Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year

New Year

When I see those lights
and hear that old song
and see it all hung across
the sky splendidly saying it's
time to begin anew, I think
of the good old times and I
just don't know what
time it is.

My sketch of Lester Young

Inspired by Lester Young playing, "I didn't know what time it was".


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Your Way

Your Way

In your way
side to side
I watch and
I wonder
in your way
what song sways?

My sketch of Dave Brubeck

Inspired by Dave Brubeck playing, "In Your Own Sweet Way".




Monday, December 29, 2014

Changes

Changes

Just read the changes
it's not that hard

I am told across the room

changes upon changes upon
mouthfuls of consonants and vowels
unable to form sentences or phrases

red clown face hard to
breath

it's not that hard

I hear as I scan around the room

changes upon changes upon
opportunities lost from losing
harmony

I gulp up some air
I read the changes
I bebop across it all
scales up and down and around
and backwards

nothing can mumble
out the changes
I hear in life.

My sketch of Sarah Vaughan

Inspired by Sarah Vaughan singing, "You've Changed".

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I'll Remember

I'll Remember

I'll remember
the rainy days the thundering
storms that never seemed to
cease
I'll remember the bitter
cold the awful fog covering my
gaze
I'll remember the saddening
days the tears the cries of clouds
up above
But I could never forget
the smiles the laughs the gay
dances the time I felt completely
at peace
How could one ever forget
that?

My sketch of Charlie Parker

Inspired by Charlie Parker playing, "I'll Remember April".

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Yesterday

Yesterday

Yesterday a sound so new
hit me like a storm
so cold so blue so awfully true
I felt I was reborn. 

My sketch of Billie Holiday
Inspired by Billie Holiday singing, "Yesterdays".

Friday, December 26, 2014

Moody

Moody

Magical
One of a kind
Optimistic
Dazzling
Youthfully living on.


My sketch of James Moody
Inspired by James Moody playing, "I'm in the Mood for Love".

I write more jazz posts on, "Kind of Pink and Purple".

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Count

Count

Count your blessings
count your happiness
count your memories
count your smiles
count your luck
and count on your family.

My sketch of Count Basie
Inspired by Count Basie's band playing, "April in Paris".

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Somewhere

Somewhere

Somewhere music floats
like marshmallow clouds
upon candy cane forests.

My sketch of Ella Fitzgerald

Inspired by Ella Fitzgerald singing, "How High the Moon".

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Awake

Awake

Pop
     Crash
              Bang
                       Boom
                                 Hiss
                                        Hum
libraries of conversations
memories gone by and
pondering of the future
Pop
     Crash
              Bang
                       Boom
                                 Hiss
                                        Hum
libraries of emotions
thoughts dreams aspirations
all pass while I sit awake. 


My sketch of Jerry Bergonzi and Phil Grenadier (L to R)
My sketch of George Garzone
Inspired by The Jerry Bergonzi Group and The Fringe at the Lilypad. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

Tea

Tea

A sip of tea
a sip of music 
a gulp of life.

My sketch of Art Tatum
Inspired by Art Tatum playing "Tea for Two".

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunny

Sunny

If I close my eyes
and hum loud enough
even the coldest most
rainy dark days become
a sunny paradise.

My sketch of Sonny Stitt
Inspired by Sonny Stitt in the song, "On the Sunny Side of the Street".


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Without

Without

Without 

with
out

w
i
t
h
o
u
t

w
 i
  t
   h
    o
     u
       t

Any way you put it - 
without -

is a song all its own. 


My sketch of Sonny Rollins
This poem was inspired by the song I named my blog after - Sonny Rollins playing "Without a Song".


Friday, December 19, 2014

Buddy

Buddy

Why do you love jazz?

The question 
l
i
n
g
e
r
in the air - the shock of a 
lightening bolt -

How do you analyze this? 

It just 
COMES TO YOU
the love 
it hits you - just like anything really...

The air propels further - 

Why do you, me, we - love jazz?

Well,
I guess you can call it an outlet...for all the 
electrical energy it brings to us. 

It's happiness. It's beautiful. 
It's tragic. It's RAW. It's historical. 
It's modern. It's changing. It's tradition.
It's a bunch of people. It's an experience. 
It's a culture. 

