LANCE GAMBRELL – “TERMS OF SERVICE”

“Terms of Service”

A friend recently reminded me of the limited “terms of service” that she came with.

In the background, Ella Fitzgerald climbs a scale that we both saw coming; before the cholla.

No single hiker has ever felt sorry for me; least of all Ella.

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COLEMAN HAWKINS – JOHN DOYLE

Coleman Hawkins

1:33 a.m. Tuesday night;

playing on my cable T.V.

it’s like we were destined to be entwined,

Coleman and me,

so basically, nothing ever happened in-between –

no J.F.K. boning half of Jersey

to get his mind off Bays with Pigs in them,

no Flock of Seagulls or gas shortages

for Austin Powers to mull upon,

just Coleman Hawkins finding his way to me –

commercial break,

first fade to black,

1:38am.

I’ve grabbed my spacesuit and enthusiastically attach it,

there is much for Coleman and I to catch up on when he returns

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POETRY: ERREN GURAUD KELLY – YOU BRING THE JAZZ OUT IN ME…

You Bring Out The Jazz In Me…
 
You bring out the jazz in me
The Art Blakey, Max Roach the Roy Hanes in me
Seeing you  shake your hips like
Congas…the way you move your hips to a mamba
My heart pounding like drums inside my head
But this fever wont put me in bed
Instead I get out on the dance floor
Your body like a treble clef note
Makes me  want  to dance more
It’s true,  you do…
You bring out the jazz in me
The Fats Navarro , Terrence Blanchard  and  Dave Douglas in me
I want to mimic the trumpets shout…cure war and recession
Act a clown like Dizzy, fix this country of racism and oppression
Make this country great again, even better than trump
You make me sing sweet freedom, every time I see your rump
Make me want to take king’s place on  that balcony
Be a human shield for J.F.K.,  oh for the life of me
Maybe anarchy will prevail with the sound of a horn
Though my rage and fury causes flags to be torn
Maybe like Chet, I’ll walk both worlds between a boy
And a girl, I’ll help the alphabet army rock the world
This is my love letter,  from me it’s true
You bring out the song of revolution in me
Yes, you do…yes, you do.
You bring out the jazz in me
The Jaco Pastorious Charlie Mingus
And Paul Chambers in me,
See your body mimic the the shape of a double bass,
Grab your wide hips
Cos I’m all about that bass, could never be a gigolo
Though I’ve been a heartbreaker…I’ll play you like
A brass band, be a real love maker, as every note
Comes out of me rings true
Together,  were a symphony and i want to play you
Play you, play…you….
You bring out the jazz in me
The high hat and the double time in me
Feel the downbeat of you and
And the backbeat, that’s true
Watch my blood pressure rise and
Fall like arpeggios
Want to take five after swinging with you
But oh no, a rim shot salutes your
Brilliance
And I want to multi track your excellence
I want to solo with you for ever and
Ever
You bring out the jazz in me…the piano playing
Keyboard slaying shaman in me…I want to make
Robots rise like Herbie…and turn l.a.
Into a psychedelic sci fi  roller derby
Like Wynton Kelly, I’ll seduce you into a trance
And  we’ll wake up in a speakeasy, and I’ll watch you dance
Like Bill Evans, the song of the mademoiselle suits you
We’ll dive into hysteria like monk
Craziness suits you
I can lose myself in any dream I please
Be a warrior or a healer, by way of 88 keys
I’m an errand boy for rhythm it’s true
A masochist for aural pleasure, it’s all because of you
It’s  true, you do, bring  it out of me…
-for Lisa
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POETRY: KYLE PERDUE – “Breakfast With a Skeleton”

“Breakfast With a Skeleton”

I walked down the morning stairs

a skeleton sat at my typewriter

he was turning the wheel

trying to get the paper through

“you have to guide it through.”

I said through a yawn

he looked at me snide

his bone and marrow yellowish from decay

what are you looking at?

I thought

you’re a god damn skeleton

he took a sip of coffee

I watched it go into his jaw

through his throat

down his belly

and onto the floor

he’d gotten the paper in

and I could hear him now from the kitchen

he was typing something

“eggs?”

