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« In Appreciation of William Matthews [by Peter Fortunato] | Main | "Perky Cuties I Had a Crush On": Movies and Beauty [by Mark Strand] »

March 06, 2022


Brilliant AF

a classic poem about america's classical music, AH UM.

Love this one. Perfect blend of "feeling and control"viewed from the eye of a musician's hurricane playing the music of life.

" I’ll accept

for this quintet, doing scores

is harder than sight-reading Mingus."

Brilliant! Ah Um!

I love how this poem sneaks up on the reader and guns them down in a burst of sound. This poem really speaks to me as a poet and jazz lover. I watched a very youthful jazz trio play at big art opening last night. The poem brought to mind the delight of watching the sax player and singer, a gorgeous young Black woman, acted as the classical conductor for the keyboard and guitar. Powerful joyful noise

The energy of the gods

I love a crime movie with a noir opening shot, a jazz soundtrack and a great punch line.

I love Brandon Johnson's clear-eyed look at these characters, his speaker's take on the action precise and also lyrical to nth degree. There's such music here, and complexity in the ways the speaker assesses what he experiences and thinks and feels. The poem is enviably and supremely great, to an extent that I feel compelled to read it a dozen more times and then try something like it, in hopes that Johnson's magic's rubbed off on me. I'm glad Terence has shown this to all of us.

what himes said

Don:  Thanks for your comment (and for turning me on to this terrific poem).

Poets and musicians satisfy the soul.

in the final stanza, the poet wonders is it time to retire from his teaching, but when, in that same stanza, the language of music and banditry become indistinguishable, we know he's not ready to quit yet.

Like a great jazz solo both visceral & rewarding multiple readings. Brandon has created a urban multiverse of characters. As a lover of jazz & crime novels I love the mash-up of the two genres. Brilliant work

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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