But, if I had to really say WHY I LOVE JAZZ...

I'll tell you the secret -
It's the BUDDY I always wanted for myself. 
Someone - SOMETHING - always there. Through
thick and thin - a buddy - to guide me through life. And
wherever I travel I can carry this buddy with me. You can
lose everything, everyone, anything - people turn, change, 
leave you, hate you, break you open...
disappointment, guilt, anger...

But JAZZ 
man, this cat stays. 

My sketch of Bud Powell
Inspired by Bud Powell playing, "Like Someone in Love".

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peace

Peace

Peace. It's all we ever really
want...that crisp silence those bright
smiles that sense of unity that idea that
everything is in its right place and the beauty
of just being. 

My sketch of Mel Torme
Inspired by Mel Torme in "The Christmas Song".

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holidays

Holidays

Wishing all the best;
a cheery time of year -
peaceful, grateful, joyful,
healthful, happy, helpful -
holidays.

My sketch of Nat King Cole
Inspired by the song, "The Christmas Song".

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bird

Bird

If I could be any animal
I would be a bird for 
they can fly high up in the
sky, while who am I?

My sketch of Charlie Parker

Monday, December 15, 2014

To fly

To fly

To fly oh to fly 
to hear air and symphonies
between the clouds sky blue
melodies hushed harmonious
up in the air without a care. 


My sketch of Eric Dolphy
Inspired by Eric Dolphy's "Hi-Fly".

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lush

Lush

Chords flowing melodies spinning
articulations legato smooth rests so
peaceful and solemn and emotions so
pure raw intense yet withheld feeling so
lush. 


My sketch of Billy Strayhorn

Inspired by Billy Strayhorn's song, "Lush Life". 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Solitude

Solitude

A time to ponder
Solitude 
A time to reflect
Solitude 
A time to sing and dance and
praise and be grateful for all that 
still is to be cherished
Solitude. 

My sketch of Duke Ellington
Inspired by the Duke Ellington Song, "Solitude".

Friday, December 12, 2014

Stride

Stride

No one to talk with
no waltz to dance 
just a stride piano, 
a chance. 


My sketch of Fats Waller
Inspired by the song, "Ain't Behavin'"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sentimental

Sentimental

In a sentimental mood
la dee dee dom da da doo ee daa
da da deee da doo da dee
da da da dum da doo da dee.


My sketch of Duke and Coltrane
Inspired by one of my favorite songs, "In a Sentimental Mood". 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Treat it gentle

Treat it gentle

Treat it gentle 
treat it kind
treat it purely
a state of mind. 
My sketch of Sidney Bechet

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Brother

Brother 

Brother
a term so endearing
so lively oh
how I have so many
many I have never met but
when I play all millions of them
all billions of them
I hear play with me.

My sketch of a trumpet player


Inspired by Marvin Gaye's song "What's Going On".


Monday, December 8, 2014

What we play

What we play

What we play is
real
what we play is
raw
what we play is
rough and tough and strong and
calm and serene and pure
what we play is
blues and rhythm
exuberance and energy
gratitude and remorse
memories and forgotten
what we play is
those sad lonely nights
those snowstorms that sunshine
the hail, the rain, the waterfalls
the fireplace burning bright the
tulips sprouting so gorgeous
what we play is
those ups and downs and
diagonals spins around and
stories told to us all as children and
stories we made for ourselves as adults and
stories we know all too true
what we play is
the moments we were left frozen
paralyzed, we couldn't breathe, time
stopped and there was nothing left to do

except play.

What we play is
life.

No substitutes.

My sketch of Louis Armstrong

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Relaxing

Relaxing

Relaxing 
kicking back on 
two and four 
boom ba boom da
ding da ding za
zap za zap doo
doo da doo
Relaxing. 


My sketch of Christian McBride

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Penguins

Penguins

When I see those little guys
flipping and flopping around
they look like jazz cats with their
little tuxedos ready for the gig.

My sketch of a jazz penguin

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bebop

Bebop

Oftentimes I sit around
and I hear a sound

Be and a bop - Yes!
That's the sound!

