Tuesday, July 07, 2015

July 2015 Haiku/Senryu

The darkness of plums
at Foodtown

First Date-
Eating Baby Back Ribs
with a fork

Park bench-
The eye of the sparrow
watches over me

Half Moon-
The glistening curve
of her bite

Run over
by Rush Hour traffic-
The tree's shadow

Her eyes-
Packets of Raw Sugar
torn empty

Park bench-
The eye of the sparrow
watches over me

In each store window
the same
quizzical face

Green tea with honey
The way her eyes catch
the sunlight

Again and again
the summer sun

Left knee
the Dining room window shade
that keeps catching

Croissant flakes
What little French 
I remember

August Sky
grayer above the Temple
Fiftieth birthday eve

Bone spur-
Why my Achilles
won't heal

Left knee
the Dining room window shade
that keeps catching

Lazy eye
That one kid who keeps trying
to peep your answers

August Sky
graying above the Temples
Fiftieth birthday eve

Green tea with honey
The way her eyes catch
the sunlight

In Starbucks
noticing that Ishmael
blocked me on Facebook

Post divorce
The softness of the pianist's hands
But Not for Me

Arnold Palmer
The gulf between the order
and the drink

Waiting Room
The motorcycle helmet
above the cane

Not the Pinta
Not the Santa Maria
The Nina she moans

Morning fog
The parking lot fills
with horns

Bid Whist
Before cutting the cards
Mo cuts her eyes 

Clamor of crows
on a telephone line
Black Twitter

July heat
Still attached to the church
a burning cross

Until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 2015 Haiku/Senryu

Trying to be more diligent about keeping track of my ku. Here's this month's output so far. I will update it as necessary. Surprisingly, it's been a very productive month. I'm thinking about doing the Haiku a day thing every month and not just during NaPoMo. 

