Friday, September 23, 2011

For John on his birthday

In 1961 John Coltrane and his band played the Newport Jazz Festival and premiered 'My Favorite Things' a tune from a then popular Broadway musical. Most people nowadays know the song from the movie 'The Sound of Music' but that was still years in the future. Trane was only the second group to cover the tune and his version was a smash hit. So I'm posting this poem as a tribute. I have a couple or three Trane poems, but this is my favorite. When you finish the poem, read the first word of each line going down.


Bangles on bronzed arms and daisies on dresses,
Lipstick that lingers and long sassy tresses,
Phone calls on Fridays and jingles that sing,
Lightning that hints at what evening might bring.

Raindrops like fingers drum
On the windshield of the car,
Roses lovely up an empty seat
And await your smile, white as
Whiskers curling
On an elderly chin. Curious as
Kittens, they anticipate your
Bright eyes, mint
Copper pennies, two
Kettles of complexity
And what could be
Warm as your hands? Not knitted
Woolen scarves, or those red
Mittens you lost last winter. Long
Brown legs, where are you?
Paper bag brown, twin slender
Packages of satin. Are you
Tied up on the phone or caught
Up in a meeting
With a client like
String knotted into fishnet?
These questions vex,
Are six white roses sufficient?
A light drizzle, a
Few wayward splashes
Of memory caress my hand,
My fingers think of your
Favorite spot to be touched, imagine
Things they'll soon coax you to say.

Cranberry candles and cognac in crystal,
Flannel pajamas and tongue tips that tickle,
Sweet tea from tumblers in long soothing swigs,
Feed me dark chocolate with raisins and figs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Slice by slice, truth bleeds:
but an open heart
is not a fatal wound.
To be kissed goodnight,
or dismissed outright,
not because they sound the same,
but because they both smack.
Your lips somehow no
less full when they lie
as when they curl to smile.
The diets supposedly strict there.
Everywhere a weighing,
no meals but imagined ones.
Look how Pity deceives-
somehow a thing that seeks to soothe
and a type of strangling.