Scoo bop e dee bop
Da dop e dee doo
zap a zap a wow a rap
Be and a bopping too

Oftentimes I hear a sound
bebop - so profound.

My sketch of a piano




Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stage

Stage

Tip toeing and sauntering and
sashaying around with my own self so
casually alone so remarkably solid.

Jazz word art

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Spontaneous

Spontaneous

A lifestyle based on
now

A music rooted in
then

A philosophy on
living.

My sketch of a saxophone

My sketch of a jazz band

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

To Diz

To Diz

To Diz,

You are someone I've never met. 
Hello.
Yet, I know you... from
the books, movies, videos - 
your playing cascades through my
life, your history, your tales, your
speech enlivens all of our lives and
the way you walked - as I can imagine -
it just brought life, be bopping around
two and four and one e and a bam - 
You are someone I've never met,
yet we are close like family - a 
family of be bopping and scoo dap e dop. 



A sketch of Arturo Sandoval

Monday, December 1, 2014

Diz

Diz

Be bopping 
scoo bapping
da doo ba da dee ba zap
a da wowwww

Be bopping
scoo dapping
da bop da bop da dooby doo
and and and owww

Be bopping
a scadattling a me 
a wow a bop shoo baaa
a dooby wow a doo - a

Night in Tunisia. 


My sketch of Dizzy Gillespie
Inspired by Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia".

My sketch of Arturo Sandoval and Ed Calle




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Wrong

Wrong

Wrong.

what a strange word, for what does it
mean? wrong as in the opposite - of - right?

Wrong. 

what a peculiar word. one syllable; it spits out of 
your lips, w-r-o-n-g.

Wrong. 

what a connotation. shivers down my spine and
red flushes across my face - even the sound of it
scares me to death.

Wrong. 

what a strange word, for what does it 
mean? for being wrong only leads to what is

right.


My sketch of Thelonious Monk
 I will be adding a 'sketch of the day' to my poems as often as I can. Stay tuned for more jazz inspired pieces!
My sketch of a jazz club

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Explanations

Explanations

To explain is
to write a novel,
a symphony,
a rhapsody,
an epic

long, vast,
contrasting.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Crossing

Crossing

C
 r
  o
   s
    s
     i
      n
       g 
back and forth
back and forth and 
c
 r
  o
   s
    s
     i
      n
       g 
up 
and d
       o
       w
       n
d
w
and 
      up
and s                 g
        p             n
           i         i
             r     l
                a
around.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Change

Change

They told me

Change
is
good

that sometimes you have to
see new things meet new
people learn new subjects in
order to come back around

They told me

Do
not
fear

that sometimes you have to
lose old things let go of old
memories forget the past in
order to come back around

They told me

Change
is like
jazz

that each chord shapes the
melody and each emotion shapes
the line and each breath fills the
sound and each line creates an arc

And I told myself

to keep on soloing.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What time is it?

What time is it?

What time is it?

It's got to be four in the afternoon somewhere.
It's got to be raining somewhere.
It's got to be hot somewhere.

Someone's got to be thinking this somewhere.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Museum

Museum

It's been a long time since I've
seen the stars the clouds the dinosaurs since
I've noticed yarn and all its threads and admired
the beauty of history. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

If only

If only

If only a poem could do something
useful or needed
like cure cancer or solve starvation
then maybe it would be a noble feat.

If only a poem could do something
helpful or valuable
like change a country or mend lost relationships
then maybe it would be worth the strain.

If only a poem could just do something
that alters everything and
flips the world upside down
then maybe the grass would be a little greener.

If only a poem could do something.
If only I could use it for something.
If only lack of purpose brought depth of meaning.

