, ,

We have a guest who will handle the bar tonight:

Amaya Engleking is a poet and relatively new mother who blogs at Gospel Isosceles. She is perpetually in undulation between being drawn to the faith and being repelled by it. She is also a soprano and a violinist, but don’t let the shrill voices of her instruments deceive you; her dark side is off the other end of the sonar charts.

Artwork by Debra Hurd

Tonight at the Pub the “tempo goes up, lights go down” as we channel our inner Harlem cool cat, beatnik, or sultry sax soloist playing the subway stations of an anonymous city. Consider the flow of the following poems by these legendary poets.

O-Jazz-O – Bob Kaufman

Where the string
some point,
Was umbilical jazz,
Or perhaps,
In memory,
A long lost bloody cross,
Buried in some steel cavalry.
In what time
For whom do we bleed,
Lost notes, from some jazzman’s
Broken needle.
Musical tears from lost
Broken drumsticks, why?
Pitter patter, boom dropping
Bombs in the middle
Of my emotions
My father’s sound
My mother’s sound,
Is love,
Is life.

Harlem – Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Excerpt from ‘Human Cylinders’ – Mina Loy

The impartiality of the absolute
Routs       the polemic
Or which of us
Would not
Receiving the holy-ghost
Catch it      and caging
Lose it
Or in the problematic
Destroy the Universe
With a solution

How to write jazz poetry? Here are some pointers to start:
-Free verse, prose poem, or loose rhyme scheme work best for form
-More fast-paced than what you’re used to
-Give your left brain a rest and let the other half go wild
-Stream-of-consciousness, improvisational, experimental, let-go style
-May allude to the sounds of jazz music playing or a particular performer(s) (See the below link to Miles Davis’ “Inamorata “)
-May explore social rebellion or criticism
-May have definite spoken-word or hip-hop rhythm
-Try using phonetic techniques to give a sense of music in the poem, such as assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia
-Try moving your body to some avant-garde jazz and jostling up your cells and ideas so that when they settle again you may find words and phrases next to each other that normally wouldn’t have been (Again, the link may help you feel it.)

I’m looking forward to reading, and saying aloud, your jazz poems. Take your time and sink into the mood. Remember, at the best jazz clubs the headliners don’t go onstage until after midnight.

When you have written your poem link it up using MrLinky, take your time to read and interpret the prompt as you like it, and for those of you who prefer turkey tonight come back later.