 20 poems to the March collection

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March 8th, 2019

“John Coltrane (for Amiri Baraka)” — a poem (with collage) by Steve Dalachinsky

John Coltrane
A bitter wind blows thru A LOVE SUPREME
& people are still waiting for the Ascension
with their eyes closed teeth clenched & fingers crossed

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February 5th, 2019

“Serendipity” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

. . . . SERENDIPITY As I walk down the dirt road from my job, headed slowly home, I pass a few people wandering here and there as their work day ends; I amble past an old home with a corrugated metal roof, bricks holding down the sheets of metal from blowing away, a light … Continue reading ““Serendipity” — a poem by Michael L. Newell”

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February 1st, 2019

“Billie Holiday” — a poem (with collage) by Steve Dalachinsky

. .   “Billie Holiday” by Steve Dalachinsky . . Billie Holiday someone’s special greatness hides inside us somewhere like a strange fruit……..unexplainable hard ripe rotten..fine..fractured but mellow filled with love…disappointment & solitude & heavy like…a rock in one’s heart you may make it or you may die in your room overlooking the park….or an … Continue reading ““Billie Holiday” — a poem (with collage) by Steve Dalachinsky”

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January 7th, 2019

A collection of poetry celebrating the culture of jazz — January, 2019

  . . In this collection, nine poets contribute ten poems celebrating jazz in poems as unique as the music itself . . “Cuarteto Vincent Van Bop,” by Jazzamoart . .   I Am Jazz . I Am Jazz. It is my nature to evolve, to change and adapt. I’m restless. I move towards a … Continue reading “A collection of poetry celebrating the culture of jazz — January, 2019”

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January 7th, 2019

Two poems for the New Year…by Alan Yount and Michael L. Newell

. . . . AS DAY ENDS . Clark Terry’s horn unleashes a silvery note ……………….that ascends ………………………ever higher ………………………………to join a golden full moon ………………………………………rising into early evening orbit. When the note ends, listeners discover they have forgotten ……………….to breathe, ………………………and slowly rejoin ………………………………………their quiet neighborhood and prepare for sleep ………where they will drift … Continue reading “Two poems for the New Year…by Alan Yount and Michael L. Newell”

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December 31st, 2018

“He Wrote a Song for Tina” — a poem by Aurora Lewis

. . . photo by Jack Robinson . . He Wrote a Song for Tina Monk’s first love was Ruby, McCoy Tyner wrote of Aisha, Miles, Back Seat Betty and he wrote a song for Tina the one who broke his heart, led astray only to creep back in again with someone else’s baby, I … Continue reading ““He Wrote a Song for Tina” — a poem by Aurora Lewis”

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December 26th, 2018

Three poems by Phyllis Wax

painting by Justin Bua . . .   Cool Blue He leaned back, closed his eyesand blew and knewthat next to him a string bass twirled,was plucked and plinked, and the drumwas a follow-up man with a tin cancollecting coins from flat handsmeeting in the darkto celebrate the soulfulsound of his breathbecause the moon was … Continue reading “Three poems by Phyllis Wax”

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December 19th, 2018

Poetry celebrating jazz and the holiday season

  . . 12 poets contribute 19 poems dedicated to the culture of jazz music, and to the holiday season… .   .   Collage by Steve Dalachinsky     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 … Continue reading “Poetry celebrating jazz and the holiday season”

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December 14th, 2018

“Songbird” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

  SONGBIRD a blues note broken in the middle the songbird in the brambles startled into silence shame for the intrusion all autumn I have wandered in search of a music which would still this dull grief for every person I see wandering alone every child I see looking at the world with a question … Continue reading ““Songbird” — a poem by Michael L. Newell”

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December 14th, 2018

Thankful…for poetry (and poets)

So many great poetry submissions of late, for which I am incredibly thankful.  The spirit within every poem received — whether published or not — is evident and cheered and appreciated.

Here are three recent arrivals…

Happy Thanksgiving, peace and blessings to all.

_____

The Keyboard Player

by Robert Nisbet

 

Daily, he worked from nine o’clock till five.
His life and family and things were fine.