If only real life could make me feel
ecstatic and purposeful
like a poem, a well crafted poem -
then maybe I would find purity in this life.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Flipped

Flipped

At a loss for new music
a new kind of sound
I went and I flipped
my sheet music upside down.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Translations

Translations

Scoo-ba-dee-op
I have gotten into the habit of speaking other languages. 
Za-zoo-ped-ee-wow
I suppose I made my own one up
Da-dop-a-da-ee-op
But how elated I feel to know -
Doo-waa
Only I can translate.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Listen

Listen

The funny thing about
jazz
is that you have to
hear it
to know what it is.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lost

Lost

So I got out my saxophone;
shiny and coarse and heavy and new

to me at least

it seemed like an old friend,
one passing down the road
one with memories, you know
the kind that last and reappear in dreams

you can't escape them

so I look at this friend
scared half to death
disheveled am I, lonesome
and scared of interaction for

an old friend is just that -
an old friend -
out of contact
out of sight

and as I gaze into the hollowness of it all
I realize old friends aren't really friends

they're just memories...

a few jazzy notes later
there's a splashing spark, and I'm
found.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What is improvisation?

What is improvisation?

What really is
improvisation?

Sure it's the art -
art of making it all up
art of being on the spot
art of creating in the moment

It's an art -
a sort of painting still wet
a dance choreographed with a trip
something unexpected

It's an art, right?
Or is it?
a sort of poem made in dialogue
a sort of cake with no recipe
something unplanned

But if it's an art -
because we call it an art -
doesn't that mean everything
we do is art?

We walk with a saunter
we talk with a rasp
we laugh with a cackle
we gaze with a sparkle -

and we don't plan that
we don't really plan anything

we can try and try and try and try
to micromanage to schedule,
but in the end

What really is improvisation? -
Is there any opposite?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Maps

Maps

I got into the business of
collecting maps for
I always seem to get lost

ratty, torn, tea stained,
ripped up, splattered,
chewed open - they can't
even take me anywhere, they're

pointless, trivial, ornamental;
they lay on my bureau, some
hung up, taped, posted across
the plastered, bumpy walls
sparkled like stars - tens
and tens of these, maps

to Jordan, China, England,
Croatia, Poland - anywhere
in the world, torn, tidbits,
chopped, cut up: just thrown
any old place

dysfunctional at best, they're
ragged and worn - thrift shop
finds, scattered, musty: just thrown
any old place

hoping to take me
any old place.





Monday, November 17, 2014

Seasons

Seasons

Waking up in the middle of the summer
to a chill consuming cold

Waking up in the winter
to a heat stroke.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Solitude

Solitude 

I think
the
mark
of

maturity

comes with the
acceptance
of the
idea
of

solitude

being alone

even wanting
to be alone

and dealing with
the feelings associated with
this jolt of cold water

purity
         - harsh
                    - simple

it's you and you alone and
no one else really knows your own

solitude.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Opposites

Opposites

With want comes...
un-want? -

sweeping

compelling as fear
repulsive as need -

When all you want is risk
and all you dread is
a result.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Everyday

Everyday

Everyday
feels like a
tornado
sweeping swooping swiping
up
up
up
and away.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Folded

Folded

Folded neatly are the sounds of my tune
brief and concise

it plays all right

skipping a beat every once in a while
making up for silence with intensity.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Limitations

Limitations

I wanted to be a 
dancer
but I couldn't
dance
I wanted to be a 
painter
but I couldn't 
paint
I wanted to be an
actor
but I couldn't
act
I wanted to be a 
poet
but I couldn't 
write
I wanted to be 
myself
but I couldn't

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gliding

Gliding

Gliding
Sailing
Moving
             Swiftly
                         Across
                                     The
                                            Sky
                                                  Until
                                                           You
                                                                  Land
                                                                           With
                                                                                    A
                                                                                        Plunk. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Clap

Clap

clap
      bam
             wow
              clap
      bam
wow

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Definition

Definition

Jazz is a word.

Music is a word.

Sound is a word.

But to define...
that's to listen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Singing

Singing

To sing
to really sing
to sing out loud
to sing from the roof top
to sing yes to sing
to sing as if you mean it
every single word shaping your
mouth contorting and moving
and dancing through the syllables
and vowels and consonants as if
you are crunching through the
words an apple, tart.