Full moon
The half of the Oreo
with the stuff

now a citizen of the

Carolina dawn
Rising up the flagpole
a woman's hands

Milky Way
Between the stars
Ahmad Jamal's fingers

Empty crayon box
Our son gets a taste
of the blues

Memorial Day
Strewn about the beach
Lorna Doones

Scraps of tires
The flatness of a tern
in the road

Urbane graffiti
Only the expletive
written in cursive

A black cat
settles on the windowsill
October nightfall

Deepening sunset
A pickup's Rebel flag
shrinks in the distance

A bluebird rises
from a budded branch
April daybreak

White cat
Bloody pause
Nine lives gone

The largest hand
sprinkles the Truffle Salt
Father's Day

Summer Solstice
A Father's hand lengthens
a girl's smile

There to prey
The sight of a rifle in the

Still rippling over
Charleston South Carolina
Battle Flag

The curl
of a dead boy's fingers
A toy gun

This woman's white hair
How majestic the crown
of those mountains

Prayer meeting
The expressions on faces
outside the church

Not a prayer
The echo of a rifle
through the Pews

Only the cue ball
left on the table

Spin Cycle
Abe Vigoda is dead

Wave after wave
Falling onto the beach
Boardwalk tourists

Green light
Cars wend around the fountain

June afternoon
The Italian Ice man
shaves smiles

composed of cords
or net

Cold man
A Shake of jazz to come
Free with Cherry 

Rainy day
Our son only seems to know
words that end in Why

Ornate coal man
Mellow descends a fair well 
drifts in the missed

Frost on
the rear windshield 
Snow moon

Grain moon
A crescent of cake waning
in the urinal

Summer night
the beach fills with
sound of waves

Day after Xmas
throwing out my back
with the trash

Back alley
Written in cursive
his pee

Afternoon fog
low door jamb
sudden sprinkle

JV Football
My son goes to the pine
to learn about pine

Black Hawk on a breeze
The Last Diné Code Talker

Basketball court
Two crows caw
Next game

Dinner time
the open mouths of 
slot machines 

The blind man's cane
skips a beat 

over the numbers
Spread sheets

Cannabis seeds
My mother startled
by a roach 

Bouquet of Roses
The skin on her collar bone

Detached houses
The distant eyes of the new

The oak's roots
raise blocks of the walkway
Daddy's fingers

Divorse papers
We spot the typo

June sunset
How softly the petals
flutter down

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Follies 12 JUN 15

To celebrate the life of the recently ascended Ornette Coleman, here are three of what I like to call Cubist Haiku. Coleman was infamous as one of the great innovators of Jazz music creating what would be called "Free Jazz". At a time when the leading innovators were playing a style (Bebop) that relied on using notes of chords taken from a song's harmonic structure, Coleman eliminated chords from his written compositions and instruments that played chords from his band, a move that struck most as completely crazy. His most famous album "The Shape of Jazz to Come" set the jazz world on fire, and sparked endless debates. And yet, the songs worked, thanks in part to his wonderful ability to create melodies. Coleman was also known for his highly idiosyncratic use of language and sometimes seemingly circular logic. As time passed he came to be justified in his approach to the music but his semantic weirdness never waned. Here then are three haiku/senryu in his honor.

Ornate coal man
Mellow descends a fair well 
drifts into the missed

Cold man
A Shake of jazz to come
Free with Cherry 

composed of cords
or net

Among the alternate readings of the first piece is " Ornette Coleman/ melody sends a farewell/ drifts into the mist."
The second piece makes reference to Don Cherry, the long time trumpet player in Voleman's band and father of singer Neneh Cherry. 
And among the alternate readings of the third piece is "Not/composed of chords/ Ornette"

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

May 2015 Haiku/Senryu

Memorial Day
Strewn about the beach 
Lorna Doones

Full moon
The half of the Oreo
with the Stuff

Spring breeze
I rearrange the flours
in the cupboard 

Garden harvest
More salt less pepper
in my beard

September moon
Ahead in the headlights 
Oh Dear

Cherry Coke
My students ignore
the blossoms

Cherry blossoms
She scrounges her purse
for lipstick

Dripping from
the water tower
Spring rain

Her fingers
on my bare shoulder
Piano music

The Rapture
I find in Revelations
a squashed ant

Milky Way
between the stars
Ahmad Jamal's fingers

Afternoon fog
light drizzle 
low door jamb

Baltimore twilight
The slow fall of a tear 
gas canister

Three AM
The homeless man finds
a round trip ticket

Stretched across
the back bench of the bus
Morning sunshine

Morning fog 
a mother waiting on
the feeble sun

On the Boardwalk
the spotless shoes of the man
in a wheelchair 

Morning fog
only one of us

Bouncing off
every riot shield
Waxing gibbous moon

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Friday Follies 29 MAY 15

So a few nights ago Cheryl Lynn and Anita Baker allegedly had some beef on Twitter, although it was more like one person chewing on some (very spicy) beef jerky. Yes, it was probably petty, although easily the most entertaining thing online at 1 AM. Of course, Tonk playing Twitter (aka Red Kool Aid Twitter, Black Velvet Jesus Twitter) went IN, mostly on Ms Lynn. All of which is cool as a box of Bomb Pops in your Granny's basement freezer. But there was a consistent misconception that needs to be cleared up. And who really is better qualified to do that than your homeless uncle DJ Renegade? First off, I've been an AB fan since Chapter 8 (no that's not a type of bankruptcy) even though her voice (like Lagavulin) ain't for everybody, including evidently Clive Davis. And yes, we can all name five AB songs for every CL song (assuming you go back to '78). And yes, AB sold more copies of "Rapture" than CL sold of allofheralbums COMBINED. All of this is as true as hamhocks are greasy. But when it comes to vocal talent (instrument + musical ability) there is really no comparison. CL got more chops than a bamboo forest has sticks. AB is a singular talent with a unique style and a distinctive timbre all her own, and yet CL can sing her under the table. Pick one, your Auntie's card table? Check. Your Nana's glass top Coffee Table? Check. Your Mama's walnut dining table with the heavy ass extensions? Check. The table where Christ and his Disciples ate the Last Supper? Check. The Periodic Table, the Water Table and the Table of Contents? Check, Check and Checkmate. Whatever you do, DO NOT SLEEP on CL's voice. *grabs you by the lapels* Do not (for the love of Banana NowOrLaters) get it twisted, CL got more range than the Appliance sections at all the Home Depots. Check her LIVE performance with Luther on Soul Train where she harmonizes UNDER him by singing some Bass/Baritone notes like she was wearing some of Lou Rawl's drawls. Check her background vocals on "Got to Be Real" where she harmonizes with herself with multiple Whistle Register notes. Yall ain't probably know she had a Whistle Register because it's perfectly blended into her Head and Chest voices. CL don't grandstand, she just hits whatever notes the song needs and floats on. Shorty got more range than Patti LaBelle (there I said it), but before you get up early to poison my Earl Grey, save your side eyes and Google or YouTube or ask somebody with perfect pitch. All the notes are on the record.