For some the moment, the anticipatory one,

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November 21st, 2018

Luciana Souza’s musical interpretations of poetry

Those interested in the power and possibility of mingling poetry and music – especially jazz music – will find great joy in a 10 minute conversation between Brazilian singer and composer Luciana Souza and NPR’s Lisa Mullins, in which Souza discusses her 2018 album, The Book of Longing.  The album features poems by

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November 17th, 2018

“Mel Torme and Buddy Rich Rip Roaring” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

two hepcats scat sing
            drum the hippest
of hip music
            advertise “Love for Sale”
in wild musical riffs
            dancing through air
nothing held back
            all is passion
imagination
            total physical commitment

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November 9th, 2018

Two new Roger Singer poems

“Rachelle Ferrell,” by Steph Fonteyn       FULL OF FAT From discarded crumbs, like falling stars onto stage horns and strings form dreams from blues and tears, where fear has no place and lies provides promises past midnight while jazz makes people hungry and rhythm tops off the soul like cities next to rivers … Continue reading “Two new Roger Singer poems”

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September 26th, 2018

“Planet Braxton” — a poem by Mark Kerstetter

Time is all time
for the player in cosmic space.
Undo the bolts & let fly
or jump back in the box
and die.
These are your reality implications
on any day of earth-clinging.
But as to the progressive continuance
of organic life on this orb,

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September 19th, 2018

“Listening to Charlie Parker, Play Jazz, In the Dark” — a poem by Alan Yount

charlie parker
sits on the end
of my bed
holding his alto sax.

and for pete’s sake!  mr. traps:
buddy rich was also there,  
getting his drum kit ready
by the end of the bed.

then ray brown’s there
and making a

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September 13th, 2018

“It’s The City, Blue”– a poem (to the Williamsburg Bridge) by Jay Franzel

Concert postings and colored stickers on the crossbeams,
black-clad cyclists crossing East River—
I remember when nobody pedaled
past your grim entrance—around 1985,
when Garden Cafeteria had to close
to keep the junkies out.
They even shut you down in ’88,
said you were

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August 21st, 2018

Poems by eight poets

Eight poets — Michael L. Newell, Aurora Lewis, Roger Singer, Lawrence J. Klumas, Freddington, Victor Enns, dan smith and John Stupp — connect their poems to the spirit of jazz in this eight page collection…

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August 10th, 2018

“Miles of Highways and Open Roads” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

The carpenter (whose hands have grown
too large for the twenty house town
he was born in) sticks out his thumb
and catches a jet to Los Angeles where
he drowns off the Santa Monica beach trying
to ride a wave to beautiful downtown Burbank.

 

II.

His sister stays home and marries
the county’s star high school running back
who turns into the

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June 2nd, 2018

Yusef Lateef’s poetic description of music

     As his website reminds us, the late Yusef Lateef was “universally acknowledged as one of the greatest masters and innovators in the African American tradition of autophysiopsychic music – that which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self.”  He defined music as “a medium through which we express our feelings of love, sorrow, and joy.”

     Lateef, who died in 2013, was a virtuoso musician on a multitude of international instruments

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May 30th, 2018

A poetic appreciation of Chris Connor — by Lawrence J. Klumas

“Who,” you ask.
“Chris Connor,” I repeat.
“Oh, sure, right,” you say
            (with little enthusiasm.)
“You have to listen, really listen,” I say.
“O.K.” (an acquiescence).
I carefully place the vinyl record
            on the Rek-O-Kut turntable.

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May 15th, 2018

“Homage (to Joe Albany)” — a poem by Anggo Genorga

And a daughter is not enough or a son
or be a couple with someone who would stick thru all the shit
or the idea of a family
and god or the belief to a higher being is not enough.
The cheap girls and empty sex are always there but never

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April 9th, 2018

“Bicycled Dusks Garaged” — a poem by dan smith

Snow & Ridge our rock n roll Mecca.
The Tastee Shoppe jukebox our holy of holies
best for miles around was our Kaaba
where Elmore James’s Dust My Broom
sent shock waves through my hormone addled brain
& Night Train by Rusty Bryant & his Carolyn Club orchestra
was a bump & grind fantasy of rockin’ & rollin’ ecstasy.