To sing is to find your
self on the top of a building
falling into the harsh wind
flowing to and from with the idea
of hearing silence in the wake of
sound.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Moving

Moving

The
 F
  U
   N
    D
      A
       M
         E
          N
            T
              A
                L
rule of it all is that
P
E
O
P
L
E
move
        on
and the slate gray R O C K
crumbles to S A N D
forming a new kind of C E M E N T

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Snow

Snow

A fresh sort of 
b
l
a
n
k
e
t

woven
thick 
wool
itchy heavy large

knitting needles
click
        and 
clack
        and
click
        and

tap tap tapping of 
fingers against a table
worn
tired
s
a
d
human

ruffling of pages and pages
flip
     flap
flip 
     flap
flipping the pages and pages

hooting and howling
and breathing in and out
in 
    out
in 
    out
in to the nose
and out with a fog of 
icy cold wind and
sprinkles of evaporation
and a hiss hiss hiss
h
i
s
s
of the tea kettle 
and the drop 
pang
      ping
pang 
      ping 
of a sugar cube stirred
metal spoon clacking
and clinking and clooking
and clawing to 

a warm sauna
a bath a meltdown a blizzard
of white noise. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Classical

Classical

With a subtle stare
comes a movie screen
of senses and the pop
pop popping of popcorn
for the listener.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nowhere

Nowhere

Although I could be 
Anywhere but there 
I always wish to be nowhere 

Although it's simple 
Anything but interesting 
I just wish to be nowhere 

And though I sing along 
I never hit the note
The note wished of 
Dreamed of in nowhere 

So I dig and I dig 
And I dig to dig 
Searching for gold 
In the land of nowhere 

Just searching 
To find nowhere 
To be a part of nowhere 
To be a sort of nobody...

No, no I do not wish to be part of nowhere. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Conversations

Conversations

A tap tap tapping
slingshot across the air bang
hit and miss and talk.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Deaf

Deaf

To be stuck in the sound
so stuck so stuck like mud
so stuck you see nothing
so stuck you are trapped

To be stuck in sound
is to be stuck deeply stuck
so deeply stuck
that you can't hear music.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Quintessence

Quintessence 

As I sleepily wander
I slip into what is
could be
was
becomes

the line that once was
is
will be
would be
a spiral
a curl
a wispy trail of

logic that seemed
seems
appears to be
is
hunched over
dismissed
overlooked to

make everything appear
seem
be
the quintessence of it.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Herbie

Herbie

Tick tock
waaam
whispers
pss pss
kkk kkk

the lights go on
flash
scratch
flicker
croak

the long stride down the aisle...

the maiden voyage.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sounds

Sounds

Droom droom droom droom
druum druum druum druum
da dee
da doo
Droom droom droom droom
druum druum druum druum

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silence

Silence

In a world of noise
silence penetrates the ear
louder than yelling.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Strasbourg


Strasbourg

This is our life
this is our crowd
this is the song we
swing out loud

This is our stomp 
this is our beat

Nothing now can stop us. 

---------------------------
Inspired by Roy Hargrove.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Semicircle

Semicircle 


Hush
        hum
                ho
                ho
         hum
hush

Friday, October 17, 2014

Painting

Painting 

To listen is to
draw and paint and illustrate
music in real time.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stuck

Stuck

I do not know what note to play
to express what I have to say.

Though I fish and I fish and I fish
all the sounds that come out are sluggish.

Though I toot and I howl and I bend and I spit
no sound seems to be the note, the aura, the it.

Though I swirl and I curl and I yawn and I dive
I am left stuck, defeated, dead but alive.

So  on this day I cannot find the note
that floats and floats but never lands.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Coexist

As I look around
                            from side to side I see

a firefly
             a bumblebee

and the buzz buzz of the bee 
                                              and the vroom vroom of me
seem to coexist as one.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spring in Fall

Spring in Fall

The thundering beat...
the mellow waves, rainbows and
flowers all blooming.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Pharoah

Pharoah

da da dee duuuumm dee

da dee
           dum
da dee
           laa
                 aha aha

da
    dee
da
    dee

dee daa
            la da dee daaa

a sound so fresh
a sound so new
                            feels so familiar
                            feels so comfortable

a droning call
                       a humming chant
a lulling coo
                       a hissing snap

yeah yeah yeah yeah
                                 yeah yeah yeah ya yeah

da da dee duuuumm dee
                                       da da dee duuuumm dee

oh the creator has a master plan.