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits 25 May 15

Speck of white
floating in this evening's tea
October moon

with every streetlight
June moon

December moon
Drifting into our window
Autumn leaves

A crescent cake 
wanes in the urinal
August moon

Won't you
be my Valentine
February moon

Rippling softly
among the Bay reeds
May moon

The only fool
Holding a mirror to the sun
April moon

Blowing clouds
from bright cheeks
March moon

the rear windshield 
January moon

September Moon
Caught in the headlights 
Oh Dear

Blind rage
she bans the July moon
from our bedroom 

Moonless night
Tip-toeing down the hallway 
cat's eyes

So many eyes
on a hanging chad
November moon

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits 12 MAY 05


My stuffed panda,
nicknamed Pythagoras,
sang to me until I was ten.
Then I heard the bike sprocket
of logic rip up
the pants leg of his song.
The logic of adolescence
is the long blue ache
for adulthood.
I blew adolescence
like bubbles from a trumpet's bell.
From my Middle School hallway,
music class beckoned.
Pythagoras sang music
as a sacred form of math,
neon numbers raised to the highest power.
All my school trumpet desired
was to be carried home
to our housing project
in a case with a velvet lining,
a conical mute.
Why do clouds get to play with
such vast velvet Blues in the background?
The mute desired to teach me
how to moan in public,
but I took up the trumpet
as a budding oral essayist.
Or to replace what Pythagoras sang.
My mouth became a bed
for the mute to dream in.
I did not dream of god
the way I dreamt that
minor chords wore hard hats
with tiny beaming lights.
I still recall the whole notes
of my eyeballs
filling with blinding light,
a bright blare
not unlike a horn,
whose body became
a balm for my adolescent fingers,
even when they couldn't
bear such brassiness.
And Miles above —
clouds were hoarse whispers
galloping from god's muted mouth.
I knew the needles of a pine
and the needles of a phonograph
could both sew song into spinning air
but didn't make the same scents.
There was scented oil
glistening the trumpet's valves.
Inside its coiled body,
a half note curling towards the open bell,
wet, rhythmic breath
buzzing into the late afternoon
with the lilt of eyeballs filling with light.
Why do we say "late afternoon"
like it showed up drunk and disheveled
hours after it was due?
Or worse, as if it recently died?
Logicians think death
has no logic, but
the logic of death
is the long blue ache for life.
My boy T claims
the truest thing about music is this:
a poem can be a useful essay,
but an essay is a useless ass poem.
I know breath collects inside a horn
the way dew collects on curling leaves.
But who collects the shavings
of quarter notes that curl
around a trumpeter's feet?
I wasn't old enough to shave,
not even seconds off the time
it took to sprint for the schoolbus.
I left my school trumpet
on the bus several times,
but it never held it against me.
Maybe I only took up
the trumpet so I could hold
Latricia Taylor against me
and collect her curling breath
in the bowl of my collar bone.
Miles above, clouds were hoarse whispers,
curling fog from god's frozen nostrils.
After I got my front tooth knocked out
I tried to play the trumpet,
but my band teacher claimed it
impossible as a one armed man
playing a violin.
I can still read the notes curling
across sheet music as easily as a grocery list,
but never learned to play by ear.
Like a man who can read French newspapers
but not comprehend the frank whispers
of the woman he desires.
Desire is a housing project
in a former French City
famous for its trumpet players.
I've truly never lived in that city,
but since my first tryst with the trumpet
the long blue logic is this;
we're all born and razed
in our red brick projects of Desire.

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)