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April 2nd, 2018

“With Us Yet” — a poem by Susandale

Theirs’ was a kind of mediation between then and now
No, it was a meditation on their only freedom: the deliverance of their music
No, no: a melding. One musician calling out: another answering.
Or maybe, a metaphor for the chorus of life
The way Lady-Day lamented the brief glory of

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February 27th, 2018

A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, I recently invited many of our contributing poets to submit work that combines the themes of jazz music and love, with the result being a collection of voices expressing their own contributions to the language of love… 

Dozens of writers submitted over 100 poems, and the best of the submissions — 29 poems by 18 poets — are found on the following 12 pages. Advance through the selections by utilizing the page monitor at the bottom of each page. 

Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work.

 

JJM

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February 14th, 2018

Jazz poetry by Steven Dalachinsky, Michael L. Newell, John Stupp, Ron Kolm, and Freddington

A wealth of excellent poetry has been submitted recently.  Poems by Steven Dalachinsky, Michael L. Newell, John Stupp, Ron Kolm, and Freddington are examples…

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January 29th, 2018

“For Keely Smith” — a poem by Diane Elayne Dees

Godmother of the gypsy tramp
half-breed goddess, unparalleled queen
of less is more, effortless weaver
of that old black magic—
your strength lay in the space between
the screaming sax and the scatting singer.
If midnight blue velvet were sound,

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January 24th, 2018

“Illinois Jacquet” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

(in response to an invitation
musical and raucous from the fingers
of Wild Bill Davis tickling the keys
of his organ seeking a musical response
by someone and something of equal stature)

Illinois I say accepted the challenge and blew
some blue some very blue blue blue notes
that set listeners

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January 19th, 2018

“The Passing of a Poet” — an appreciation for Mike Faran

Poetry is a courageous art form.  No poet can possibly succeed without the willingness to create a completely transparent window into his or her soul.  A poet rarely achieves by faking it.

A successful poet’s thoughts are naked to the world, and this full-on exposure — because it is so often blunt and painful for the poet — leaves the reader with a reasonable understanding of lives led and footsteps taken (or not).  These revelations build a rewarding and intimate connection.

I have never met or spoken to Mike Faran, whose poetry I occasionally publish on Jerry Jazz Musician.  I only outwardly know him by the short biography he sent me — retired lobster trap builder from Ventura who has had some work published in journals around the country.  That’s it, really.  I don’t even have a photo of him. 

He has periodically sent me emails with a poem or two attached to them, seeking my interest in publishing them.  (“Here is another poem that I hope will meet with your approval.”) Although I haven’t published them all, they almost always

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January 17th, 2018

“Christmas Alone 1992” – a poem by Michael L. Newell

The slow tumble of snow past
my partially open window
recalls the year in Amman
I sat for hours watching
a bleak whiteness deepen

all through the abandoned farm fields
surrounding my apartment
while the cool sound of Miles
gave shape and form to my grief
thousands of miles from

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December 19th, 2017

“One Evening Walking in London, December 2002” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

 

Just off Oxnard Street (littered with last minute shoppers
two days before Christmas), an old man decked out
in a ragged trench coat and a torn stocking cap
played a slow mournful jazzy interpretation
of “Time after Time” on a battered flute.
 
The flute echoed through neighboring streets,
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December 6th, 2017

“Beehive Records” — a poem by Michael Yellin

Tonight I’m spinning
the ugly, unhip
jazzmen of Beehive records,
sweating in their transition shades,
mustaches sincere and wide,
collared tapestry shirts,
hair erupting from ears and noses

and they’re killing—
bellicose ogre grunts

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November 22nd, 2017

Two poems by Robert Nisbet

From red kite country, driving South,
Dai Grandpa, fresh from yesterday,
such yesterday. Only when the
June sun sank, had Dai – dudein’
up my shirt front, puttin’ on
the shirt studs – reached evening’s land
– and such a yester-e’en. (Dai caught
the breeze, his ship came home.)
He breakfasts now in wild kite

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November 13th, 2017

“Hearing Dizzy Gillespie at Dino’s Club in St. Louis for the First Time” – a poem by Alan Yount

we all were
three fifteen year olds
along with one of our fathers.

we were
the only white guys
in the club.

it was at dino’s club
in st.louis, in the fall of 1962
at the corner of

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November 10th, 2017

“Coldest Winter Night” — a poem by Ed Coletti

When Miles Davis gets back into his mood
I go where I need to be in my own
somewhere in or near Mal Waldron’s Love Span
over the River Tender where moons flow
reflecting piano keys rippling night

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October 17th, 2017

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.

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