---------------------------------------------------
Inspired by Pharoah Sander's 74th birthday and his song "The Creator has a Master Plan".


Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Summary

A Summary

If I could summarize jazz
in one word 
what would I say? 

Oh. 
Well, 
maybe I would say jazz is 
people.  

No wait. 
How about, 
adventure? 
Jazz is definitely 
adventurous. 

Daring? 
You kind of have to 
be daring to improvise...
oh and how about 
loving? 
or trusting? 
or accepting? 

It's a sound! 
Yes, a honk
whinny
coo
whisper
swing
step
bam 
boom
Can you hear it? 

But jazz, oh it's America's music!
Jazz is America! 

But wait, it's all over the world. 
Maybe then it's 
worldwide. 

Or it's not really where, but when. 
Jazz is whenever...
Jazz is now. 

If it's whenever, then who is jazz? 
Jazz is anyone. 
Everyone. 
You. 
Me. 
Him, her.
Them.

Wait, so do I define jazz? 

Because 
I can't even summarize it. 



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Drums

Drums

hit
    crash
             bang
                     boom

tang tang a lang a doo

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stuck

Stuck

Where is the sound I want to hear?

Why it is here.

out of thin air.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall

Fall

Hopscotch
up and down
right and left
pat a pat a
boom crash
fall...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Cool

Cool

Whistling coo and caa
breath hovering through the air
music spinning up.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Swinging

Swinging

Whirling and twirling
all I hear is a bit of
Da dop ba dee ba doo
and a whole lot of
ding ding da ding da ding.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sugar

Sugar

Ba da bop daa
ba doo diddle da dee
ba dee ba da wowwww

ba da bop da
ba doo diddle da dee
ba dee ba da weeee

ba dee ba daaa
ba da diddle doo dee
ba dee ba la doo waaa
ba da ba doo weee
ba dee bop a doo daa
ba doo lee bop aaa
laaa ahh zap a wowww.

(Sugar - Stanley Turrentine in scat)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Exhaustion

Exhaustion

hushed pulling
pushing
clenching

heavy breathing
stepping
bending

a voice

          croaking

lost

           deaf

and a song
hiccuping 

to  
    s
    i
    l
    e
    n
    c
    e

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Saxophone

Saxophone

Foreign,

shine dampened
metal chipped
metallic taste
a smell
a sort of tarnish
a rust about to...

cool
watery
splashing
puddles
waves

surfing on
foam
seashells rising
up to the

wind
air
diving through...

a hot air balloon
taking off
so crimson red
so light and fantastic

just foreign,

except to me.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Symphony

Symphony

Underneath the gravely streets
comes a knock knock knocking
a beat so fine so loud so fierce
that it seems to rumble out of your
ears coarsely yelling screaming
imitating your every move until
you pause to realize that the knock
knock knocking was a dance so
you that it becomes your own
symphony.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Awe

Awe

With every short breathe
comes a howling coo of awe
for today is now.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Right then and there

Right then and there

That moment where sounds
seem to morph into images
and that sort of sweep becomes
a thunder bolt a shooting star
an erupting volcano coursing
through the air so fast so
sonically fast that when you
stop to breathe it hits you
right
then
and there.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sphere

Sphere

Lights keep on shining
on the sphere that is jazz to
keep on rotating.

Friday, September 26, 2014

In place

In place

Rush rush rushing
energy flowing through
excitement nervousness
to calm calm in place.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Light

Light 

With a light touch songs
dismiss a year of pain and
a life of sorrow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yesterdays

Yesterdays

Crystal clear air soothing
the sounds the tones the
pitches the timbres
the meaning of life
lived in a moment of
yesterdays.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wind

Wind

The way the wind blows
I wouldn't be surprised if
it just went away.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Gone

Gone

Spinning spinning spinning
the sound is spinning away
into the clouds the stars the sky
the deepness of the ocean
the shallowness of the sand
spinning spinning spinning
away and away until
p
 o
  o
    f
it's gone.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Silence

