Thursday, November 03, 2016

Hey, Jazz Poet!

—Photos by Stacey Jacklyn Morgan, Fair Oaks, CA
—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA


Eating the trout
on my Friday fish day
then placing on
my plate
and dish
a lemon sherbet
for dessert
while listening
to "The Trout"
a quintet of Schubert
in A Major of this score
on a turntable before me
then taking
this open boat
out to the Azores
as the late-morning tide rips
its waves at high tide
transporting me about
and skips by the shore.



Life lengthens
to give me strength
in the icy woods
of daylight
off the Maine Coast
the ashen branches
stand like a rocky crevice
in a boasting rain from
the windy forest
near the birches
which whips
the helpless snow-showers
along the hills
into a line of dragonflies.

 River Bowl


At the public garden
under the sun
near the Boston Common
the swan boats
have been anchored
until the spring
now the floating sky birds
have gone South
we are lulled
by a wintry
singing bird's sleep
of the Fall's bygones
and taking leave
of a red vintage wine
near a riverbed
leaving a living memory
of Concord and Lexington
and to rest deeply
near a nest's mouth
of an eagle's wing.



My memory
opens up to Clio
in the mythology
at a scene of history
a Muse
across the waters,
a daughter
of Mnemosyne
who is in antiquities.



On the Cape's bogs
gathering blueberries
at Woods Hole
draped in my old Fogg
rain coat
as we notice a frog
being dissected
by a teen scientist
outside Wood's Hole
he's also drinking
Russian rye kvass
with Nabokov by his side
and from my eye
we direct a ruddy horse rider
with an injured stallion
on the open fields
to the stud farm nearby
in Hamblin near Falmouth
relaxing now by the mud
near a carefree Evergreen
at a standstill dawn for me
as I'm playing my soprano sax
trying to relax
by playing riffs of jazz
with a wriggling garden snake
awakening a tadpole
rustling on the dewy grass.



A thrush tries
this Thursday
to make sounds
as if he is human
rises up
at the blueberry farm
where I play my sax
while helping out
with an armful of chores
watching the manes
of riding ponies and horses
here in Vermont
unshaven in my mysticism
a brown bear suddenly jumps up
in the woods
by a listening fountain
while I protect the children
eating their croissants.



Guessing that the last day
of October
will admit the horseflies
up here in the barn
in Vermont,
of course
we want our skis
to go cross-country
near the farm
they are harvesting apples
and ginseng Chinese tea
my aunt is continually baking
with a hurting arm
her spinach and cheese croissants
while she cooks very early
in her bright country kitchen
with steak, pancakes and eggs
doing her priorities,
her food tasting like manna
reminding me
of nana Mendes
with her Spanish recipes
from a deliciously fed heaven
for the small family multitude
hung out
with her early priorities
as she vanishes till noon
as my city companions wake
I'm consuming a memory
of my translated poetry
in my book
now in seven tongues
with a savant's attitude
as a servant on my knees
reciting from the Beatitudes.

 Last Swim of the Year


Tuning up
my violin strings,
while pruning
and flowering my garden
here in Vermont
with last spring's planting
now all set for my vegetables
of bean, spinach and corn
for our croissants
with my aunt’s pleasant laughter
as she is putting flowers
on the table of life
newly attached to earth,
now reborn and after reasoning
and believing
that this Fall season
will have a good harvest
of our miracle first fruits also
gathering pomegranates,
lemons, apples
for our feast of Tabernacles
will survive in their roots
before the first snow
is seen over the Green Mountains
and our guest Malvolio arrives
as an antagonist
at a pleasant time to build
pardon, rejoice and sing
from my portfolio
to make us feel alive
and blessed.



The waiting room
has a dark entrance
of deadly and shy
no one has an invitation
to visit
only a Jewish poet
fresh from the last war
survives the sweat
of his last bet
at poker
and he will out live
the joker.



Not a breath
of warmth
in Jonah
near the big fish
on his way to Nineveh
yet this Jewish saint
does not faint
from his task
he merely asks
like his countrymen
to live.



Warsaw walls
need light
for Andrei Wajda to direct
his films
needing a lantern
in a cortege truck of sound
opening the underground
of sewer and pipe line
to transform the earth
as an eagle
from the burning red sky
joins the movie crew
as a sign of life from above
and a handsome Jew
has a clear vision
from his hiding out
for three years.

 Mama and Carma


Prophets and poets
expect incidental dreams
or monumental visions,
not unlike Byron, Shelley, Keats
today we call it enlightenment
when its entity is of the mind
and sent brain waves
depositing ideas to an Einstein
or an Eisenstein
rather than of a better pure spirit
yet we endure
by receiving our lover's letter
depositing winding gifts
for instance a kiss on target
or by chance a metamorphosis
at the sunny soccer meet
here with my undercover jacket
hiding from a slew of bees
under a scarf of Fall leaves
feeling abandoned
when I notice
by a lonely Evergreen
a Japanese actor in green sleeves
doing Kabuki
believing even in my despair
acting out or
a reciting few psalms
offering to promise me
even a doubting Thomas
facing the faithless enemy
or having Yeats walk with me
experiencing cabin fever
at the Isle of Innisfree
or Heine or Celan
feeling prejudice in Germany,
thinking there was no one here
to pray, smile or rejoice with me
yet her open-air performance
on the grass
lifted up my day
and made life all clear
as the melancholy passes away.



Hey, jazz poet
playing a hundred riffs
lending your Van Gogh ear
as if to carry the sound
of your tenor sax
though this gig's
long corridors
engaged with the voice
of a relaxed smooth warmth
in my instrument's choice
from an underground venue
of angel Ariel's song
of melody
or a funereal monody
embracing through us
touching our wounds
and words on the rebound
in our love found monitors
from our stormy chasms
and fathomless memory
that kickstarts
former addicts of pop art
like Roy Lichtenstein
or Andy Warhol
playing us like Braque
or Picasso
with two-part inventions
as in an organ toccata
or a cantata of Bach
beyond all music dreams,
phosphorescent viola sonatas
in a numinous rapture
of dilated relaxed concertos
as in a rapid-stream Bax
for us
from an English chorus
during our culture's
ominous time
on earth's luminous
home planet
at a critic's rhyme
or a teaching time
of tribulation
reaching out
to hear a Russian symphony
or a piano sonata
of Scriabin
practiced from
over a spacious
and scrupulous introspection
deciphered by composers
from their unfinished notes
sharing with us
in Paris overlooking
a popular chorus line
not to be embarrassed
with augmented quotes
at a French music hall
from the bench of Offenbach
or at a flatly diminished ball
with Strauss' arty articulation
of a once-voluminous
waltz cycle
now the avant guard
is featured in part
from the philosopher-bard
with affirmations mirrored
from the faint words
on the corridors
of Saint Michael
in Bach, Mozart or Kierkegaard.


Today’s LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

We ask for perspicacity
and wisdom's fanfare
from our audacity
for a hidden freedom
in masks to share
a credibility
on Halloween's
home brew
we take an acrid view.


—Medusa, with thanks to B.Z. Niditch and Stacey Jaclyn Morgan for an early-November conversation from coast to coast!

 (Kabuki Dancer Bando Kotoji in the celebratory dance, “Sanbaso”)
—Anonymous Photo
Celebrate the many forms in which poetry blooms! 

And today you have three choices of poetry events in our area: 
T-Mo Entertainment presents The Love Jones Experience 
in Old Sac at 8pm; Poetry in Davis present Arturo Mantecón, 
Gilberto Rodríguez plus open mic at 8pm; and there’s always 
Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café in Sac, with 
features and open mic, also at 8pm.


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