Freddie Hubbard on the bandstand
blowing away at abstract truth
until up jumped spring
and we smoke the darkness
of Paul’s Mall just as if
it will go on forever—
jazzed breath ascending
endlessly heavenward through
the coils of the flugelhorn—
and just as if one jazzedsex waitress
is still returning to our table
like first light, all lips without sound
when the trumpet washes over
the shape of her words
and we order another round,
another round if only for the sake
of the intervals sculpted by her
wordless tongue and teeth
on this again our maiden voyage.
Copyright 1998, 2014 by Kenneth Salzmann
You can hear Freddie Hubbard’s rendition of “Up Jumped Spring” on Youtube: http://youtu.be/khby51sf82s
Filed under Music, Poetry
It amounts to something of an unplanned theme, but music–in one form or another–seems to unite this recent collection of poetry podcasts. Readings of my poems “When Summer Gathered,” “At Paul’s Mall,” “Jitterbug Waltz,” and “What But the Music” are now available right here.
(You can find LANE CHANGE, the book in which these poems appear, as either a paperback or an eBook on Amazon.)
Filed under Music, Poetry
Recently, I was reminded of an interview I did a couple of years ago for Sketchbook, an international journal. The interview was conducted by Sketchbook Contributing Editor Helen Bar-Lev (a wonderful poet as well).
Here’s that discussion from 2012.
Filed under Books, Poetry
It really is true, it seems more and more, that the emergence of “social media” changes everything from how we read and write to how we debate the issues and ideas of the day–and who has a voice in those debates. For poets, who should be accustomed to small audiences, the effect may be especially dramatic. Today, a personal blog, a Twitter or Facebook account, or the like, can lend new, previously unimaginable credence to Percy Shelley’s bold assertion that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Thanks to a Facebook page called “Poets Responding to SB 1070” here’s my recent contribution to the immigration debate.
“I am about to stop writing about my dead . . .”
Of course, that hasn’t happened. More than ten years after writing this poem, I have had more than enough reason to continue writing about “my dead,” both the long-gone who nevertheless remain powerful presences in my life, and the more recently departed, a number accelerating as I age. This poem had its beginnings in the hospice room of a longtime friend. . .
Thanks to all of you who have made CHILD OF MY CHILD: POEMS AND STORIES FOR GRANDPARENTS an Amazon bestseller again this season!
After the late, acclaimed poet W.D. Snodgrass read in a literary series I ran in the late-1980s, he and I went out for dinner, and we talked about a lot of things that night.
How many Pulitzer Prize-winning poets does one small swath of rural New York State need (Hayden Carruth lived nearby and the two shopped in the same little stores)?
At what points do the performance of music and the performance of poetry meet? And diverge?
Why weren’t he and his brother on better terms?
How do you cook fish in a microwave?
He also talked about typewriters, or more accurately the unrealized potential of the newish word processors of the day to improve writing. Since word processors made editing/rewriting something like painless—no need to retype a whole page to insert a better word, say—there should be a marked improvement in the clarity and precision of writing. But was there?
He didn’t think so. Neither did he think microwave ovens had done much for cooking. Except for cooking fish, he said.
These days, of course, typewriters are being rediscovered by the hip (probably more for nostalgia’s sake than out of a quest for the perfect word). And I can’t help but remember that conversation with Snodgrass when I happen across an article like this one.