Silence 

If you close your ears
and focus inward
a million sounds
rebound

the click click click
of an internal clock
and the scratch of
impatience

the moan moan moaning
of the day's struggles
the cheerful applause
of the day's successes

clapping tapping
whopping wooping
splashing crashing
away in our head

the delicate melodies
the rhythmic flops
the intuitive harmonic
progressions growing
morphing making
a new song

then you start to listen
again and you realize

the song is yours only
made in

s                    e
i           c
 l     n
e

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Autumn

Autumn 

Autumn encapsulates
music

the crunches of leaves
the echos of birds
the ahh of the rising
winds

an orchestra of sounds
of creatures
of nature

of life.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Roars

Roars

Crash crash bang
woosh splinter kabam
roars over the oohs and the
ahhs and the ohhs and the
scooby doo wops.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

All day

All day

Zee doo bop doo bop
Scatting across the landscape
Shooby doo all day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sighs

Sighs

To feel the air
between my eyes
is to see a song
and how it sighs.

Monday, September 15, 2014

What does it sound like?

What does it sound like?

What does it sound like?

Dat da da daa da
baa bap, bop baa
Dat da da daa da
baa bap, bop baa

Ching ching cha
ching ching da
ding ding da
ding da ding

Doo dee da
doo e and a
doo dee da
doo e and a

all overlapping.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Present tense

Present tense

A jolt of energy
sprints across a hazy room
waking a crowd from
the tired nervousness from
a week of anxiety of
stress of apathy towards
just being

Serious faces fill with
humility and care
concentration locked in
speaking through a gaze

Squished boxed cramped in
tight people flock to hear
to experience to be a part of
the sensation the history
the story

Walls adorned with
pictures and records and
awards and calendars and
newspapers on the half
eroded walls preserving
monuments of the past

Food huddling across the
deep room carrying comfort
and feeding the hunger the
deep hunger for food and
for thought to know

and the thoughts
they carry so much
hope want need for
more than truth for
more than just plain
existence

Can you hear?
Are you there?
Are you living;
or existing?

Hurry hurry hurry
turns to relax relax
relax participate

Larger than life a
human speaks and
tells their life through
just one note

Larger than life a
human responds to
this story of hope of
loss of redemption
and though the two
might never meet there
is a true understanding
an empathy for someone
else other than them

and hearing oh
hearing the purity
the purity of the anger
casting out smoke screaming
for attention bashing the
injustice declaring peace

and hearing experiencing
the love the true unbiased
love and wonder for it all
the relationships the
sounds the map through
sounds and the simple
bluntness of being
honest in the now

and the squeal the
honk the whinny the
coo the ahh the shh
the cackle the hush
the cough the plunk
the pop the crash
the taa the daa
the dee the dum
the zzz the zap
the whoosh the boom;
the light bringing forth
shadows from the
inside out

Present tense life
demands improvisation

And improvisation;
well it demands present tense life.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

New

New

Looking out across
a glimmer comes out sprinting
of new sounds of hope

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

One

One

It's weird to think that
one note

just one

that one note means
so much

that one note is
backed by
years of experience
memories
good days
bad days
experiences

that one note
from one person
tells a
story

love
loss
loneliness
that one sunset
that one moment where
you just said

this is me.




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

About people

About people

Smiling through the tears
it HITS me

yes

it's about people

and though tears
c
 a
  s
   c
    a
     d
      e
down my cheek
it feels like a

relief

A simple tune
a desolate club
swinging lightly
humming low

Pause for brief claps
grateful

Staring at the industrialized
air ducts slate gray walls
electrifying charcoal
cold metal details harsh
contrasting warmness in

people;
music

A robotic scenery

But a human life.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Start

Start

Cold
dark
raining
splish splash a splish a splash

my arm patting against the glass
two e and a clap

My breath cooling the air
ooh awww

then I start to think:
when did this song start...

but did it ever end?

