This month, in a special collection of poetry, eight poets contribute seventeen poems focused on stories about family, and honoring mothers and fathers...
May 8th, 2019
. . painting by Mark Kazavchinsky . . Trajet Introspeculative — to Sun Ra, Saturday night: on one (actually, Sun Da morning) — terrible swift disin- clination to forgive the equally terrible tyranny of time signa- ture, attesting to what can, which must not — that, that ken abundant wherever choi- ces be told: rs, … Continue reading “Two poems by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper”...
May 7th, 2019
choirs of insects serenade night
couples bury faces in lovers’ hair
distant train’s cry soars through dark
May 2nd, 2019
It sounded like, “Che ate Pat’s grandma”!
And I’m like…. Before I forget, the “Check Engine”
April 27th, 2019
I’ve suffered Winter
enough America says
shoveling the 1930’s
April 19th, 2019
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
April 12th, 2019
Weathered and calm,
A slight, gray haired saxophonist,
Peers out at the world around him,
He steps forward,
and begins a conversational discourse,
March 22nd, 2019
. . 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”...
March 15th, 2019
in the toilette
in front of gate 73
Louis Armstrong sings & plays
i can’t see him but i know he’s here
March 7th, 2019
I intended to be up there – way up there –
into the blue
sipping something strong.
March 1st, 2019
A bitter wind blows thru A LOVE SUPREME
& people are still waiting for the Ascension
with their eyes closed teeth clenched & fingers crossed
February 5th, 2019
Twelve poets contribute 15 poems to this month’s collection...
February 5th, 2019
. . . . 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”...
February 1st, 2019
in the Cincy club
drowning Gary’s vibes.
Stan asked them to stop.
January 19th, 2019
. . “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”...
January 7th, 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”...
January 7th, 2019
. . . . 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”...
December 31st, 2018
. . . 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”...
December 26th, 2018
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”...
December 19th, 2018
. . 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”...
December 14th, 2018
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”...
December 14th, 2018
photo by Carole Reiff Chet Baker on the Today Show, 1954, with Dave Garroway in foreground ___ FOR CHET BAKER, TRUMPET PLAYER, AT AGE TWENTY FOUR I saw a picture of you, in 1954 on the today t.v. show with host dave garroway. you both looked so happy. … Continue reading ““For Chet Baker, Trumpet Player, at Age Twenty Four” — a poem by Alan Yount”...
December 7th, 2018
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,...
November 21st, 2018
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
total physical commitment
November 9th, 2018
Like syrup on pancakes,
His solos pour out,
Languid and melodic,
Effortless at any tempo.
A sweetheart tone,
October 18th, 2018
“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”...
September 26th, 2018
Time is all time
for the player in cosmic space.
Undo the bolts & let fly
or jump back in the box
These are your reality implications
on any day of earth-clinging.
But as to the progressive continuance
of organic life on this orb,
September 19th, 2018
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
September 13th, 2018
In early morning silence,
breathing is audible.
Steam rises from tea.
A train’s whistle moans
in the distance, and I
whisper to the night
secrets I share with...
September 6th, 2018
there’s new Coltrane out
lost recordings tootin’ the devil’s horn
and while I’ve been leery
of these “new” releases, how
wrong can John Go?
even John on scat is pure...
August 29th, 2018
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
August 21st, 2018
wind howls through trees round
corners shaking bushes windows eaves
lightning fractures night and all
you locked up in memory too fragile
to be handled comes tumbling out
July 26th, 2018
Her name practically scats itself,
Say it out loud, and you’re on your way,
It’s a grand stand big band criss-cross delivery,
An overnight town to town swing set deluxe,
July 9th, 2018
Midnight and we sail on a boundless sea
nothing in sight but a vast pool of black
dimly lit by starlight sprawled without end
June 28th, 2018
sitting on the top of my dad’s tombstone
… in sedalia, missouri,
I was thinking
of how much
our horns together.
June 17th, 2018
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.
His sister stays home and marries
the county’s star high school running back
who turns into the
June 2nd, 2018
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...
May 30th, 2018
“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.
May 15th, 2018
The wind blew all afternoon,
blue my mood, moody the blues
on the box, bleak and blue when
Robert Johnson took over the airwaves;
the wind blew louder and then
May 3rd, 2018
One afternoon at the age of ten, lightning strikes.
Alone in our ramshackle wood-frame house in Hartford, I decide to listen to some of my parents’ 45 RPM records. I watch one slide down the fat spindle and plop onto the turntable to receive the tone arm and needle. The music starts and like a bolt captures not just my ears but my whole being. It’s a guy with a gravelly voice singing something about...
April 17th, 2018
April 15th, 2018
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
April 9th, 2018
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.
April 2nd, 2018
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
February 27th, 2018
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.
February 14th, 2018
the music’s so profound
so round & loud
& full of love
her word not mine
how stupid to argue over little
stupid to wrap ourselves around
February 6th, 2018
A wealth of excellent poetry has been submitted recently. Poems by Steven Dalachinsky, Michael L. Newell, John Stupp, Ron Kolm, and Freddington are examples…...
January 29th, 2018
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,
January 24th, 2018
(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
January 19th, 2018
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...
January 17th, 2018
Miles boils his bitches brew
in a night of worlds much blacker than black
His demons and angels let out slack
January 14th, 2018
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
December 19th, 2017
It’s like talking of a lemon light, a blue mist,
a pale moonlight. In this case a pink rain.
It was something to do with Christmas
and I was leaving the supermarket,
buzzed, bugged, by muzak’s soothe and slink.
I walked out, into December,...
December 14th, 2017
like notes from
Jan Garbarek’s saxophone
as we stood in Raekoja Plats
drinking mulled wine and marveling
at the size of the Christmas tree.
It was crowded and festive; somewhat loud
sure, there was a...
December 12th, 2017
December 6th, 2017
Gifts and Messages. Which
the more important?
me listening feels
more like I’m playing that
swooping of sax waiting counterbal-
answer slowly fading
November 24th, 2017
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
November 22nd, 2017
At risen angles my furniture sits
each chair fills with blood
with a pulse that could strike, may cease.
Blue couch slants toward vibration
my black arms embracing, hold on
for the dark clots of bass hammering
initials into the
November 19th, 2017