I called out

no response

I walked over

he was head-down, still typing

“YEAH!”

he screamed

jesus

I made the eggs— dashed with some cinnamon

I sat on one end of the table

him on the other

I watched the eggs travel through his body

and splat onto the floor where my dog ate them

“terrible.”

he said

“is that, is that cinnamon?”

what was left of his face cringed

“what were you writing?”

no response

“what were you writing?”

he took another bite of eggs and said:

“a body for myself.”

“a body for yourself?”

“a vessel for this hollow, lonely, useless, irritating,

appalling arrangement of calcium.”

“that’s what you were writing?”

“that and a love poem.”

“for Meryl”

“but how do you write a body?”

I asked him

“the same way you write a love poem,

it writes you.”

I had a sip of coffee

“I like you, skeleton, you should stick around.”

“can’t,

I’ve got to get an x-ray today.”

he showed me his broken arm

“you ever tried writing a love poem with a broken arm?”

he asked

“no, but I have with a broken heart.”

we sat in silence

just before he read me his body

and his love poem

I cried during both

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POETRY: Christine Stoddard – “Apartment Hunting”

“Apartment Hunting”

 

Theo lived with six roommates.

Half of them thought you were black;

half of them thought you were white.

In the month you found refuge on his sofa,

not one of them ever asked, but you could

read their interpretation based on

how they discussed the pricklier points of race.

None of them had been to Virginia, save for one.

He once shot past Washington, D.C. and

spent a couple of hours in Arlington

before he realized his mistake.

He said the Potomac looked ferocious,

but you were a Rappahannock River girl.

You still didn’t know the bodies of water

that threatened to swallow New York.

In Bushwick, the only drops you saw

lined the gutter and pooled on the sidewalk.

Sometimes the cry of seagulls pricked your ears.

A little lost, the birds had not steered too far off course.

But you never mentioned nature to your unwilling neighbors.

“Lavinia,” said Theo one morning, while lighting a joint,

“It’s been nice, but you have to find an apartment.

Craigslist that shit, girl. It’s not that sketch.”

You stopped chewing your grits (a remnant of home)

and nodded slower than a late-night G train.

“It’s all run together,” you say. “I forgot how long I was here.”

“This city sweeps you up, but you learn to fight it.”

He exhales and you both appreciate the clouds he fashions.

“Where do you want to live?” he finally asks.

“Somewhere where I can see the sky,” you say, surprising yourself.

“Welcome to Brooklyn. No tunnels of building shadows here.”

“As long as it’s cheap,” you say, thinking of closets and slums.

You don’t add that you have nearly run out of savings

because Theo will try to convince you to work at his office,

the call center that lets him reschedule his shifts for auditions.

You didn’t flee to New York to ooze in and out of a 9-to-5.

You didn’t move here to dread every day of your existence.

You came here to revel in textiles, to dress Broadway’s stars,

to tell stories through costumes like you dreamt in school.

“We’ll look at listings and book appointments for tomorrow,”

says Theo in a daze now that the pot has hit him.

“Sure, load me up,” you mutter and grab his joint.

It’s your moment to escape, to surrender

as a speckled seagull shrieks outside.

~

Find Christine Stoddard online.

 

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POETRY: TIM STALEY – THE MOST HONEST SYLLABLE IS SHHH

The Most Honest Syllable Is Shhh

Certainly I rinsed the vegetables.

A drummer killed himself
but I’m not even sure
he was a drummer.

The caravan abandoned the camel
in the Target parking lot.

Xanax builds the cornerstone of selfishness
on the diversion of punctuality.

A snake finds a railroad tie, hallelujah!

When working on an orgasm, distractions like the dog
scratching the french door, or the child
opening your bedroom door, or the dryer
beeping, or the washer beeping, or the timer
for the raspberries beeping, or the jazz
interrupted by the news, John Kerry broke his leg
while cycling a stretch of the Tour de France.

The ideal exists in the poems the fewest of us read.

Three people see a poem on a postcard and the national average is rattled.

Not everyone on a sofa with a bong and an acoustic guitar is cool.

I was 10 and hadn’t lost my virginity, sort of.

The Marriage Cycle:
anger proceeded by feisty dignity
followed by sacrifice.

The gangplank of adulthood is sacrifice and feisty dignity.

Children ache for actions of their own making,
not smoke machines but actual smoke.

You aren’t supposed to fast forward anyone
from The Last Waltz.

~

Visit Tim Staley online.

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