Monday, September 8, 2014

And

And

The sound of the drums
whooshes crashes splinters out
one and a two and... 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The beat

The beat

I walked off the bus today
shoes tarnished by the rain
laces undone
too frazzled too lazy
to bend down

I scurried across the street
Trumpet in arm
the pressure of the case
nudging my arm
too rushed too late
to adjust it

I ran into the club
suit on sharp
shoes tarnished by the rain
trumpet in arm
buzzing my lips
too hot too cool
to care for

I walked off the bus today
and I walked off yesterday
always rushing to a
different beat than my
own music so

I will walk off the bus tomorrow
maybe tiptoe a bit
whistle a bit and
gaze at the sky
so the beat of my
heart matches the beat of
my music

Saturday, September 6, 2014

If

If

If you close your ears
all the sights sounds and wonders
can share no music

Friday, September 5, 2014

Now

Now

Now
when you improvise 
you can be thinking of 
an array of things

what note should I play? 
what are the chords?
what lick should I put here? 
what scale fits here? 
what? what? what?

Now 
when you improvise
you can be living 
an array of things

the music
the legacy
the sounds
the people

you can react
you can speak out 
you can talk
you can listen

Now
when you improvise
you can let
whatever it is
just be

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What is jazz?

What is jazz?

What is jazz?

nobody knows

ask this man
he says it's a type of
music

ask the next 
he says it's a type of
sound 

him? 
he says it's a type of 
person

her? 
she says it's a form of
culture 

and if you approach them
well 
they say it's a state of 
mind

what is that state of 
mind you ask

well in a cool whisper they 
answer real quiet and ponder that
it's the state of mind where you
walk with a bit of a swing to your
step and look with a bit of fire in your
eyes and you talk with a lot of kindness in your
heart and you dare yourself to keep on
loving because at the end of the day

what is jazz? 

nobody knows

jazz is you

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Playing in time

Playing in time

One
two
a one two three
four

ding ding da ding ding da
ding ding da ding

one

and a two

three

and
you're playing in time

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Song of my life

Song of my life

The song of my step
the song of my life
starts with that walk
that jaunt
that saunter
that swinging step

Monday, September 1, 2014

Your own

Your own

If you close your eyes
pit a pat a splish a splash
becomes your own tune

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Without a Poem

I have a goal to write everyday. And the thing is I want to write about jazz.

I went to a concert the other night and the thing that struck me was my need to share my experience. But not in a review format where I talk about each song and musician, the solos in a sort of technical way. I want to capture the concert, but in an artistic way.

I cannot really draw. I always wanted to be that person at a jazz concert with a sketchbook pencilling a recreation of the scene to convey the music and musicians. I went to a Rudresh Mahanthappa concert in April and there was this lady a couple of seats down just drawing the scene. And the way she drew you could almost hear the music. The way she drew his eyes all closed, and fingers slightly curved- you could hear that.

But, that isn't my calling. I want to recreate that feeling with words. Not tell you that the musician did a chromatic run, but show you the sights, the sounds, the taste, the feel of the moment. The way the musician rocked back and forth, closed their eyes real tight, and breathed from their gut- how the note sparked and tapered, exploded then hissed.

I want to encapsulate a moment like that so the scene becomes real. Because I can tell you all about the concert, but can I really have you feel like you are there, smelling the stale air, squinting in the dim light, and feeling the cold wooden benches?

Like Jack Kerouac I want to write stream of consciousness minimally edited works that ultimately shed light on jazz. Whether it be directly about jazz or just with the rise and fall of the line- I want to find that sound in words.

So please help me while I try to write a poem everyday to my own beat. Sometimes they'll be long, sometimes short, sometimes detailed, sometimes hazy, but I do want them to be spur of the moment.

How would you recreate a moment in words?


Jazz Club

Stale air carries
coffee beer cola through
burning neon lights
warm dark dank weary
huddling close closer

Eggshell plastered walls
splattered with artwork of
men women children featuring
placid cool expressions
moaning to hear more more
running walking crawling

Cold hands on flat tables
wooden grainy dense with
paint peeling yellow straining
cracked back hunching over
kneeling to sit squinting to see

Tapping hooting rocking back
and forth shooting shadows
sound alerts with jabs slaps
claps snaps criss crossing over

Then a lucid silence contains a
slithering growling growing
sense of calm paint strokes burning
to yellow orange red

Slow walk hushed voice over
to a microphone off on
holding lifting hovering
whispers concealing energy
through the gasping coarse air

Breathe in breathe out
one and a two and a three
and a pure note shivers
across the nighttime air up to
whatever it is that can hear