Bio Note: I was raised in mostly rural Minnesota in the late 1060s and early 1970s and have since lived for extended periods in a variety of places, including both coasts and in between. Throughout my working life, I have been a teacher, mostly of law and philosophy. For as long as I can remember, whether as student or teacher, reader, or writer, I have been fascinated with what goes on in our hearts and heads when we engage with the world of living ideas. I'm interested in discussing what happens in my heart and head when I read your work, and I hope to hear from others what they experience when they read my own contributions to the conversation.
It Echoes 52nd Street
Ahh, listen to his gentle jazz, this quiet bit of razzmatazz, a classic string of notes in time, yet timeless, interspersed with rhyme, like Coltrane calling on the ‘phone to tell you of his favorite things, or Bird’s bent bebop when you’re all alone, it echoes 52nd Street. But it isn’t bebop. It’s not the cool. It’s not even the birth of electric cool. It’s a brand-new jesus come to jazz, with classic bits of razzmatazz, and quiet strings of notes in time, interspersed with timeless rhyme, like Coltrane calling on the ‘phone, or Bird’s bent bebop when you’re all alone, it echoes . . . 52nd Street.
This Saltwater Waltz
Author's Note: “This Saltwater Waltz” is comprised of a blend of conversationally-accented anapestic and dactylic feet, meant to be sounded out and read aloud. It has roots in both Lorca’s “Little Viennese Waltz” and Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Waltz”.
There’s a cry where the window of sunrise Meets the têar in the sky’s tissue seam A faint echo of still-born laughter Eloped from some delicate dream The pigeon soot hands of my evening The yolkless white flesh of your eyes A stone lizard which stood in the garden And now gasps in the sweat of our thighs The blue flute I kept buried in the closet Of your fear of its forbidden tune Your lost paintings of unfabled fountains All swim in a heavy perfume Distilled from the musk of some meeting Of these sheets upon which we are bled No sweet scent of a meadow’s encounter Masks this odor which hangs from our bed As I grasp the high waist of your pitiless vase We have filled with a cognac of flowerless stems And we drink the moon’s glance of its bittersweet dance Beneath cobblestone shadows of rags dressed as men And swallow the tongues of our fathers With their cries of cathedralless love Tasting each tēar of our firefly years We weave of them glistening gloves And glide across marble floor memories Before coming to rest hand in hand There’s a face I will fasten for the lamplight To your voice full of sadness and sand
©2020 N. Nyberg
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