Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

two artists in a train station at night

with no less than a hundred other places
he could have planted himself
the well-dressed septuagenarian in the suit
sits down directly beside
my london fog
in the starkness of the 3 a.m. train station

his bones
and the wooden bench
making similar creaking noises
as he settles

“Isn’t it crazy you can only catch a train back east in this town at 3:30 in the damn morning?”

as he rifles a jacket pocket to no avail

i sigh and say,

“It is Cincinnati…notoriously late for everything.”

he nods and gives and extra suck to his throat lozenge

the sense of intrusion fading
my mind performing jubilant cartwheels
because he just said
back east
as if people actually say
back east
suddenly feeling grateful for his warmth
in the surgical sterility
of the vacuous art deco room

where it somehow manages
to be 1939

save the pay phones
ripped from their booths

wires dangling from the walnut walls
folding doors half open
glass still covered
in fingerprints
gaping victims of technology and time

other passengers hailing from the depression era
begin filing in
with too much luggage
and too many children

my eyes find a small amber feather
on the side of his exquisite olive fedora
as he asks

“Why a train? You look more like the jet set type…”

“Too afraid to fly…you?”

“Too old to drive and too poor to fly. Where you going, miss? I’m Karl.”

“All the way to Penn Station, Karl. 17 hours. My name is Alicia.”

we shake hands

“Me too. What do you do for a living, if I may?”

“I write angry poems and perform them in front of people.”

“You gonna write an angry poem about me?”

“No, but I do plan to write about those Cordovan boots you’re wearing…”

he laughs at the floor
shaking his head at my knowing

“You are a poet.”

i smile a century

“What do you do?”

“I play the trumpet.”

“You gonna play a song about me?”

“You’re damn right I am…and those heels you’re wearing…”

“You ever walked down the ramp to the platform here before? They may have been a bad choice…”

“So steep it’s like you’re going to hell. Well, tonight we can go together.”

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

god bless the child who has her own

billie holiday’s
hospital room was raided
in 1959 for narcotics possession

she was arrested in her bed
where policemen
stood guard over her
for a month

before her liver told her heart
to go on and die

sexually assaulted at age 11 by a neighbor

prostituted by her mother at age 14

then raped by the white men
who ran the music business
for the rest of her life

.70 cents in her checking account on the day of her passing
because fame doesn’t pay the damned rent

heroin and her beloved dog mister
had been the most consistent men in her life

and here i sit on a sunday just after sunrise
more than 50 years after her death

considering the only thing god gave her

was the most beautiful voice on earth

so she was deprived of everything else

even peace of mind

as my weeping mingles
in the air with strains of strange fruit
i can’t escape the notion

her last thought

was that she had to face a white judge

the following morning

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

John Dorsey & Alicia Young Live at the Brandt

John Dorsey & Alicia Young Live at the Brandt

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

the age of poetry

emerson said
poetry begins
when we live
from the center outward

an explosion
which begs the question

How old is poetry?

poetry is as old as
the first trillionth of a second

it is older than the rings of saturn

poetry was there
the moment william shakespeare
learned to write his name

it was the first ivory key
beethoven ever touched
with his chubby baby finger

poetry was present
when da vinci
married mona lisa off
to the renaissance man

it existed within the wooden paint brush
van gogh dipped into the color blue

it is being made dizzy by gillespie
one night in tunisia

poetry is the inch between true love’s kiss

it lives in the shadows creeping across
humphrey bogart’s face

poetry is a bird silently in flight

it is the light in your child’s eyes

poetry is accepting

life is like being at a great party
and nobody knows who threw it

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

blue note baby

every morning
as i dress for work
my record player
is spiraling blue train

eve spitting pomegranate seeds

the air surrounding me
fills with your cologne

my hips move
as if you were there
to dance around

tongue remembering
your mouth, bladed grass, and
the endless bourbon

baby, you have found a way
to make jazz forever sound
like california

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

i hear tibet is lovely this time of year

my lips broaden into a smile
when experiencing the impact

a ballet of collisions

what a drummer
must do with his body
in the act of making music
while fighting shiva’s war

slamming membranes into life

striking sand atop cymbals into glass

grand ganesha
one day
i shall be a content mouse
living beneath
your shattering altar

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized

tuesday night & the music

there was a fortuitous parking space

in an alley near 7th & race

which was right outside my

tuesday night & the music


a homeless man sat on a concrete bench

beneath a too perfect tree in the adjoining

corporate sponsored park


he smiled at me

as he hummed

the way we were

then looked away


my cross walk became irrelevant

glass door with a silver handle grateful


into the rosemary clooney room

welcomed by a doorman bantering into a smile

and a newly relocated owner gleeful about overflowing tables


entering sparkling

full glide

through a crowded cocktail vigil of cool kids and cast offs

mingling acquaintances and aficionados

comparing scars

sharing polite war stories


so flawed and beautiful

explaining how they know the band

before the late show


the table chosen was in the second row

straight out from the bench of the steinway & sons piano

behind the reserved seats


black cloth immaculate

fred hersch trio playbill

candle no longer lit

my first request of the waiter

is for a match to relight it

as i would not be able to hear the jazz

without the fire burning


my second request was for a manhattan


kitchen clamor and invading garlic and lemon aromas

fade to less

when the show begins


i deprive myself of nothing

as the notes fall from the maestro’s fingers

wind dancing with

the autumn leaves of garfield place


i gaze at the rigging above the stage

beyond the rim

of my just arrived martini glass


a french quarter deep purple dream

the light fixtures

are red velvet wedding cakes

hung upside down

their red inner glow

covered with an off white cream


hovering above

jerome kern, miles davis, and thelonious monk standards

ah, but it was an original piece that turned the world on


entitled sad poet


brought to our feet by a drummer who knows secrets


a bassist making love with his fingers to her supple curves

covered in strings


and a pale humble man

bent in majesty

over a piano


i resist the urge to journalize

leaving notebook and pen in my purse

let it happen for god’s sake let it happen




the man seated to the right of me

needs this night in the worst way

double johnnie walkers on the rocks

as he anguishes to the delicious sound


the man seated to my left

hopes i am in the mood

for angels to fall


the set includes



the song is you

and i fall in love too easily
to name a few


a standing ovation coupled with lingering applause

before the room

was left stunned by th gentle encore


the man began to conjure


with the black and white keys


as the people who were truly seeing the music

bowed their heads


and closed their eyes


i complied


this is when

he touched the back of my hand







poetry Short Stories Uncategorized

before we say goodnight

this evening

i sit



in a corner booth

at the blue wisp


my favorite little

subterranean jazz spot



near the subway entrance


beneath a plume of staccato cigar smoke

perpetually swirling into your shape

i am dying discreetly


pulling and pushing your onyx ring

up and down my finger


looking for you

under every dark elegant hat


the trickle down my martini glass

is the sweat of your brow

hastened by the rumble

of the blue train overhead


candlelight casting

the shadow of your smile

across the white linen desert


stage lights

the stars between us


johnny hartman and john coltrane


my one and only love


every note of it

is for us


i close my eyes in remembrance of yours

trying to find the way garnets give way to topaz when you laugh

allowing you to be my only dream


there is your face before me

in the moment we last touched


i could no longer tell if we were fighting or making love

slapping clawing and biting for a deeper taste of each other

leaving bruises the color of forever


tears adorn my cheeks as i reopen my eyes

to the lack of our tomorrow


oh but darling

we were perfect weren’t we

i’ve never been so close


just know


i am lost

wherever i am without you


i love you baby


just hold my hand for one more moment

before the memory fades


before we say goodnight